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Guerrilla Recording

Lesson 16 of 23

Recording Cymbals

Beau Burchell

Guerrilla Recording

Beau Burchell

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Lesson Info

16. Recording Cymbals


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction and Overview Duration:11:29
2 Getting the Right Gear Duration:30:05
3 So What Do I Need? Duration:35:39
4 Single Mic Demonstration Duration:37:49
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Pre-Production Duration:21:10
2 Getting Drum Tones Duration:27:27
3 Recording Shells and Editing Duration:41:52
4 Recording Cymbals Duration:34:34
5 Tracking Bass Duration:22:31
6 Tracking Guitar Duration:19:30
7 Guitar Overdubs and Doubling Duration:30:12
8 Mixing Guitars Duration:25:07
9 Recording Keyboards Duration:21:04
10 Replacing Tom Samples Duration:17:55
11 Takeaways: Dos and Don'ts Duration:24:45

Lesson Info

Recording Cymbals

So before we move on to symbols I'm just going to do something that we talked about a little bit about yesterday if you saw when I was doing to critique we had kind of touched on using that extra overhead mike to kind of use some of the body of the toms be since we didn't have tom mike's but now since we're kind of getting a little bit more tech I am goingto have him take a couple tom samples of what he has and then later on I'll show you how a throw those in under the using the overhead track as kind of like a transient marker to throw in some toms to support what's there um so go ahead and give me need quick and go ahead and give me um just like four kind of like medium hits of the rack and then four hard ones and kind of sustain out um I don't really at this point since we're kind of moving fast and not really super concerned with getting a tone on those they're kind of just going to be first support once but let him bring out a little longer I would probably spend a lot of time get...

ting that thomas sound right but for this way can't be too picky um okay with me on the floor all right so we'll save those for later we got that out of the way so now what I'm going to do is create stereo overheads you know, just for the sake of showing you something I'll do them as to mano tracks something I've found useful is labeling your tracks not just left and right I think it's important to talk about overhead hat and overhead ride because if you ever passed these tracks off to someone else um I like listening to drums drummer perspective because I wish I was a drummer and every time I listen to drums I want air drum and it drives me nuts like when it tom filled goes around the kit and it's like I'm going this way, but the field goes around that way just weird thing, but so I like doing them that way, so I pan my hat off to the left on my ride over to the right um and for the for the sake of this, we're just going to do the two overheads um but we, you know, normally you could set up, we would be gaining like, actually not let me just quickly move this over because we will be gaining gaining a hat. Mike, um and a ride mike, but I'm just going to quickly d'oh, I'm not really going to use the ride mike was gonna kind of rely on the overheads um just because it's kind of a down and dirty recording the reason why I position my high hat mike off like that isn't necessarily for something what we're doing now but I find normally that if if I can use my high hat to kind of block the I guess like the if you can't if you look at like the microphone as if it's the camera if I can't see the snare through the high hat I find that I get better snare rejection out of my high hat mike causing less phase problems in my high hat and I don't have to totally use a crazy high pass filter teo teo get all of the snare out of my high hat mike because it's being a lot of that's being blocked by the actual symbols itself so that's why I put it out there off to the side and make sure I can't really see the snare from that side um I like having some weight in my snare sometimes especially depending on the band um so that's kind of why I have it their solution just enable that track real quick and that is what mike is that is that number one thanks all right yeah one okay, so can you just kind of go through and go around your symbols and I'm just going to make sure I'm getting a decent level didn't go any time cool in the cool thing about this is we don't really have to worry you know, we don't have to worry about the phase of what we were talking about yesterday phase of the shells in the overheads because those have already been recorded, so we're purely interested in getting the best symbol sound we can, um, which is another cool thing about doing things this way, but like I said, it's real weird and sometimes it doesn't always work out to be the best sometimes just like setting up a kid having indeed play is like the best way to do it, but this is just a good way to cheat if you're at home and you're in a crappy room and you're having to kind of cheat your way into it, so now I am creating a group, my symbol tracks hey, I'm ready to start, ok? So we added, um, an extra four bars in the pre chorus before it goes to the break one so I guess, be aware of that. Okay, there you get a shot. Yeah, it's going really were your question? Yes, sorry, sorry. Yell at me. Um hey, so you're very much recording entire kid again is you're not know, okay? He's just he's just in symbols. Yeah, so what if the drummers kind of confused by that I mean a cz he is he is good. So you going? Would you ever pillow the rest of the kids? Yeah, if need be like during the break, we talked about setting up pillows on, like the snare of tom's, but he said he would just rather prefer to just kind of, like have the stick in hand and kind of be hitting his thigh. So it's really with everything in my opinion, it's all about making the the performer as comfortable as possible, you'll get way better results making them happy rather than you know, like, oh, I don't like the way you know like this is my presentation and I think you need to have a pillow it's like, you know, do whatever makes you comfortable and if you need to have candles around your drum kit like I'll go get candles, alright, but could get some candles in here way took the kick pedal off so that, like that could be more of a natural feel so he's not getting like the kick squeak or potentially accidentally hitting the cake. So yeah, cz real weird. You know, I think I've said that enough toe. I think this is just a really weird thing to do, but it's it's kind of like a creative way of tracking drums, and, uh, I'll show later on how you can actually paste over like if you're in the pre production or writing set, uh, writing stage of your songs, you can actually wonder what it would have been like if you're going to like, open, high hat over that beat. Well, here's, what it sounds like, you know, you just moved the symbols over the certain beat, and you can totally change the song that way without having to say, can you replay it? And it's cool, too, because if you have kind of a bright bedroom where your symbols bring out a lot, but your drums, I don't really get over your symbols in that room, you can bring your symbols way down in the mix and then compressed the room sound of just your shelves. And now you have kind of a cool drum sound that's like that more of a roomy live drum sound that you wouldn't be normally wouldn't be able to use those room mike's because they're just so much symbols on them, so now you can actually use them and kind of create some air around kid, I guess I should talk about those things for just trust me, it's kind of cool, um, I don't really use this technique too often, but it's kind of fun to show, because I don't because a lot of people don't use it a lot it's fun the show you know and it's a cool trick to have in case you find yourself in this in this jam okay we'll jump right into it it clicks again all right ready and if you mess up don't worry about it just say like dude that's let's go again that didn't feel too good of the uh the kick and snare in your headphones also so let me know if you need more of that really all right ah, a couple of things a couple of things that I noticed on dh this is where like I was saying like preparing for this type of thing is really important because there's a couple times and knows where since you're not actually playing all of the parts there's a couple times where he stayed on the ride and you pretended to hit this near but you actually were doing a flam in like the real part so you have now you have three arms basically doing like here your ride and the flam at the same time so if we had more time I would have you do do it again and like really practice and probably try to convince you to like throw some like pillows up where you're tom's are and your snare so that way you're actually going around and playing the the things as it happens um and um great you did fantastic cause your first time doing this uh but you know, as you kind of get mohr into it you know, like it's important to kind of have the biggest struggle with this that I've noticed is whenever there's kind of crescendos and songs um if you're doing kind of like a like a snare and crash kind of crescendo it's really hard and it's difficult for the drummer to get those crescendos toe like move up in a linear fashion because every time you play it you're feeling the song differently so it's very difficult to kind of like, go through and do the snare and I haven't build up and then have your go over overdub it again with just the crashes, you know? So that's that's what it is very difficult as well as if you're into, like kind of like intricate drum parts, but you're kind of doing like tea brewed like those types of things um israel difficult to get those and that's why sometimes doing the normal way is might be easier, but like I said, this is kind of just a creative cheat that were ableto kind of get a better drum sound out of a not so great room so any questions on what we just did so far from the online people their way let's take your spirit oh yeah, yeah I was just going to know I mean I want to try it with my band not just because of how freaking fun it is to be in the room balls is happening because it doesn't make any sense to anybody but him totally sounds like a horror movie soundtrack to everybody else yeah it's pretty it's it's pretty cool I mean I did it for like one song on a sales on record and it was pretty pretty crazy did you do it out of necessity not just for fun yeah it was kind of was on our second record and it was just a song that was just so uh I guess for the band it was a very boring drum song and we were like well the song doesn't really have any crazy drum parts we could totally try to do symbols and still separate let's try it um and I had also done it on there's been called eighteen visions and they had done a whole record that way which was really cool and I did a song on like a punk owes nineties comp for them and uh they wanted to do the symbols and shells separate so that was actually the first time I ever did it and same thing like as I was sitting in the room you know I was like to die this is just really weird you know you're just hearing especially the beginning you're just like a kook cap you like? All right, I think this sounds did. I don't really have a gauge on it because I'm used to hearing, like, a whole drum kit as a kit. Um, so, anyways, yeah. It's, it's, it's kind of fun. Anything else? We had one question, but you can't. Agis answered is from fan I r haibo wanted feel unnatural doing shells and simple separately in terms of the dynamics, which is exactly what you just talked about. So the answer is yes, but you can still do it and get a pretty good result. Yeah, it's difficult. But you know what? With all of this stuff, I think the main thing with the whole point, I think what I would like everyone to take away from this class is that you can get cool results out of doing things yourself but it's, just like anything else. You either you either pay a professional to do it right? Or, you know, the way that they do it or you're just gonna have to put in a ton of work and do it yourself and it's. Totally not easy. There is. No, um, there is no easy button for this, you know, I think I think, if they're wass then people would not be charging you know, fifty thousand dollars to record a record you know our band you know labels would just say did it's not worth at the bank and do it themselves and it'll be just it's good um so I think you know granted not everyone charges that much but you know people do you get that does that make sense so now I'm just kind of lining these hats up with the original drums quick and not listen to it all just locker yeah yeah it's just this is total grid um because if I were to be listening to this um one I wouldn't be able to talk and to it would be um it would take away longer because I would actually be trying to preserve the performance which in response to that question before the break you know your hey bill you're just kind of totally stripping the performance out of a train drummer um yes I am right now um nine I would say ten times out of ten I normally try to keep that um I will be the first person to be anti gritting drums on the bronx for record I did I did absolutely no drum edits we just replayed everything until he got it the best it could um I really don't like editing drums especially because look how much more work it is for me when now the drummer is just sitting there you know so it's it's way more fun for me to watch a drummer play drums it's way more um I think it's a better experience for the drummer to be able to walk out of the recording situation having I think it's a better experience all the band members in general to walk out of a recording experience uh having some sort of struggle and feeling like the producer pushed them in a way that um you know, like another michael bind horn kind of fame I want a famous thing but it's like you know, his motto is I won't say a model because it's unfair for me to put words in his mouth but like something told me was you know, you don't want a band to be happy with their record you want them to walk away like thinking that it's like unbelievable that that's actually them in like that they actually played that, you know and and I think that's totally different than the feeling of, you know, walking away with some of those other kind of like, you know, in certain like heavy genres there are those records that air completely manufactured and the band probably walks away thinking like I can't believe that's us cycle did it's not actually you um it's, it's it's, a lot of programming and a lot of other things, but I think it is a really rewarding feeling it was for me as a musician teo you know, toe be ableto kind of look at the recording that you've done and say like, wow, I can't believe like, you know, I did that you know or that that's me like I sound great or like look how good the band sounds and I never thought that I would be ableto to make a recording that you know, I was happy with everything on it but we did it and we're really proud we put in a lot of hard work, you know? And I think it's a rewarding feeling and you have to go and perform it every night so you know the fact that you know, if you're happy with your I think that when a band is happy with their record, I think it puts them in a better spirit in general and I think that it prolongs the life of the band because they're not out there having to support a record that you know, you have the drummer on that whatever did anything like that part of me that play it you know, where they get nor the singer you know, it's like I don't like that part the producers made me sing that part, you know, I think it's important for the band really like the recording that there that they're doing anything else that I could keep talking about this okay and hopefully, I'm not coming off as too much of a jerk, but I mean, it really is a lot of, you know, it's, like, you know, how do I how do I get in shape? Well, you actually have to go to the gym, you know, you can't just be eating junk food all the time, and, I mean, maybe I guess you can take pills for it now, but, you know, it's, like, did you you're gonna have to put in some work, and especially if, you know, I don't know where to go from analogy, but the point is, this stuff takes a lot of work, so for these, I might go more light quarters, blast it's also kind of fun, teo, you know, and some of this is kind of stealing from metal production, and I know what kind of may have sounded like I was kind of dog and on metal production, but I think that there are a lot of really cool tricks that you can use, like friends. A lot of this stuff that I'm talking about is kind of stolen from, you know, like producing metal records in a garage, you know, where, it's and for me from the very beginning, it's, like I was kind of started out doing a lot of metal bands and heavier bands and it was the biggest task I was always faced with is hey, we have like a thousand dollars and we want to sound like this in flames record that was, you know, super bad ass musicians you know, playing in a really expensive studio and they had six months to do it, you know? And oh, by the way, we have the weekend because the rest of the band can't get off work from delivering pizzas, you know? So it's it's like, ok, we're going to have to get really creative and try to figure out how they did that um, you know, and the d ies and the ramping things is definitely valid ways of working and you don't have to be recording metal music to be able to use those things as you know, safety nets in the way that I'm talking about using them. Okay, quiet, yeah, jumping ahead, but I find a lot of in terms of like using plug ins and how you kind of group your drum mikes and stuff like that I noticed a lot of people tend to group overheads with the room mike they tend to get be somewhat similar kind of in their tone or kind of capturing some of the same fives and stuff, but obviously in this scenario used a room mike with no symbols so how how would that kind of blending of those things work or how did you plan ahead for that in this scenario? So for if you're talking about a regular well, first off, you know, when you see people doing things, everyone has their own way working um and I don't think, you know, just like the guitar amp it's like, did whatever works for you that's what you should do um but you know, because I'm sure there are a lot of people I know when I watch videos of people working almost like, why are you doing it like that? I can't stand when you, you know, like mike a drum with that microphone, I have never had good luck with it, um but hopefully you can kind of take away something from what they're doing and maybe apply it towards the way you like working. Um, I think that if the reason why they're grouping like overheads and room mike's together is because they sound similar, um then I mean, I don't do that. I like to kind of treat my overhead separately than room mikes because maybe it's just the rooms that I'm working in my room sounds ten to serve a different purpose than what my overheads are doing, um, you know, as you heard in the some of the the tracks that recorded it at apogee and you guys were able to kind of open those up when you purchase the class um and here like how I'm like what I'm looking for within room mike's versus overheads for overheads I'm looking more like the clarity of the symbols um and like attack of symbols on the impact of them whereas in the room mike's I'm looking for more like sustain um and I may not necessarily compress my symbols or overheads as much as I would compress a room like because I'm looking for that extra bit of like in my rooms where is like I want sometimes because I have my room so smashed oh my overheads to be more just like, you know like that impact and then that kind of trails in the room kind of get in and out and in and then out of the way um and uh I think I got pretty side tractor there right? Did I did I answer your question properly? Well, I guess it brings up another question of, like making choices and kind of knowing what end result you're looking for you're not putting that processing on the tracks as your recording there like you're right just recording pro tools in this scenario you don't have any outward or consulates here not compressing are queuing on the way in right it's like kind of what are you looking for specifically in this scenario with that room, mike, because there were not symbols played at the time, so I was looking for in that particular in this one and that's the thing too sometimes as you're doing this kind of used and you know it better so you can kind of use bands as guinea pigs as you're tracking stuff, then that's another thing where if you and that's kind of like if you have the money to spend on a unit that has more inputs, we're like more eighty conversions or, you know, more uh, more inputs then it's sometimes it's worth it because then you can find yourself experimenting a little bit more like a man. I have this extra mike, I'm just going to throw it up and see what it does, you know? And I think experimenting is is the only way you're going to actually learn what things do you know, aside from maybe, you know, like someone like me showing you all those different placements words I did if you have it here, this is what it sounds like you have here, here's what it sounds like and here's the difference, you know, because most of the time, if you're tracking it yourself, you're just like, did I just need to get this idea down? We need to track it and I don't really have time between school and everything else or your job tio kind of just fiddle around with, like, placing a room like at a different spot in the in the house or whatever, you know, or maybe it's a thing where your parents are gone or your roommates are gone, and as the only time you can, you can actually track in the last thing you want to do is waste that time fiddling around with a like a spare room, like trying to figure out what it does, but that's, all important things to do is learning your room and weigh a recording. What I was looking for out of that, mike, yes, or was that today? We did that. All right? Yeah, everything's running together when I was looking at out of that mike, it was just a little bit of decay on the on the kit, and I really don't know what it's going to do. It might be useful, and it may not, but you're kind of going into that knowing that you're going toe slam it through some effects. Yeah, compression river, but whatever yeah, like and I knew right away like that room might sound sound suspiciously thin um, almost like maybe there was a bad cable or some sort of connection was weird I've never heard ever mike sound that thin it could be because we're in like kind of like almost like a cinder block room um with rooms like this it's cool because it isolates things very well you know but part of that the low frequencies don't really get a chance to escape the room so they're trapped in here so being at the mike is in the center of the room you figure you have about like fifteen feet they're fifteen feet there so you have very low frequencies that could possibly be canceling out in the center of the room causing that frequency response of where that mike was I wanted if I if I cared more about that mike and if I was actually doing a real project I would definitely have someone walking around the room okay where what sounds best you know and if I only had a fifty seven that would be fine but you know from what it was it was kind of like ok that sounds kind of cool let's leave it you know so that's all I was really looking for out of it is just kind of like I was kind of a fun like and even already it's like I'm already compressing and queuing it because here's what it because it wass that's a real bright so I just shelled out a bunch of the top end gained it up a little bit of compression compression to add that length you know, and the cool thing about, like, for instance, that room. Mike, if we would have been playing cymbals, would've been completely useless, because since it's all top end, it would just be all symbols. So that's the perfect example of why this technique works in this type of room. Especially when you compress it that much. It would just be all, and you won't be able to hear the drums. So now way least have that. You know, a little bit.

Class Description

Find out exactly what you need to get a great recording on a super tight budget in Guerrilla Recording with Beau Burchell.

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.

Whether you are making do with with 1 mic, 3 mics, or a fully staffed studio – Beau will help you focus in on the details that will really make a difference on your track. You’ll learn best practices for recording vocals, guitars, drums, and bass on the cheap. Beau will also talk about workflow and how to listen to your track to make sure you captured the best sound.

You don’t need a big budget and high dollar equipment to get a quality recording. Learn the gear and techniques you need to get the sound you want.

Featuring a live studio tracking session with Beau and Seattle band Lo, There Do I See My Brother


a Creativelive Student

A lot of great info here! Awesome getting to see Beau's workflow and hear his thoughts on the methods he uses. Would love to see him do a class on micing guitars, bass and show his methods in more detail/time. He gets some of the best raw tones in the game. Feel like this was more of a great overview and would like more time for details seeing as he is a very knowledgeable dude. Thanks Beau for the great class and for sharing this info with us.