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How much delay time in drum overheads?

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How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Danny_79 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:46 pm

Hi everyone! I'm working on a mix, and it's drums are completely synthetic. I'm thinking of simulating overheads by using delay. I suppose every drum will need it's own delay since the distance to the OH's is different for each drum. So i can't just send the whole kit to a delay track i guess. So, can anyone tell me how much delay i need for each drum? Or...anything you can tell me will be of use. Cause i don't know to much of mic placement and delay.
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:22 pm

Sound travels at roughly 340 metres per second, or 0.34 metres (more or less one foot) in a millisecond.
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby James Perrett » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:18 pm

Remember that many people recording acoustic kits will try to do the opposite of what you want to do - delay the individual drums so that they match the timing of the overheads.
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:46 pm

:lol: :shh: I rather liked the OP's old-school approach!
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Danny_79 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:16 am

James Perrett wrote:Remember that many people recording acoustic kits will try to do the opposite of what you want to do - delay the individual drums so that they match the timing of the overheads.
Have to say, i didn't think about that. Seems like simulating overheads will be harder than i thought, if i want it to sound the standard way.
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Danny_79 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:18 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote::lol: :shh: I rather liked the OP's old-school approach!
This makes me curious...what approach?
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:32 am

The old-school approach of not lining every transient up!
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:45 am

It all depends on how focused you want the kit to sound. Delaying the other drums in the overheads will give you a slightly smeared sound which may well sound more natural to you. However, in the old days many engineers used the overheads as their main drum mic and added a little bit of snare mic to give the sound more body. Other engineers would mainly use the individual drum mics and roll off the bass and mid on the overheads so that the overheads mainly captured the cymbals.

There are so many different approaches and the best advice is to experiment to see what sort of sound you prefer.
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:27 am

James Perrett wrote:Remember that many people recording acoustic kits will try to do the opposite of what you want to do - delay the individual drums so that they match the timing of the overheads.
Pretty much my standard technique when I need to sharpen real drums and get them to hit harder. I tend to make the top snare mic my 'reference' and match to that, though - the snare is the 'centre' of my kit.

I suspect that with premium sampled kits that feature overhead bleed, that the delays will be baked into the samples. In one sense this would make further work unnecessary, but you would need to know if this is the case. Some renders of direct and bleed tracks would be able to guide you.

Deliberately smudging timing for a synthetic kit makes for an interesting experiment - maybe one to share with us?
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Danny_79 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:22 pm

The Elf wrote:
James Perrett wrote:Remember that many people recording acoustic kits will try to do the opposite of what you want to do - delay the individual drums so that they match the timing of the overheads.
Pretty much my standard technique when I need to sharpen real drums and get them to hit harder. I tend to make the top snare mic my 'reference' and match to that, though - the snare is the 'centre' of my kit.

I suspect that with premium sampled kits that feature overhead bleed, that the delays will be baked into the samples. In one sense this would make further work unnecessary, but you would need to know if this is the case. Some renders of direct and bleed tracks would be able to guide you.

Deliberately smudging timing for a synthetic kit makes for an interesting experiment - maybe one to share with us?
There is no overhead bleed in my kit. The ambience i send it to is the Only bleed it gets. Of Course i could share it, if i do it. Not sure yet cause it seems alot of work. Trying to figure out how much delay each drum needs, and so on... but, one thing i wonder is: Are overheads always used? Real or fake ones... even tho i know it's very common.
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:37 pm

Danny_79 wrote:There is no overhead bleed in my kit. The ambience i send it to is the Only bleed it gets. Of Course i could share it, if i do it. Not sure yet cause it seems alot of work. Trying to figure out how much delay each drum needs, and so on... but, one thing i wonder is: Are overheads always used? Real or fake ones... even tho i know it's very common.
Then all your delays are going to do is put your drums out of time.

Danny_79 wrote:The ambience i send it to is the Only bleed it gets.
Which is simulating room mic's for you - not overheads.

Danny_79 wrote:Are overheads always used? Real or fake ones... even tho i know it's very common.
You've either got overhead mic's, or you haven't. You can't fake them.

By all means try your delay idea, but what are you going to use as a reference from which your 'close mic' drums are delayed?

Quite honestly, I would put my creative time into something more meaningful - this seems a lot of work for something with precious little to gain!
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby simedgoose » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:15 pm

I messed about with this idea many moons ago on some mono drum tracks.

IIRC I found the 'best' results were with the fake overheads/room mics panned hard left and right with 4ms (?) delay on one side and more than 10ms delay on the other (it wasn't that obvious unless a much longer delay was used. Phase was an issue and I had to apply LPF to both new channels.

It didn't sound too bad but I ended up using Tracker on Superior Drummer 3 and completely replacing them.
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby Danny_79 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:37 pm

The Elf wrote:
Danny_79 wrote:There is no overhead bleed in my kit. The ambience i send it to is the Only bleed it gets. Of Course i could share it, if i do it. Not sure yet cause it seems alot of work. Trying to figure out how much delay each drum needs, and so on... but, one thing i wonder is: Are overheads always used? Real or fake ones... even tho i know it's very common.
Then all your delays are going to do is put your drums out of time.

Danny_79 wrote:The ambience i send it to is the Only bleed it gets.
Which is simulating room mic's for you - not overheads.

Danny_79 wrote:Are overheads always used? Real or fake ones... even tho i know it's very common.
You've either got overhead mic's, or you haven't. You can't fake them.

By all means try your delay idea, but what are you going to use as a reference from which your 'close mic' drums are delayed?

Quite honestly, I would put my creative time into something more meaningful - this seems a lot of work for something with precious little to gain!
Yeah kinda realizing now it's more trouble than it's worth. Think i'll settle with close mic and room sound. I can't be the Only one
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Re: How much delay time in drum overheads?

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:19 pm

Danny_79 wrote:I can't be the Only one
Unfortunately I think you are! I think it's fair to say that most people load up a set of drum kit samples and just use them at face value, allowing for a bit of EQ, compression, reverb and the like.

It seems that you feel that your drum samples are lacking something you need - in which case I would be looking at different samples. I've already mentioned the Steven Slate sample libraries that include overheads and spill, but there are others.
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