8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by drumsound » Sat May 26, 2018 7:48 pm

A few weeks ago someone posted a gearslutz thread about recording drums only with dynamic mics. I’ve done this here and there, but I thought it would be fun to set a bunch of dynamics as mono overhead(s) to try with my typical dynamic close mics. I wanted them all set up at once so that one performance could be captured. Many of us called out the VK U67 new/old comparison because the performance wasn’t the same, and it was tough to do a true comparison.

The Gear:
Neotek Elan II mic pres on all inputs.
Antelope Orion 32 converters.

Mics:
BD Sennheiser e602 II
SD Audio Technics ATM23he
Rack Tom Beyer M88
Floor 1 Beyer M88
Floor 2 Beyer TGX 50
Room EV 635a (2) taped to the floor

Overheads: Beyer M201, Beyer M88, EV 635a, EV RE10, sE V7, Audio Technic ATM25, AKG D119es, Sennheiser 421 U5.

The method:
I used 3 large stand, with 2 stereo bars and a couple of brackets usually used for pop filters to make a cluster of mics pretty much in the center of the drums, above my right knee. I did a bit of running back and forth to “rough in” the levels of the mics. I then recorded some playing and checked for phase issues, making adjustments to the polarity of a couple of mic (on the input side) so things are coherent.

I started the final recording by playing 4 bars of quarter notes on the snare to use for level matching. I then played the drum part for my band Wiplot’s song Sunshine Factory. There are fills, a bridge breakdown with cross stick , and both ride and hihat grooves. It seemed like a song that touches on a lot of what we might see in a typical session.

For the mixes I routed all of the OH mics to one output of the Orion so there would be no channel variation from the console. I then used clip gain in Pro Tools to match each OH to hit the channel at -5dbVU on peaks. I then used the M201 track to set up a basic mix with the OH pretty commanding but the close and room mics contributing what I might consider a typical drum mix. Each of the close mics, and the stereo rooms came up on individual channels of the Neotek. Panning was done with the console. Console faders are at Unity, and level adjustments are in PT. The room mics are pretty low (-17 or something on the PT faders) but are there for some air, and to show that rooms can also be dynamic mics.

There is no processing ITB or OTB. No EQ, no compression, no automation. Levels are static from PT. I created 8 stereo tracks, each named after the OH mic and ran each separately from the Neotek master fader to the Orion.

The project was recorded 24 bit/88.2k. I made 192k MP3s in Pro Tools to post here, but would make a Band Camp page with the 24/88.2 files if enough people request that.

Seems we can't upload MP3s here so, I'll just link to the GS thread.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much ... heads.html

User avatar
losthighway
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1730
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by losthighway » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:07 pm

I just jumped over to check this out. Super cool project, very well organized. Thanks for doing it.

Man, I can see how the 421 is a great tom mic because they seem to make the toms come alive even from several feet away.

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by drumsound » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:27 am

losthighway wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:07 pm
I just jumped over to check this out. Super cool project, very well organized. Thanks for doing it.

Man, I can see how the 421 is a great tom mic because they seem to make the toms come alive even from several feet away.
Yeah, that's totally true. I thought it was a little chunky on the cymbals, though.

After doing that, the Sara Quah band did a "preset monitor and mains soundcheck" for upcoming gigs. (yeah, yeah, I know...). The keyboard players has a PA, but we're to supply out own mics. As I already have enough shit to carry to gigs, I decided on BD and OH for my micing solution. I'm actually bringing the Beyer M201 as a OH and its sounds really great.

Thanks for taking time to listen and give feedback.

User avatar
Gregg Juke
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:38 pm

That looks fascinating Tony. I can't listen now, but I will.

ATM25 as an overhead! What will they think of next?

GJ
Gregg Juke
Nocturnal Productions Music Group
Drum! Magazine Contributor
http://MightyNoStars.com

"He's about to learn the most important lesson in the music business-- 'Never trust people in the music business.' "

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by drumsound » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:06 am

Gregg Juke wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:38 pm
That looks fascinating Tony. I can't listen now, but I will.

ATM25 as an overhead! What will they think of next?

GJ
They'll thing "What the hell is SanFilippo up to now?"
:oops:

User avatar
Gregg Juke
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:41 pm

Even more interesting now that I've listened to several bars of each. Very interesting to hear the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle differences in EQ/brilliance, output, amount of high-end smearing or lack, etc. The ATM25 has a much brighter quality in that application than I would have thought! It's a lot like an old Teac I often use for room miking. The 421 sounded the most "natural"/"realistic" and even to me. Today, at least ;) .

Cool Tony, nice job and thanks again. Playing sounds nice too...

GJ
Gregg Juke
Nocturnal Productions Music Group
Drum! Magazine Contributor
http://MightyNoStars.com

"He's about to learn the most important lesson in the music business-- 'Never trust people in the music business.' "

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
speech impediment
Posts: 4719
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles California USA
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:49 pm

The few times I have done mic comparisons,

I do not set them all up together in a cluster.

I set the first one or pair, and measure their capsule's exact placement referenced to the sound source.

XYZ coordinates, in centimeters, typically height from the floor, from one wall, and from the sound source,
like the snare center for example.

Once I've recorded enough of the first mic or set, they come off, and up come the next set, in exactly the same place.

Also, I use a tone generator with a 1kHz sine tone, to set the levels to within 0.1 dB. Because why not.

This usually gives better results than the micro phase issues a cluster of microphones can cause.

Cheers!
Re Amping Fart Noises.

User avatar
A.David.MacKinnon
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3087
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 5:57 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:31 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:49 pm
The few times I have done mic comparisons,

I do not set them all up together in a cluster.

I set the first one or pair, and measure their capsule's exact placement referenced to the sound source.

XYZ coordinates, in centimeters, typically height from the floor, from one wall, and from the sound source,
like the snare center for example.

Once I've recorded enough of the first mic or set, they come off, and up come the next set, in exactly the same place.

Also, I use a tone generator with a 1kHz sine tone, to set the levels to within 0.1 dB. Because why not.

This usually gives better results than the micro phase issues a cluster of microphones can cause.

Cheers!
But then you’ve got the problem of having to judge different performances for the different set ups (which is what I think Tony was getting around here). There are trade offs for each approach

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by drumsound » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:10 am

Gregg Juke wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:41 pm
Even more interesting now that I've listened to several bars of each. Very interesting to hear the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle differences in EQ/brilliance, output, amount of high-end smearing or lack, etc. The ATM25 has a much brighter quality in that application than I would have thought! It's a lot like an old Teac I often use for room miking. The 421 sounded the most "natural"/"realistic" and even to me. Today, at least ;) .

Cool Tony, nice job and thanks again. Playing sounds nice too...

GJ
Thanks for listening Gregg. The 421 was the biggest surprise in the bunch, for me. I didn't care for the ATM25, which I think is a good mic for other things, though I haven't been using it much lately.
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:49 pm
The few times I have done mic comparisons,

I do not set them all up together in a cluster.

I set the first one or pair, and measure their capsule's exact placement referenced to the sound source.

XYZ coordinates, in centimeters, typically height from the floor, from one wall, and from the sound source,
like the snare center for example.

Once I've recorded enough of the first mic or set, they come off, and up come the next set, in exactly the same place.

Also, I use a tone generator with a 1kHz sine tone, to set the levels to within 0.1 dB. Because why not.

This usually gives better results than the micro phase issues a cluster of microphones can cause.

Cheers!
On GS there had been a thread about the new U67 video VK put out. A number of us pointed out major differences in performance skewing the perceptions.
A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:31 am

But then you’ve got the problem of having to judge different performances for the different set ups (which is what I think Tony was getting around here). There are trade offs for each approach
Exactamundo

Cirrus
audio school
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:28 pm

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by Cirrus » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:56 am

I think it's funny that when you get down to it, there's no way to be really scientific about it.

One way means the mics are in different places, and their bodies are likely bouncing higher frequencies into each other's capsules causing micro-delays, the other means it's very difficult to get a control performance unless it's something like a guitar amp where you can loop the same performance into it again and again.

Then there's the other side of it;

In real life, you wouldn't rigidly put every mic in the same place no matter how it sounds; you'd move them about. The ideal location for each of those mics will change depending on how they focus on the kit, how and what they emphasise and bury in terms of shells and cymbals, how the low end works and how that's propagating through the room... music recording is firmly in the playground of art and subjectivity. Maybe you'd pull one pair further back, put a pair closer to the ground for more low end, pull some round the front of the kit or over the drummer depending on the transient response...

Not to diss the efforts people go to - I love a nice science experiment as much as the next person! :D

User avatar
Gregg Juke
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by Gregg Juke » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:15 am

True, science and craft might be a bit at odds with this type of activity, which is why we usually say "the recording arts." If we took specific measurements with some type of test equipment, it wouldn't matter because we all hear things differently and have different preferences. And, one solution that might work in one situation might not be best for another.

But we could all agree there are differences, and that's pretty easy to hear from Tony's experimental shoot-out.

GJ
Gregg Juke
Nocturnal Productions Music Group
Drum! Magazine Contributor
http://MightyNoStars.com

"He's about to learn the most important lesson in the music business-- 'Never trust people in the music business.' "

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
speech impediment
Posts: 4719
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles California USA
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:34 am

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:31 am

But then you’ve got the problem of having to judge different performances for the different set ups (which is what I think Tony was getting around here). There are trade offs for each approach
Only if you have an amateur playing.

I have recorded musicians that can duplicate their performances to where you really cannot tell the difference between takes.

One such person is Vinnie Colaiuta. Another drummer is Christian Eigner. Both can hit insanely consistently.

Sorry to read here that someone did do a test like this only to mess it up with a musician who decided to perform differently. That is not the point of these kinds of tests, is it. Get someone better.

It can be done.
Re Amping Fart Noises.

User avatar
floid
buyin' a studio
Posts: 843
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: in exile

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by floid » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:41 am

What we need here is a bot drummer.
Village Idiot.

User avatar
losthighway
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1730
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by losthighway » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:02 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:34 am
I have recorded musicians that can duplicate their performances to where you really cannot tell the difference between takes.

It can be done.
Yeah, get your shit together Tony.

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: 8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

Post by drumsound » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:12 pm

floid wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:41 am
What we need here is a bot drummer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfawCDKAfAo
losthighway wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:02 am
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:34 am
I have recorded musicians that can duplicate their performances to where you really cannot tell the difference between takes.

It can be done.
Yeah, get your shit together Tony.
I'm a hack

In all seriousness, even cats like Vinnie (one of the greatest EVER) there will always be subtle differences. I could have been more scientific and I can play the tune in my sleep and be pretty damn consistent, but I wanted to have a single performance. I also wanted to be a little time efficient, which would not have happened with 8 takes and measuring tape.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests