Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Lesson 29 of 29

Skype Q&A

 

Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Lesson 29 of 29

Skype Q&A

 

Lesson Info

Skype Q&A

Hey, everybody, welcome to creative live I'm thin mackenzie I'm the head of theme music in audio channel here on I've got chris krumm it who ah is thie brains behind the class that hopefully just watched about drum tuning, engineering all that fun stuff wanted tio get him on to answer a couple of your questions might come up during the course of the day I catch up with him on what he's been up to lately and make a little small talk. So chris, thank you very much for joining us. What have you been up to today this week since ah in general since I saw you last time? Well, it took my pleasure to be here. I've been doing a lot since I was in seattle with you guys, I just got back from south by southwest in austin and saw a lot of cool new bands that I had never heard of him probably living never known about that we're not further word of mouse down there and I got back and I'm in the process of mixing the new either mighty record right now, which they have a single coming out in the next c...

ouple days and their killer ban and this records coming along really well, that sounds like a rise band of my correct uh no, no, they're on equal vision close enough, yes s o I know that you've also made a little bit of progress on this new studio that you've been planning for guess a couple of years now, right? You wantto get everybody up on that you have been in the process of planning, you know, from the whole ordeal of purchasing property that took a couple of years to find the right spot, just with the idea of building my own studio that's in a place that I owned on doing it right? Uh, and I a couple years ago, I found the right property, and then I've just been in the process of designing and getting permits and dealing with all the funding and just all the fun stuff that comes along with building a building from scratch. And, you know, here we are two years later from me buying the property, we finally broke ground a couple weeks ago and we dug a huge hole, you know? The whole was like, forty feet by fifteen feet in length in the property foundations about three feet into the ground, and we got the footing cemented in and all that stuff, and then it just started raining nonstop, and we've been stuck for a couple weeks now, just waiting for dry weather but hoping it'll go up quick, and once it does, it's gonna be awesome. Well, I'm sure he had a reason for going all the trouble of building something yourself. What are you going to do? What it's what's kind of the magic touch that you're going to put on this one that's different from studios were worked into the past? Well, most the studios are working the past that were like my home base. Um, my first thought was basically a converted garage, which was still cool, but it was small and there's a lot of constraints when you're building inside a building on then the studio I had for about the last five years before the one I'm in right now, which this is actually just a converted part of my house as well, but the other studio I was in was built by someone else and it was cool, but it was never the way I wanted on because I was renting it really wasn't worth it to me to put in the money tio changes to the way I wanted because anyone that's ever built even a small studio knows that it is very, very expensive, so the idea of building it from the ground up is that it's actually a lot easier to sound proof of building and get things the way you want if you have control over the foundation and the walls and all that stuff, it actually it ends up being not much more expensive than trying to sound proof an existing building unless you found some giant some that building you know which is not something that you would find out in my price range at least purchasing property if you get in florida multi million dollar commercial property can you might find something but if you live in eastern europe you know something there like soviet athletes dormitory or something yeah yeah something crazy like that or you know if you have ah uh can acre plot in the woods where no one will hear you crank one hundred watt marshall's up to ten cool well switching gears teo the drum class one of things I was really excited about what we were able to get kj sokka as thean studio drummer if you're not familiar with him you know he's part of the band pendulum back in the day also plays in destroyed which was like a live elektronik group on performs a soul artist on dh kind of like does I guess you call like live live drone base kind of thing and the thing that makes him such an awesome elektronik musician is that he is an awesome acoustic musician incredible drummer on and I was really excited to be able to get him is part of the class can you talk a little bit about what it was like working with kevin and what he brought to the table k j was awesome. Yeah, it was really, really cool having him there. Ah, one of my favorite things was that he was really consistent, so it was really easy to do all the microphone tests and drum tests and compare everything that we compared and not really have the player be uh go playing to that comparison so you know, every time we change something, he was hitting at the same velocity the same place on the drone and that makes it really easy to judge things for what they are and not have the player messing with it. On top of that, all the commentary was really cool like I have never met kj before that on dh just getting to talk to him and his input on everything was cool and it kept me kind of my brain fresh and kind of open up some ideas in my head about things to you as we went on, I thought that was very cool she one of the things that we often temps here from our teachers is that they learned something from putting the class together. Is there anything that you learned during the course of putting this together and recording it over a couple days? I did, yeah there I mean there's a lot of things I learned some lessons that I'd learned before and I had to relearn on camera and some lessons that you know, the things you know and just kind of come back to you as being proven right again and again on day one of the things that I was talking about in the class a little bit that kind of caught me off guard as we were doing it, but it's, just something that I've always known growing up around good drummers and knowing the drummers my whole life since you, khun take something bad, like when we're working with the bad, the broken symbols and stuff, his instinct is to take, like, you know, he took the broken symbols and made a cool beat out of the short symbol sound and the one of those things where it was kind of hard to prove my point because it's, so good, that there's no bad sound that comes out of them, but but I love that, and that was really cool and that's, something that I've always known and and and I love seeing that time and time again, that's something that I learned just on my own well, doing it. One thing I learned is that it's really hard to keep twenty drums in tune at all times when you're also talking throughout the course of two days, but one thing I learned that surprised me was how much I liked the bait of fifty two picture mike, I'm always really not been a huge fan of that my every studio I worked in it always ends up kind of losing out but I was here other people who use it and I get there mixes where I get their sessions and I'm like this kick drum sounds really cool why don't I ever going to get sound out of it and what it proves is that drums just really do sound incredibly different in every room and every situation is different especially work when you're working from studio to studio and I'd never track drums a new creative live studio before obviously so when I heard the beta fifty two and there was like this is like my favorite picture mike right now so it is just one of those things again that that I was surprised and really happy that I got to hear it that way but also just for it's a reminder that every situation is different every drummer every drum, every room you're in so it's again like I was talking about class one of those things where try on multiple mike's just what you think you know might not always be the right thing yeah, I know when I was you know starting out I mean I still kind of sucks but when I was really really starting out you know, I always wondered what setting to use what piece of gear will plug india's and people you know, that I asked her more experience would go up you know I'll tell you but it might not sound good I guess is just another example of that is you know that you know kj made, you know, made made a piece of crap broken symbol some great you like to mike they didn't like before. Yes, another point there is, you know, none of us none of us have the gear that we wish we had I'm sure you know, you get a pile of expensive crap sitting behind you, but I'm sure there's stuff that you still always was always stuff you want, but at the end of the day, if you like the sound that's coming out of it that's really all that matters, even if it's broken symbol yeah, exactly on dh that's the thing is, if you're going for interesting, unique sound, try broken simple if you have a drummer that can do something like that, I wasn't sando use that stuff just evaluate your tools and try things every time you getting what you really want? Well, let's, let's get into some of the questions here based on the class so I don't actually know who any of these air from eso if I'm asking your question thank you for thank you for sending it and I'm sorry that I didn't get your name attached to it but when doing the star pattern tightening, if one tension rod feels way looser than the others, do you tighten that one mohr or let it feel loose? I lot of feel loose until the drum usually that happens a lot of times and usually by the time you get to where the tension is right on the drum head the that that lucky's type and everything's good it just kind of because the head isn't fully broken in. It takes a little bit longer for some of the lugs to hit andi fuel type and it doesn't want its wanted some all the way time that I just start over there's no sense in trying to mess with it. I just start over like when I tried cutting my own hair and I was like, I went too far in this side and then I got to go that side and then exactly they end up shaving your head and wish you just stops exactly ten minutes ago. Uh, next question is have you tried to using a tune bought to tune drums? I've gotten pretty good results whether for tom's but not so sure about using it on kick or snare yeah, I actually did use a tomb bach to tune all the kick kicks in this class and all the toms it wasn't really a section that was just something I mentioned quickly so what if he's having trouble with it on the kick and snare, but not the tom's any suggestions on? Yeah, two eyes actually, for me really hard to use on snare, I feel like the drum dial does a lot better, but as for and I would recommend only bull as for kick, you might be using liken imad ahead or ahead with dampening and that's almost impossible. I'm just because there's not enough note coming out of it. If you use a power stroke three on the front of your kick it or the batter side of you kick head, you'll have a lot more look, and I used a little calculator that comes that you can download on your iphone or your android phone, and that tells you what what kick drum settings to use and I get close to that if I find the one that works right for my drums. S o here, here's a question not I'm not exactly sure where he's headed with this one, but I think I have an idea when you're tuning a drum said, do you check if there is another instrument that affects the frequencies and the drum set before tuning? So I think what he's asking here is, you know, some people say off the key. If the song is in a or whatever, you know, we'll tune the toms, you know, in such a way in this scale or something, eyes that something you ever get get into? Uh, no, generally not, but when I'm tuning tom's I'm or I mean that that mainly goes for tom's. For me, I never to a snare to a note with tom's, I've been in situations where the tom's air fighting the bass guitar, you know, like, if you have a part that's just based ringing out and you have, like, some kind of tommy, you can get some weird frequencies. So one thing I do check is first and foremost, I want the tom's tuned around the tone of the tom that's, the most important thing to me, but I will also check and he's a tuner just to make sure that the note of the tom is in the key and not a clashing note with the with the song contra but minutes, but that's only if I have what big greenie tom's going. If not, I don't worry about it. So in general it's it's something you don't you don't really pay attention to unless there's a noticeable problem, yeah, exactly, gotcha. So this is an interesting one because I know there's there's you know, kind of a lot of different styles playing here and kind of goes back to the importance of the drummer in the tones the drummer is burying the beater in these examples leaving the beater in contact with the head after each hit which has a different sound than releasing the beater after each hit is this considered when getting tones? Yes definitely I mean the problem that you'll get there is that a lot of times we'll get a little bounce back because it's impossible to actually just leave the beater against the drum I mean it's not impossible, but most of time guys you play like that and it's the same with snare I work with guys who will hit the snare and they just leave their hand their stick on the snare and you'll get weird little unwanted ghost notes on dh that's the same with the kick you'll get a little bounce back and unfortunately in situations like that sometimes it's better to take a sample of the kick and replace it with a sample of the kick? It just depends but you do want to look out for things like that that's definitely something I always have in the back of my mind when setting up drums I don't think you encountered that that particular problem with kj though yeah oh no, no no so but but still especially like I know it's like double kick you know that could be a problem definitely get some bounce back double because ones on the other one's hitting so right so what about what snare? What about you know, for those guys to do like leave the stick on the head it's you know, I told you so you just kind of have to stay on top of it takes a little longer, but, uh, I make sure that they're not doing that because it's really frustrating thing to deal with god trying to know you're not generally a huge fan of of using samples when you don't have to yeah, no, definitely not and I mean, I still a lot of times I still use tables to back up the rial sounds but it's hard to use the rial sounds of all if you have, we're little non intentional hits going on in there and if you really want you know you can't try to edit that stuff out to you, but to me it's just easier to tell people they're not do you know, sure. So I am in europe for because you can see it in the late for two a couple questions about bleed here to wrap up, which is the first one is I always seemed tohave mohr high hat bleed in my stare than I'd like is it better to rotate the mike around the snare towards the hat or the other way around the snare, a wave or the other way around the snare away from the hats? I guess basically the questions if you have more high happy, leading your snare, the new nude, like what are some ways to deal with that? Definitely keep it. I know what he's saying and definitely keep it under the hats or just, you know, just to the left of the hats of your show. If you're outside kick facing the drum, the further the front of the mike is from the drones, and you have to think about that bubble of the polar pattern and just get the hats out of that bubble. But another thing that you can do a lot of times, the reason you're getting too much bleeding because the hats or too low so just having the drummer raised the hats, having practiced for like, twenty minutes on dh that goes for a ride symbol in the floor toms as well, because I know everyone experiences that, and if you have a symbol it's, too close to a floor tone, you're just going to get all kinds of similar in your four time mike. It will be really hard to get to tom so just raised the symbols that that's the best answer and even if the drummers frustrated about it almost anyone can get used to it in like twenty minutes and that twenty minutes is a lot quicker than dealing with unacceptable symbol bleed in gibson bikes sure well last twenty have is one that I thought was really interesting because I I'm interested in recordings that are uh I guess you could say like deliberately in perfect or not conventionally perfect I should say how can use bleed creatively to make amore alive recording oh well um you know there's a couple ways it's sometimes getting like a lot of people gave tom's or just replace them I mean, I manual gate them manually gave them by editing on a lot of times but if I want a part to like, open up and have a lot of reading to it just have like a more aggressive sound out of nowhere I'll just bring it all just unengaged the toms and compress it really hard because you get kind of an interesting especially if you just have one rack and one floor you could get a really interesting stereo kind of rumbly big sound out of that and another thing that's cool is to just have to have them unlike like the sides there mike gets a lot of bleed and just crushed that but using a lot of compression could be really cool setting you're attacking released to be in rhythm or just totally decimating it with some kind of distortion but to me that's a that's a musical ladies bleed and I usually have it mike somewhere on the kid that I'm kind of using me teo emulate bleed because I don't necessarily want the bleed, but I want to get some, like mano symbol movement and just overall bleed type feel, but I want to have control over because I'm kind of control through except yeah, cool that's all I've got thanks again for doing this, I'm really, really, really couldn't be happier with this class, I think it's like honestly, the best resource for this that I am familiar with and this is definitely the topic that, you know, creative live viewers ask about the most struggle with the most is recording drums, so I'm incredibly proud of this tow have, you know, people two caliber of yourself and k j uh, you know, show us give us the keys to the to the kingdom is amazing super stock down on thank you very much and we hope to have you back soon excellent co thanks a lot, man a good luck with the rest of the studio construction they talk to you soon, all right?

Class Description

Drums are one of the hardest instruments to record, because in reality, a drum kit can be upwards of 20 or 30 instruments being played by a performer at one consistent time. Each drum head plays a huge role in determining the overall tone. The range of frequencies is broader than any other recorded instrument, with sub-kicks extending down below 60 Hz and hihats and cymbals with presence and ring above 16kHz. The dynamic range can include subtle ghost hits and flutters to pounding snares that fill a room, and yet somehow all of this is supposed to fit inside a mix without getting lost in a sea of guitars.

Kris Crummett has over a decade and a half of experience recording bands like Sleeping with Sirens, Issues, Alesana, Further Seems Forever and Emarosa. Kris will walk you through every step of the process to capturing killer drum sounds.

Which Drums to Use?

  • The size and type of the kick drum is a good place to start, and will largely dictate what kind of tone you end up with when you get the final mix. Do you want a modern sounding kit with a big low end and a bright punch or a more vintage tone with a rounder, softer low end punch?
  • Snare sounds can often define the tone of an entire record with a range of sizes, head choices and tuning options. How much ring is left in the resonant head can be deceiving when listening to an drum kit on its own, but can often be lost when blended in with the rest of the band. From maple and birch full bodied and nuanced tones to aluminum or even brass bodies, the snare drum can have one of the biggest impacts on your final track.
  • Drum heads can also have a huge impact on the transients that you capture when recording. Coated heads can offer a punchier, thicker sound while clear heads are a bit brighter. Tuning the top head and the bottom head to resonant together is an essential art that takes practice and expertise.

Which mics to Use?

  • There’s no right or wrong way to mic a drum kit, from the famous ‘When the Levee Breaks” 2 microphone room tone to modern metal drum production with 30+ mics in place.
  • Deciding when to use a condenser and when to use a dynamic mic is dependent upon the style, the drummer’s playing style and even the room in which you’re tracking. What sort of room mic techniques can give you that big open kit sound? What about a tight, small room trap kit sound?
  • Kris is prepared to walk you through all of these choices, with examples from his storied career and tips and tricks that only years in the studio can earn you. With legendary guest drummer KJ Sawka, you’ll have an experienced team to guide you through how to overcome the biggest challenge for a home studio engineer, the drum kit.

Reviews

Brent HALENKAMP
 

This is an amazing class! Kris is a very scientific instructor. This really opened my eyes to the drum recording process. Take Notes!!!! There are about a thousand unique facts and techniques that you should know. This will help you to record drums correctly at the source so that you can minimize the amount of digital destruction you will do later and thus get a "Professional" sound.