Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

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joel hamilton
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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by joel hamilton » Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:48 pm

I always put the kik and snare up the middle. The room is the width. I dont usually bother with stereo OH anymore either, and yet my drum mix is really wide.

I rely on omni's near the kit, with a Center OH almost between them. When you get the phase together, those three mics are almost all you need in some cases.

I think the concept of "center" needs to be defined in this case. If center is where YOU are in relation to a given sound source, then YES I put a lot of stuff in the center.

Center, to me, is where things sum at the listener. Sit in the middle, in the mix position, and pan your room mics hard left and right. They are right up the CENTER again if you have the position and phase correct, because they sum together at your head perfectly, and give the illusion of a "middle" even though you are staring at the panpots while doing this. The information that moves left to right will be more accurately represented in a stereo pair that has a strong "center."

If you are calling a pan pot straight up, which is a mono channel being sent to two speakers (only in theory) with the same exact signal, I have found that to be a deceptively complex operation as well. Try getting ONE sound to "sit" correctly against another sound just panned straight up. Now pan the two elements L-R. Now swap them R-L.... They sound a little different for a variety of reasons.

In my stupid opinion: I strive to keep the "center" really strong, because that is where the listener "lives." A big wide stereo pair in front of the drums should not sound like two elements. They should work in concert and sum in the middle.

-Joel

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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by cassembler » Sat Jan 24, 2004 7:14 pm

cgarges wrote:See, the problem I've got with "audience perspective" panning is that if you're out in front of a drumkit, there's very little directional information coming from the individual instruments. I mean, sure, if you're sitting a foot away from the bass drum, there might be. But if you're actually out in front, you don't typically hear the floor tom off to your left and the hi hat off to your right...
Chris Garges
Completely agreed, but as far as drummer's perspective, I personally think the "wrap-around" drum sound has become overused.

Give me a place to stand in a room*, where the band is playing, not twenty-four different simultaneous listening positions.

*preferably a good sounding room.
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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by coles4038 » Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:55 pm

my .02 cents

whatever you decide on, check your mix in mono on a TV set or what have you.

I listened to an old Fleetwood Mac record Kiln House which has some nice moments on it. Hearing drums on the left and voices on the right made me squonk. It was imposed on The Beatles then everyone thought it was deliberate. It was just the foray into stereo record releases and those suit and ties... But, it's mono compatible. It's a shame about hwo it sounds in stereo.

You lose energy in a rock record when you pan too much. Get out the headphones and listen to your favorite CD's.

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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by cgarges » Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:04 pm

coles4038 wrote:You lose energy in a rock record when you pan too much. Get out the headphones and listen to your favorite CD's.
I don't know. Tchad Blake's records don't seem to have any energy lost.

I see what you're saying, though. I also agree about drums just being stupid-wide. My earlier comment about audience perspective was just meant to point out that when you're sitting beind a kit, the imaging is WAY wider than when you're out in front of it. There's a place for both representations, just as there's a place for something totally unnatural and ridiculous.

Joel, I've been toying with the mono center mic and spaced omnis lately and really dig it. Especially for jazz and acoustic music. In the right room, it's a real joy, and yeah, you can get away with just that and a kick mic if the drummer's happening.

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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by djslayerissick » Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:11 am

the more i think i about it, the more i like the idea of a truly stereo snare, where different mics/tons create the sense that the snare is filling the room while the kick is driving hard up the center.

this way, only lead vocals, bass guitar, and kick would be dead center. guitars are the 'wall of sound' mostly utilizing panning and double tracking. all other drum mics are panned/roomy.

and i like my snare LOUD. i mean, just as loud as kick. and this stereo snare idea will allow it to be freakin loud without getting in the way of the vox.

actually, i'm still under the idea the everything except brass stuff should all be loud as holy hell (that is, for heavy music). and i mean LOUD. lately, i've been listening to all this death metal stuff and it sounds freakin puny. the kick click (and i DO mean clicky/poppy/snap from a bass drum) is the loudest thing right next to the vocals, and everything else sounds quite. SCREW THAT.

listen to the recent Finch album or Korn's Untouchables, now thats some loudness....

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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by RuudUnit » Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:50 pm

Very good posts so far.

I've always been the type to obsess over imaging. Psychoacoustic cues, binauralism, etc. Listen to Tom Waits' Bone Machine to hear what I'm talking about. Tchad Blake had a big hand in that one, I think.

But then lately I've just gotten so sick of all these rules I set for myself. It's supposed to be rock and roll, goddamnit! I wanna do crazy panning sometimes. This is an ART, after all. I'm having a lot of fun with my current project and the band is loving it. Granted, the budget is in the several hundred dollar range and there's no label A&R guys breathing down my neck....

What's REALLY tripping me out lately, though, is this phenomenon where sometimes I've been noticing more of a sense of space in mono signals than in stereo ones. Something in the balance of attack to sustain, the amount of sub-200 hz signal, the nature of the early reflections... A near mic and a far mic, both panned dead center, can sometimes offer very little interference on one another. I feel I may have over-valued stereo qualities of psychoacoustics. Anyone else dig me?

The other thing I wanted to respond to was Joel's post about switching L-R to R-L and how it sounds different. What's up with that? Sometimes left feels closer to me than right. Weird, huh?

Comments?

-Eric

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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by coles4038 » Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:12 pm

stereo snare, that's funny. When you put up your mics there's like a repeat of what the entire kit is doing unless you plan ahead. So many nice records were really made using one mic. Really. When you add more it's supposed to help. Learn from someone who's been there otherwise you're guessing.

This is the part that hurts. You're guessing on possibly someones recording career (the artist). You know all that Van Morrisson stuff and Led Zepplin was 8 tracks. Often drums went on one track. All the great ABBA records are 8 track. They had to invent stereo recording. Afterwards, It's not about the panning because they all hold up in mono. Hit records anyway and most indie standouts. In the 90's when Lables were taking on Indie artists and making their slick Major Label release you know what they did almost everytime. They got someone esle to mix the record. Why - Stereo Snare.

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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by djslayerissick » Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:53 am

RuudUnit wrote: The other thing I wanted to respond to was Joel's post about switching L-R to R-L and how it sounds different. What's up with that? Sometimes left feels closer to me than right. Weird, huh?
its your ears man. i have the same issue. my left ear has a greater level of sensitivity and clarity and response. thus if i switch L and R on the recordings, it sounds completely different.

its been like that since i can remember as a small child. i dont remember any trauma. i've always just attributed it to be being left handed - thus 'left earred'.

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Re: Putting SNARE up the middle...a consideration

Post by Derrick » Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:55 am

jaredbyline wrote:
blappo wrote:It seems to me that when watching/listening to a live band, you don't hear drums (snare or otherwise) left or right, but rather in the center. To me this is one of many factors that makes mono drums appealing.

Thing is, you do hear where they are. You don't realize it because your brain does it instantaneously: taking the two different things that each ear hears and combining them to make a sound image of where things are in relation to you. Unlike other people, as engineers, we have to worry about it.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't the object for many recordings be spatial/transparent perception as opposed to an audience perspective? I mean, an audience perspective at a show is totally different then the listener's perspective of a studio recording. I'm saying there should be a different mentality in approach I guess.
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