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Old 10-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
Afroboy267
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Mic'ing a Drumkit for Metal

So my band is gonna start recording our 2nd EP in the coming weeks and I'm wondering if I could get some advice on mic'ing the drums to get the best sound?

We will be using triggers so we will want to take samples for them. The mics I have are:
1x Shure SM57
1x Shure Beta52A
2x Rode NT1-A
Samson 8kit (Complete budget drum mic set)

For the samples I am thinking of using the SM57 on the Rack toms and the Beta52A on the floor tom. The SM57 on the snare and Beta52A on the kick.

We are thinking of recording the kick with the mic inside the drum pointing towards the beater for extra 'click'. We are also gonna try taping a 2p coin to the drum where the beater hits to give extra 'click'. We are gonna take samples with and without it and see which comes out best.

For the toms and snare however we are just gonna point the mics at the centre of the drum. We will be using the NT1-A's as Overheads when we come to track drums.

Can anyone give me some advice? Maybe good mic positions to try for this?

Any questions fire away

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Old 10-01-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
MatrixClaw
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Sounds like a good starting point, and is what I'd do. I've tried the coin on the kick before and it didn't really produce any better results than using a plastic/wooden beater and a falam slam pad on the head In fact, it made the kick have less bass and was mostly all click. Might be an interesting blend, though, if you had both.

For the snare, it's too bad you don't have 2 SM57s to mic the top and bottom... Doing them separately likely won't produce very good results, so maybe try an NT1 on the bottom and 57 on the top, then switch it around, could be interesting.

Since you've got the overheads, I'd make sure to have them setup when you're doing your samples, then you can get a "room" sound for the snare, kick and toms, which you can blend into each sample to make them sound a bit bigger.

Experiment with all kinds of micing positions. Directly at the center, directly at the edge, somewhere in between, etc. Choose the ones that sound best and go with it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
Sounds like a good starting point, and is what I'd do. I've tried the coin on the kick before and it didn't really produce any better results than using a plastic/wooden beater and a falam slam pad on the head In fact, it made the kick have less bass and was mostly all click. Might be an interesting blend, though, if you had both.

For the snare, it's too bad you don't have 2 SM57s to mic the top and bottom... Doing them separately likely won't produce very good results, so maybe try an NT1 on the bottom and 57 on the top, then switch it around, could be interesting.

Since you've got the overheads, I'd make sure to have them setup when you're doing your samples, then you can get a "room" sound for the snare, kick and toms, which you can blend into each sample to make them sound a bit bigger.

Experiment with all kinds of micing positions. Directly at the center, directly at the edge, somewhere in between, etc. Choose the ones that sound best and go with it.

Thanks for the reply!

Yeah, we'll try the coin trick, if it does turn out a bit lacking in bass then we'll probably leave it out. I think he already uses the plastic side of the beater so I'm sure there'll be a lot of click as it is.

My friend has a couple of SM57's, I might see if I can nab one for a sampling session. I don't really know anything about recording underneath a snare so it'll be interesting to experiment!

I was thinking about that, but then when we come to track drums the kick, snare and toms will bleed into the Overheads we use anyway surely?
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afroboy267
I was thinking about that, but then when we come to track drums the kick, snare and toms will bleed into the Overheads we use anyway surely?

They will, but it's pretty common practice to chop out all the lower frequencies (which will encompass most of your kick/tom/fatness of the snare), at least in metal.

If you mic underneath the snare, make sure to flip the phase of either the top or bottom track, otherwise it'll sound thin
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
They will, but it's pretty common practice to chop out all the lower frequencies (which will encompass most of your kick/tom/fatness of the snare), at least in metal.

If you mic underneath the snare, make sure to flip the phase of either the top or bottom track, otherwise it'll sound thin

True, although the room we're using isn't exactly the best sounding room so Is it worth maybe using a reverb bus instead of using the overheads in the samples? Theres only 1 place we can record drums and thats in our drummer's conservatory :/.

Yeah, ok I'll have to do some research into that as I've never done it before but I'll definatly give it a shot!
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afroboy267
True, although the room we're using isn't exactly the best sounding room so Is it worth maybe using a reverb bus instead of using the overheads in the samples? Theres only 1 place we can record drums and thats in our drummer's conservatory :/.

Yeah, ok I'll have to do some research into that as I've never done it before but I'll definatly give it a shot!

You might as well try all your options

I'd still add reverb to at least the snare, regardless of whether it has an OH track or not.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
You might as well try all your options

I'd still add reverb to at least the snare, regardless of whether it has an OH track or not.

Yeah, well I'll record the OH's anyhow and see how they come out
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:06 PM   #8
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How many inputs do you have available to you? I can tell you how I would mic it up, but a lot of it depends on the kit and it's partly trial and error based around an approximation of what you want. I think I'll link to the opening posts of a guide I started, and never finished after the drum tracking part, but the drum part is complete (and includes photographs).

All I'd add is that getting the OH's right can be a problem and I would instead have the OH's so one is over the hi-hat-side crash, and the other is above the ride/floor tom more than the second crash, and have them equidistant from the snare.

Here's the guide I'm on about: Link. The first two posts may be less relevant to you, but does mention mic selection/room acoustics-based decisions etc.

The rest of what you and Matrix have discussed in the thread is all good by the way - only thing I'd suggest is instead of taping a coin to the skin for the kick beater, I think you get a much cleaner, punchy sound with the Remo Falam Slam Pad which is great for rock/metal kick sounds.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DisarmGoliath
How many inputs do you have available to you? I can tell you how I would mic it up, but a lot of it depends on the kit and it's partly trial and error based around an approximation of what you want. I think I'll link to the opening posts of a guide I started, and never finished after the drum tracking part, but the drum part is complete (and includes photographs).

All I'd add is that getting the OH's right can be a problem and I would instead have the OH's so one is over the hi-hat-side crash, and the other is above the ride/floor tom more than the second crash, and have them equidistant from the snare.

Here's the guide I'm on about: Link. The first two posts may be less relevant to you, but does mention mic selection/room acoustics-based decisions etc.

The rest of what you and Matrix have discussed in the thread is all good by the way - only thing I'd suggest is instead of taping a coin to the skin for the kick beater, I think you get a much cleaner, punchy sound with the Remo Falam Slam Pad which is great for rock/metal kick sounds.

I have 8 XLR and 2 1/4" Jack inputs on my Tascam US-1800. The info about the OH's is definatly interesting! I'll be sure to try what you said about positioning. We've got all day to take the samples so will be sure to try different mic posiions and stuff. Will definatly look into the Remo Falam Slam pads! Our drummer might be interested in them.

Cheers
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:29 AM   #10
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Also would it be worth mic'ing the toms on top and bottom like the snare? Also would it be worth mic'ing the beater side of the kick with an SM57? Has anyone tried this before?
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