Who records drums without compression?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
joel hamilton
zen recordist
Posts: 8876
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 12:10 pm
Location: NYC/Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by joel hamilton » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:05 pm

I have copped to being lazy a LOT on this messageboard.
I have like 70 rare and amazing mics, and If an SM81 is still on the stand from recording some weird overdub the day before, guess what records the next weird overdub, even though I hvae a bunch of others to choose from. people will be like "can we try a CMV on this?" I am all " they are a pain in the ass to set up, power supply,cabling,220 adaptor... ugh grumble grumble..." I think this 4033 would be awesome!"

Totally awesome. It usually works, but if it doesnt I will get up and frikkin set up the damn C12...again.... grumble...grumble...

Naw, I am kidding, but I am lazy!

sonic documentation
gettin' sounds
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 3:33 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by sonic documentation » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:13 pm

yea. i never compress drums. if you are a good drummer, you can drum evenly, so you dont need compresson. ocassionally, i get a band that likes that compressed sound. i show them how nice uncompressed drums are, and usually dont need to do anymore convincing.

User avatar
phalex
tinnitus
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:43 pm
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by phalex » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:42 pm

sonic documentation wrote:yea. i never compress drums. if you are a good drummer, you can drum evenly, so you dont need compresson. ocassionally, i get a band that likes that compressed sound. i show them how nice uncompressed drums are, and usually dont need to do anymore convincing.
What if they show you the Flaming Lips? I like minimal compression too, but the Flaming Lips drums are pretty sweet.
Werd.

User avatar
Girl Toes
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1598
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:06 pm
Location: In A Turkey Sandwich
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by Girl Toes » Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:41 pm

cgarges wrote:Sorry for the hijack/detour.

[quote="
People often talk about how much "character" older bands and recordings had. There was a great newspaper article (I think in the Boston Globe) when John Entwhistle died about how no one can really name specific band members anymore. I mean, how many people know who John, Paul, George, and Ringo are? How about Robert, Jimmy, John Paul, and John? How about Sting, Stewart, and Andy? Okay, try this one: Hell, I can't even think of a good example! Name some Clear Channel wonder band that your mother could identify by the members' first names. How many of you know the name of the original bassist for Creed? I sure as hell don't, but I can name a good list of people who were members of but never even commercially recorded with the Beatles and the Police.
That's so rediculous. I'm a little older now, and I don't know the names of the strokes or, geez, I can't even think of any other bands. But when when it was my turn, we knew who was in the bands we listened to. Nirvana, Peal Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers... Even today though, I think I kind of have an idea of who's in the White Stripes, I'm sure these kids running around do. Asking who the original bassist for Creed is like asking who is the original bassist for Pay Boone. Who cares?? Music of every era all sounds the same.

I like a lot of your comments on compression. What year did compression really hit??? What were the first records to really start using compression??

You know, I listen to so many old records. I have a lot of audiophile remasters of old records that have been put out recently, and a lot of new records that have been put out over the past few years. I can't put my finger on why or what it is, but everything sounds so crappy now, even the good stuff. I have my 180g pressing of Elvis's Golden Records, and I was getting so sick of Elvis. Then I go to my friends house, she has the original, and its so amazing, so much better. And they didn't even do a lot to master it back then, its just got that sound.

I bring this up because, I haven't really worked with compression before. I'm very budgeted, and when I have money to spend, I tend to go and buy a farfia organ or something, compression just isn't on my list right now. But anyhoo, I bring this all up because, I got the chance to talk with Bob Ludwig last fall at the AES show. I told him that his mastering of the original pressing of Nirvana's In Utero, 10 years ago, was one of the records that had really sold me on vinyl and analog sound, it just blew me away. But I picked up Nirvana's new Best Of recently, on vinyl, and it sucked. I hated it. It had obviously been digitally processed, and there was a shitty reverb on it. But I asked him what was the big difference between the two. And all he would say was "Comression. Just compression, really." That's it? "That's it." He said that the party was very happy, that's what they had wanted, so my complaint didn't really matter.

Have you all read this month's TapeOp??? There is a great interview in it with the fellow who's doing the keynote this year at TapeOpCon, and he recorded Little Richard and all them. Well, I guess that's another topic. Any hoo, thank you for your time. Have a good afternoon. Word to the mutha!

User avatar
heylow
george martin
Posts: 1265
Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 2:27 pm
Location: The Dreadful Midwest
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by heylow » Sat Apr 10, 2004 11:50 pm

So....

This thread has gone in a few different directions but I thought I'd at least weigh in on the original question.

I NEVER compress any drums to tape (disk, whatever).

It's not that I don't WANT to....it's just that it doesn't work that way for me.

A) My control room is my live room and...

B) My compressors are an RNC and a 163X

I like to mix at a "proper" studio anyways, so I leave that to the better gear.



heylow

User avatar
inverseroom
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5031
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by inverseroom » Sun Apr 11, 2004 6:03 am

phalex wrote:What if they show you the Flaming Lips? I like minimal compression too, but the Flaming Lips drums are pretty sweet.
Here's a dumb question.

Are the Flaming Lips' drums actually compressed?

I've always assumed so, but that sound was an element of what I was after with my own drum tracks--and I got enough of it to satisfy me just by slightly overdriving the pres. (Yes, I know that's a kind of compression!!) I wonder what it is exactly that Fridmann does out there in Chautauqua County... I vaugely recall there being a Fridmann interview in TO... time to head for the back issues...

User avatar
Slider
george martin
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:00 pm

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by Slider » Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:24 am

I usually have a good idea of what I want the drums to sound like, and I do whatever i have to to get it.
Mabey I want a Neil Young un-compressed sound on one track, and a beatles revolution squashed sound on another.
I do something different with the drums, the mics, and the compressors for each song.
I'll admit I don't squash the hell out of any close mics or overheads to tape, but the Glyn Johns mics and the room get whatever sounds good for that track.
There's plenty of time to fuck them up later.

I also will say that it's good to mess around with your techniques sometimes.
I used to hate when a recording engineer said " I always mic the drums this way"
Well if your going after a certain sound you have to move the mics around.
and change the comps around as well.

User avatar
phalex
tinnitus
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:43 pm
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by phalex » Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:58 am

Slider wrote:I usually have a good idea of what I want the drums to sound like, and I do whatever i have to to get it.
Mabey I want a Neil Young un-compressed sound on one track, and a beatles revolution squashed sound on another.
I do something different with the drums, the mics, and the compressors for each song.
I'll admit I don't squash the hell out of any close mics or overheads to tape, but the Glyn Johns mics and the room get whatever sounds good for that track.
There's plenty of time to fuck them up later.

I also will say that it's good to mess around with your techniques sometimes.
I used to hate when a recording engineer said " I always mic the drums this way"
Well if your going after a certain sound you have to move the mics around.
and change the comps around as well.
Well said. Compression is a tool, it shouldn't be a rule. Some songs need huge over-compressed drums, others need Neil Young uncompressed songs. Whatever fits.
Werd.

User avatar
joeysimms
ears didn't survive the freeze
Posts: 3838
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:10 am

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by joeysimms » Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:41 pm

I used a tool by the rule and felt like a fool.

But when I fooled with the tool, and forgot about the rule, it turned out purty cool.

:wink:
beware bee wear

User avatar
b3groover
deaf.
Posts: 1977
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:07 pm
Location: michigan
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by b3groover » Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:17 pm

Jeff Robinson wrote: Let's say this:

"Musicians are inherently fucking lazy."

If the musicians are lazy it's because their choosen field of music ALLOWS them to be lazy. I don't think you'll ever hear a classical violinist say, "That wasn't very good... but is it good enough to auto-tune?"

For example: I once saw Hootie and the Blowfish on SNL back when they had a hit on the radio. The lead singer was horribly out of tune and sounded like total crap. SNL is a good litmus test for bands, isn't it?

Anyway, about a year later I saw them again performing live on TV while channel surfing. The shot was a close-up of the singer and he was singing a Stevie Wonder tune (Happier Than The Morning Sun I believe) and again it was horribly out of tune. Sounded like total shit. I thought to myself, "Ok, maybe he can't hear himself." It was a weird venue... some political fundraising thing or something.

As soon as I thought that, the camera zoomed out and there was Stevie playing keys with the band. And then Stevie started to sing.

And he was perfectly in tune.

Then I thought to myself, "Man... I'd be embarassed if I were that guy... singing with Stevie Wonder and sounding like shit." It had been a year since I had seen them last and he still sounded like shit. You'd think he'd practice and try to get better. But then again, why should he? He's already making mucho $$$ and selling millions of records for being a shitty singer. Why go through the trouble of bettering yourself?

Maybe he doesn't even know that he sucks.

There are lot of people that have a lot of musical talent. But to be a good musician takes much more than "a lot of talent". It takes hard work... it takes practicing... it takes dedication... and it takes being honest with yourself when the shit sounds bad. Unforuntately, the current industry rewards laziness and slopiness and values image more than music.

User avatar
I'm Painting Again
zen recordist
Posts: 7051
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 2:15 am
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by I'm Painting Again » Sun Apr 11, 2004 10:42 pm

Well I track drums, track and mix everything actually, without compression by neccesity, I don't have any nice compressors just this dbx thing that I can't ever get to sound good..What I have to do tracking drums is spend a really long time moving the mics around to get it to be the way I want it..Its much simpler with a nice sounding kit and good drummer..and im blessed with a good room too which is a concrete hall that kind of does its own compression thing..it evens out the sound of a kit pretty nicely..unless the snare is particularly dark and the toms are dead sounding (i dont mic the toms out of neccesity, which btw taught me a lot about overhead technique)..I've used some nice comps before (distressor which i saw the value in right away and purple audio ?thingy which took me the entire session to realize what it does) I really would love the luxury of this stuff but I think not having it has made me better at tracking or at least made me think i am..and for that i'm greatful..but upset about at the same time..Im not sure what i would even do if i had a cool compressor..well i would love one for tracking/mixing vocals becaue with loud soft screaming mimi's it would go a whole lot smoother..

djslayerissick
buyin' gear
Posts: 584
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 12:02 pm

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by djslayerissick » Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:58 am

jc wrote:i use dynamic efx as default when tracking the kit, but not for any sillyness or 'phattening'. i print the sounds to tape always. expanders on toms help me control cymbal bleed, thats handy. a ducker on the batter side kick helps me control snare bleed on the kck track. i compress the OH to keep excess snare out of the OH when i'm also close miking. 'subtractive dynamic efx'? i dunno.
when it comes time to make things sound awesome, break out the slapback!
i've just discovered the beauty of 'companding'. expand that sucker to get rid of all that bleed. than compress it to kill the increase in the transient.

*MUAH!*
MAG-NI-FIQUE!

User avatar
AnalogElectric
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:36 pm
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by AnalogElectric » Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:03 am

I?m weird?and I?m responding to the original post only so I?m sorry if I reiterate what?s already been stated based on the original question?that?s my disclaimer?

I do NOT compress to tape, (and I do record to tape). I do compress during the mix especially if the drummer is not as consistent as any of us would like them to be. I can tune their drums to perfection but every drummer is different during parts and whatnot or what parts they want to have dynamics on etc?drums don?t necessarily have ?dynamics? so much as they do ?parts?. I HATE to say it?s a ?fix it in the mix thing? but if something happening within a floor tom hit on one lone beat to ?goosh? there might be something that needs it to be more than what it was with a whole kit. It?s like the band goes??grumble grumble grumble chunka chunka bap! (pause) FLOOR TOM FROM HELL GOOOOOOOSH! (Guitars back in afterwards) chunka chunka? etc?

That sort of stuff is the subtleties during mix based on what someone is doing. So I guess to answer your question, no I do NOT compress drums to tape. I maybe have once in a long while but it?s seriously been more than 5 years since I?ve done so. I like to back off a bit without saturating the tape too much without getting an insane amount of noise floor. I always believe it?s about getting the placement and tuning right away?then it?s up to the drummer to uphold the care taken within that process. Sure there have been more times I can count on my fingers where I?ve had to tweak during the mix to get drums even out and they don?t know any different, which to me is a good thing. If anyone does their job well it doesn?t matter what they use, how they use it, or at what time they use it, as long as it sounds good in the end?isn?t that what really matters?
AnalogElectric Recording
Gilbert, Arizona USA
http://www.analogelectric.com
http://www.myspace.com/adamlazlo

User avatar
phalex
tinnitus
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:43 pm
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by phalex » Mon Apr 12, 2004 3:44 am

joeysimms wrote:I used a tool by the rule and felt like a fool.

But when I fooled with the tool, and forgot about the rule, it turned out purty cool.

:wink:

Sorry, I didn't mean to rhyme tool and rule.
Werd.

User avatar
joeysimms
ears didn't survive the freeze
Posts: 3838
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:10 am

Re: Who records drums without compression?

Post by joeysimms » Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:31 am

phalex wrote:
joeysimms wrote:I used a tool by the rule and felt like a fool.

But when I fooled with the tool, and forgot about the rule, it turned out purty cool.

:wink:

Sorry, I didn't mean to rhyme tool and rule.
Why not, ya' lil' snot?
beware bee wear

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests