Thoughts on next upgrade

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templejazz82
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Thoughts on next upgrade

Post by templejazz82 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:17 am

First off- this is a great forum. I do not always have a chance to follow up (two jobs, wife, todler), so I do apologize, but I read everything when I do ask questions and it is extremely helpful. I am currently curious on what you would focus on upgrading next (for tracking DRUMS). I do drums mainly in my studio, rarely anything else. Here is what I have:

-Apollo Quad 8
-Pres: CAPI VP312 (2), CAPI VP25 (1), CAPI VP26(1)
-Mics: c414 B-ULS (using as a room mic), Joly Modded Oktava MK12 (using in X/Y over drums), 3 57's (snare, 2 toms), 52 on kick. I also have an SM7, 2 Oktava 219's and 2 319's.

Would you upgrade next:

-2 channel SPDIF pre to run more mics in?
-Mod one of the Oktava 219's/319's for a condenser option for kick out?
-new tom mics to use instead of 57's (been looking at the miktek PM10 and the Beyer m88)
-New 500 series pre, maybe a neve-type flavor, been looking at the Avedis MA5

Just curious to what you would think? I promise to try an respond!

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Post by kslight » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:10 pm

I dunno, the real question would be what do you feel is lacking in your recordings...those all seem like adequate tools to get good drum tones, nothing sticks out to me as a problem. I've heard 57s used on toms that sound great so not sure that's even an issue.

I think in terms of obvious sound quality improvements, I would look at a nice set of cymbals, nice kit, and your room.

I don't think the combination of upgrading your mics, pres, and adding 2 more inputs would make as great a difference.

If I had to choose from mic upgrades though, I think a pair of ribbons for overheads might make for a more obviously different set of tools to choose from when recording.

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Post by JWL » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:40 pm

Yeah, if that's your gear, and you aren't happy with your recordings, ugprading gear won't help much. At least not compared to getting the best drums and treating the space.

Getting acoustic treatment in a small room will be huge, starting with plenty of bass trapping and some absorption on nearby walls/ceiling. If budget permits, some diffusion on walls further away can also help.

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Post by templejazz82 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:16 pm

Thanks guys! Yeah, I am not unhappy about my recordings. Actually, I have noticed that since I got my 414 a month ago and since I really dialed in my overheads (mk12s), I am pretty darn happy. The bad part is that it has made my weaker links show a little bit more. I have always been under the impression that make it work with you have, take it to the limit, then upgrade after all else has been exhausted. I feel that my toms do not punch in the mix, and I have to add eq to them to make them really sit well. They don't sound bad, but looking for next steps.

I have tons of treatment, spent lots of time working that out. My next project is to build some space array diffusion for over the drums and in front of them. Mixes translate pretty well, too!

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Post by kslight » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:33 pm

I think tom punch is a lot in combination of a great kit, drummer, and processing...though if you're comparing your toms to modern pop/rock most of that stuff is fake sound replaced junk..are your toms represented well without close mics?

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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:16 pm

My advice.

Room treatment - so tracks and playback sound clearer.

Great monitors - so, coupled with the room treatment, you can hear the differences really accurately when you try different equipment and techniques.

Compressors - so you can make them go boom.
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Post by The Scum » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:44 pm

Yeah, my usual recipe for punchy drums is parallel subgroup compression.
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Post by drumsound » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:08 pm

AS per you post, M88 will stomp on the SM57s.

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Post by templejazz82 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:03 am

thanks for all the replies thus far, everyone. Monitors are certainly an area I need to upgrade. I want to make sure I upgrade to a really good set, as opposed to a medium range or low end set. The drums individually translate with my overheads pretty well, nice spread, good definition (I am a drummer by trade, so have nice equipment, understand how to tune, mostly how to play). I do tracks and send them to other mixers from time to time for them to mix, so I want to find ways to give them the best product that I can. 57's work for toms, but would different mics provide a mixer better options? I guess it is the 64,000 dollar question.

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Post by Jim Williams » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:00 am

2nd 414 for stereo overheads.

Remove output transformers from the 57's, then use them on toms or even kick.

RE-20, for kick and other stuff. That ought to do it.
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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:22 pm

Perhaps a sample of what you're getting now would help people dial you in. Some of the people here have amazing ears coupled with encyclopedic gear and technique knowledge.

Do you have your phase issues all worked out? That'll rob you of boom and punch right there.

One thing I learned recently (also a drummer who's been recording forever) is that the boom comes from the overheads and the attack comes from the close mics on toms. I don't even use close tom mics anymore, 'cause I'm all about the boom. So, maybe, like the person said, another 414 to upgrade your OH path would be the bang for the buck. And a killer compressor to put 'em through lightly on the way in.

Also, I know the 52 is considered a venerable kick mic, but the Sennheiser e602 rocked my freakin' world when I switched to it from a D117 (also a standard). And they're cheap as hell. Totally diggin' the D117 on bass cab now.
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Post by joninc » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:13 am

I'd take 421s on toms over 57s any day.
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Post by vvv » Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:16 am

I like the 421 and 421 II, I like the RE320 on floor tom, I like the Senn 603/604 clip-ons also.
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Post by jgimbel » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:48 am

Like others have mentioned, 421s on toms are great. I always had trouble getting tom sounds I was happy with until I got mine. You may find people mentioning that cymbal bleed in them isn't always the prettiest, but even in extreme cases where I've had to "strip silence" out the the bleed, it leaves a tom sound I like so much it's worth it. They're pretty versatile mics. Two ways I use them most are either backed up a bit from the tom, which gets a nice attack and pretty natural drum sound great for less sparse music, and much closer to the tom with a heavy dose of proximity effect, which gives a fantastic component of the tom sound in conjunction with the overheads when used in a dense mix. I've got three of them, though I'd like another as I've liked how it's sounded in kick for rock music as well.
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Post by vvv » Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:14 pm

I have a pair of M179's what can be had around US$100 on the Ebog and what are said to be excellent for toms and OH's; I've not used 'em there yet but may soon (depending on when my band is tight enuff).

And I think I meant Senn 504/604, above.
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