Kick D112, Toms sm57’s, Floor C2000’s, snare sm 57, Snare under Audix d7, Room AT 4050. The comments are open! XY always sounded too narrow for me, almost to the point of thinking, why not just use a mono overhead? Awesome post. The stereo picture that mics like these convey is very different sounding than a spaced pair. The wavelength of a 400Hz tone is about 33 inches. The drum kit, unlike just about every other instrument on stage, is naturally a stereo instrument. I've read a few websites regarding drum miking but I'm still not getting the results I want. http://recordinghacks.com/sounds/samples/oh-positions/spaced_omni.mp3. ORTF is a curious stereo technique with specific positioning requirements: 17cm between capsules, angled 110° apart. http://recordinghacks.com/sounds/samples/oh-positions/xy_omni.mp3 I’ve never seen anyone record drums that way, but it sounds like fun. It would be easy and very instructive to try these in ORTF, positioned behind the drummer and above his head… or as an AB spaced pair, pointing straight down, one above the HH and one above the ride… or in RecorderMan configuration. (Hello, inverse-square law!). The most obvious missing drum mic technique here is the “Glyn Johns” method, about which more can be read here. Still XY, just further away from the drum kit. Placing An XY Stereo Overhead Stereo microphones like an AKG C24, Røde NT4, Royer SF24, or HUM Audio RS-2 give you an elegant way to capture a drum kit in absolute phase. The point of an XY placement is to get the capsules as close together as possible to minimize problems due to phase difference. This is probably a result of the fact that in XY, the mics were mostly pointing past the drums. (The mid channel is about 9dB (RMS) louder than the side channel in the “wide” mix, and about 17dB louder than the side channel in the “narrow” mix.). In order, they are: The tonal difference is eye-opening. Drum overhead placement . Place two mics over the kit, one directly over the snare, the other directly over the floor tom, and up from the kit about 2 to 3 feet, use your ear to dictate the exact distance. The hi-hat is firmly on the left. (The panning of close tom mics could of course alter this perception.). I extracted a 4-bar clip from each of the cardioid-pattern samples, and pasted them into one file, arranged from narrowest to widest stereo field (a subjective judgment, of course). […] Personally for me this article has presented me with options that expand my abilities and I thank you for being so thorough. I don’t much like either of them. A pair of cardioid mics provides several distinct, viable OH sounds. Thank you for being so analytical. The Cardioid clip gives a wide stereo image. Use your ears (and a tape measure too). http://recordinghacks.com/sounds/samples/oh-positions/midside-wide.mp3, Mid-Side is a stereo technique that promises perfect mono compatibility. I produced two samples; the difference between “narrow” and “wide” is about 8dB worth of gain on the side channel. The “Recorderman” technique has been my go-to OH technique for years, so it is familiar, and a welcome change from what was sounding like excessively room-y overhead tracks. In Omni, the mics bring in more of the sound of the room, but not so much as in XY. It’s a matter of taste. Mid-Side Stereo I far prefer the spaced-pair approach. Thank You!!!!!!! The 3:1 rule suggests that the mics should be three times farther apart than their height above the drum kit. I skipped it primarily because it is not a stereo overhead technique — it’s a 4-mic approach for the whole drum kit. As mentioned above, the sound of ORTF grew on me. One mic stands about 32'' above the snare, pointing straight down, while the other sits over the drummer’s right shoulder, pointing at the snare. Here’s a video tutorial. To be fair, this arrangement may well introduce phasing problems with the kick or toms, which is why the OH mic position should always be tested before recording. Posted in Microphones, Shootouts | 63 Comments », Previously: Voiceover Microphone ShootoutNext: Tube Mic Voiceover Test. Following is a detailed comparison of Spaced Pair (omni and cardioid), Coincident Pair (omni and cardioid), ORTF, Mid-Side and “Recorderman.”, The mics in question were a pair of SE Electronics’ 4400a. We then moved both mics up about 5 inches from their original position. Thanks, be blessed. The stereo “left” channel is the mid plus the side, while the “right” channel is the mid minus the side… more or less. Use the technique of XY overheads, as discussed in the simple drum kit miking article. For me, both these tracks have too much boomy low end. Really shows how different the techniques are and the importance of mic placement. Hello, Listen to the closing tom fill; it sort of jumps from left to right. Should the mics’ capsules be pointed straight down, angled in, angled out, or aimed directly at the snare? X-Y (coincident) stereo miking consists of using two microphones that are placed right next to each other so that the diaphragms are as close together as possible without touching one another. The drums sound big, but not excessively boomy. When the drummer can’t stop pounding the hell out of the cymbals, is it acceptable to simply move them out of his reach? If you don’t like hearing tom fills that go from one corner of the room to the other, or if you’re recording a song for which the drums play a background role, then XY is a reliable choice. Update: Pro Tip: Any time you have microphones covering the same sound source from different distances, you’re likely to run into some phase problems, as the offset in distance causes the sound to reach the microphones at different times. Any drums or cymbals that are on-axis — meaning, in the mics’ “line of sight” — are going to be more clearly heard and probably louder too. You could start by simply centering the overhead mics over the drum kit using an X/Y or ORTF pair (note: my first choice for this task is a large diaphragm cardioid condenser so that mic type will be assumed throughout this post. http://recordinghacks.com/sounds/samples/oh-positions/midside-narrow.mp3 It’s cool to be able to match up the results against eachother. would there be problems if use the condenser mic and the sm57 dynamic as overheads in these techniques? To mic the drumset with overhead mics, you can use either the X-Y coincident technique or spaced stereo pairs. The spaced pair is the other of the most common overhead drum miking techniques, although there are an infinite variety of ways to do it. Just to keep things confusing, this time the excerpts are 2 bars long: a 2-bar clip in ORTF, then Spaced, then ORTF again, then Spaced again. When you use an x/y pair as drum overheads in a studio environment, where do you place the pair: do you center it on the kick drum or the snare drum, or between the two, or somewhere else? XY and mid-side create the narrowest stereo image; ORTF and spaced pair create a wider image. I think I would have liked this pair better if I’d lowered the mics to a height of about 60 inches (instead of 80); this would have reduced the apparent volume of the room sound, and provided more stereo separation too. XY – Original Placement. Place two mics over the kit, one directly over the snare, the other directly over the floor tom, and up from the kit about 2 to 3 feet, use your ear to dictate the exact distance. That said, the side channel is comprised entirely of off-axis sounds, which might not sound very good, depending on the instrument and room. The image collapses to mono gracefully; this is expected, given that the mic capsules were close together. I think I’d like ORTF even better if the mics were lower. definately like the ortf and recorderman configuration, good work sir!!! Many recordings that used spaced pair overheads have an exaggerated stereo image. For a true comparisson, the distance of the mics to the main drums of the kit, and/or their height above the floor level, should have been the same. Mic Database | Mic Reviews | Microphone Sale, Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 | by matthew mcglynn. Listen to the closing tom fill — there is little discernible lateral movement. (We are liking this mike a lot; watch for a full review soon.). Currently I'm experimenting with the left overhead mic pointed about 90 degrees towards the ride cymbal and the right overhead pointed 90 degrees towards the hi-hat. It employs a “mid” Cardioid mic pointed at the source, and a “side” figure-of-8 mic whose null is pointed at the source.
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