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Drum Overhead Positioning

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by VexBlack, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. VexBlack

    VexBlack New Metal Member

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    Hi all,

    First post here so hello!

    Understandably this is a question that "depends on what sounds good" but...

    I'm a drummer and have the kit below, I'm in a metal band with the influences of Metallica, A7X, Bullet for my Valentine and many more. So not too heavy.

    I was just wondering if there were any starting points of where to put the overheads?
    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
    Vex
     
  2. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    You normally want to create a "center line" through your kick and snare so that they are evenly balanced in the OHs.

    [​IMG]

    (something close to that)

    Your snare is a fair bit to the left of the kit, as a lot of drummers with a single kick drum tend to do. Your setup is a lot like my drummers, and he has more cymbals on the right hand side of the kit and only 1 crash and the hats on the left. So it sort of freaked me out trying to get the center line a bit because I was afraid there wouldn't be enough balance of cymbals from left/right.

    Basically, create a center line through your kick and snare, position from there. Test record, listen, move mics if need, repeat. Watch your phase!
     
  3. botus99

    botus99 Microphone Assassin

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    +1 to everything bryan_kilco said!
     
  4. ecz

    ecz Member

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    I alway make sure that the OH mics have equal distance to the snare (I use a cable for measuring). This often results in strange looking setups but for me it's the best sounding way to position them because the snare has less phase issues and it's dead center in the stereo image. Often the mic on the Hi-Hat side is higher than the other mic. Let the drummer play a part where he uses all cymbals and make sure you cover them all with your 2 mics.
     
  5. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I've tried the 'equal distance' approach and try to stick with it.

    Does this mean the actual capsules of the mics, or mic stands?

    Because, if one mic is higher than the other, this defeats the purpose of having the mics equal distance.
     
  6. ecz

    ecz Member

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    The capsules of course!

    Why? The mic(-stand) on the Hi-Hat side is closer to the snare so the mic has to be bit higher than the mic on the other side in order to get them to a equal distance.
    That's the approach that often led to my best results but I'd be glad to learn about other (or better) approaches.
     
  7. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Come to think of it, I think that's pretty much what my setup ends up being. I sort of get intimidated by OH placement as it seems to be very important and I'm lacking experience as I've only recorded real kits maybe 5 or 6 times.
     
  8. VexBlack

    VexBlack New Metal Member

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    As soon as I saw bryans post I got to work :p I had been reading about how to properly setup overheads for a while and just needed a solid answer. Thank you!

    The kit's got a fuller/more punchy sound rather than a lot of cymbals. I'm quite surprised about the sound I'm getting even though I'm using Samson kit mics (I had a low budget at the time).
     
  9. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Yeah you're basically going to be spot micing each cymbal 'group' with that setup. I'd personally go more towards the crashes with each mic and then spot mic the hat/ride to keep them out of the overheads unless you want a lot of kit coming through.
     
  10. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    Bryan's method is a popular academic way to look at things but TBH it would put your hat side in no man's land on this particular kit. I think there is a strong case for a 3 mic OH setup on this kit but even if not I'd probably mic the big group on the right of the picture and then play with the other side until it sounds balanced.
     
  11. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    I've recorded drums many many times. I usually just spot mic cymbals, capsule pointing straight down a bit to the side of the cymbal, when it stops sounding to harsh. One usually to the left (drummer view) capturing left cymbal and hihat, and the other to the right cymbal. And maybe an extra on the HH,ride and china. When you solo those 2 OH mic's you should have a nice separated stereo image and If you want a more drum feel use 2 room mic's to capture the whole kit, but for me those are usually very low or muted in the end because of the damn hihat bleed haha.
     
  12. Genius Gone Insane

    Genius Gone Insane http://www.¯\(°_o)/¯.com

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    Hi Vex, good first post. Actually I am drooling at this setup because it looks to be a no-brainer for my micing style. This is how I would do it.

    Mic 1
    Mic a foot above drummer's left crash, facing down toward the floor, pointing at the edge of the cymbal.
    Left crash should be blocking line of sight of both the snare and high hat. So Mic 1 cannot see either snare or hi hat. I think that is possible looking at this picture.

    Mic 2
    Same idea for two crashes on drummer's right. Try to capture both those right crashes with the same mic, also a foot or so above the cymbals, facing outward away from the drummer and down toward the floor. Mic 2 should not be able to "see" either the hi hat or snare. One of the cymbals should be obstructing it's view.

    Mic 3
    Underneath ride, pointing near bell.

    Mic 4
    Hi hat mic would be outside the bottom left of your image, facing the floor, a few inches higher than the top of the hat. Again, the hi hat should be blocking the snare from mic 4.

    I hope this helps. What a great setup.

    Also, try to put it in a room with high ceilings (crucial for cymbals). And get some room mics out there somewhere. They are really useful to help with tom verb and also helping the cymbals out.

    Most important: get a good performance. Cheers, GGI
     
  13. abaga129

    abaga129 The Apprentice

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    I love learning about drum micing. I was planning on making a similar thread soon actually. I've been wondering what is the best approach to placing overheads if you are trying to get a lot of the toms in them. (a band wants me to do a live recording of the kit and I dont have enough mics to close mic his toms)

    So with a kick mic, snare mic, two SDCs, and an LDC, how would you go about capturing a three tom kit?
     
  14. VexBlack

    VexBlack New Metal Member

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    :eek: More posts?! :p

    I have changed one thing about the kit (because of the broken cymbal... it lasted me well!) So now I have this:

    [​IMG]

    Also with the song I'm tracking I'm not using the Hi-Hat so there's no need for it to have a mic. I should be getting an MXL V67G in the post tomorrow and I still have a pencil condenser spare.

    I have done a drum track with bryan's method and bounced that as just raw audio and didn't sound too bad. much better than before.

    @Genius Gone Insane: Hello! Thanks for the welcome! Haha, thank you, I've had this setup for around 6 years now... thinking of expanding and getting a custom mapex kit (When i can bring myself to spend money).

    Thanks very much for the tutorial/step by step guide! I'll have a play around with that tomorrow and see what happens. Might put a couple of the drum tracks on sound cloud so people can hear the difference.
     
  15. Deranged Tapir

    Deranged Tapir New Metal Member

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    I found this video stupidly useful when trying to wrap my head around overhead mic'ing. It goes over all the major techniques and has good examples of what each one gives you.
     
  16. VexBlack

    VexBlack New Metal Member

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    Useful video, I may try a couple of those as well. Not sure what will be best but always good to have options... may end up doing about 5 drum tracks! :p
     
  17. VexBlack

    VexBlack New Metal Member

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    Sorry about double posting but I have another question to ask if anyone would be so kind to answer it :)

    I currently have done what Genius Gone Insane has said to do:

    The mics originally used for OHs over both crash cymbals, I then have a pencil condenser underneath the ride.

    I have one spare mic now, I got an MXL V67G yesterday so I can use it for vocals, but I understand that they are quite nice sounding if you use it as a room mic? I was going to put it dead centre (kick/snare wise) because it seems like the most logical thing to do. But is that the best approach/use for this mic?
     
  18. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    For room mic's you want to try and get as little cymbals in it as possible, i normally put it low to the floor so that it points between the kick and snare, maybe hang some fabric in front of it to kill off the high end from the cymbals.

    (props on posting a thread about real drums btw, far too few of these around!)
     
  19. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    Wow nice tip, never thought of that :)


    And to OP, im gonna start recording drums next week so i'll try to take some pics and post em here
     
  20. VexBlack

    VexBlack New Metal Member

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    Awesome! Thanks for the tip. Just gotta find something the right thickness to hang now. I'm thinking just a standard bed sheet will be too thin? or not?

    Thanks! We'll I'll probably be posting mostly about real drums because I'm not really interested in using triggers atm. Prefer a proper kit recording, otherwise I feel like I've gone half way to an electric kit (if you see what I mean).

    That'd be really helpful! Always good to see how different people mic up kits, keeps my mind open :)

    EDIT- Side Question: Would these be any good for drum tracking? (noise cancellation wise): http://www.thomann.de/gb/audio_technica_athm30.htm
     

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