Miking DRUMS! Where to put the EIGHTH MIC?????

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Miking DRUMS! Where to put the EIGHTH MIC?????

Post by oceanblood » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:57 am

Curious what kind of different opinions are out there. Here's the scenario:
You've got only 8 inputs on your interface.
You mic Snare, tom, tom, floor, kick, & 2 overheads. That's 7.

Where do you put the 8th mic?

Bottom of the snare? Sub for the kick? Mono room mic?

How would you change the set up for rock, metal, pop, jazz?

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:13 am

Room.
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:48 am

Room for sure. I'd even go mono overhead and stereo room. Or mono OH, mono room, mono far room compressed like crazy (I put a mic in the next room with the door open a crack and then crush the shit out of it with an Altec 1612B).
Or......... Mono OH, mono room and a heart/wurst/crotch mic. If you haven't done it before the heart/wurst/crotch are different names for similar set-ups. It's a mic over the beater hoop of the kick. The Wurst set-up uses a cardioid mic aimed at the snare and hats. The heart/crotch set-up is often an omni pointed at the drummer's junk. Any mic in these positions will give you something useable and usually gives a good picture of the kit. I prefer dynamics here because I want to pick up the drums more than the cymbals but there are no hard or fast rules. On tracks that aren't really tom heavy or where the toms don't have to be huge and hyper real I'll ditch the tom mics and use an EV664 in the Wurst position. An RE-20 is great if you've got one available.
For the heart mic I like an EV 635a into distortion pedal. Sneaking it under the rest of the kit can really make the drums pop and sound super exciting.

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Post by joninc » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:15 am

i think even regardless of genre, it's really context dependent. for me it's all about contrast.

ie: if the music has a lot of super dry acoustic elements then maybe you can make
the drums a bit more roomy and less tight. in that case maybe stereo rooms is more
preferable than stereo overheads, or maybe you can sacrifice a tom mic (2 rack toms? i think i have seen that 2 or 3 times in 15 years of recording).

inversely, if the band has tons of epic space rock guitars and keys than maybe you need the drums to be super tight and focused so you'll want to mic the high hat or do the "inside kit" mic (crotch mic etc....). or maybe you want the inside kick mic and and outside mic (sub kick or LDC or whatever).

I imagine that also metal recordings probably want the uber-definition of close mics to retain the focus and punch against big distorted guitars.

jazz recordings on the whole tend to be more natural sounding so capturing a real stereo room tone is probably helpful. they probably won't have 3 toms either - unless maybe it's jazz fusion or something...

I have found that although I love the sound of big roomy drums, they really don't work a lot of the time as they just eat up so much room in the mix so having a "FOK" (Front of Kit) mic that is maybe 6 feet away gives a bit more realism to the sound of the drums being in a room, without sounding super splashy and far away. I also love the "inside kit" mic for rock - you can keep the rest of your tracks a lot less compressed and just smash this track - when you bring up the fader it adds a lot of excitement, as well as tone and resonance, to the drums.

the other trick i love to do on aggressive tracks is to use the AUX send on my board from kick or snare to a distortion pedal/sans amp and print that to it's own channel. you can give a kick or snare SO MUCH BALLS that it's insane!

but pretty much it's all just me stealing tricks from Tchad.
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Post by drumsound » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:41 am

I would default to a room mic, but there are other options that would be production dependent. If I wanted a dry 70s think I'd do an over the BD shell/crotch type mic. If the player played really lightly, I might got for a hat mic. figure 8 picking up both the BD batter head and under snare might be more useful on something.

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Post by Drone » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:18 pm

Do you have any vaseline?

Seriously though, stick a PZM someplace, tape it to the drummer, put it on the back wall.
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Post by kslight » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:08 pm

Room is fun, as an alternate room mic I've had good luck miking the drummers head (from behind, facing the kit but with their thrashing locks in the way).

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Post by vvv » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:45 pm

Snare bottom, or front of kick, or front of kit are some other options ...
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Post by JWL » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:21 pm

I would put the 8th mic back in the case with the 5th, 6th, and 7th mics. :wink: :twisted:

Seriously though? Room mic fer sure.

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Post by ashcat_lt » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:46 pm

JWL wrote:I would put the 8th mic back in the case with the 5th, 6th, and 7th mics. :wink: :twisted:
Yep. If you need that much control, you might as well go to triggers, cause it ain't likely to sound natural anyway.


I don't record drums all that often, but I like a heart mic even for live use. Kinda freaks out the "serious" sound guys when they see me do that, but it really works in the modest sized rooms I usually end up working.

The time before last when I recorded a kit I couldn't find my 635a and made do with some Nady "tom" mic. Wasn't super happy with that, but this last time I did find the EV, and it's going to be an important part of the mix. There was an AT stereo mic under the folding chair the drummer used because he forgot to bring his throne, and the "kick" version from the Nady kit on top of the beer-soaked pillow inside there. Then for some reason I let the drummer have a vocal mic (an EV Cobalt something), which was kind of above the high-hat, pointed through him at the floor tom/ride. With just a touch of nudging around these things actually end up sounding too good for this band. I'm not completely sure how I'm going to get it gross enough, but I'm sure I'll manage. ;)

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Post by Gregg Juke » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:08 am

I heartily disagree^^^^ (but that's what makes a place like this beautiful; the collective wisdom of differing shared experiences)...

I personally would go with a mono room mike over snare bottom (ecch!) or any other app. I used to insist on stereo room, but I'm pretty much a "crushed-mono room" convert.

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Post by kslight » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:16 am

Gregg Juke wrote:I heartily disagree^^^^ (but that's what makes a place like this beautiful; the collective wisdom of differing shared experiences)...

I personally would go with a mono room mike over snare bottom (ecch!) or any other app. I used to insist on stereo room, but I'm pretty much a "crushed-mono room" convert.

GJ
I've occasionally done the snare bottom, but kind of like hi hat/ride mics, I usually only resort to using them if there's something wrong with the other mics (too much bleed in snare top, etc). I know plenty of folks more respected than me swear by 20 mic drum recordings, but it hardly ever gets me what I want. My favorite drum tones tend to fall back on 3-4 mic setups.

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Post by ashcat_lt » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:39 pm

Gregg Juke wrote:I heartily disagree^^^^ (but that's what makes a place like this beautiful; the collective wisdom of differing shared experiences)...
I mean, I don't actually get paid for this crap. I'm certainly not going to spend hours on placing a big pile of mics whose tracks I will then have to edit and compress and eq all with meticulous care, and... If I need that much control...well...I've paid the good folks at Toontrack to do a lot of it for me. :)

More seriously, a good drummer controls his dynamics and mixes himself, and shouldn't really need a whole lot of help from me at mix time. More mics on a shitty drummer is just more shit.

Different philosophies, I suppose.

The first time I recorded a full band, I had a whole lot of decent mics to work with. I stuck a Shure Green Bullet harp mic on the top snare and some little EV thing underneath. The combination was pretty damn cool without much other processing. The fact that I had to submix the drums to mono with bass guitar (!) to fit everything on the 4-track cassette was not so cool, but it almost worked. :?

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Post by floid » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:29 pm

Unless it's a solo project, the scratch track of whoever's playing along. And assume it might be a keeper.
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Post by vvv » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:03 pm

Timely thread for yo. The drummer in my old cop band (OK, we were all old but only two of us, one of whom was/is the drummer, are a cop) got in touch to ask me to record him playing some drum stuff he's been practicing this Sunday, Valentino Day, in his unfinished basement. (He likes me to write songs with his drum tracks, what I also like doing.)

I did two albums with him but always with 6 tracks, as we did scratch vox and guitar on the other two.

So, I also have 8 tracks for him for the first time.

FWIW, I plan on:
Inside kick: E602
Outside kick or front of kit: condensor, or possibly a tube mic?
Snare top: Beta 58
Rack toms: MD421II
Floor toms (he uses two): RE320
OH's/ or mebbe unders: AT4040 pair
mono room: condensor, or possibly a tube mic?

Alternatively, I might use individual mic's on the rack toms (E604 or a Audix f sompin') but I've had good luck panning them in mix-down, would rather do as above.

And yes, note: no under-snare which I've tried in the past but usually didn't use. :twisted:

And no crotch mic or smashed room mic as he's more into Steve Gadd and Peter Erskine styles/sounds.
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