Getting Drum Tones
So let's, grab that mike that's on the guitar cab and throw that into the kick um and I'm kind of keeping with the theme of just going super budget um and I'm using the fifty seven on the kick fifty seven on snare a norman I think it's a one seventy on just as like a mano overhead and then I have another fifty seven way out here just as like a room mike and we'll kind of just kind of see what it does um and um so good to go all right, well, I'm just gonna have you can you throw a can him these headphones hopefully there's enough slack there through getting in your way and as your is your recording at home? Um, I'm sure you guys have probably already found this out, but like the types of like little things that that you come up throughout the recording that just always end up killing you are things like headphone extenders things like that, you know, because you'd be surprised how many times you're trying to track guitar but all of a sudden like the little coyly part in your headphone d...
oesn't quite reach over you and it's like pulling your headphone off and it's like hanging onto your or like you're sitting this way and it's hanging over your guitar strings you know you have to like twister body and it's like just spend the five bucks and buy a headphone extender you know it's like you will make your life so much easier especially with drums to if you're trying to play and it's like pulling off your ear and then you're moving a lot and it just keeps falling off just it sucks um after um I kind of want to see how this kid sounds cool and then we'll once I kind of like talk about like some placement and why I'm using things then we'll move under the exciting pillows uh ok so so I have these tracks here for the sake of time I kind of already got some some levels going earlier today which is I would recommend if you are tracking you know if you're not tracking yourself I think it's a good idea to kind of like it's possible to get the kids set up before the dude gets there or maybe having load in the night before that way you can kind of check and make sure all of your cables or passed in properly you know yesterday was a perfect example like a ramp device and a iot with settings that I was not familiar with and then all of a sudden it's like oh cool let's take twenty minutes to figure this out you know and if you have your drummer coming in it's like you know he might in my experience like every minute of it I don't find it so much of bass players but I feel like drummers guitar players and singers always it's like oh cool my part's done hey what time am I going to be out of here because I have some shake lined up and I'm supposed to go hang out with her so little time left to be done you do you just got here you know so I try to have everything set up as and well thought out as possible so they can just show up and play and like get into it um so first off let me start out with given that kick drum a little bit and I'm gonna just kind of take a listen and see how it sounds so as you see the way forms are kind of changing here these are not pretty loud I was hitting my pre empt kind of hard so I backed it off to a level that I think is a little bit more appropriate for this session ok so can you I think we have some blankets here can you throw those in so you pop that mike out and then the start with one and actually let's just go straight to to um you guys probably experiences at home which is why you always see the muffling the kick and free drummers you guys probably already know this but for guitar players or anyone else that's trying to track a drum kit um drums air pretty wild you know they're not like a guitar in the sense of like you can you can tune it with a tuner they always have to be tuned each drum is different um and each head is different and they sound totally different mike's make a huge difference where the mic is you know like especially in those files I was showing you yesterday it's pretty pretty big differences um now what we're doing is we're putting these kind of blankets and there to kind of dampen some of like that that high frequency kind of basketball sound that's inside of the kick as well as with the with the blanket it's kind of touching both heads you know kind of I guess dampen the residents of those heads so you won't get as much ring and hang time after the fact and it will kind of give hopefully the perception that it's a punch here kick drum if you do it right yeah feel good okay so give me a little bit more of that way better here's what it was before now can you that mike's pretty far in right we pull it out um let's pull it out to where it's like just kind of barely inside that kind of hole let's cut out um and if you don't have a whole cut in the kick drum that shows up at your studio or if your drum has one um that's fine, but you're not going to be able to get the same sound as that if you were to have a hole cut in your kick it's going to be a very kind of like retro just just kind of pull pull paul kind of kind of sound um which a lot of times it's super vibe and rad, but for any sort of kind of like modern kind of modern recording where you want more like the definition of the kick, you're just not really going to be able to get it without some super extreme kind of miking techniques where maybe you're making like the beater and outside of the hit and then having to put a blanket over it because when you're outside of the kick, then you have all the symbol plead and all that stuff, but we're not really going to go too deep into that today, so now we have the the mike is was fifty seven and his particular hole is right in the center of the drum and actually where where your whole is on the kick I find that actually affects the tone of the kick as well, but to this kick it's right in the center of the kick I'm gonna have you give me give me four more kicks um and you can see I haven't touched the gain on my preempts at all but you can see how these way forms here as we move the kick out like they're just kind of extra other way forms, and we should be able to hear that when the microphone was closer inside of the kick, we're going to be getting more attack, and as we move it out, we should be getting a little bit more body out of it. So here is a little closer in towards the beater, and here it is farther out, you kind of hear how it shifts it down a little bit lower and a little bit thicker. Um, I think I'm ok with that to use. Yeah. Okay. Um, well, let's move on to snare now is any questions from chat room or anything on that? Okay, cool, locked in. All right, so let's, give me, can you sum snare? You can like jam on it, tio just kind of give me a little bit more. Sorry. So once again, I was just kind of adjusting my pre empt game. It's really important to get that right? Um, especially setting a gain because and making sure you're kind of at a consistent gain as you're moving these mike's around, because as you change your game it kind of depending on your preempt, it kind of changes the color of and how hard you're hitting it can change the tone of where what the prenup is doing and how it affects the sound um let's take some of that okay so just for fun let's it looks like we're like a couple inches off the head let me move it. Um this is totally the wrong wave in my opinion but let's go closer to the head like almost yanking just tilted down and then yeah, maybe a little more a little more down closer to the head. Yeah, sure. So this is like real close to the head um kind of angle a little bit more down and I had to kind of rip on that for a minute now getting a lot more kind of like pain from the snare especially because we're kind of getting closer to the edge of the drum let's back it off kind of back up where it was sure yeah, yeah that's cool and because we're doing symbols and shells separate we can be a little bit farther away from there to get a little more air around it. And as you guys saw yesterday I find that I always have to end up adding a lot of top into snare drums so bringing this near farther away from it will kind of open up this open up the snare sound and get rid of some of like the bottom boxing n'est of it um and whether or not you call it boxing us or like thickness you know it's it's all up to you as far as what you're kind of style of doing it is so give me some more of that cool then jam on kind of that same riff is what you were doing like around here you can hear how even just like we're only about like maybe half inch to an inch difference from where we first had the mike to where it is now and you can hear how by getting it farther away you're losing some of like the the bottom end of the snare which I don't mind because once you start adding in the overhead and the other mike's we should get some of that back um so here's where it was before where is that slight differences but in the end that's something that I may not have to seek you out so that's better for me um all right so how about now can you give me is gonna open of these overhead and room likes and just give me a little kind of like kick snare be you know like just some sort of start riffing on it that's fifty seven room mike out there sounds pretty wild um but even though it sounds crapping on its own it does add kind of a cool decay especially to the kick drum so start with it out and then we'll kind of bring them um and now let's try taking one of those men gels off just kind of see how wide and I feel like the little little checked so I'm gonna group these drums now too because we kind of have the whole kit going what grouping does it lets you kind of select and things all as a groups as you select one so let's all these tracks um so it's here that that same beat with the won moon joo off so now that we kind of have some sounds are up and running and I'm just going through this like super quick and dirty so if you guys have any questions, feel free to ask away and I will answer them best I can, um because like I said, I'm just blowing through this normally normally I would be spending tons of time going through, you know, different mike's different different drums like the fact that I'm only using one drum right now like for snare and not trying at least like three or four he's pretty crazy but it's like this is this is what we have here and we have to kind of make it work so and I don't think it sounds better so let's throw yeah from online do you ever take the back head off kick entirely? Yeah yeah um yeah we're actually we're talking a batter head that would be the resident ahead right yeah yeah um yes I do sometimes it totally gives a different sound um we could maybe we talk about that later or maybe even show the difference be ads away more like focused sound um you don't have tio you normally don't have to use any sort of like muffling inside of the kick um but it zaveri much more present tight and focused sound that's the only way I can describe it um um it just sounds different than this and yes, sometimes they use it but depending on the genre, you know and depending on the kick drum for me that's um where I'm at now a lot of the times I have the two heads on because and the other thing that's different mean, I don't know you could probably chime in about it. I find it like one kick head versus two kicks heads I try not to do it if the drummer isn't used to playing with one kick head because I feel like it responds differently especially even the size of the hole cut into kick drum like just there's there's a certain kind of resistance that happens on the kick and if you start messing with that too much, then you can get a worse performance out of the drummer because they're just sitting there trying to like play into this kitchen where they're used to having a certain amount of rebound coming back and it just doesn't work so I think if you're thinking about doing that I would definitely say like spend like a couple of days or maybe even a week plane with that off off your kick or taking a head off the kick because if you just show up to studio and say I'm gonna try this today you could very well be pretty bummed out yeah and you know, yielded poor performance right in the sacrificing for a different kind of more unique tone one more question and what level are you tracking terry meeting at negative eighteen? What no, I don't really care about that too much I do understand the reasoning behind that um for for the purpose of this um I'm not going to be interfacing any of these tracks like with like all of my outboard gear that I have at home so for the purpose of this I'm just kind of getting nice solid levels coming into pro tools kind of finding a good spot where they are on the on the pre empt and then kind of gauging it in pro tools and getting a decent level if I had to actually look and see where we're at I can just tell you real quick and once again by clicking by command clicking the volume uh numbers here and then just clicking it again it'll kind of zero out and then as you play it will tell you where you're peeking at oh I'm looking at like you know an average of around minus three ish getting in there pretty hot my room mike out here it's a fifty seven way far away from the source I'm not really interested in gaining this pre empt up any more than it is because it's already pretty cranked um and I don't even know if we're going to end up really using it or not but it does have something cool but to answer your question no in the past I've kind of tried to keep things around like minus five because I find that with my particular eighty d converters when I interface in tow outboard gear I like the way that it hits a lot of my old gear a lot harder than at minus you know eighteen or fifteen whatever those kind of standard the old view versus you know full scale uh reference points are um but I like the way my gear sounds when I hit it a little harder because I'm looking for more of like that kind of break up on more of like a raunchier bob well let me get you going now with getting your headphone mix going I will see if you can get your guitar up and running in there with quick track and so I think what I will do is I'm going to feed you guitar and click and then let me know if those air loud enough, and then I will start bringing in your drums and the software that I'm in here, um, with the with the apogee interface that they have another kind of proprietary software called the maestro, and what this does is there's a mixer within maestro that kind of lets you send your recorded signals back to the headphones before it even goes into pro tools so that you can monitor without that weird leighton see, we were getting yesterday, which will totally throw you off. I've had I worked on a project, and the singer was so sensitive to lleyton see, um, I mean, it was like maybe three milliseconds, something like that just like something so small, but she's so sensitive to that we actually had to go rent an hd rig so that she could track the vocals at her house because it was it was really throwing her off, and I thought at first that she was just kind of being a diva about it, but instantly, as soon as we got of the hd reagan, there was no late and see just the vocal performances, just, like came alive, and it was just it was like, how are you, like how are you so sensitive that and I would put on the headphones and sing to it and maybe it's just because I come from that kind of did just make it work like you know you hear the latest you're like did screw it I can deal with it this is the best I can do I'm gonna make it happen maybe it's that kind of like kind of punk or hardcore background you know where you come from a garage like all right, this is what I got to make it work but I was listening to it on the day of this fine you're right but know definitely like super sensitive to it and it made a huge difference always late and see what could be so if you think it's bothering you, you may not be crazy. Um okay, so I'm gonna feed you guitar and click like I said and then let me know if you're getting enough of that and let me make sure that we have all of our puts a bank you need more click or yeah and feel free to yell at me like right now you're the artist and you need to yell at me to get what you want and that's another thing that I think is important to realize as a as a person recording a band or a producer engineer whatever you are, I really feel like year not the star in the situation. You're here in the service industry, I guess you know you're there to facilitate the band getting the best a product that they can get it's not about you, it's about the bandits aboutthe song so feel free to yell at me, do whatever you need to get the best performance out of you like my feeling they're not going to be hurt at all so scream at me I kind of feel better that your scream if you scream that because then I at least if I can fix it, then I know that you're happy, you know? So case let's, try that, okay, now I'm gonna start feeding just play along with it and I'm gonna start feeding you kick drum in there and then let me know when you have enough. You may not even need it in this room, but play along and then let me know what you need. So it comes in on eight, but the drums don't come in for a while, right? Okay, I'm just gonna start right at the top. You need me. Sorry. You don't need any drums in your headphones. Really badass?
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Beau is a vocalist, guitarist, producer, and founding member of Saosin – his discography includes credits on songs from The Bronx, From First to Last, and The Bled. In Guerrilla Recording, Beau will show you how to walk into any recording situation and make the most of it.
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Featuring a live studio tracking session with Beau and Seattle band Lo, There Do I See My Brother