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Let's talk about overheads.

Discussion in 'Andy Sneap' started by Matt Smith, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Matt Smith

    Matt Smith THEOCRACY

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    Lately I’ve been kinda struggling with overheads in the mix. I mean I get pretty good results, but I want to take it to the next level. How the heck do guys like Bob Rock, Colin, Andy, etc. get their cymbals so bright and shimmery and smooth without being harsh? I mean, when you listen to the cymbals on the black album, there’s such a long, smooth sustain…probably compression and probably partially all those room mics. I don’t know, whenever I’ve tried to compress overheads, it just brings the hats out even more, which is not what I’m going for, so I usually take it off. And EQ-wise, do you guys have any general starting points you usually gravitate toward (besides filtering)? Sometimes if there’s an annoying, harsh overtone in a cymbal, I’ll notch it out, but then things feel too dull. I don’t know, I just wanted to strike up a conversation about this and see if anyone has any general suggestions or tips that you’ve found work for you on a fairly regular basis.
     
  2. Glenn Fricker

    Glenn Fricker Very Metal &Very Bad News

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    My first question would be:

    What's your room like?


    Other factors: How hard is the drummer hitting the hats? How "open" are they? How's the drummer's cymbal technique? (this is a huge factor, as cymbal sounds can vary greatly from drummer to drummer)

    Generally though, I'll rolloff at 600hz, and that's it for EQ. Then again, I have a very bright drum room. A little bit of compression afterwords, usually an opto, and that's about it.

    -0z-
     
  3. Matt Crooks

    Matt Crooks www.fools-game.com

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    I've had good results with slight compression (1:2 - 1:4) taking a 3-4db off. I filter out the low stuff and then add in some shelf (1-2 db) somewhere between 10-15k.

    The big thing, I think, is that the room has to have that sound.
     
  4. Brett - K A L I S I A

    Brett - K A L I S I A Dreaded Moderator

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    Try to keep the hats hidden from the oh microphones when you track the drums, I think that's a good starting point (when possible). Also try to get the drummer not to hit the hats to hard (send it back loud in the drummers headphones so he calms down on it maybe).
     
  5. chadsxe

    chadsxe Super Rad Member

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    I would say just about every thing Oz had to say. Nine out 10 times the drummer is hitting the cymbals to damn hard.
     
  6. everybody's x

    everybody's x My name is Damage

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    I am FAR from an expert on the subject, but I am a cymbal nazi. When guys bring in their ZCustom/Paiste/super heavy super loud super heavy METAL cymbals I make them leave them in the bag.
    I have a nice QUIET set of 1960's Zildjian A's that balance themselves nicely in the room. I tell the drummer to "hit every drum as hard as you can all the time and hit the cymbals like you're petting a kittie" This takes some adjustment but almost always pays off with a better balanced drummer making a better recording. I have a dish towel with a hole in the middle that goes right over the hats and have them play right through them (Try It! it works). Open hats are as close together as they can possibly be to avoid that horrible open hat wash over everything. Whenever possible I discourage playing open hat parts AT ALL. It's amazing how well that can fuck up a mix. (everything in moderation makes heavy thing heavier when they HAVE to be)

    If you are dealing with low ceilings try a different approach altogether. 2 sdc's 8 feet apart 4 feet in front of the kit at crotch level. PZM's on the floor in front and behind the kit, etc. Hell try it in a big room (I do)

    I dont like compressing the OH at all but that's probably just me. I wish the Hi HAT was never invented, I hate the fucking things :p
     
  7. Glenn Fricker

    Glenn Fricker Very Metal &Very Bad News

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    Absolutely 100% goddamn fucking right on the money.:kickass:

    I hate hats too. With a vengance. I don't know how many times when setting up, the first thing a drummer will do is reach over for the hat clutch to open it up.
    "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" I'll ask.
    "Opening up the hats." The dumbfuck (errr drummer, I mean) replies.
    "Is this a disco record?" I'll inquire.
    "No. It's a metal record." The drummer blurts.
    "Then keep the hats closed." I'll order.

    What's really funny is when the drummer comes in to listen to playback, he can't belive how pleasant the hats sound. I've had a number of them say, "wow, I've gotta try that live!"
     
  8. everybody's x

    everybody's x My name is Damage

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    I am SO saying that tonight. :headbang:

    Thanks for the quip

    The whole open hat thing is EXACTLY the same as when you turn home boys gain way down on the amp and all the sudden he's got tone. "I have to try that live" Goddamn, you SHOULD (read:NO SHIT)
     
  9. Brett - K A L I S I A

    Brett - K A L I S I A Dreaded Moderator

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    I don't like completely closed hi-hats, no power in that, and drums feel so empty... :) To each his own eh...
     
  10. everybody's x

    everybody's x My name is Damage

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    I don't make them close them all the way just the smallest amount open they can be.
     
  11. Matt Crooks

    Matt Crooks www.fools-game.com

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    How many people that hate the hi-hat are guitarists?


    Anyway - I like the open hi-hat when the drummer knows what the hell he is doing. Bashing on it constantly sucks, but there is room for cool stick work on the hats in metal.
     
  12. Keiffer

    Keiffer Member

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    my take...

    adjust mics for balance (I use the Over the Snare / Over the Shoulder placement)

    use the right cymbals (thin that get out of the way)

    don't hit the cymbals hard

    hit the drums very hard

    Low Shelve Cut at 500HZ and Hi Shelve Boost at 9K (adjust for softness)
     
  13. everybody's x

    everybody's x My name is Damage

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    I do this too 99% of the time, although for some reason, I've read Andy saying it's a no no for metal?
     
  14. Keiffer

    Keiffer Member

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    hum, I'd like to read more on that because I definitely like the results I get. but I'm also generally not tracking a 9 piece kit.
     
  15. KeithRT99

    KeithRT99 BOOSH.

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    i like the over the shoulder method, it really brings the snare out nicely. I think that may be a bad idea though if you're gonna replace the snare, because there will be alot of it in your overheads.

    also, what kind of probrems are you guys having with hi hats? i've never had issue recording them, and i'm curious what it is that's bothering you.
     
  16. Genius Gone Insane

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

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    My best drum sounds have come from guys who have good hats...not to disagree with anyone, but that's just my experience. *I am a part-timer tho
     
  17. Keiffer

    Keiffer Member

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    that's basically one of my criteria "Use the right cymbals", but it doesn't stop with the hats, although they're oh so important.
     
  18. Loren Littlejohn

    Loren Littlejohn Lover of all boobage.

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    Yeah can't beat a good pair of K custom session hats. They record so good.

    Leave the rock shit at home.
     
  19. Keiffer

    Keiffer Member

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    I like the K Custom Cymbals. Also, I have a pair of A Custom Hats that record very well. they're bright but not loud.
     
  20. AStacy2

    AStacy2 Member

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    Love my ZCustoms, they record great for me and any drummer who has ever used them. Never had any luck with the KCustoms though and I hate how they sound. I want my cymbals to be bright sounding not dull.


    As far as mixing, I cut off around 60, boost 100, 2.5k and 8k, compress about 2:1 works for me.


    There was another thread about this and people talked about cutting 2.5k to get rid of the harshness.
     

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