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Tips for recording drums in a untreated large room

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by allanqa, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. allanqa

    allanqa Member

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    Hi, this is my first post

    Attempting to record a few songs, a fellow mate and I are trying to record some natural drum stuff, think like Stone Sour, nu metal kind of music.

    At the moment, I have and audient id14 and planning to add a behringer ada8200 to expand to 10 pres in total, drummer has a couple shure drum kits PGDMK6-XLR, that is more than enough for our purposes. We use reaper as DAW.

    Last days for demoing and practicing recording the songs, I recorded some mono drum sesions with two mics, one pg81 as a general overhead and one pg52 inside the kick, found the pg81 is decent for overheads, but had a hard time with kick, I had better results with a sm57 but it lacks low end, so the drummer possibly will buy an audix d6 or a seinnheiser e602.

    I really don't know if it is an advantage, but the drum is in a very large untreated room (think 100 square meters or 1000 sq ft), so we put the drum not exactly but near the center to avoid the concrete wall cause reflections, floor is some kind of concrete and ceilings are around 3m (10 ft) high and made with a cheap plastic.

    The drum is a really decent ddrum kit with good cymbals, so the source i think if it is well tuned, will no make any problems.

    So if any of you have some tips, regarding to the room condition, because I didn`t find too much info about it.

    Is it critical to treat a large room?
     
  2. BearOnGuitar

    BearOnGuitar Member

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    It depends on the room, does it sound decent? There's absolutely nothing wrong with recording in an untreated room, especially if it's a large and not causing problems with early reflections too much. I would try to use the room to my advantage as much as possible and be creative with it. You might actually end up with some really nice and unique sounding recordings. It's mixing in an untreated room that is a completely different story.

    What I would do is to have the drummer walk around hitting the snare trying to find the spot where the room sounds best. Try to avoid placing the drums right in the middle between two walls to not cause any standing waves. Usually the room sound will not be too apparent in the individual close miced elements, but if it's still too much try working with gobos around the kit. You can cover the front of the bass drum with a thick blanket if it's too loud in the room or causes problems. Decoupling the kit from the floor with a raiser will help with tightening up the sound and resolve a boomy low end.

    Other than that, that's the scenario that just screams for experimenting with placing mics in unusual positions. Away from the drum kit pointing at the walls or using a far mic that could result in a cool slapback delay type sound, which you could be able to use as an effect depending on the songs.
     
    Heabow likes this.
  3. Machinated

    Machinated Member

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    You may want to close off or dampen bits around the kit as it can be annoying if the close mics give a large sense of the room depth. If you have anything that will act as a kind of dampening just try moving it around. Because of the size of the room you should be free from any nasty close reflections, but every room is different so just try it and adjust from there. Don't forget to set the kit up in different positions in the room and find the position that works best. Being close to a wall could work well

    good advice above too.
     
  4. Kellii

    Kellii Member

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    Simplifiy it.
    Focus on

    1.Tuning
    2. Close Mic'ing
    3.Phase

    Those 3 are all equally important in terms of tone, mud and impact. If you don't have the option of treating the room this is damage control.

    Then add room mic's, the room might suprise you. If the room sounds good use them. If the room doesn't then mute them as use an impulse response.

    Also avoid placing the kit in a corner as they tend to collect frequencies.

    If the room is a box or rectangle shape then try breaking up parallel walls with false walls(large wooden frames with foam preferably) at angles if you are able. This will reduce the impact of standing waves.
     
    #4 Kellii, Apr 17, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  5. allanqa

    allanqa Member

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    An update with sounds

    It has been a lot of learning trying to sound good.

    I had a loooot of problems with the kick, I think the other mics are overall descent, but the kick is crap. I opted to use the "snare - tom" mic to replace the kick mic, and added a insert from EZ mix, trying to solve and get something descent or usable.

    I used close mics in every shell, the snare is sm57 on top and pga52 on bottom, the rest are pga52 shures, two overheads pg81, and one room pg81 (4 metters from the kit)

    I know this is far from a proffesional record, but I'm happy with results, considering it is my first time doing this, and mixing too.

    Excuse the crappy playing, the drummer was tired the hell doing that haha.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/60425201/drum test aqa.mp3

    Thanks for advices given before, we think that we can do some cheap mobile walls, we need to tune the kit better.
     

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