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Maleven



Joined: 15/04/14
Posts: 43
Which drum overheads for a small, square room?
      #1098137 - 15/04/14 10:41 PM
Hi, looking to put together a basic recording set up for presentable demos (four-input AI plus laptop and DAW). Only recording guitar and drums but I'm confined to recording in the back third of a garage. Dimensions are 3.2m in length, 2m in with, about 2.3.m from floor to ceiling. Hard board walls, two of which have got sheets covering them, so yea, you get the idea. Pretty horrendous from the point of view of acoustics.

I'll be recording drums using the standard four-mic setup: one for the kick, one for the snare, and a couple of overheads. The overheads have got a lot to pick up; four toms, hi-hats, ride, three crashes, a splash, a china splash and a china, and what I was wondering was whether the confines of the room should influence the type of mic I go for, particularly from the point of view of picking up the toms properly and making sure the cymbals don't completely drown them out, or sound too harsh in their own right. For instance, something which would maybe do a better job of picking up lower frequencies than the typical mics you'd choose for overheads, even to the extent of being quite unorthodox with it etc.

If anyone's got any suggestions or advice they'd offer based on their own personal experience with mics and similar recording scenarios, that'd be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


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Stef Andrews



Joined: 04/07/07
Posts: 517
Loc: Sussex, UK
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098156 - 16/04/14 07:21 AM
Without knowing your budget, the usual suggestions of Rode NT5/55s moving up to Beyer MC930s, then up to Neumann KM84s for SDCs. Well positioned mics with a well set up kit should be absolutely fine.

--------------------
www.sda-audio.co.uk


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Sam Inglis
SOS Features Editor


Joined: 15/12/00
Posts: 1713
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098180 - 16/04/14 09:23 AM
If the acoustics are really terrible, you could perhaps think about using pressure-zone microphones (PZMs) stuck to the floor or ceiling. That way you at least remove one source of nasty reflections from the equation.


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RemoHead



Joined: 07/02/09
Posts: 258
Loc: West Midlands, UK
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098303 - 17/04/14 07:59 AM
I used to use a pair of sE4's or AKG C414's in a room of a similar size to that, with a PZM as a mono room mic with pretty decent results, as already pointed out, half the battle was in getting the drum kit sounding good before reaching for the mics, then carefully working the positioning and phase.

Remo.

--------------------
Studio Engineer & Session Drummer
www.thedenstudios.com
www.chris-drums.com


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Mixedup
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Joined: 03/09/03
Posts: 4759
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: RemoHead]
      #1098310 - 17/04/14 08:48 AM
Well... you're going to need the OHs high-ish, in order that you can capture a balance of all those different kit pieces. That means you're going to get a lot of room sound. And the cymbals will reflect and wash around more than the rest. Which makes me think of going for PZMs as Sam suggests; or using some sort of absorber behind the OH mics. eg check the sE Instrument Reflexion Filter, SM Pro Mini Mic Thing and so on. Or just stick some foam / polyester duvet up there for a cheap DIY effort. You might also try adjusting how hard you hit various pieces after hearing your recording! And if you really need to, you could always record some clean tom hits for a bit of judicious replacement later. Also, try moving the kit around the room until you find the best sound... I sometimes like to place it in a corner. You still get loads of reflections in a small space of course but there's less of that first reflection from the left and right walls which can (sometimes!) give you nicer results from a room mic, which can be placed to get a decent balance between cymbals, toms, hat etc...


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 2992
Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098421 - 17/04/14 06:00 PM
PZMs are great on drumkit. I've had a good recording in a small, almost cubical, and over-live room, by putting one on the floor in front of the kit... And that was it!

The other thing with PZMs is you can unscrew the mic from the back plate and use them as omnis! That's what I do, left and right on my kit, near the toms... They pick up plenty of cymbals that way too. Then mike the kick and the snare with your standard dynamics

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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Maleven



Joined: 15/04/14
Posts: 43
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098479 - 18/04/14 02:36 AM
PZMs actually sound like they might be just the job given the confines of the room. Any particular recommendations for ones suitable for ceiling mounting? The Crown ones seem to hard to find to actually buy, what else is there?

Thanks again


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Maleven



Joined: 15/04/14
Posts: 43
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098482 - 18/04/14 02:50 AM
Also, regarding fixing PZMs to the ceiling, how easy is that to do, and how likely is it to be adjustable? If I went down that route, I'd want to get some very solid advice on optimal placement given the work that'd be involved to move them!


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
Posts: 2355
Loc: derbyshire uk
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098593 - 18/04/14 10:16 PM
Hi, I would not use ambient mics. Stick to dynamics with good rear rejection. Remove the space from your recordings. Dave

--------------------
My head hurts!


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 2992
Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: turbodave]
      #1098671 - 19/04/14 07:33 PM
Quote turbodave:

Hi, I would not use ambient mics. Stick to dynamics with good rear rejection. Remove the space from your recordings. Dave




The problem is, even cardioids don't really reject reflections in a small room, the reflections still get in the sides, and will get into the overheads/kit mikes regardless. I don't claim to know how it works, but the nice thing about PZMs is they seem to render the reflections, such as they are, much less offensive - subjectively, more neutral and much less "boxy". IMHO.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
Posts: 2355
Loc: derbyshire uk
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098678 - 19/04/14 08:51 PM
Hi Richard, cardioid dynamics don't remove the problem , but help! I have a couple of heil pr30 as overheads in my studio (6 foot 5 ceiling)..these have cleaned up the rear stuff immensely. I will also add that I have used sontronics stc1 and silver bullets as overheads...both ok, but not as good as the dynamics...but I think I would have even more control if I sacked the overheads completely. Dave

--------------------
My head hurts!


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1098784 - 20/04/14 09:18 PM
PZMs sound good, and I can attest to the rear rejection of Heil mics.

however… the real answer to which mics for a small square room is obvious. Use small square mics



--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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Maleven



Joined: 15/04/14
Posts: 43
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1099110 - 23/04/14 03:01 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

One thing I'm unsure of if I were to go down the route of conventional overheads plus absorbers (e.g. the SM Pro Audio Mini Mic Thing), is how I could achieve good XY placement given the space taken up by the absorbers themselves?

Any solutions?

Ta.


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malsackj



Joined: 26/09/10
Posts: 4
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1099284 - 23/04/14 05:45 PM
With PZM working so well then the use of AT871UG would work as well. You can also put these on a mouse pad to remove some of the floor noise. Same is true with the use of a crown PCC 160.

With a cardioid mic over the top you can try to reduce the gain like the engineers of live sound until you reduce the sound captured and remove the room sound. Use a gate to help remove the room sound.

Just some food for thought and discussion.


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Mixedup
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Joined: 03/09/03
Posts: 4759
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Maleven]
      #1099299 - 23/04/14 07:57 PM
Quote Maleven:

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

One thing I'm unsure of if I were to go down the route of conventional overheads plus absorbers (e.g. the SM Pro Audio Mini Mic Thing), is how I could achieve good XY placement given the space taken up by the absorbers themselves?

Any solutions?

Ta.




Choose very small mics or use a bigger absorber!


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Maleven



Joined: 15/04/14
Posts: 43
Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room? new [Re: Mixedup]
      #1099322 - 24/04/14 12:47 AM
Quote Mixedup:

Quote Maleven:

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

One thing I'm unsure of if I were to go down the route of conventional overheads plus absorbers (e.g. the SM Pro Audio Mini Mic Thing), is how I could achieve good XY placement given the space taken up by the absorbers themselves?

Any solutions?

Ta.




Choose very small mics or use a bigger absorber!




Haha yep, should have thought of that. I wonder if I could get one of those SM Pro Audio mini mic things to cover two NT5s/C1000s, assuming I don't go for PZMs (which seem hard to get hold of)?


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