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Suggest a drum recording setup...

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Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm

A young friend of mine is now a pro drummer and is starting to get session and show work etc. He wants to start recording at home so has asked me for some advice on an interface or mixer set up (the fool!). So he'll need a multi mic set up, obviously, say 16 mic inputs.

My instinct was for something like my own set up which is a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with a Behringer Ultragain Pro 8 linked by ADAT which gives me 16 mic ins. But is there a neater/better solution?
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Watchmaker » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:00 pm

it all depends on the room :-P

I have a Focusrite Clarett 8 PreX and an Audient ASP880 linked via lightpipe for exactly the same reason. I really, really like the sound of the Audient on drums. fwiw, I was a semi pro drummer up to about the age of 35...

Mostly I try to use as few mics on a kit as I can get away with and go to a spaced pair with kick and snare often.
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:21 pm

I'd be very tempted by the Zoom L-20 in this situation. Not least because the (very good) mic pres all have pads and can cope with close-miked loud sources.
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:51 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:I'd be very tempted by the Zoom L-20 in this situation. Not least because the (very good) mic pres all have pads and can cope with close-miked loud sources.

Not quite all. In common with the L-12 the first 2 channels have Hi-Z switches rather than pads. Splitting hairs, but it is a mild source of irritation to those of us who like to start with our drum tracks on the left and would prefer the Hi-Z on the right.

What I really do like about the Livetrak is the way it organises storage. You can set it so that each time you hit record it automatically stores that take to a new folder. An absolute godsend when you are trying to play, record and keep the peace between the drummer and bass player all at the same time.
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:56 pm

I'd be very tempted by the Zoom L-20 in this situation.

Can this output all its inputs to eg Logic etc, though? I get the impression it can only do 4 outs so you have to mix in the Zoom?
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:49 pm

I can only go from the L-12 but that can act as a 12 track interface (I work with Cubase) or it can record to SD card which can easily be imported to DAW (my preferred method) or it can do both at the same time (which I think is what the Elf does)
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Wonks » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:39 pm

From the manual: "The L-20 can be used as a 22-in/4-out USB audio interface. After applying its compressor, each input channel always outputs its signal to the corresponding USB audio channel. Channels 1–20 and the stereo signal output from the master fader are sent to the computer (22 channels total)."

So all 20 input channels plus the stereo mix over USB. However you can't use 96kHz sampling rate over the USB link direct to a computer, though you can if recording to an SD card.

There's always the L-20R (rack) version, which may be more appropriate if used more as an interface and you don't need the physical EQ knobs and faders etc. (though they are still there via software control).

However if your friend needs 96kHz or above recording to make him compatible with video requirements, then look elsewhere, and probably at more expensive systems, as ADAT connectivity/expansion will limit the recording bandwidth .
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:39 pm

Music Wolf wrote:I can only go from the L-12 but that can act as a 12 track interface (I work with Cubase) or it can record to SD card which can easily be imported to DAW (my preferred method) or it can do both at the same time (which I think is what the Elf does)
I have done this, yes. The fact that you can record internally and externally simultaneously is a really great feature.
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby blinddrew » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:48 pm

Budget?
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:56 pm

Well he's a young lad (24) but wants to do it properly I think. He was considering a Clarett interface, for example, so isn't necessarily aiming for the totally budget end of things. The gear is part of a studio build so he wants to get it right first time etc.
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby CS70 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:58 pm

16 mics are way too many imho, unless you friend uses a myriad toms. 8 or 10 will get you a very modern sound if you like, that you can "vintage" as you like during mixing. Unless you go very metal, that is :D

The drum sound is mostly in the overheads. The rest is there to make things pop. Two on the kick (inside for the beater, outside for the skin), two on the snare (top and bottom), toms, two overheads and either a room mic, or a hi-hat mic or anything else that you really want to emphasize. If you have to stick to 8, prioritize the snare (it's easier imho to reinforce the kick later if necessary, with either triggers or a sine wave).

Nowadays there's loads of kit that gets you there.

As he's starting and has no "baggage", it's very likely that any processing he will want to do, he will do in the DAW. So what you care for is 8 or 10-inputs interface, or a mixer with enough channels, or an smaller channel count interface with ADAT expandibility, together with a 8-pre (from focusrite, rme, there's plenty).

Ideally it should be as simple as possible, so possibly an interface is better - Tascam for example has a 16 channels interface with 8 pres - and if you add an external pre, you have your 10 channels. I often use that idea rather than using ADAT, plugging my Aphex 207D into a couple of line ins on the side of the interface preamps - no clocking or timing discrepancies as all is analog until it goes to the same converter.

Of course there's also Tascam's 20 channel unit, into a portable rack bag and you're all set, all you need is a laptop. The advantage of using a laptop as a recording destination is that you'll save loads of time in transferring tracks to the DAW.

The place to spend money is the mics imho.. and the room if he can. But for one thing: it's good if the interface manages to sample at 96KHz; and if you use an interface + ADAT expander, putting the overheads on the same piece of gear.

If he only cares for a stereo mix, any half decent USB mixer will do really, and in a good room with good mics it's often all that's needed - you get the sound you want, you click "record" and you're done.
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:24 am

Before getting all frothy about buying shiny new gear with lots of knobs and flashing lights, please, please, please, urge him to take a step back and make a proper assessment of the room itself. If that sounds crap getting a decent, pro-standard drum sound will be all but impossible, even with close miking. So sort the room out first and when the drums sound great in there, then buy some toys to record it!
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:19 pm

He's having the room built in his garden. Possibly from scratch, possibly inside his existing garage. He's getting proper advice on this too as I recommended him to do. So neither he nor I are getting frothy about knobs and flashing lights! He's doing it very methodically and understands all the issues about soundproofing and room treatment and will spend what is necessary. The gear is very much the last link in the chain and he understands this.
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:23 pm

Music to my heart! :thumbup: :clap: :D
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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby blinddrew » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:02 pm

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Re: Suggest a drum recording setup...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:22 pm

Music to my heart!

I've been coming to this forum for almost 20 years so at least one or two things have sunk in over the years!
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