Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

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Derrick
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Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by Derrick » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:55 pm

Hi, I have a situation where I need to mic drums to one track. What is the best method of mic placement/technique to get the bigest/clearest/transparent/real sound? A lot to ask, but I want to get some opinions to get me as close as possable. Thanks to all!
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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by beezleborf » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:59 pm

Some of my favorite mono drum sounds I have gotten were in a square rehearsal space with carpeted walls. I stuck a '57 in front of the kick and picked up the kit plus whole band on one track of a 4-track cassette machine.

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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by heylow » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:00 pm

It'll most likely be a mic somewhere out in front or behind the kit.

I have had luck with a decent mic placed about 4-6' out in front...maybe 1-3' off the ground. The best way to find THE spot, though, would probably be to walk around the kit/room while someone plays with one ear plugged and put a mic where the kit/room/balance comes into focus.

It's a tough one but it CAN be done.



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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by penrithmatt » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:02 pm

as i've said a few times before.....u47 besides the drummers head looking slightly down at the kit into neve 1081 into distressor 10:1 and off you go.............
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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by heylow » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:05 pm

Hey...I just remebered a trick that worked wonders in my broker/4 track days...

Cheap dynamic...c'mon guess which one :wink:

Bring it in from in front of the kit so the capsule is looking at the drummer's junk, peeking a few inches over the rim of the kick. Now listen....you know what the mic's pattern is....what do you need more/less of? Move it around a bit till you get the balance right. The idea is that it is in the CENTER of the kit, over the kick pedal and the pattern can be manipulated for more kick, more snare, whatever.

Worked well actually....dang...I should stick an omni in there or something while tracking some time. Hmmmmm.



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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by Electricide » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:07 pm

Some of the Chicago folks got together last week.....this was part of the session we had.

We got a really clean, balanced drum kit sound by using a MXL 1000 with the Royer mod and WALKING AROUND THE KIT AS THE DRUMMER PLAYED. we tried over his shoulder, etc etc and the best balance for that room we found to be out front about three feet, gut-high, slightly snare side of the kit. the bass was boomier on the other side, but the ride was overpowering. IT TOTALLY DEPENDED ON THE ROOM REFLECTIONS.

I hope someone puts those samples up soon.

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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by Slider » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:33 pm

One mic on the right side of the drummer (over his or her right shoulder) looking at the top of the kick and snare.
any mic will work, a 57, 421, ect. but a LDC is probably your best bet.
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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by kayagum » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:40 pm

I've done a single LDC in front of the kit, approximately 4'. Try to think of the balance between snare and kick when placing the mic. Hopefully the room is controlled enough so that the cymbals don't smear all over the track.

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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by AGCurry » Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:54 pm

Why a large-diaphragm? I would think a SD would do better, since the sound source is so large. Check Harvey Gerst if you don't understand.

No one's mentioning that you could mix a number of mics down to one track...

Were I to use only one mic, it would be, depending on the room, my AEA R44 (figure-of-eight) or my Shure SM33.

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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by JGriffin » Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:28 pm

cman548 wrote:Some of the Chicago folks got together last week.....this was part of the session we had.

We got a really clean, balanced drum kit sound by using a MXL 1000 with the Royer mod and WALKING AROUND THE KIT AS THE DRUMMER PLAYED. we tried over his shoulder, etc etc and the best balance for that room we found to be out front about three feet, gut-high, slightly snare side of the kit. the bass was boomier on the other side, but the ride was overpowering. IT TOTALLY DEPENDED ON THE ROOM REFLECTIONS.

I hope someone puts those samples up soon.
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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by Derrick » Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:51 am

Great ideas, but I am not that limited by gear, just the amount of chanels for this situation. I can use multiple mics and I have a mixer and some mic preamps if that will be yeild better results. My mics include LD condensor, 57s, SM7, AT Pro25, RE15... Wouldn't a multiple mic situation be better in mono laying down drums too one single track? Thanks!
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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by Electricide » Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:56 am

Derrick wrote:Wouldn't a multiple mic situation be better in mono laying down drums too one single track? Thanks!
totally depends. With multi mics you introduce comb filtering/phase calcellation, but if you are monitoring in mono, you can hopefully hear that right away and correct it. If it's a country/grassroots folk thing, maybe one mic isn't so bad for basic kick/snare/hat groove. For rock, mic the tops and bottoms of every single piece of the kit. hahaha

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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by sonic documentation » Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:57 am

i would say to use a coles 4038 ribbon mic off-center from the drummer's back behind the drumset. it should be a foot behind the drummer, and 5 inches over his head. this works real well for drummers who hit their drums hard and their cymbals lightly. if this is not the kind of drummer you are recording, you might have to try something else in-front of the drum set to capture the kick sound.

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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by joeysimms » Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:02 am

Derrick, are you mixing these sounds to mono on the fly, or after the fact? I can't tell if you're asking about a live mix versus bouncing pre-recorded drum tracks to a single track. I do the latter all the time with 3 mics: kick, snare, and one OH 3-5 over drummers right (assuming right handed drummer) shoulder, pointing down between kick beater and snare.

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Re: Best Mono Drum Micing Technique??

Post by xonlocust » Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:11 am

being the drummer from cman's post - and having played in a lot of different rooms and kits and so on - really, you've got to trust your ears and hear what is happening in the room before you set up the mic. the first thing i do when a drummer gets all set up in the room is just have them play for awhile to get a sense of how they play, and what the room is like. you can have them doing that warming up while you're pulling out cables, setting up stands and such, but keep them playing and listen as you walk around to different locations. the room we were in sounds totally different than the rooms i usually work in - but john hardy made a good point that night - how can you possibly make a critical evaluation of a preamp if you don't know what the original source sounds like? you can say, i like the way this sounds all compressed or colored or whatever - but then you're into the territory of (his excellent analogy) of some people like blondes, some like brunettes - there's nothing better or worse with either, it's just a preference and aesthetic thing at that point.

the room interacts with the drumset just as much as the way the drummer plays does - for better or worse, you have to understand how the room affects your sound.

derrick - "Wouldn't a multiple mic situation be better in mono laying down drums too one single track?" see blonde/brunette analogy. you'll definitely have a better phase coherent sound with 1 mic - but usually you need a lot more work upfront to get a good single balanced sound, and the drummer needs to be able to play to the mic. the flipside is then there's no headache in mixdown trying to get your other mics to play well together, and the entire band knows what the final drum sound will be like from the get go. you've made an early decision and ran with it. i'm learning that the fewer mic techniques are helping the kit sit in the mix better - but then again, that wouldn't work for a death metal band...

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