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How much do you move/ reposition mics to refine your sound?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by mva801, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    Lately I've found myself going the lazy/ quick route and just using most of the mic positions that I eyeball at first. The other day, after I set up mics on this drum set, but before I started recording, the drummer pulled the snare about three inches closer to him. After I noticed this, I moved the mic up to my original position. And HATED the snare all of a sudden. I loved it before. And the mic was in a weird fucking spot. Like 1 inch behind the drum pointing just below the rim. Well shit. So I moved it back.

    But this got me thinking, how does everyone go about micing things up? Do you tend to stick with initial mic positions? then try and eq? Or do you try a few different positions, then pick your favorite? Or do you put on headphones and go in the room to move the mic around? Or have an assistant/ intern/ other band member go in the room and move stuff for you?

    I think I'm going to start experimenting A LOT more with mic postioning as opposed to just saying, "eh, that sounds ok" and grabbing an eq.

    I've just never had good luck trying to put on headphones and move around the mic in the room. With any bleed and the difference in the sound of the headphones as opposed to my control room and monitors, I can never tell what the fuck is really going on. I usually have an intern or assistant when I'm doing drums at the big studio I work at. Thinking about having them out in the room with each mic, moving it closer/ farther/ up/ down with me in the control room so I can hear exactly what's going on.

    It just made a massive difference when dude moved that snare, and it got me thinking, man. How much awesomeness am I leaving on the table just because I'm lazy and don't fiddle with mic position for 30 minutes?
     
  2. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    I will always just use my go to positions as starting points and then I listen back and determine if it needs obvious eq, if it does I try to think about possible minor mic changes I can make to need less eq. Is the snare lacking body? If so I will move the mic to play with the proximity, same with toms. I also really analyze overheads to death. Kick drum for me is for sure the hardest. I generally only use 1 mic, so getting a good kick balance of attack and low end is toughest I find very minor mic movements make big changes on the kick. I also don't overly like the headphone thing because I can feel/hear the low end from the actual drum being hit when I'm that close to the kit even with extreme isolation headphones.i do use headphones a lot when placing mics but Headphones make it hard for me to get the low end right with mic placement. I prefer to put the mic up, record, listen back, repeat if needed.
     
  3. nialldoran

    nialldoran Member

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    Basically i do everything studdy said, i have a good idea of where to start, record, listen, fix phase and polarity etc, then do more position tweaks, the difference and inch or two of movement can make is crazy. The axis of the mic too for toms and kick especially, i find are really important.
     
  4. DHProductions

    DHProductions New Metal Member

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    On my personal studio kit, its just set and forget, but I have had the kit for 15 years and have used it in sessions for almost 10. On kits that come in with the band, 2-3 hours is normally spent on dialing in the tones. I do just set the mics up and have the drummer play tidbits from the songs, if i like what I hear coming from each mic solo'd and all together as a kit then nothing moves, Ive never had that happen... Typically i can get a solid snare sound off the bat but toms are something that I always spend a lot of time on, focusing on maintaining phase coherency among the OH mics. As a drummer myself its always fun to experiment with different setups, and mic combo's, but fundamentally I believe its absolutely vital to continuing growth as en AE.
     
  5. wutzington

    wutzington massive member

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    I do, when I can afford to.
    Usually there's little time so I rather spend more time on tuning the drums than playing with the mics.
    When I have time and something like a control room I record some grooves, listen, fine tune, record, listen, fine tune until i get something i like.
    When recording in the same room with the drummer I usually just roll with "good enough" and focus on the performance and vibe.
     
  6. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    I do it a lot. If a snare is sounding boxy etc, I find it way better to change the position a bit and "EQ" it using that. same goes for kick, I'll spend a while positioning it until its doing what I want.

    I find toms much easier to mic, generally I prefer micing them further away but I usually compromise with whats going on with cymbal bleed.....
     
  7. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    I'm not just asking about drums either. Any instrument. 3 inches can make the difference between a snare sounding dull & boxy, or full and snappy. Things that mic position matters a ton on. Guitar cabs, acoustic guitars, vocals, etc. I'm gonna start having my assistants just move mics around a ton while i listen to see what's really changing, and if my initial position is bringing out something unflattering in the source.
     

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