So with that in mind, let's take a look at some micing techniques for mono drums. So stereo drums have phase problems? In my case I will be using the Audix D6 on the kick drum and the Shure 55SH Deluxe on the snare. You could start by simply centering the overhead mics over the drum kit using an X/Y or ORTF pair (note: my first choice for this task is a large diaphragm cardioid condenser so that mic type will be assumed throughout this post. Since hyper cardioid has good side rejection and this will help to minimize the pickup of the hi hat and other drums on the side of the snare. Design templates, stock videos, photos & audio, and much more. Try and attack around 10ms and a release of about 30 ms, but make sure the threshold is high so it only reacts on the peaks (mostly from the snare and toms). Minimal micing and mono recording can be a wonderful break from the complexity of multitrack stereo recording. A rather awe-inspiring audio image, to hear those impressive drum fills or grooves played on the toms coming from different parts of the stereo panorama. I hope this tutorial as proven useful and enlightening for you and that it will help you in your audio endeavors. But should we use a small diaphragm or a large diaphragm condenser as our mono mic? Now not every microphone placement will work for every microphone but the between the following microphone placements you should be able to find a good compromise for your microphone; remember we are aiming for a balanced sound that shows off the entire drum set. This then induces the problem of phase cancellations between the mics. However make sure the attack is around 1-2 ms and that the release is at least 150 ms. What’s even more awesome is, you can actually combine the two ways. Lead discussions. – you may ask. Now if you solo the snare track you may feel like it has a pumping effect and is chopping the snare too much but remember you still have the overhead to smooth out the gated snare sound. The reason I choose the D6 was because it has both an articulate sound as well as having a substantial boom as well, and the 55SH Deluxe was chosen because of its ability to handle loud sound sources and having a hyper cardioid pattern. Trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. That leaves us then with condenser microphones as our mic of choice. This placement will give you more emphasis on the cymbals and toms and provide a more balanced sound if your microphone is balanced sounding as well. An awesome trick that can make a track build and inject drama in the arrangement is to use the mono sound in the verses. That means microphones such as dynamics and ribbons, while both very good in their own right, may not cover the whole spectrum accurately, especially on the top end. Recording stuff into two microphones can never be dead accurate, if nothing else, simple because the room reflections hitting the two mics differently. The reason for the long release is because we do not want to cut off the low sustain of the kick too soon. I like using a mono overhead in conjunction with a stereo (spaced pair) room mics. The spaced pair makes a nice hole in the centre of the mix, and the mono overhead fits nicely in there. While wide is nice, sometimes the opposite needed. If you find your kick having plenty of attack but not enough bottom end then you will need a kick mic that reflects that. It emphasizes the sound of the snare if the mic is directly over it. Once that is achieved you can then begin to balance how much kick and snare mic you need into the mono mics sound. On the subject of imaging and width it’s worth noting that sometimes the cymbals can mask the guitars if they have a wide stereo field. I love the sound of a mono overhead. While I wouldn’t mention “unpolished” and those 80s and early 90s U2 records on the same page (wait, I just did), the mono drum sound (along with the bass, of course) does carry kind of a rampant energy. You can suddenly add all of those “dirty pleasure” percussive elements you always wanted to, without having to worry about where to actually place them in the stereo field. First and foremost when dealing with mono recordings we need to ensure that the entire audible frequency spectrum is accounted for in one microphone. You can of course also continue to move the microphone straight above the drum set until it's facing down but you may end up losing some of the bottom end and full tone of the toms and get more attack. A 4ms or less attack will add a nice snap to the snare and using a 30-50ms release time will ensure a nice even sustain. With that in mind let's move onto adding the snare and kick drum mics for the classic three mic sound. In this tutorial we will cover what techniques work best for a minimal mono drum recording and what mixing techniques will best serve our purposes. If you have patience for details, you can even control the exact amount of the mono/stereo ratio of the overhead sound, all the way through the song. The danger comes in when you put the reverb on and forget to merge the stereo reverb to mono. Design, code, video editing, business, and much more. With the snare you are probably going to want a mic that adds a little snap to the snare as the overhead will probably not sound quite as articulate as a single snare mic. This is because reverb in a mono setting can be very dangerous to a mix. With our recording now in line it is time we get to mixing the tracks together to give us our cohesive drum sound. If you need a more balanced kick drum tone from your kick mic then I recommend placing the mic just inside the drum port but if you feel you need more attack then by all means push it in closer towards the batter head. If they are not we will probably over compensate when adding effects. What remains is a smaller sound, because phasing will occur from the two speakers creating their own two different sounds in any given listening environment, too. The placement of the micing then becomes paramount because as we add more microphones to compensate for what another microphone is not delivering we start to add more phasing problems. Remember, in mono mixing you have to mix to the overhead, you cannot mix the overhead to the individual mics since the individuals do not cover the whole drum set. Now you can go mad with it! Required fields are marked *. I also use the mono overhead to free up an input for a snare bottom mic or a second mic in my kick. The final placement is going to be even higher up than the previous placement and actually be slightly over the set; barely over the toms to be specific. For a clearer sound to the whole mix overall try adding a EQ to the overhead and bumping up the 5k region by just a few dBs. This technique will give you a little more tom, cymbal and snare sound since it is looking down at the kit as oppose to straight at it. Now you can go mad with it! It’s a little counterintuitive but sometimes getting the widest sounding mix actually means pulling the drum overheads into the center a bit.
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