MS drums with mono OH - variants?

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MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by nicholasdover » Tue May 08, 2018 11:52 am

So I got slightly bored of my reliance and perpetual favouring of GJ drums today and in my effort to like something else better I think I've found a contender for my affection:

4038 as mono OH about 3ft above snare
LDC (cardioid, neutral/airy sounding, today was microphone-parts kit RK12) MID + Fathead ribbon (dark) SIDES - at standing head height looking down into centre of kit from out in front
close Kick
close snare

One advantage to this for me that I REALLY appreciate is that if I'm relying on the drums for stereo-ness in mix in situations where panning the band wide isn't an option, I find GJ has an annoying compromise in that if I go for stereo width (hard panning the over/side mics), the ride sits too far to the side and tom fills on some kit setups go sideways across the soundstage and it's totally unrealistic, but with MS I seem to be able to get a nice spacey image with a nice compact kit at the core. I guess it's a slightly "fake" stereo but today, I liked it a lot.

Anyone else use MS like this or any variants on this kind of setup I should try?
I have a big room now with high ceilings so have more options - I'm sure I tried the same arrangement in a smaller room and didn't get on with it.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by losthighway » Tue May 08, 2018 5:58 pm

nicholasdover wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:52 am
I find GJ has an annoying compromise in that if I go for stereo width (hard panning the over/side mics), the ride sits too far to the side and tom fills on some kit setups go sideways across the soundstage and it's totally unrealistic,
Yeah, I find most two mic overhead situations (at least visually, and sometimes quite audibly) reveal that our cultural expectation of a snare being centered in the stereo field is not actually accurate to it's physical position. It's practically under the hi hat and usually right next to the rack tom.

The only mic situation that I've ever used that literally puts the snare center while somehow getting the hi hat/crash more off to the side is and xy or ortf on a stereo bar kind of diagonally cockeyed so the snare sits between the mics but the cymbals pick up more to one side. This way the floor tom doesn't sound a mile wider than the rest of the kit with the hat and snare coming near the middle like with Glyn Johns. Still doesn't offer a tone of width though, those stereo bar techniques always sound reliable but kind of tame.

I've landed on the Massey way of doing a spaced pair when I'm recording something that needs visceral drums with a clear stereo width. I keep the mics equidistant from the snare but point them mostly at their respective tom knowing that I've never been left wanting more cymbals.

Back to your original point, I imagine if you have hardware to put things right where you want, those mid-side mics could be put in a lot of different places for different effect.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by vvv » Tue May 08, 2018 6:48 pm

I have used M/S successfully from FOK, but I kinda got tired of the sound. I didn't use a OH, tho' I did use spot mics on the kick and snare.

But I conceive, lately, of the spatial info coming from the OH's (I usually have just FOK and head high, as wide as the kit and pointed to each side of the snare) with the location info coming from the close mics.

Then I get the best stereo image i can (kinda focusing on the toms, cymbals and then snare) using the OH's, HPF 'em , and place the kick in the middle, with the snare spot putting that in the middle along with the OH info.

EDIT: just realized, I didn't really respond to your topic, just babbled mine, sorry. :oops:
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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by losthighway » Tue May 08, 2018 8:14 pm

vvv wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 6:48 pm
EDIT: just realized, I didn't really respond to your topic, just babbled mine, sorry. :oops:
To be fair, I kind of started the digression.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by Magnetic Services » Tue May 08, 2018 9:20 pm

nicholasdover wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:52 am
LDC (cardioid, neutral/airy sounding, today was microphone-parts kit RK12) MID + Fathead ribbon (dark) SIDES - at standing head height looking down into centre of kit from out in front
Huh. Without hearing it and just thinking about it, I'd be more inclined to use a darker mic for the mid channel and brighter mic for the sides. That way your "stereo-ness" consists a bit more of the shimmery cymbal reflections in the room, stick attacks, etc. and the heavy stuff like the meat of the kick/snare/toms would be centered (while still getting cymbal brightness by virtue of being on-axis).

But now I'm wondering how it decodes differently when you mix dark and bright mics vs. mics with similar tones... whoa lots to think about here.

Sort of on the subject, I've been into using a mono over-the-shoulder overhead + basic close mics, then putting a blumlein pair (or whatever) out in front of the kit for a stereo room sound. I kinda like having the drums be mostly centered and having the stereo excitement come from the reflections rather than "drummer's perspective" exaggerated panning.

Also, boundary mics are the shit!

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue May 08, 2018 9:55 pm

4038 as mono OH about 3ft above snare
YIKES.

Be careful with that... they are not made for strong transients like snares.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by nicholasdover » Wed May 09, 2018 2:22 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 9:55 pm
4038 as mono OH about 3ft above snare
YIKES.

Be careful with that... they are not made for strong transients like snares.
Don't worry, Nick - I play drums like a little girl...
With the mic there into unpadded CAPI VP28 at 12 o'clock in and out, meters don't come near peak even if I play like a little/medium sized boy, clean as a whistle.
I thought kick and bass amps were the only true threats and everything else was fair game?
Magnetic Services wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 9:20 pm
Without hearing it and just thinking about it, I'd be more inclined to use a darker mic for the mid channel and brighter mic for the sides.
I think you'd be right and bright sides would certainly give better space, but I have neither a bright fig 8 ribbon nor a dark LDC so I'm a bit stuck! But
with dark OH in 4038 I guess there might be some complementary action between it and the LDC if they are opposed in character?
losthighway wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 5:58 pm
I've landed on the Massey way of doing a spaced pair
I'm going to look this up now, but I think I get the gist from your description - thanks!

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by Cirrus » Wed May 09, 2018 3:17 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 9:55 pm
4038 as mono OH about 3ft above snare
YIKES.

Be careful with that... they are not made for strong transients like snares.
I think it'd be fine - Ribbons are fine with high SPLs, what they don't like are gusts of air (that's what'll blow them next to a kick drum, for example, or in front of a vocalist).

That said, I once recorded a kick drum that sent a highly directional gust of wind straight up out the unused tom-mount hole and was distorting an SDC placed at head height over the kit! So... watch out for blasts of air when positioning! :shock:

I love the sound of M/S, but for one thing - When the mix collapses to mono, you lose the sides completely. So if you're relying on the S signal for the room ambiance, you're going to get a much more dry sounding drum kit that with traditional L/R mic techniques - when those collapse to mono you still have both signals, albeit with the chance of phase cancellations as they're forced to interact.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by nicholasdover » Wed May 09, 2018 3:26 am

Cirrus wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 3:17 am
When the mix collapses to mono, you lose the sides completely.
Oh yeah - forgot about that...

My 4038 may live to hear another day - M160 beats it for this purpose, just fresher and lighter on its feet.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by emrr » Wed May 09, 2018 6:35 am

I've done a couple things lately trying a U47 clone OH with a Sennheiser MKH M/S pair out front, 2'-3' off the ground. Most of the sound from the U47, just some spatial qualities from the MS.

I've also done a lot of similar placements out front with an M160/130 MS OH.

I used to try Blumlein for the front pair, various spaced mics, but in my room nothing has touched center coherence or adjustability of MS, often with the same Blumlein pair reoriented and MS processed.
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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by drumsound » Wed May 09, 2018 9:35 am

losthighway wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 5:58 pm
nicholasdover wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:52 am
I find GJ has an annoying compromise in that if I go for stereo width (hard panning the over/side mics), the ride sits too far to the side and tom fills on some kit setups go sideways across the soundstage and it's totally unrealistic,
Yeah, I find most two mic overhead situations (at least visually, and sometimes quite audibly) reveal that our cultural expectation of a snare being centered in the stereo field is not actually accurate to it's physical position. It's practically under the hi hat and usually right next to the rack tom.

The only mic situation that I've ever used that literally puts the snare center while somehow getting the hi hat/crash more off to the side is and xy or ortf on a stereo bar kind of diagonally cockeyed so the snare sits between the mics but the cymbals pick up more to one side. This way the floor tom doesn't sound a mile wider than the rest of the kit with the hat and snare coming near the middle like with Glyn Johns. Still doesn't offer a tone of width though, those stereo bar techniques always sound reliable but kind of tame.
I do the same thing with overheads. I like the picture best with ORTF. If I'm doing an M/S, Blumlein or using a stereo mic, I extend that same line out to the room and place the pair there.
Cirrus wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 3:17 am


That said, I once recorded a kick drum that sent a highly directional gust of wind straight up out the unused tom-mount hole and was distorting an SDC placed at head height over the kit! So... watch out for blasts of air when positioning! :shock:
I had the same thing happen on one of the first records I ever made. We were using a 26" empty BD. I took 3 of us to figure out what was happening.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by losthighway » Wed May 09, 2018 6:17 pm

drumsound wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 9:35 am



That said, I once recorded a kick drum that sent a highly directional gust of wind straight up out the unused tom-mount hole and was distorting an SDC placed at head height over the kit! So... watch out for blasts of air when positioning! :shock:
I had the same thing happen on one of the first records I ever made. We were using a 26" empty BD. I took 3 of us to figure out what was happening.
[/quote]

Heck, I just remembered. I recorded a Vistalite, jelly bean kit once that shot air straight up through a tiny hole in the top of the kick shell like a whale's blow hole. It was a really puzzling sound, but I looked like a reliable engineer nerd when I located it and fixed the problem.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu May 10, 2018 8:14 am

losthighway wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 6:17 pm
I looked like a reliable engineer nerd when I located it and fixed the problem.
The best feeling. This is why they pay us the big bucks. Well, at least some bucks... right?

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by losthighway » Thu May 10, 2018 9:12 am

Magnetic Services wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 8:14 am
losthighway wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 6:17 pm
I looked like a reliable engineer nerd when I located it and fixed the problem.
The best feeling. This is why they pay us the big bucks. Well, at least some bucks... right?
This is half the reason I take out the tape measure for a spaced pair OH setup. It makes them feel like I'm doing something arcane.

I need to start doing the thing where you ask the drummer to play, walk ponderously around the room, place your shoe in the best sounding spot, then go fetch a room mic on a stand and put it where the shoe marker was left.

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Re: MS drums with mono OH - variants?

Post by vvv » Thu May 10, 2018 10:56 am

:lol:

Some of the places I've recorded, I think I'd just spit there on the floor ...
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