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Freddie i need your advice

I'm thinking of moving into recording my accoustic kit and
any advice you can spare is advice well learned.
Could you look at this post and give me your opinion...
http://studio-central.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=59286
Someone said a digital mixer would be the answer to my
problems....would it.
Thinking now i should have came here straight off.....anyways
if you get time and read it your opinion is well appreciated.

Thanks

MARK

13 comments:

Keeper said...

What type of soundcard do you have? What are you using for preamps for your mics? What mics do you have?

How much RAM do you have?

scotsman said...

2g of ram, Audiophile 2494 card and no pramp
mics
Going to get Shure PG56 or PG52 and a SM57 mic and for O/H
i have a Behringer C3 so i need one more OH, but i still have to
buy mic stands cables ect.
Pretty basic i know but i wanna start and build things up.

Keeper said...

scotsman said...
2g of ram, Audiophile 2494 card and no pramp
mics

_________________________________

That's plenty of ram. You'll need preamps for the mics. I got extremely lucky and bought a Fostex Model 450 8 channel mixer that I use just for my mics. I'm using it like 8 mic preamps, since each channel has separate inputs as well as separate outputs. So I have 7 outputs from this mixer (might as well call it preamps in this case), going to 7 separate soundcard inputs. So each drum has it's own input. I love this for close micing!
__________________________________

scotsman said...
Going to get Shure PG56 or PG52 and a SM57 mic and for O/H
i have a Behringer C3 so i need one more OH, but i still have to
buy mic stands cables ect.
Pretty basic i know but i wanna start and build things up.

_________________________________

I have a SHure Beta 52 for my kick mic. Not familiar with the PG56 or PG 52. I bought my mics as a drum micing kit from shure, and it's what they recommended. You can't go wrong with the sm57s. It's a great all around recording mic. So I have the Shure Beta 52 on the kick and then sm57s, on all of the toms and snare. For overheads, I use an Audio Technica AT822, which is a stereo X/Y mic. It's like two mics in one. I bought that on the recomendation from the guy behind the counter at Guitar Center. I've been very pleased with it's performance. You can get cheaper X/Y mixs which make good overheads. You definitely need two fo that.

Since Money is an issue for you I'd recommend the Marshall MXL 991 pencil condensor mics. Two of those should do you fine for overheads. If you buy a decent X/Y mic for overheads, you save on mic stands. An X/Y configurations is what you'll use for overheads. Only drayback to this X/Y mic I'm using is I cannot separate them if I wanted to. I can't spread them out ovet the kit if I wanted to. Having two separate mics gives you a little more flexability. I'm pleased with the performance of my AT822. I'm told it's actually meant to be used with one of their digital recorders, so it's meant to make digital recordings. If you have the money I'd recommendt that. It was just under $400 for that mic(s). It's actually two mics in one housing so they call it a stereo mic.

I probably have around $800 invested in my mics. That's not a lot of money considering how well they record.

Your biggest expendature right now would be multi-channel sound card, and mic preamps. If you get a soundcard that has the breakout box with it, that is your preamp, so you might want to consider a good soundcard with a breakout box included. It'll be more money but you've solved your preamp problem if you get that, so in the long run, might be the way to go.

scotsman said...

That is a lot of gear you have there, the mics i already heard of and know the quality.
Why would people tell me i only need a digital mixer, is this the short route ?
I was hoping all i needed was 4 mics and my present mixer then build from there, but i'm told it's a waste and to buy a digital mixer with enough for 4 to 6 mics then build it up...

scotsman said...

This was mentioned to me...
http://www.alesis.com/product.php?id=95

stonehead said...

Hi Mark
Thats a real big can o worms your playing with there
For several years I was recording my kit directly to a fostex 16 track hard disk recorder and then transfering onto the comp for mixing.That was purely because I had limited inputs and a comp that couldn't quite handle the tracks (nearly but not quite)and you just cant punch in when recording drums LOL
I now use various mics incl a sm58's and a budget stagg drum mic set (pretty good) but the main beasty is the audio input.I went for the Edirol UA-101
http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.aspx?ObjectId=703&ParentId=114
10 in 10 out and no problems.
Once you have the wav files into cubase or sonar ...ALL... you have to do is edit and mix
I love playing my acoustic kits but for recording I'd stick with the midi and maybe add real hats and crashes.... I spent too many hours editing live drums with all the sound balancing problems with poor seperation......good luck
Ian

scotsman said...

Thanks Stonehead....Thats a real big can o worms your playing with there....could you explain that to me please....i appreciate your advice.

I'm reading things about these kits....i dont want a kit but if i have 500 to spend i have to watch my cash..

http://www.red5audio.com/acatalog/Drum_Kit_Mics.html

stonehead said...

Hi Mark
The "can o worms" comment was just that I have always found drums just about the hardest thing to record because of the the lack of seperation and the fact that as a rule it has to be done in one shot unless the track has a natural stop.The bleed between mics will always mean that when you apply EQ (for example) changes to one drum it will effect the sound on all other parts of the kit to some degree.The whole process ends up being a compromise.My best advice would be to keep the set up simple with as few mics as you need (poss snare,bass and two overheads positioned so that the crash cymbals dont dominate.You will prob find that the hats will cut through enough without a dedicated mic.
The link you posted has a set that looks very similar to the stagg set I have (RVK7)which seem to work fine for me.
If you want an example of what my old kit sounds like recorded in this way I would be happy to upload a band track as an example.
Cheers Ian

Keeper said...

That has not been my experience with this Ian. Difficult yes, but not for the reasons you speak of. You have Sonar 7, which has great plugins for doing drum recordings with. If you get good at a gating the bleed from mic to mic is minimal, and shouldn't be a problem. I've done punchins with no problem too so I don't know why you'd have to do it all in one take.

The bigest problem for me is mic placement, and drum treatment. If you are not willing to take the time to work this then you will get the kind of results I've gotten. It can take two or 3 days worth of testing to get the exact mic placement and or drum treatment (or more). And then there is the thing about needing new heads all the time to get the best recordings.

He is right about it being a can of worms. I see it for different reasons. If you don't have a lot of time to spend on it, then this way is not going to be very rewarding.

To me that his complaints about bleedthrough mean he hasn't really tried using the gate plugins that Sonar has. And why you can't punchin on drums just like any other recording I don't know... I've been doing that with great success...

He is giving you good advice about the v-drums. If you are going to do the acoustic drum recording thing, you have to have your mind made up from the beginning that you are going to study, and take the time required. It means you will spend more time as drum tech than actual drummer.

I myself am not willing to put the time into it that is required. I do some and I end up thinking..."I could have written 10 songs in the time I've spent on this drum mic placement and testing". That's the can of worms as I see it.

Big money and time. If you are not ready for that, then this is not the way for you. You are better off rehearsing with the band and paying a studio to record you. They will specialize in what we are talking about.

For me it's something I can study if I'm bored and projects aren't happening very fast. I always have 10 things to use my time for instead, so it doesn't happen very often...

Either of these methods show up weaknesses in a drummer very quickly. This time might be better spent practicing the actual playing.

As I see it it's an either/or kinda thing. Either you will focus on being a drummer, or focus on being a drum tech. It's very rare to see someone do both well.

I've opted for the former in my mind, and even that kinda takes a back seat to the producer role.

stonehead said...

I have to say I have never tried with Sonar 7 (only just got that)but I have never been able to succesfully gate a rock kit to get seperation. Maybe me,maybe the gear or maybe I just play too loud but I decided to live with controllable bleed.If you go for the simple life you can still get pretty good results like the Beautiful Day cover I uploaded a while ago.It's never going to be "studio Quality" but as you say Fred it takes so much time to get a perfect drum sound you have to wonder if it's worth the agro with the midi alternative available.
I agree there is no reason why drop ins would not be possible with a fully gated situation but even when in a pro studio I have never been lucky enough to be in that position.It's true my last visit to a pro studio was a while ago (things change)but if there is any crossover from cymbals then it's a lot easier to start over.
Just remember Mark you either live with the limitations (budget/time/skill/equipment)or you start on a very interesting but long learning curve.
I hope none of this puts you off Mark we all have opinions on such a very big subject and it's always worth having the gear...I'd rather play the real kit after all.

Keeper said...

The thing you gotta remember about the gating Ian, is that the overheads replace what the gate chopps off of the kick. If you listen to just the gated kick alone it may sound bad. Put it in the mix of drums, and boom it's sounding more like what you wanted. But the gating kills the bleeding and so allows you to EQ like you need to.

I need to try my hand at less mics. We should collectively do some experiments, and get a dialog going Ian and Mark.

To me Ian has had better luck with the actual drum treatment. He spent more time at it than I did. I find it hard to tape up my kit. I just care about it too much to see it trashed.

My kit is not comprised of the highest make either. It's a tama rockstar series, which is probably low to mid grade. Much better makes available. Older heads etc...

I guess we are just trying to let you see the big picture Mark. You will not be just sitting down and recording like you do on the midi kit. At least not right away....

It's possible you can tweak and leave it setup and do this. But there are so many variables it's not even funny.

I consider myself a songwriter/producer more than drummer these days, so I just don't see myself spending the time.

Now if you do spend the time it's very possible you can even surpass the midi sound. People who study, and take the time can get results. If you don't, you can't expect the results... it is a cirriculum into itself...

Acoustic Drum recording.

As Ian has said no reason not to get into it. Just go in aware...

stonehead said...

Hey Fred
Yep I agree with the overheads filling out the sound of the gated drums but I was still getting tonal change because when a specific drum mic is open it picks up everything that is going on...swirling cymbals,decaying toms etc so I could never get what you would call true seperation. I guess thats where good mics and positioning comes in LOL.
I think we've given Mark enough nightmares for now.... may not have done him any favours though.

scotsman said...

That is great advice from both of you....Freddie--your drums may be mid range but you can make them sound brilliant.
I know about the 1 take situation and i have thought of that compared to the benefits of midi. But one has to try i suppose and i'm willing to try.
Being in a band and recording means the drummer or drummer and bass go 1st so if you stray from the click then pick it up you dont notice, i mean John Bonham let his drums stray off click then back on, letting them breath as i read.
But on line collabing if your off its off big time, i remember the 1st songs i drummed on they were OFF every time...lol
But i'm going for it with the challenge that goes with it and i'll be willing to learn because when you find something you enjoy learning it's a pleasure.