YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
bradb
pushin' record
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:48 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by bradb » Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:39 am

Your task:

Record a loud rock and roll drummer **ONLY DRUMS** in a high ceiling'ed loft style apartment (cement walls and floors) but you have baffles/dividers etc at your disposal. You only have 8 A/Ds and youre recording to hard drive.

The Kit:
Old Slingerland, one rack tom, ride and crash, piccolo wood snare.

Your Mic locker consists of:

AKG D112
AKG C3000B
AKG C1000S x2
AKG C414 XLII x2
Sennheiser 421
SM57 x2
SM58
ATPro37R


Your Pre Amp locker consists of:

Hamptone HVTP2 2 channel tube mic pre
Sytek with BB mod on 3 & 4
2 API 512C


I'm curious to know how you guys would address this challenge and what combination of mic and pre you would try first.

User avatar
phait
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:22 pm

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by phait » Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:55 am

All of the above.

bigtoe
deaf.
Posts: 1776
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 5:13 am

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by bigtoe » Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:57 am

what kind of music?

Mike

User avatar
Devlars
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:38 am
Location: In front of the computer

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by Devlars » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:01 am

Bradb, thank you for the gear details now can you give us the music details so we can help give you our approach to the aformentioned question? You said "loud rock and roll drummer" but is said loud rock and roll drummer going to be playing along to loud rock and roll, jazz, pop, electronic, polka etc? Context please.
"Yes, you're very smart. Now shut up."
-Peter Falk
Speakerphone
Rexrode Records

bradb
pushin' record
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:48 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by bradb » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:10 am

Ah, sorry for the oversight...

The music is minor-key pop, verse chorus stuff. The drummer is loud and intense. The other instruments are: vox organ, reverb-y/surfy guitar, bass, violin, and 2 female vocalists.

some similar songs are at our site: www.lalaque.com

they weren't recorded by me however.

User avatar
Devlars
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:38 am
Location: In front of the computer

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by Devlars » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:40 am

Okay wel let me ask you this now. What sort of sound are you looking for? Similar to what this other person achieved? Something totally different? Do you want spacious drums, close drums, "modern" drums, etc. Pardon all the questions of you but it only helps us help you. Unless however you are looking for off the cuff general approaches regardless of musical context. I tend to always ask these questions first however...can't go wring with getting all the facts first.
"Yes, you're very smart. Now shut up."
-Peter Falk
Speakerphone
Rexrode Records

bradb
pushin' record
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:48 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by bradb » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:49 am

I think the drums on these recordings on our site sound like crap. The drums sound weak and they don't sound spacious. They don't sound strong to me, but more like a background instrument.

I'm looking for a natural reverb sound (room mic(s)), close mic'ed drums. Not a modern sound really. I'd like the drums to be very driving and powerful. Am I being vague enough? hehe Its a challenge for me to describe this.

bb

JASIII
george martin
Posts: 1418
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 8:59 am
Location: On the Tundra

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by JASIII » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:52 am

In general I'd put the D112 on the kick, pair of overheads (probably the 414's, but who knows) and a room mic on the floor, with the shit compressed out of it. maybe add a snare mic if you need it (421, 57, ????????)
"If you will starve unless you become a rock star, then you have bigger problems than whether or not you are a rock star. " - Steve Albini

bradb
pushin' record
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:48 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by bradb » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:56 am

In the past, I've used a room mic at about shoulder height in a bathroom off the main room...

why do you suggest to put the room mic on the floor? I'm assuming at a height of like 1' or so... Is this done often?


also, im really curious what PRE-AMPs you'd combine with the mics and for which purpose, that was the original intent of my post. so what pre's would you use (out of my list)?


thanks for the info!

User avatar
MichaelAlan
tinnitus
Posts: 1144
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:21 am
Location: Passing under Sleep's dark and silent gate
Contact:

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by MichaelAlan » Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:16 am

bradb wrote:
why do you suggest to put the room mic on the floor..
Because Albini does it. Seriously.


Mike
All energy flows according to the whims of the great magnet...

chetatkinsdiet
buyin' a studio
Posts: 870
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:36 pm
Location: dallas texas

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by chetatkinsdiet » Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:26 am

OK...there's a lot of questions that we don't know, but this is fun....here goes.....

kick inside D112>API512
sd top SM57>API512
OH x/y pair AKG414>SytekBB
room mic pair AKGC1000>Hamptone>compressor and squash shit out
sd bottom pro37R>sytek
tom MD421>sytek

This is 8 channels and should cover everything. You might not need all of this, but it'll give you plenty of mixing options later. You might just want to record the room mics dry and squash later. Also, the under snare mic doesn't matter too much IMO, it's just for some extra "snare" sound. Anything will really do there. I might play around with some of the other mics to see if others would work better for room mics. I just grabbed the C1000's cause it was the only pair available.

Stepping back a bit, the first thing I would have done would be to swap snares on the guy. There's nothing worse than a picolo snare in the studio with a big, vintage rock kit. Get a regular snare on there...a Supra or something. You can tune it high if you like, but you gotta have some meat on the snare or you're going to be hating it come mix time.

later,
m
The only true great mic on this planet is the Shure SM-57. It is the most consistant in not totally sucking of anything ever built. All other mics are "application dependant".

-- Fletcher

User avatar
prince turbo lung
pushin' record
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:32 am
Location: nashville, tn.

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by prince turbo lung » Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:42 am

421 into api for kick
sm57 into api fo snare
sm57 into sytek for tom

414s in figure of 8 in blumeline stereo config into hamptones somewhere out in front of the kit....use your ears to find that spot! 414s alway sound better a bit farther from the source. also a spaced pair instead of blumelin could work....remember the pair closer to the floor yields more drums...higher= more cymbals
its on like donkey kong!!!!

User avatar
Devlars
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:38 am
Location: In front of the computer

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by Devlars » Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:45 am

bradb wrote:I'm looking for a natural reverb sound (room mic(s)), close mic'ed drums. Not a modern sound really. I'd like the drums to be very driving and powerful. Am I being vague enough? hehe Its a challenge for me to describe this.
Okay based on whqat you said and the description of your tracking room, then I personally would start by using either your AKG C1000S's or AKG C414's in the, wait for it, Glyn Johns set-up and run them through the Hamptone or the two API's. The reason being that there is a sonic consistency between those two mics since they are in effect giving you the entire picture of the kit, everything else is definition really. Then I would choose the 421 or D112 on kick run through any choice of preamp you like, perhaps the kick and (should you choose to use one) the snare (SM57 or SM58) through the API's. For added natural reverb/room sound then use your C3000B run it through whatever preamps you have not already used and perhaps squash the bejeesus out of it but that is not a must. Making sure of course throughout that you are listening for and avoiding any phase cancellation.

However, converse to all of that you could also use the C3000B or one of the 414s as a single overhead, the 57 or 58 on snare, the D112, 421 or even the remaining 414 on kick drum. Then set up the C1000S's in any combination of stereo setups quite a ways back, above, beside, whatever from the kit as room mics.

With the mics you have and the room you have it appears that with the correct combination of time and mic placement you should and certainly will get the desired effect for the drums so that you can describe them as something other than "crap".

Any qquestions about what I've posted? I've tried and used all of these combinations I've described (with different but similar mics) to pleasing result so feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to answer your question as clearly and quickly as possible.

Oh and enjoy yourself, enjoy the process of getting a good sound. Enjoy your set-up time by putting on some music you love, enjoy getting the levels and moving the mics, enjoy the takes...enjoy it all otherwise you won't think all too fondly of the sound since it would be coupled with sour memories.
"Yes, you're very smart. Now shut up."
-Peter Falk
Speakerphone
Rexrode Records

Moon Unit
gettin' sounds
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:33 pm
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by Moon Unit » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:06 am

chetatkinsdiet wrote: kick inside D112>API512
sd top SM57>API512
OH x/y pair AKG414>SytekBB
room mic pair AKGC1000>Hamptone>compressor and squash shit out
sd bottom pro37R>sytek
tom MD421>sytek

... You might just want to record the room mics dry and squash later.

... There's nothing worse than a picolo snare in the studio with a big, vintage rock kit. Get a regular snare on there...

I agree with all of the above recommendations.


With the exception the squashing later thing. :D I say use an outboard compressor and dial in something radical / dramatic ... go overboard ... and then commit to it.

You'll be able to control the amount you decide to use later during mixdown.

Good luck.

MoreSpaceEcho
zen recordist
Posts: 6418
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 11:15 am

Re: YOU'RE the engineer, what would you do?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:12 am

bradb wrote: why do you suggest to put the room mic on the floor?
because they sound good there!
I'm assuming at a height of like 1' or so...
actually put them right on the floor. i've always used omnis, not sure how it'd work using cardioids, but try it with the 57s. i usually have them about 6 feet in front of the kit, spaced about 10 feet apart. everyone loves squashing room mics, but i'd recommend recording them straight up and compressing afterwards. i find it sounds better to have some of the uncompressed room in there as well as the squashed tracks. and while squash is cool, it can get kinda tiresome and also make the cymbals really obnoxious.

as for the other mics and pres, i'd try:
d112/512 on kick
58/512 on snare top or perhaps the c3000 on the shell depending on the songs/how the guy plays
414s/sytek bb in 'glyn johns' for overheads

use the hamptones for the room mics.

check phase like a mofo.

i agree with chetatkins about the piccolo. i have one and its cool on certain things now and again, but as the primary snare sound on a rock record i make this face :suspect:

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 27 guests