Critique Session: Owl Parliament Part 1
So this is a band called out parliament they tracked it themselves as well um they're a little older so I can go a little harder on him but actually mean this one is I don't know what it is about seattle but you guys uh do a pretty good job so let me play you where I kind of took it and then I can kind of play where it started way go wait fresh way she's more sisters way wait, wait, wait. So let's talk about this I feel like this woman was tracked pretty well also um let me open these up and see what was going on here. Yes. So this one also it felt like you know, you can see jeanne how you can even see in the way for him how you know they were hitting things a little bit harder um and you start to notice that, um I start to notice that as people get more and more comfortable with the gear they have you know, especially when you're talking about you know, you start trying to, like hit things little harder and you figure out what you like tipping harder on um it looks like it looks I wou...
ld say it looks like it's pretty comfortable in like hitting things hard um kick is hitting pretty good um I wasn't sure it was distorting nothing is too wild but I mean same thing you can hear how the bleed comes up a lot you know, when that happens e think about too is with bleed with drums a lot of the times I find it with drums I have to add a lot of top end in to the kit to make it uh not feel so dark presence um and that with bleed that's where you get the problems because then the more top and you're adding them or you're bringing that bleed up and then it comes even more apparent and is that's why the tracking is that's why I keep stressing the tracking is what's so important because as it's you can see how much top and I'm adding to just to get it to where so both these accused on this track and even ditching some low end um and some mid range out of there um but in the mix it I don't think it sounds like a the quickie or a tacky kick drum by any means. Um it's just I was finding interesting how much talk then you have to add the things to make it sound current um some pictures of that was pretty cool snare drum same thing I was headed after adding a lot of top end is without q and then with the but you'll notice now the high hat comes up a lot without, like killing more like adding more high heart, how do you compensate with that? So what is it exactly so like say, when you're bringing up the high end on the snare, it usually makes over it, you have to compensate with the high hat and overheads, right? Like it whenever I'm doing that it's like all of a sudden and I have think the mix is different, yeah, it will get different um, and as it gets different, you just just like everything else, you have to go back and re adjust, I don't know if you have, like, a certain thing, you know, it's, it really is like it just if you hear starting to bother, you just have to go back and fix something and you keep using your ears until you get it right for hours later, yeah, except I limited myself to, like, forty five minutes on all these sounds like just real fast, like, ok, let's get some levels and doesn't feel right cool. Um and that's, another thing that I've been trying to kind of like do lately is, you know, just making it feel right, you know, like I think those are the records that I look back on and that I enjoy the most, you know, they're not like the most technically perfect records but you listen back and like for me it always goes back to like those stones records you know or things were just like oh man or even like the other the thing that's interesting to me is you always hear I mean are we let us say like band names like like it's is interesting me like because you listen to like modern rock radio sometimes and you always here you can always hear like the trends of what's going on at the time you know you here for a while it was just super sample replaced drums on any sort of like rock record and it just to me it descended ridiculous and now but then there's all it always goes back to like on the radio it always comes back to like a rage against the machine's song comes on the radio and you like to do this just sounds so good you know I mean and it's like well yeah because it's like actual drums you know it's like it actually sounds like people playing it's not like this process like over the top sterile thing and it's like yeah it may not have that instant like like this is crazy he's crazy israel heard but you know it's like I think that at this point in my life I'm interested in making like records that are gonna last longer you know and not so much that kind of like like the hulk just like steroid it out thing you know um maybe I'm just getting old I don't know, brother. Oh, totally yes mare than a perfect record it was human and that's it for me it's all about like especially with snare drum it's like, you know I mean, I couldn't really do it on that on the pig snout track but like, for the most part like it's all about like hearing like just the little inconsistencies of like man you can tell it's like and you just you focus on it you're like man and good drum sound just like makes of record, you know, and even for kick drum like a lot of the times like a cool trick for like, if you have tio find yourself triggering like a kick drum. Um a cool thing to do is you can actually keep the top end of the kick trump you know you can kind of feel like the high shelving on it and keep the attack of the kick drum um toe where that is like the real kick drum and then you can layer just like a bottom end kind of like punch below the kick drum so that way you're getting you're getting the effect of a triggered kick dramas faras like the consistency at the bottom end but you still have the human l moment of what you hear to be the attack of the kick drum is still the rial kick drum that makes sense and I find that like most of the time I can uh if I have to sample a kick drum I'll do it like that and it still keeps the character of what the drummer recorded you know, like because you know, you get a drum you like and you want that you know, and it's like it would be stupid to you know, if you spend all that time taking the front head off and doing all those things to get that sound that you wanted and it's a very focused sound and then you replace it with some sound that is just nothing what you had in mind you know, it's just I think that's pretty really doesn't here um so um okay, so moving on um room mikes here it was pretty typical remind to me, um just a little bit little bit boxy with no weak you wanted has that two hundred hertz kind just like coal to it, which is cool by itself and you miss it, but then once it's in the mix because this narrow so deep and I was going for kind of like a tighter trump sound there's so much to me that's kind of more of the sound of a snare and the mohr bottom and that was in all the other mike's just kept accumulating and then it just kind of sounded like um no I like uh I like I like to have this news brighter and present yeah, but I do prefer like uh uh I think like I guess thicker snares like there to be like a body yeah you want to have that low in yeah yeah um but it just depends you know I mean like there's been projects where it's like dude will come in with like a like a higher snare and I might think it not sound very good but then you hear it with the band and it's like totally works you know? So that's why I think another another reason why I think it's all about song what works you know like like for instance like, uh there's like red hot chili peppers you know, like most of like, if a dude came in like at least for me and I had kind of like a chance smith it's now like snare I would probably like all right start looking around at my other snare drums and be like all right, like how can I eventually get this dude to be playing on something much bigger you know, like but then like for me I listen to like, um what does things californication I think um like to me, I think that the drums on that I think this and read, you know, there's just such like, a good like live feel to it and it's like that's a drummer playing thank you, you know? So anyways, yeah, so it just depends um, so and then the overnight so the overhead this was a little interesting because the room mike and the overheads I didn't really sound all that different, so I wasn't really sure if they were, um, like, if they were actually overheads, we're just mislabeled or if they were roommates, they were mislabeled or whatever, so I just kind of had to treat them in a different way. Um oh, in this room, mike, what I ended up doing is sucking out some of that bottom, that kind of, like, mid low mid area and then river being that out and kind of making the room a little bit bigger that way. Um, and then this overhead here kind of did the same thing, but still again, that kind of two hundred hertz area was building up for me, I think it's rude of some of that boxing this, um and then this guy over here, I don't remember how I used that with the tight overhead sound and mixed with those other two tracks you don't really get the full effect because the other's tracks were supposed to have reverb on it, but I did something kind of interesting that's kind of a cool little cheat, so they have no tom mike's, but they have a big section in there song where it goes to tom's, so what I did is I copied the, um, the overhead track, which to me had the most amount of tom's in it, and I just scooped out everything above and tried to kind of manufacturer like some tom impact by that so as you have this as you're kind of like overhead sound like with the other one, I put it up the middle because there was no tom mikes and I didn't really want to, um I didn't feel like, well, I could so I could have done nuts and actually gone through and listened and chopped up like where the rack tom was hitting and made a little sliver for that and they were the floor was hitting and then make its allure for that and then actually paying him and do wide. But the mix was such a sparse there's like two guitars in one base, and I think that's it and they're very sparse kind of guitar's, so I just kind of felt like keeping it more of a mano via was more appropriate um and sometimes you can get away with that trick it doesn't work all the time and it's not like it's super effective you know, it totally didn't save the tom's, but at least it's something that's the punch yeah, yeah, um and the reason why I chose to do it like that rather than keeping in the all that body in the original overhead mike is because that extra body was kind of not only adding too much body into this snare but also adding mohr energy into the kick area and since it was kind of like a a box, you're sounding room it just made the whole kit sound a little boxy, whereas I wanted to tighten up a little bit and since he had a big voice, I wanted to save some of that space for his voice to fill up. You know what about placing a room, mike? Because I mean, a lot of the times when I'm recording drums, it's just like, oh, I mean, I'm only taking up, you know, this amount of channels and I got an extra of mike or to so I'll just like experiment by throwing one up, but because there is there like a more co defied way of doing that of going of looking at the drum set on going like, ok, I want I want to get an extra, you know, such and such out of it, I'm going to put a mike in this particular place as opposed to just kind of like setting one up on pointing it in the vague general direction of the drum set. Yeah, so when it comes to setting up drum room mike's, um, you know, same as everything else, it's like a lot of experimenting, and I would if you if you're able to do it, I would just hit record and have, like, your drummer start playing and just walk around the room with the mic in your hand and, like, say where you are into the mike, like, ok, cool, like, in the middle of the room, kind of, like, about three feet tall, and then they just kind of have it there standing and then, like, same thing walk around, go over into the corner and it's really important cause you'll notice, like, I mean, I get it tracks all the time and do is just throw up, like, you know, cool, you know, I saw someone had, you know, some stereo wide room mikes sometimes I'm going to do that admire you want to set the kid up here kind of behind this desk, and I'm gonna put two mikes wide back in the corners because that's the farthest distance I'll get the biggest room sound and a lot of times your rooms aren't like even especially like in this room like it has kind of like a more of a class a sharper corner in that room and more of a wider angle at that corner so I'm guessing in that corner over there you would pick up a lot more kick drum because it's like a more of a corner where like little frequencies tend to build up more so and as you pan those wide in your mix, you'll start noticing same thing with the overheads pulling to one side you'll notice that your room likes will pull toe one side too and that's very important to figure out also not not only as far as I know is the drums centered within the image of your room but also how far and close they are you know and whether or not they're facing at the kid or away from the kid but as far as where to place them in the mix that really depends on it like we said like what you're trying to get out of them and I think that does come to the tracking of it, you know, like if you're if you're trying to get mohr um I don't like a lot of kick trump in my room mike's because um a lot of the time like that low end hang is eating up space in my low end and low end is like for me it's pretty valuable t keep uh designated towards like base synth and kick you know so if I have room likes taking up long uh big chunks of time you know like within that hanging over it's like ok, well now my kick drum is no longer like titan punchy you know it's more of this kind of like fluffy thing and you have to turn it up even louder to make it feel punch here compared to where the base is so I like I have like my rooms like a little bit tighter on the low end but still have kind of like that mid range as you heard in the other tracks and I kind of have like a like that type of thing where the snare is really banging in there and I'm looking for like with and when I say with I mean like make decay time you know as adding towards because you can have the punch be your close mikes and then your rooms and over heads will give you the kind of like the wit of like the thickness you know so it's not so dry you kiki that out before hand you take a low out as it's coming in or do you do it? If I walk around the room I would just to get even better right yeah it's kind of you it all on those tracks that I was no I mean like do you ever do that like oh yeah ok yeah um but I usually try toe if I'm if I'm doing a record then I have you know I normally have my kind of like go to pieces that I do um and then I have you know like I normally try to have the whole band set up live with the gear that they're gonna be using so I can have um reference of you know how much top end is in the guitars how much what the bass sounds like you know how is the base sitting with the kick drum but when you're tracking things on your own you sometimes don't have that luxury but what you can do is track all those things separate and then when it comes time to do the drums you track your drums and then you realize ok, well what can I retract retract the drums what's easier to retract retract the drums bass guitars okay, well drums attract I can't really get back to that room let's retract basing guitars to fit these drums sometimes you have to do that um but it really comes down to walking around the room and finding where things sound the best like when I was tracking those drums there is pretty like cool moment for me there's this really famous nick sir bob clear mountain he liked in all the huge records in the eighties like like chris horner algae is like looks up to this dude you know and so he came in the studio apogee and I was like playing him the track seems like to a room like sound awesome and where'd you put those you know I don't know put him over there I walked around on this where I thought they sounded good you know you think I don't really put him over here I'll have to try that sometime you know? So it's like it was just kind of cool because you know it it's nice no like you know you walk around a room if you feel like you've got it sounding pretty good and then someone comes in and kind of validates you know but the point is it really does take just walking around the room and listening online just working through mikes and overheads first and then going to each individual dr mike or vice versa start with your tight mikes and then my daughter um I think whatever is best for you you know, I know a lot and I think it depends on your, uh your style of music whatever you're doing you know I normally start with um I personally normally start with my overheads because I like to meet overheads a really important even though like in a lot of rock music now it's it's like the overheads air so buried in the mix and all they want in the mix is like kicking snare and my tom's and they want those to be huger than life and the symbols are supposed to be just buried under the guitars you know? But I like uh I like symbols like drums because to me symbols and like room sound and overheads that's what makes a kit sound like a kid? You know, like drums if you ever lived I mean, when I listened to a lot of like modern productions it's like that's no, not how drums kits sounds like when you go and you watch somebody played drums it's like firms don't sound like that you're not fooling anyone but you know, but there is something cool about the way they sound in the production of it all, but I only started overheads and then I kind of see how things are fitting in because of something is as I'm kind of looking at the overall picture of the kit, I like to make sure that nothing is kind of like sticking out as being wonky, you know or like, sometimes you have, like, a weird kind of thing that you're hearing in the overheads that, like, you know, maybe you're snares rattling like or your tom like as you hit the tom it's got this weird like beat well, like some sort of weird thing that's happening in the overheads. But, as in your close, mike, you're not really hearing it. So I like to start with the overheads and make sure everything sounds good as a kid, as well as to make sure that the whole kit is balanced. So and if I mean granted, I don't have these luxuries. But, like, if it means swapping out symbols, like, if you're right crashes, just not as loud or not as impactful as your left. You know, like, I will do whatever it takes to swap that out to get the whole kit, including symbols, to sound right, you know, as a whole kid, because I like to treat it as one instrument rather than like you've got your kick. Your son is not it's, not like a six different things. It's, it's, one whole instrument.