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Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 19 of 74

Cymbal Mic Setup


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 19 of 74

Cymbal Mic Setup


Lesson Info

Cymbal Mic Setup

We want to get the snare and the kick drum in the middle. We'll have to go this way with it. If we want to approach that method, we can do that or we could go more of approaching this as the center of the kit, which would pull the snare over to the side a little bit. I want the snare in the center. Okay. Yeah, for sure. Okay. Well, do you want more cymbals than drums or kind of a picture of the drum kit? I want more cymbals than drums. Okay, so we'll go a little bit more over the cymbals with it. Yeah. Want more cymbals than drums and we can get length out of the rooms or whatever because we're still gonna, that one right there, the SM-7, I know it's gonna pick up a lot of cymbals, but I want to point that right at the snare. I've got a tape measurer in my pocket. Maybe we should go off a based, off of these. Are you miking the China? Individually? Yes. Yeah. Okay. Absolutely. So these are more for the main crashes then. Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna mic every...

cymbal. So, I can't tell how high that is. Let's see. Got some tape measurer. Let's see here. Here, let me turn this. That one's upside down. Yes it is. Hence why it was not position-able. Okay, we're at 42. Do we want to bump that up to 46? Sure. Okay. You want me to do it? I just need to come up with it a little. Okay. Where we at with. Close. Huh. This one's at like 41. Yeah, might have to go further up with that one. There we go, just over 46, let's pull this down this way. Okay, 46 and 46 is right where my thumb is. Is it, now? Right about there? Little higher. Right about, you can let it go there and let's see where it's at. It's very close. (mumbling)? No, we can do this. Okay. Drop it down this way. 46, and this one needs to come up here. My only concern, we'll just have to hear him, is that these are a little high, compared to where it normally go. Right, but he is using one of these giant sticks and he's a hard hitter, so this might be okay. Typically on metal kind of stuff, sometimes we'll use like two sets of overheads, one for a kit picture and one more for isolated control. Almost like crash mics, but we'll usually be like around here. This is a little taller, but we'll see. He is a beast, drummer. Hat and ride, are we gonna do those now, or is that later? Let's do those later, let's see where we're at with this. Alright, move this mic back just a hair. Does that look about right, same as the rack tom? Um, yeah pretty much. Need to come in a little bit? Yeah. You think maybe the snare mic is a little high? I don't know, if it sounded good. It was okay. Well let's see what it sounds like with the overheads on. Okay. Matt, can you hear me? Yep. Okay. I'm gonna need you to tap the high hat side mic. (tapping) Okay, cool, tap the ride side mic. (tapping) Okay, good times. (cymbals crashing) Do me a favor, I'm gonna record. I just want to play some cymbals, but then hit your toms and snare, I want to check where the phase is at. Okay. You're good to go. (drums pounding) (rock and roll drumming) Hold up. Alright, so right now I'm just making sure that the, that we don't have phase problems between the overheads and the snares. Ooh, those things are clippin'. Yes they are. I'm gonna fix that. So, we got reverse polarity goin' on. But it's lining up. Looks like it's in phase 'cause of the distance. Yeah. Kinda. Kinda, it's weird. Anup, do you want to go in there? Yep. Play some, let me make a group here. (drums pounding) Okay. Yo. Okay. (rock and roll drumming) Yo, hold up. Okay, you need to play some more. (rock and roll drumming) Okay, thanks. Go again. (rock and roll drumming) Hold up. Okay. Yeah, still doin' it. Still doin' it, yeah. So we need to go even higher with the mics? Yeah, but damn. He's using tree trunks. (laughing) I know. It's not doing it quite as bad, but. (rock and roll drumming) Pull 'em up and see if it's like helpful or not. What's that? See if it's helpful or not. (rock and roll drumming) The snare is so loud in that, too. Go again. (rock and roll drumming) Alright, hold on. It's the drums, it's not the cymbals. So, we need to get in closer to the cymbals. Yeah, check it out it's when he hits the. The snare. It's when he hits the snare. (rock and roll drumming) Yeah, it's whenever he hits the snare. Okay. So yeah, we should drop those down a bit. Okay. Okay, alright I'll go in there with you. Let's do this. Hit the flub. What's that? Flub. So how close do you want to go? I don't know. Man, this is like. There we go. Do we maybe want to point away from the snare drum a little bit? Yes, that too. I was gonna suggest that we kinda try to reject it a little. Your snare drum is just destroying these mics. That's at 40 and where's yours at? Yours is at like 32. Okay. 32 is like here. Let me bring mine back a little. Let me get mine down to 38. You're a beast. It's okay. I still like you. (chuckling) It's fine. That's 35. Alright, where we at here? 34. Ooh. I'm gonna come in with it a little bit. In. And then up a little bit. Right there is where 35 is. Here? Yep. Alright, shall we? Yeah, let's try it. Recording. (rock and roll drumming) One side is way lower than the other. He keeps playing on that side. (rock and roll drumming) Are we running through a compressor? 'Cause it sure looks compressed. No we're not, not that I know of. (drums pounding) Hold up a second. All I know is we're running through Neve pre-amps. Maybe we should ditch the Neves. Maybe we should. Why don't we try going to the Trident. Yeah. Alright, play some stuff. (rock and roll drumming) Top one. Oh yeah. That's a lot better. Hey. Are you saying something? No, I was asking if I should keep going? Yes, I would like you to keep going, but try to play some fat beats yo, with like fills and all kinds of stuff. (rock and roll drumming) Okay cool, thanks. What are your thoughts? I like 'em. It's a lot better than it was, that's for sure. So this is where we plugged into the Trident. Is he using the dark crashes? Yes, he's using the super dark crashes that he brought. Those are his cymbals. Did they give us the mediums and brilliance? Yes. Not brilliance, but yes medium thin, I think we have a couple. We should, I want to hear those. Okay. Hey, Anup? Yeah? Could you change your crashes out to the medium thins that they gave us? Yup. Thank you, sir. 18 and 19. Is that a 19? These are both the same. MB-20 heavy crash, and that's a medium crash. These are pretty cool. Maybe put this with the ride side, because I'm more dominant there. It's also (sneezing) if (mumbling), but I guess we'll find out. It's what? Might be a little washy, but we'll find out. Okay, let's hear the difference. Okay, so these were also his dark. His cymbals, yeah. Anup's crashes. And these are. 18 inch brilliant and a 19 inch heavy. Alright, play some beats. (rock and roll drumming) Is that better? We have an 18 in that same cymbal, so we want to go a little bit higher with that crash ride. I don't want the. Hard switched out though. Yeah. Okay, stop. The one on. The crash, yeah. His hat side sucks. Hat side. Change out to this one. I like it. Here's what I noticed playing the kit. There is a ton of low end coming off of that drum that we're not capturing. Yeah. And so I think we need to put something behind the kit to really capture that body of the snare drum, 'cause there's a lot of body in that drum that it's like engulfing you when you play it, but. We're getting zero of it. We're getting none of it in here. Okay well, let's see if this crash is better and then let's do that next because the snare's making me sad. Okay. Okay. Alright, play. (rock and roll drumming) A little whistley. Mhm. But that's better though. Yeah. Okay. You want him to add some seven? Yeah, hold on one second. Alright, good, thanks. Move those go-gos out of the way? Yeah, I was thinking maybe, depending on when we get to rooms or not, maybe we would put them on the side like we do in Florida, I don't know, but, yeah, so were you thinking that we activate the SM-7 that's above, or were you wanting to do one like level with the snare behind the kit? Or did you want to try a ribbon thing like we do with the Roy-Ers? Uh, well I felt it on me as playing the drums, so I know it's in there, so maybe we should do the behind, the X, the bloom line behind the kit and see if that helps. Okay. But since the SM-7's there, might as well plug it in, see what's going on. Let's do all of it, let's do all of the above. You want to use the Coles? Yeah, sure, why not? For the bloom line. Yeah. Alright, so, we'll get the SM-7 and the Coles going. Cool. Alright, cool. We also need to check the phase on the overheads too, 'cause we might be getting more bottom-end if we flip the phase on those guys. It could be. But I also thought it was a little dinky before we even got those in. Who knows. (mumbling) What's that? The Coles, would you like them (mumbling) to do? A bloom line configuration. What's that? A bloom line configuration behind the kit. Okay. So right here. So these are the ones, this top one? Exactly, yeah. Got it, cool. So we're gonna need the three (mumbling) five. Yeah, so I'll go in a three with a SM-7. Okay, cool. Now, Matt, you know it might be interesting to actually put the SM- through one of the Neves. Yeah. Make it sound trashy and awesome. Yeah. Maybe I'll do that. That'd be good. Yeah. Okay, try that. We're gonna go down low with it. I'm gonna sit somewhere around-- Who's tall, you're tall. Do you think you could reach that for me? Do we have another short stand that we could put one on? Thanks. You won't two short ones? No, just one short should be fine. Oh, perfect. The short one (mumbling). Alright, I'm gonna go set up those channels, then. Okay. We want to get the rest of the mics hooked up, and hopefully sounding somewhat decent, so when we come in tomorrow we only need to do maybe two hours of tones if that and then track. Cool. Alright. Which one of those are we calling a hat, and which one are we calling a ride with the bloom lines? We're just gonna have to tap it. This one's hat. That one's ride. This one's ride. Okay. Do we want to measure that to the center of the snare? Yeah, we could. It's pointing towards the cymbals a little. Yeah, it needs to come over a little bit. It's at 51. Wait, now it's at 52. 52, and 57. Do you want me to raise this a little? Or I can move this closer. That closer? Yeah. Let's try that. Okay. Just a hair closer. Have you ever done anything really ridiculous, like put a. All the time. Like a kick drum mic on a snare? Mostly when I was younger. (laughing) Me too. Have you ever done anything ridiculous, like put a mic intended for a kick like on the bottom of a snare, or anything like that? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Sometimes you just deal with what you have and do things like that, but other times I have put D-112s on a snare before. And how'd it go? It worked for that particular thing. 421s on bottoms of snares. I've done that. Alright, so we straight with this? Yeah. Okay. Those'll definitely be, let's just make sure it's over the center of the drum. Go this way, that way just a hair. There we go. Okay. Oh, man. Back just that way. Right there, right there. That's it. Alright. Let me just double check, make sure it's 52. Closer to 53 now. We're really close. This can come down just a fraction of an inch. Just a little bit more. Getting exact up in here. Hm? Getting exact up in here, look at this. Yeah. Gots to. It is a science. Fair enough. What's that? I said it is a science. Yeah. (laughing) Alright, so we just set up an SM-7B above the snare because they can sound really cool and then a set of Coles, a bloom line configuration behind the snare, measured to the exact same distances, and we'll see what happens. Never know. Hit the snare. (drums pounding) It's already something that we didn't have before. Mhm, the SM-7. Yeah, that's a tone we definitely didn't have before. Mhm. Cool. Let's see these Coles. (drums pounding) There's your low end, yeah. Told you it was there. (drums pounding) Let's turn the phase on the overheads while we're here, too. Yeah, I'm gonna record now. (drums pounding) Okay, thanks. Let's see where our phase is. Here, let me just put the snare top right here. On the bottom right there. Okay, here's the snare top. Looks like the SM-7 is. It's just got better transients. Looks like we're in line. What about the Coles? I think those are not. I mean, look. The SM-7 might be out from the snare drum. Yeah. Let's try flipping that one. Yep. And the overheads are also out for the snare as well. Okay, I'll flip those too. (drums pounding) Here, let's solo these guys on the snare. (drums pounding) Oh, yeah, way better. Way better. Alright, now let's check that SM-7. (drums pounding) Yeah, it's out of phase. Yeah. Okay. Well, I have a flip coming in. Cool. Well, they're in phase with each other. And the SM-7, so I guess they probly got to be flipped. Yeah. Okay. (drums pounding) Hang on. (drums pounding) [Matt] Actually, they're good. They don't need to be flipped, those are fine. Yeah. (drums pounding) Hold on, that's flipped. (drums pounding) Lot more low end when they're normal. But then what about against this? This one's flipped. (drums pounding) I think there's more clarity with it flipped. Yeah. Alright. Alright let's capture him again. But you have it engaged there, so we don't need it here. The joys of phase, man. Alright, play us some snare again. (drums pounding) Play some beats. (rock and roll drumming) It's better. Play some beats with cymbals and stuff and everything. (rock and roll drumming) Hold up. You know what would be helpful? Panning 'em. Panning 'em. (chuckling) Yup. Go again. (rock and roll drumming) Alright, cool, thanks. We should finish miking things, but also, I don't know, so those Coles helped, in my opinion. For sure. A lot. Captured what it was like to play the kit. Yeah. What can we do to add some length? We're gonna need to put some further rooms. Yeah, for sure. We were told to put a U-87 in that hall. Okay. So we should do that and start adding more mics and just get this over with. Yeah. Okay, cool. But no, those Coles and the SM-7 really helped. Yeah, that's a great example of sometimes the close mic isn't necessarily picking up what it's like in the room, and adding something that's closer to the kit, capturing what the kit is doing will bring in some of that room sound, without being roomy. Yeah, like so. (rock and roll drumming) And I can, with a little processing to get rid of some of those cymbals and stuff, I think that that could be real cool. Watch how the kick drum, see what the kick drum's doing with that. Yes we do. Let us see. Looks like we might be alright. Yeah. Alright, here we are. Whoops. Yeah. Alright, there we are. With the SM-7 and not, but these are flipped, so. Okay. Alright. Alright, shall we add some mics? Yeah. Alright.

Class Description

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp will give you access to one of metal’s most in-demand producers and educators. You’ll also get to watch the talented and seasoned performers of Monuments show you how to record flawless takes and how to prepare to enter the studio.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp is the definitive guide to recording and producing metal. From soup to nuts, start to finish, A to Z, you will learn everything you need to know about recording and producing a metal song.

Eyal Levi will take you inside the studio with Monuments as they record a song from scratch at Clear Lake Recording in Los Angeles. In this bootcamp, you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for a session in preproduction by choosing tempos and organizing the session
  • Record flawless drums from selection and reheading/tuning to mic choice and placement to editing
  • Record rhythm guitars
  • Record clean and lead guitars
  • Record bass guitar
  • Record, edit and tune lead vocals, harmonies, and screams
  • Mix and master from session setup to final bounce


  1. Intro to Bootcamp
  2. Purpose of Pre-Production
  3. Technical Side of Preproduction
  4. Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map
  5. Pre-Production: Importing Stems
  6. Pre-Production: Click Track
  7. Creating Tracking Templates
  8. Intro and the Tone Pie
  9. Drums - Lay of the Land
  10. Bearing Edges
  11. Wood Types
  12. Depths and Sizes
  13. Hoops
  14. Sticks and Beaters
  15. Drum Heads
  16. Drum Tuning
  17. Drum Mic Placement Intro
  18. Basic Drum Mic Setup
  19. Cymbal Mic Setup
  20. Touch Up Tuning
  21. Microphone Choice and Placement
  22. Drum Tracking Intro
  23. Getting Tones and Final Placement
  24. Primary Tracking
  25. Punching In and Comping Takes
  26. Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking
  27. Amplifiers - Lay of the Land
  28. Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out
  29. Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement
  30. Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain
  31. Finalizing Amplifier Tone
  32. Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
  33. Intro to Rhythm Tracking
  34. Setting Up Guitars
  35. Working with a Guitarist
  36. Final Guitar Tone and Recap
  37. Guitar Tracking with John
  38. Guitar Tracking with Ollie
  39. Final Tracking
  40. Tracking Quads
  41. Intro to Bass Tone
  42. Bass Tone Setup
  43. Bass Tone Mic Placement
  44. Bass Tracking
  45. Intro to Clean and Lead Tones
  46. Clean Guitar Tones
  47. Lead Tones
  48. Vocal Setup for Tracking
  49. Vocal Mic Selection and Setup
  50. Vocal Mic Shootout
  51. Lead Vocal Tracking
  52. Writing Harmonies
  53. Harmony Vocal Tracking
  54. Vocal Warm Ups
  55. Scream Vocal Tracking
  56. Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction
  57. Vocal Tuning and Editing
  58. Routing and Bussing
  59. Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels
  60. Setting Up Parallel Compression
  61. Setting Up Drum Triggers
  62. Gain Staging and Trim
  63. Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ
  64. Drum Mixing - Snare
  65. Drum Mixing - Kick
  66. Drum Mixing - Toms
  67. Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms
  68. Drum Mixing Recap
  69. Mixing Bass Guitar
  70. Mixing Rhythm Guitars
  71. Basic Vocal Mix
  72. Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars
  73. Mixing - Automation
  74. Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek



I'm on lesson 19! Already worth every dollar!!! Priceless insight! I have already incorporated some of the ideas (preproduction common sense stuff that I never thought of, but damn). VERY HAPPY with this course! ALWAYS LEARNING and looking forward to the next 50 (or whatever) lessons!!! Excellent course! GREAT PRODUCER/ENGINEER, GREAT DRUM TECH, and GREAT BAND!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.


Wow is all I can say. This bootcamp goes in so much depth from tuning drums, setting up guitars, to recording and mixing. I have learned so much by participating in this bootcamp. It has taught me some new recording techniques and signal routing for my mixes. I just want to thank Eyal, Monuments, and Creative Live for taking the time to do this. It has been amazing and I will keep going back to these videos.