You are here

Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Maleven » Tue Apr 15, 2014 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.
Maleven
Poster
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:00 pm

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Stef Andrews » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:21 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.
Stef Andrews
Regular
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:00 pm
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:23 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.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1916
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:00 am

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby RemoHead » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:59 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.
RemoHead
Regular
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Mixedup » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:48 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...
User avatar
Mixedup
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3934
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Laputa

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Richard Graham » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:00 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
User avatar
Richard Graham
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1691
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:00 pm
"We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable: but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings." - Ursula K. LeGuin

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Maleven » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:36 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
Maleven
Poster
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:00 pm

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Maleven » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:50 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!
Maleven
Poster
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:00 pm

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby turbodave » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:16 pm

Hi, I would not use ambient mics. Stick to dynamics with good rear rejection. Remove the space from your recordings. Dave
User avatar
turbodave
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1616
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:00 pm
Location: derbyshire uk

My head hurts!


Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Richard Graham » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:33 pm

turbodave wrote: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.
User avatar
Richard Graham
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1691
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:00 pm
"We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable: but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings." - Ursula K. LeGuin

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby turbodave » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:51 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
User avatar
turbodave
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1616
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:00 pm
Location: derbyshire uk

My head hurts!


Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Guy Johnson » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:18 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

User avatar
Guy Johnson
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1337
Joined: Thu May 01, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: North Pembrokeshire

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Maleven » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:01 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.
Maleven
Poster
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:00 pm

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby malsackj » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:45 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.
malsackj
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:00 pm

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Mixedup » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:57 pm

Maleven wrote: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!
User avatar
Mixedup
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3934
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Laputa

Re: Which drum overheads for a small, square room?

Postby Maleven » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:47 am

Mixedup wrote:
Maleven wrote: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)?
Maleven
Poster
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:00 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest