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Author Topic: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums  (Read 3706 times)

dnafe

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In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« on: December 28, 2005, 08:54:41 am »

I asked this question over at Recording 101 and thought I'd post it here.

How much time does it take to set up the recording chain on a set of drums for a new client?

Don

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j.hall

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2005, 11:01:21 am »

just to get mics on stands and all the pres and comps patched in i'd say about 1 hour.

to get all the sounds i want it typically takes 4 to 8 hours.
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Fibes

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2005, 11:16:40 am »

As a room owner there are at least two answers to this question for me. If I'm doing a quickie demo for the band it takes about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to get the drums set up and ready to track. This is after all, a demo(nstration).

If we're going for album status and there is room in the budget we'll grab a night before tracking starts and get the drums kicking in about 4-6 hours and map out which tracks can afford the same type of setup and plan on tracking them together to save time. We try to make sure we have choices for snares, sticks, extras and kicks mapped out for smooth transitions so no one gets bored during the tracking process.

And then sometimes we just wing it.

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Fibes
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pg666

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2005, 02:12:43 pm »

Quote:

to get all the sounds i want it typically takes 4 to 8 hours.


damn.

i can't say it's ever taken me more than 2/2.5 hours (either playing myself or recording other people). if you do all your head replacing/tuning on your own time and not try to reinvent your drum mic'ing techniques on every session it shouldn't take too long.

of course, 4-8 hours is still nothing compared to big budget records that spend weeks getting drum(like) sounds. what's funny is that none of those types of records even come close to the awesomeness of john bonham or elvin jones' outtakes..
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Fibes

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2005, 02:56:40 pm »

Quote:

if you do all your head replacing/tuning on your own time


Therein lies the problem. For every self sufficient drummer i work with there seems to be a bunch of other guys who own drums and have never tried to tune them or change the heads, ever. We've got a great studio kit and I keep it ready to roll but the sessions that take the longest are the ones where we have to get the drums and the drummer on point because they never thought it mattered.

I'm a guitarist and although it's in my nature to bash drummers, i really can't get over how a lot of them don't care at all until it's mix time and they are ready to point the finger at me.

OTOH the dudes that know their shit make me look real good in no time.

It's still apparent to me that although i have a "basic" go to set up that when we get past demo every kit/drummer requires a little out of the box thinking. Just in the past couple of sessions due to weird kit arrangements I've had to drop a 121 on the ride in mid session, use two overhead pairs, switch to bottom micd toms and a few other things to make it work. It's great to have a starting point but the end result is the most important IMNSHO.
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Fibes
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j.hall

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2005, 04:02:59 pm »

i can mic a kit and get workable sounds in 2 hours.

i prefer to take my time and move mics, listen, audiotion compression, EQ, move mics, change mics......

i think the drums drive the sonic decisions you make for the whole record.  if you don't get exactly what you want there, everything gets worse.

i just like to take my time and print drum sounds that i know for certain are doing what i want.
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scottoliphant

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2006, 01:48:30 pm »

"4-8 hours is still nothing compared to big budget records that spend weeks getting drum(like) sounds". it amazes me that people might spend this much time, and then when i hear the drums on modern rock "radio" they sound like ass, or like midi drums. I'm still rocking the 4 mic setup (2 overheads and snare / kick). takes me about 2 hours to set up. the overheads aren't ever really the issue for me, but since i only have 1 mic on the snare and kick respectively, I spend most of my time trying to get them to sound the best. I hate crappy cymbals, wish there were things to do about that =) Speaking of drums, anyone know who recorded the Dirty Three record, horse stories? the drum sounds on that record are sick.

pg666

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2006, 03:45:41 pm »

Quote:

Speaking of drums, anyone know who recorded the Dirty Three record, horse stories? the drum sounds on that record are sick.


was it not this guy?

i love recording drums with 3 mics (or two if one is a stereo mic). i wish more bands played open sounding music (and had solid, consistent drummers) simply so i could do it more!
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NelsonL

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2006, 01:39:52 am »

pg666 wrote on Sun, 01 January 2006 12:45

Quote:

Speaking of drums, anyone know who recorded the Dirty Three record, horse stories? the drum sounds on that record are sick.


was it not this guy?

i love recording drums with 3 mics (or two if one is a stereo mic). i wish more bands played open sounding music (and had solid, consistent drummers) simply so i could do it more!


That's what I was going to say too-- about that dirty three record.

And, yes-- totally agree.  

In fact, I'm going to give you my password and you can write all my posts from here on out.
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Frob

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2006, 05:18:01 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 28 December 2005 13:02

i can mic a kit and get workable sounds in 2 hours.

i prefer to take my time and move mics, listen, audiotion compression, EQ, move mics, change mics......

i think the drums drive the sonic decisions you make for the whole record.  if you don't get exactly what you want there, everything gets worse.

i just like to take my time and print drum sounds that i know for certain are doing what i want.



this is some really good advise, also for some reasone the hardest thing to do seems to be re-doing drumms. sometimes if a week from now if the drums sound like crap then it is just better to redo the whole song.

Dave Martin

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2006, 07:08:35 pm »

My house kit is down this week, but I'll have it back up for a session on Friday morning. I'll get them out and kinda put them where they need to be (and put mics up in the general vicinity around 8:00AM on Friday. The drummer will get there at 9:00, and we'll be done for a 10:00AM downbeat. If the kit is up and miced (as it usually is), it's a lot less work...
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Fibes

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2006, 07:29:20 pm »

Dave Martin wrote on Tue, 03 January 2006 19:08

My house kit is down this week, but I'll have it back up for a session on Friday morning. I'll get them out and kinda put them where they need to be (and put mics up in the general vicinity around 8:00AM on Friday. The drummer will get there at 9:00, and we'll be done for a 10:00AM downbeat. If the kit is up and miced (as it usually is), it's a lot less work...


You are a machine.

Don't fault us humans.
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Fibes
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pg666

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2006, 09:00:09 pm »

the best drum recording advice i can think of..

don't start recording at 9 'o clock in the morning!! yikes!
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Dave Martin

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2006, 12:14:19 am »

pg666 wrote on Tue, 03 January 2006 20:00

the best drum recording advice i can think of..

don't start recording at 9 'o clock in the morning!! yikes!


This is a special case - 95% of the musicians that work here are session guys. They might not EVER be awake at 1:00AM, but at 10:00AM, they're ready to rock...
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Fibes

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Re: In the spirit of "tracking" - setting up for drums
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2006, 11:49:11 am »

hahahaha!


Last night I tracked a drum session solo and timed my progress from top to bottom. I had the drums set up already but micing the kit, getting sounds and tuning took all of 32 minutes.

Four piece kit for a blues record with mainly brushes.

The setup:

Kick D-6-- outside the front head through an API 512.

Snare 57-- through an API 512- Distressor in but not compressing

Overheads- Bova balls on a stereo bar over the front of the kit through 512s and trakkers grabbing the dynamic brush hits

Done

One Caveat-- The drummer is a seasoned vet of this sort of thing and walked out smiling about the drum sound.

Not a freaking eq.
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Fibes
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"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
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http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

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