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Gating cymbals?

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Gating cymbals?

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:14 pm

Hei!

Just having a go at one of my band' songs - a pop-rock piece- and found that our drummer was quite eager with the cymbals when we recorded. Which is overall good, as it gives lots of movement to the the drum track, but given the treatment I've given to the drums, the result is that the cymbals, especially the crash, tend to splash quite a lot. They do it nicely, but to see if I could control how long they resonate, I've gated the overheads with a smooth decay and the right hold and release so the splash does not end too abruptly. It doesn't sounds half bad, but I feel the snare can become a little less sharp at times due to the gating. It's not a big thing, but I'm tempted to leave the gate out altogether and keep the splashes how they are. However, I wonder - is it a regular thing to gate the overheads to contain the cymbals? Or nobody does that?

Thanks!
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Re: Gating cymbals?

Postby The Elf » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:52 am

As far as possible, beyond a little HPF I leave overheads well alone. I'd rather have honest sounding overheads with a little too exhuberant playing than have overheads that sound as if they've been massaged in some way. 90% of the life of drums is from overheads.
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Re: Gating cymbals?

Postby CS70 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:31 pm

Yeah, I feel the same about the overheads - I left them without gating in the end. I tend to hipass quite a bit lately, it was a ah-ah moment as I found it does wonders with the drums definition, rattling and unwanted room reverb.

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Re: Gating cymbals?

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:50 am

IMHO if you hi-pass your overheads, then they become really just cymbal mics. So now you can think of them that way at least. So if you are hearing too much cymbal then bring them down. If you can't ride this fast enough, then start using a compressor with a side chain from the vocal, or something you want to hear over the cymbals. I am hearing lots of classic reference tracks where the drummer will hit a crash and when the vocals come back in the crash has nicely gotten out of the way in an unnatural, yet pleasing musical way. Sounds like a medium slow attack, and really long (infinite) release.

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Re: Gating cymbals?

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:42 am

DC-Choppah wrote:IMHO if you hi-pass your overheads, then they become really just cymbal mics.
It depends how high you set the cut-off. For rock/metal I may be up in the 500-600Hz region, which does makes the overheads all but cymbal mic's, but for jazz, indie-pop I may just roll off under 80Hz. Invariably, if you have a close kick mic then it is likely that you'll need to clean up the low end of the overheads to let it do its job.
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Re: Gating cymbals?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:23 am

Very occasionally I've discarded the overhead tracks completely with a heavy cymbal hitter. As a drummer I learned that the cymbals get everywhere if you don't play them in a controlled way so the cymbals I use probably sound too quiet in the room but they work fine when mic'ed up.
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