Old 09-27-2015, 12:07 AM   #1
donchilcott
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Default Produce like a pro

Blame it on the whiskey... WTF. Why all the room mikes???
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:19 AM   #2
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Sadly using room mics generally means you have to have a decent recording/live room in the first place.
I don`t, do you, Don?

(insert boo-hoo smiley here)
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:50 AM   #3
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I think that's fairly common for pro drum recordings in a good room.

Most rock/pop drums these days use room tracks for ambience over (or in conjunction with) digital reverb. It makes sense to give the engineer some choice when it comes to room ambience.

I'm mixing this song currently and havent decided which room mic(s) will make the cut but it will only be a single stereo pair - I'll ditch the rest. I am using 3 OH's though. OHL and OHR have a weird spread with the snare heavily to one side when panned wide. Needed the middle OH to center the snare.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:54 PM   #4
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I had to cut a bunch of the mics just for sanity. It seems like a phasing nightmare to try and use all those mics.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by donchilcott View Post
I had to cut a bunch of the mics just for sanity. It seems like a phasing nightmare to try and use all those mics.
I never thought the idea was to use them all. The producer provides the engineer with several choices for drum ambience and you choose the ones that get you the sound you want.

I havent checked the polarity on every room mic yet. I can tell you that the snare top and bottom are out of phase with the overheads. I'm wondering if this was intentional to try and trip up less experienced mixers. Its a good lesson to learn. ALWAYS check polarity whether or not it was recorded by a pro.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:53 PM   #6
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I'm trimmed down to mono room mics.

It's all recorded well. It was made at Sunset Sound in LA.

But there are issues with excessive hi-hat splash. I don't think we need to assign blame; the trick is to fix it.

I've carved the entire live drum tracks down to a usable mix. I don't think I can avoid using samples though. I hate to do that because I respect any band wanting to play real, live music.

In the end, they already have a mix they're happy with. This is just some fun for us. How many of us get a chance to work with such well-recorded tracks? The band was recorded live, though, so I assume this is pretty close to how they play it in concert.

I wouldn't have arranged the song this way, but I'm also not playing in a band for a living. So, good on them!

I recommend doing what you have to do. Make these guys sound as good as you can by any means necessary!
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:20 PM   #7
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I havent checked the polarity on every room mic yet. I can tell you that the snare top and bottom are out of phase with the overheads.
Wow, that would be very strange indeed, unless the overheads are sitting very close and right over the snare.

I don't have the files so I can't check it out, but it must be like you say, they've done something to them to throw you off. Heh heh, don't know, it don't make sense.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Magicbuss View Post
I never thought the idea was to use them all. The producer provides the engineer with several choices for drum ambience and you choose the ones that get you the sound you want.

I havent checked the polarity on every room mic yet. I can tell you that the snare top and bottom are out of phase with the overheads. I'm wondering if this was intentional to try and trip up less experienced mixers. Its a good lesson to learn. ALWAYS check polarity whether or not it was recorded by a pro.
Would you leave polarity on OHs and change polarity on snares or visa versa? Why?
Thank You
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:09 PM   #9
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Wow, that would be very strange indeed, unless the overheads are sitting very close and right over the snare.

I don't have the files so I can't check it out, but it must be like you say, they've done something to them to throw you off. Heh heh, don't know, it don't make sense.
I left the OH's alone and flipped the phase on the snare mics. Reason being that none of the other close mics were out of phase with the OH's. I recently mixed a song that i tracked that had the opposite problem. OH's (recorderman) were out of phase with the close mics - so I flipped the OH's. Strange and I still cant figure out why (cable polarity?)

There are a number of gotcha's that are apparent when you reference the final mix, which is included (dual mono L and R tracks oddly enough). There are vocal doubles and guitar harmonies that are not in the provided tracks. So IMO we are getting a light version of the actual mix project unless he used a harmonizer and/or doubler but I dont think so. Why resort to trickery when the band could just have recorded the necessary parts?

Kirk I'm really interested in why you want to use drum samples. Are you talking about augmenting or replacing? I am actively resisting the temptation to bring in samples because this song was well recorded in a truly great studio. I am used to mixing stuff I record in "less than ideal" spaces, with marginal instruments and players. Samples are par for the course but I don't want them to be a crutch.
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:21 AM   #10
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Kirk I'm really interested in why you want to use drum samples. Are you talking about augmenting or replacing? I am actively resisting the temptation to bring in samples because this song was well recorded in a truly great studio. I am used to mixing stuff I record in "less than ideal" spaces, with marginal instruments and players. Samples are par for the course but I don't want them to be a crutch.
I just want to augment the snare. I have a serious hunch their mix uses them also. I'm glad you point out the phase issues with the snares though. That may make a difference. I'll send you my latest mix via PM and you can give me your thoughts.

I think this can sound like the Allman Bros with two drummers, so I have it the back of my mind to set up a sample kit to augment the live kit. If I can use the live stuff by itself, that'd be ideal, but the snare just isn't the correct pitch for my taste. It's a low "thwonk" rather than a crisp "crack."
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:56 AM   #11
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I just want to augment the snare. I have a serious hunch their mix uses them also. I'm glad you point out the phase issues with the snares though. That may make a difference. I'll send you my latest mix via PM and you can give me your thoughts.

Once the phase is flipped the snare(s) sounds pretty good especially with the bottom mic added to taste. The difference really is night and day. The kick is what I've been struggling with. I'm used to thuddy kicks recorded with the front head removed. This kick clearly had a front head with a hole which creates alot more tone, resonance and sustain that I'm not used to dealing with and honestly I dont think I like that sound for rock...even southern rock.

I've got a really rough mix working now. The drums still arent there yet.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Magicbuss View Post
Once the phase is flipped the snare(s) sounds pretty good especially with the bottom mic added to taste. The difference really is night and day. The kick is what I've been struggling with. I'm used to thuddy kicks recorded with the front head removed. This kick clearly had a front head with a hole which creates alot more tone, resonance and sustain that I'm not used to dealing with and honestly I dont think I like that sound for rock...even southern rock.

I've got a really rough mix working now. The drums still arent there yet.
So flip the polarity on both top and bottom snares or just the bottom?

I'm glad you have a rough mix now. These drums are a serious challenge. I didn't have so much trouble with the kick, but now that you mention it, there isn't enough beater head. It's a bit mushy. I mean it's there, but it's not a good thump.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:48 AM   #13
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So flip the polarity on both top and bottom snares or just the bottom?

I'm glad you have a rough mix now. These drums are a serious challenge. I didn't have so much trouble with the kick, but now that you mention it, there isn't enough beater head. It's a bit mushy. I mean it's there, but it's not a good thump.
Both top and bottom snare need to be flipped if you're using OH L & R and/or the Mono_OH. Massive improvement in body and weight.

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Old 09-28-2015, 09:14 AM   #14
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Both top and bottom snare need to be flipped if you're using OH L & R and/or the Mono_OH. Massive improvement in body and weight.
Awesome! Will do!
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