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Recording teenager bands drums - Real or Electric?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by aviel, May 28, 2013.

  1. aviel

    aviel Member

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    Hey
    in 1-2 month i will start a project in which i will record local bands, teenagers. from ages 15 to 18. they play rock/soft rock and more laid back stuff.
    it will be 4 bands. none of them recorded before.
    about the Drums, i will take them to another studio to record drums ( i dont have). now for the dilema.
    Electric Drums with SSD or SD, or a real kit?
    the disadvantages of real kit as i see them -
    1. it will be much harder to fix stuff. and i guess there will be alot to fix.
    2. i have no clue in tuning drums, i guess they dont also. so i will need to hire someone for it.
    3. it will take much more studio hours to get an ok track, where i guess the electric way will be easier and faster.
    4. again, as i dont think any of them is a pro, i think i might get better result with electric/midi.


    but of course real drums have their own sound, they will sound more real (but maybe bad though.. if aint played tight enough).

    also, none of them is used to play electric drums.. so...what do you think?
     
  2. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Program the drums?
     
  3. aviel

    aviel Member

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    nah that will be a pain in the ass and alsothe drummers will get angry.
    if i record them on an electric snare i can always re-program them if they suck i guess
     
  4. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    A real kit recorded poorly and edited well will sound infinitely better than the best programmed drums as far as I'm concerned. Do you want it to sound like a band or like a perfect production? I absolutely HATE mixing programmed cymbals and I advise against using them for anything other than demos/prepro or one-off singles.

    At the very worst, do real cymbals and either track e-kit shells or program the shells after.
     
  5. amarshism

    amarshism Member

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  6. B36arin

    B36arin Member

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    Who is paying for it? Is it a learning curve project for the teenagers or are they demanding a professional sounding recording(i.e. edited to hell and back) even if they aren't professional?

    If it was me I'd definitely have them record real drums. They're kids and they're not used to using an electric kit, so you won't get proper performances if you use an e-kit. If you're having four unexperienced young bands coming in you should make them sound as good as you can, but you shouldn't make them sound perfect if they're not. One of the reasons that many bands don't know how to play their shit in the studio is because they expect the engineer to fix their mistakes - those people won't survive in the music industry. If you make everything sound awesome with super edited MIDI drums etc. they'll think that they've made it, they'll get cocky, they won't practice and won't get any better. :lol: And if they actually can play you'll be losing something if you only use MIDI.

    And my opinion: if the music is laid back rock it doesn't matter if everything isn't perfectly on the grid. It's called groove, and if you kill it the end result will get boring after two listens. When it comes to drum tuning, get a tunebot. You can get it very close by only watching the numbers. You might be pushing your comfort zone by recording real drums, but take the chance! It's the best way to learn :)
     
  7. BLUElightCory

    BLUElightCory Member

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    For that musical style, use a real kit/real drums and pay someone experienced to come in and tune the kit. Programmed/electronic drums generally sound ridiculous on more laid-back material (at least in my opinion), and you can still use the real drums if you end up programming or using samples. You can also consider putting triggers on the acoustic drums to track the MIDI just in case you want to use sampled sounds.
     
  8. zirkonflex

    zirkonflex You name it

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    Record real drums and edit them properly, will probably sound better, especially for lighter stuff. If they where like a Deathmetal band you could go all samples, but for rock that just sucks ass.
     
  9. amarshism

    amarshism Member

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    Plus they're kids. Giving people the easy way out when it comes to playing their instrument got us to where we are now....
     
  10. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    Are you sure they're terrible? I've recorded 15 year old drummers who were better than most older guys..... If you're going to another studio anyway, record real drums. You can always replace the hits. Usually the kids will come out better after the experience, rather than already relying on a digital crutch.
     
  11. aviel

    aviel Member

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    well i am not sure they're teribble. gonna hear them tomorrow.
    the 2 main issues are the budget, and the quality.
    i figured out we will need around 5 hours in studio with electric drums.
    real drums will double the price, but might get a less polished result?
     
  12. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    Well what's the end goal? I'm assuming there's some kind of youth work element since you have 4 bands of the same age and don't know much about them.

    If it's about giving the kids a start and helping them learn then do real drums. Get the bands all together and do a collective preproduction. Sit the drummers down and watch them all play for a minute. Teach them what they should and shouldn't do ( keep time, play to ability, use crashes for emphasis). Teach them about dynamics and how the mics will work basically. Do this a bit before the recording so they can work on it. All in all probably won't take you more than an hour to do a quick session with them.

    Also let them know what is entailed in recording. What you expect from them and what they should be expecting from a studio. Do this regardless of whether its for some youth programme or not.

    If it's for a youth project record real drums. The drummer is an important part of the band. Why don't you use it as a chance to learn a bit about tuning drums?

    If the goal is to have the best sounding polished recording to compete with music on the radio then record real drums but to a click. If they don't cut the mustard re-do them later.

    I recorded 2 young youth centre bands in my city. 2 very different experiences. One band were actually pretty good but will definitely improve with time and the other was a band of kids who preferred to be rock and roll than good. I tacked real drums, one sounded good and the other poor. Just like they actually sounded!
     
  13. RedDog

    RedDog Humanoid typhoon

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    Share the pain. Hire me for edits.

    /shameless
     
  14. plague_rider

    plague_rider Coffee

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    I agree with Jeff on this one...

    Plus, if you don't try recording a real kit yourself, you're not going to get the practice in...

    Glenn has also posted a video about tuning drums... very informative....
     
  15. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    If tuning the drums is your worry why not borrow a kit for a few hours and get some practise in. I'm no master at tuning drums but even I can get it better than nearly every drummer I record does just by trying to learn how to do it. Most drummers don't even want to try!
     
  16. aviel

    aviel Member

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    ok guys i think you are right. i watched some videos on drum tuning, and i guess i can try my best at it.
    i also heard the drummers.
    one of the 4 is good, the otheres have serious tempo problems, they just go up and down in the tempo, and hit the cymbals like crazy.
    my main concern now is studio time. i am limited to something like 6-7 hours. if i take 1-2 hours for tuning, it gives me 1 hour per drummer, for 2 songs.
    6 of 8 songs are actually covers, some radio head stuff, or other rock stuff.

    i just hope it willl be enough time to get them recorded
     
  17. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    I've recorded plenty of people in that age range who can really play.
    Also recorded some who really can't, but mostly they're a lot better than older guys as they still practice!
     
  18. plague_rider

    plague_rider Coffee

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    Ah yes... youth... no jobs or worries... allowing for that thing called practice...
     
  19. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    Exactly
     
  20. kaomao

    kaomao Member

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    Yes it's annoying when you hear people complaining about "kiddos".
    I agree I've found better players among kids!
    as already said: no jobs = more practice
     

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