#1
We record in a basement with no special additions. When we record we can get a really good sound. But they cymbals arent that great and the cymbal sound isnt either.


What can we do to make everyone think we have good cymbals???

Besides moving room mics up and down, we can we do on the cheap to get a better cymbal sound on recording?
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#2
Can you post a clip of the drums? There's only so much magic you can do if your source isn't great. If we can hear what you're working with we'll be better able to give advice.
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#3
How are you doing it now? What mics (for the whole kit please), how are they placed, what's the room like, what cymbals do you have, is your drummer half decent?

Hard to say how to do something better when we don't know how you're doing it now.
#4
Quote by Odirunn
Can you post a clip of the drums? There's only so much magic you can do if your source isn't great. If we can hear what you're working with we'll be better able to give advice.



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#5
Quote by sandyman323
How are you doing it now? What mics (for the whole kit please), how are they placed, what's the room like, what cymbals do you have, is your drummer half decent?

Hard to say how to do something better when we don't know how you're doing it now.



Well right now using tascam us-1641, Sm 57's for toms. Not quite sure what we have for kick and or cymbal mics.

The cymbals are pretty low end maybe a couple midgrade cymbals, and the drummer is half decent.
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#6
Quote by maddnotez
The cymbals are pretty low end maybe a couple midgrade cymbals, and the drummer is half decent.


This is probably a good place to start. Cheap shit in, cheap shit out. Recording with low end cymbals is like recording a guitar with a 10 watt starter practice amp. Its not going to sound good.
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#7
I don't work with the tracking of live drums ever, so I can't really help with miking tips or anything like that.

From a mixing stand point, if I were to get cymbals like that to work with, I'd either parallel compress/limit the overheads and mix it in with the original to add some sustain or just limit the OH track itself for the same purpose. I didn't think they sounded that bad, though; they fit the raw vibe fairly well, I thought.
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#8
Quote by Odirunn
I don't work with the tracking of live drums ever, so I can't really help with miking tips or anything like that.

From a mixing stand point, if I were to get cymbals like that to work with, I'd either parallel compress/limit the overheads and mix it in with the original to add some sustain or just limit the OH track itself for the same purpose. I didn't think they sounded that bad, though; they fit the raw vibe fairly well, I thought.


Which is really what we wanted (raw) although this was our first attempt so really had no idea what we are doing and still dont.

I dont think we will be getting good cymbals anytime soon so I might have to try to compress the Overheads like you say. Thanks
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#9
One other thing I'd try is layer some virtual cymbals behind it. Theres a nifty program called Drumagog where you can replace your cymbal sounds with new ones. Record the output from that onto a new audio track and layer it. It should improve the quality a little bit.
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#10
What kind of OH setup are you using: spaced pair, XY, Mid-Side, ORTF, recorderman, Glyns John? Each has its own tradeoffs between stereo imaging and phase coherency.
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#11
Not exactly sure what all that means, but the Overheads we use 2 on that recording they were up high, and 1 room mic. I think we are gonna try to lower them a bit or maybe use 1 overhead and 2 room mics instead
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#12
Depending on how much bleed is on the overheads you can cut between the cymbal attack and the shimmer to make the cymbals stand out. If there is a lot of toms though this is a bad idea.
#13
There's really not much you can do. Bad cymbals sound.......bad. It's as simple as that.

But you could probably make it a little better by giving each cymbal a thorough cleaning. You want to remove any guck that may be hindering the cymbals' sound.

If you've already done that then you could try boosting the high frequencies post recording. Fiddle around between 2k and 16k hz and find what frequencies are lacking and boost those.

Other than that, just get new cymbals bro. Good cymbals will always sound good; no studio tricks needed.
#14
Quote by lockwolf
This is probably a good place to start. Cheap shit in, cheap shit out. Recording with low end cymbals is like recording a guitar with a 10 watt starter practice amp. Its not going to sound good.

idk man, Burzum made some good stuff.
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#15
Quote by kcorkcar
idk man, Burzum made some good stuff.


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#16
Maybe I missed something here, but the problem is just as likely the choice and placement of mics as it is the use of cheap cymbals.

Find out what kind of mics you're using for overheads, and describe to us how you have them set up.

CT
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#17
Quote by axemanchris
Maybe I missed something here, but the problem is just as likely the choice and placement of mics as it is the use of cheap cymbals.

Find out what kind of mics you're using for overheads, and describe to us how you have them set up.

CT

This
#18
I am with Chris here that you need to provide us with more information, though I will try anyway; From my last major project I can safely say that having the overheads high will rarely work for most modern productions in heavier genres - you want a powerful, and fast-attacking sound... moving the OH's higher and further from the cymbals means you get more of the balance of the kit and less of the sudden impact of the kit itself.

If you haven't already, you might also want to time-allign the spot mics with the OH's so you get all the attacks lined up for the rest of the kit and may then find that the cymbals leaking into other mics now add to the OH's and give a more consistent sound across the kit.

Alternatively, you may also be suffering from the cymbals bleeding into other mics and affecting their overall tonality from the OH's, so try gating them out of spot mics, or even (the method I use) going along and cutting everything from the tom tracks except for their own hits, and fading out the tails yourself to hide other tom strokes etc. That can have a remarkable effect on how the cymbals sound. I tend to keep the snare ungated/cut for most of the song though as it would be a lot of work to cut it all out, and the hi-hat bleed into the snare when kept in-check with positioning of the snare mic can actually be pretty beneficial to the rhythm/drive of the verses in a song (when the drummer generally uses the HH more)... this is especially true if you haven't mic'd the hi-hat and have spot mics on the drums, but only OH's for the cymbals.
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#19
it's all about the finesse of your drummer
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#20
Thanks for the tips, sorry for being such a recording noob but it is what it is.

The OH are Shure PG's.

Have no idea of quality they are my drummers mics.

Also I kind of follow you guys on cutting the toms off right after tom hits, I can do that.

But when it comes to cymbals "bleeding", spot mics and ect. Those posts were like reading another language to me.


Heres the setup in my best description. Recording in a basement with absolutely zero sound upgrades. Acoustics dont sound half bad, but we could record in a bedroom or the garage if that would help get a better sound.


We mic each tom with a sm57, use the 2 shure PG for O.H. Not sure about the kick mic but thats not an issue.

No micing of the hi hat or any other cymbals. 1 room mic way in the back. Through a Tascam US-1641
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Last edited by maddnotez at Nov 17, 2011,
#21
You want your Over head mics. to be set like this http://recordinghacks.com/2010/04/03/drum-overhead-microphone-technique-comparison/

The main thing you want to check is mono compatibility (hit the mono button, and see if the snare moves)

And how far away you mics are from the cymbals. If they are too high, you going to be picking up more room (reflected) sound vs direct (cymbal) sound. But too close and you'll pick up lots of stick.

So you need to experiment.

1) choose mic placement (see above link)
2) get one of you to move the mics slightly higher and lower while another listen in the control room.
3) find a spot where you like the cymbals.
4) get the tascam and hit the filter 80hz button. (this cuts the low end. and from what I can tell you need to improve the top end of the cymbals so boost around the 8k region (I can hear the bell (ride) pretty well so you need more fizz.

I'd need photos to be able to give more feed
back.

In turns of the room mic. (place you mic and record some drummer action.) look at the waveform and see if the hits are lining up. If these are two far out of wack you could be doing more harm then good. I'd go through the same process just move it around the room til you find a sweet spot. It could be laying on the floor it could be pointed in the corner. Just try a bunch of different spots.