Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tom Tom Notes

So I'll admit it. I failed. I tried a 3-microphone setup on drums. And I just couldn't quite get the sound I've been looking for all this time.
The only things I know about recording drums are what Eric Rachel at Trax East has told me. One thing he pointed out is that recording toms and making them sound good is relatively easy. And to rely on the overheads and room mics.
We're not using room mics because the room isn't that awesome sounding anyway. But just putting microphones on the toms makes mixing the drums so much vastly easier because I'm not over-compressing everything just to get the toms to sing. Instead the cymbals can sit where they need to (most of their sound comes from the overheads) and the toms will go boom when they're played.
This is an improvised rehearsal. There were some songs or song-like things which some of us knew but others didn't. All the mixes were done on my laptop with an archaic version of Samplitude. This is because my main mixing computer lost its power supply and I'm waiting on the new supply to show up. So we're using the Tascam US-2000. The overheads are a pair of very sweet-sounding Ear Trumpet Labs mics going into Neve 1272 preamps.
There's a "distance" kick mic which is a RODE NT1 feeding a 1272.
The bass goes direct into the US-2000's DI input. The guitars are both recorded with SM58's. Mine goes into the last channel of my 1272. Greg's (in this recording at least) is preamped with the Tascam's internal preamps. Which sound surprisingly good.
The snare goes through an Equation Audio hypercardioid. And then it hits a Lindell 500-series preamp.
There's no close kick-drum mic on this recording. That'll be different next time. Also, my listening to the mix makes me want to do, er, things with the drum sound. And before we go and release an album with this material I want to actually mix it -- bring some instruments up and down rather than just setting the faders and letting it run all the way out.

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