Gain Staging and Preamp Selection for Drums


Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King


Lesson Info

Gain Staging and Preamp Selection for Drums

Usually as faras the drums are concerned some of my favorites or the a p I five twelve preempts s o I usually start with that you know it's like my first up he's just you know choice uh ah I like those for metal and for rock um there's just really extra punchy and um uh faras ah the the room mikes and things of that nature whatever I liken eve style preempt so right now we've got going on is like the focus, right? I say prius which is a rupert need designed from the eighties um it's you know more of a full frequency designed and they're there yeah exactly uh that's more full frequency design than his older ten seventy three which I'm a really big fan of uh they're more classical sound in the ten, seventy three or more classic sound um like a little warmer things of that nature but I like, you know, I think, you know, selecting pre, you know, using premium preempts and conversions essential for recording acoustic drums. You know if used the chief stuff like the, you know, inexpensive in...

terfaces that you can get a guitar center or wherever um they tend to make the drums you know, those their digital so they sound clean but they tend to make the drums thin and distant sound and just something about the old transformer based pre ups and to base creates they had harmonic distortions to the signal that makes them bigger and fatter and warmer uh and it's more more like what we're accustomed to hearing, you know, from the u n session of audio recording from the thirty years they tried you know, they started out initially they wanted you know that equipment designers and engineers wanted cleaner tones on you know, they find you know, in the nineties we got to the into the digital realm with a dads and things like that really clean but then they realized the sound was really cold in sterile and so there's there's been a a realization that we need to go back to the classic used classic pre amps and things of that nature, whatever and better dea converters t get those bigger warmer sounds that were actually more pleasant to listen to um yeah, right here you know, in the studio we're using the universe audio we're using those for the room mike's or whatever it's a nice there's a nice warm sounding to preempt uh um but you know, like I said normally for rock in middle I'm a big fan on the actual shells that kicks and aaron tom's the fbi's they have a really fast transit response really punching sounding prurient naturally uh like say, the rupert needs stuff it's a look as a little slower transit response but it's ah to really he was just full range um you know just a really nice you know, warm preempt that's this that's not like overly driven uh if used some of them like the u a e or whatever it is to base so you can get a more driven sound which is really cool for like things like room or bass guitar uh things of that nature um that's using my personal preferences like a set up for you know, for rock project or something else sometimes I'll use the naive ten, seventy three's whatever the bin take versions of that um um you know for the drum sounds if I want something it's not quiet is punchy and you know, something isn't doesn't require the fast transits um but yeah, but as far as you know mike prions I think that's ah it's usually what I go with and that's what I recommend for his rock and metal and you know there's a they're very again I'll say it again industry standards they're usually ah, you know, there pretty common go twos for most people in the industry um the, um well say I guess we'll talk about it more later whatever one thing that's ah that I do not do with drums I usually don't e q the drums going in I usually recorded just straight flat with no compression new week you that's pretty typical these days you know I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with you know, doing some e q and compression on the drums or whatever if you're confident that that's what you want but like you can bring up you know, unwanted symbol believe and things of that nature you know if you go too far with a compression or u q I just think you know it's more safe to go in just clean and natural you know, just captured the capture the mikes and the drums a cz they are with the prius you know, character and that's become part of your sound yeah what yeah I mean, like spars my voices for you engineer producer you know, most of my clients they don't know anything about you know, pre and things like that so that you make those costs yeah, I made those calls you know and you know there's there you know, usually what yields you know helps me get to the sound that they usually want the best anyway, you know, they almost everybody wants a large and, you know, big sound in record I think that's kind of the universal thing I never had anybody said yeah, well our record of sound thin and distant so you know, using the you know, the transformer based preempts into briones that that you know they help you get a you know um or a bigger more in your face hotter everybody says warm but to me I process that it's hot you know it's like it's got a heat too you know real silly you know president kind of quality coming jokes out of it jumps out of the speakers that you instead of like, you know, sitting on a flat plane I think steve abbott said that one of the creative live you know something about the analog stuff just like the rial amps and things they jump out of the speakers in there instead of you know you know laying back in the background are on the table or something you know yeah but there's our pre its elections pretty simple with the way we went about stuff we've already gotten some game structure happening what I normally do here in the pro tools uh is when I started I have a template that I usually start with and I can actually share that my figure out a way to share that with the viewers you know kind of you know just basically give some starting accuse starting compressions starting um you know, panning and stuff like that for the drums for the guitar for the vocals everything but for this particular is that we're going to actually start tracking some drums uh we're gonna get drum samples first that's when I talk about this is probably not his applicability tommy's record because tommy wanted more organic natural drum sound so we're going to try to use you know, performance take only but often times with certain styles like metal more processed when people want more process style sound and you know and or and or the drummer just doesn't play consistently or dynamically using samples is often necessary. S o it's always wise in my opinion just a za backup tio grab samples of the acoustic kit and you know and we'll go over that process also but first, like said we need tio check the game structures and make sure the we've got good healthy gain structures uh I'm not sure you know how many people out there actually using pro tools um but pretty much all the dolls are similar in that you know, I think they have like a ah yellow area think red is usually means you're clipping out green you know means it's on the lower side but usually you know, rule of thumb for me whatever like unlike with analog analog you know, like transformer preemptive stuff if you if you really push the pre empts you can actually increase the home on a distortion and increase you know, transit what's happening sonically what's happened so unclear exactly yeah you khun you could manipulate that so it's is desirable sometimes tio drive the game pretty hot you know we're back it off to make the create more more clean within with pro tools and with you know with the digit in the digital realm if you turn it up and you drive the digital room is just going to you know, there's the distortion is different characters more digital jenner uh you know you know it's a harsh list pleasant to hear listen to distortion that happens so most most of time what you want to do is just get it in the yellow you know that's a symbol of you know I can make it just get the sound level make sure nothing's peeking out of you know you know, across the board and so that's what we're gonna do now we're gonna get pre upset I'm almost drives because john joe tommy this song is big and pretty bombastic and we want some punch of drums were going to drive the prions quite quite a bit we've got him set up but we're gonna get ah we're going get the levels going to computer pretty pretty you know clean just in the yellow um but let's say I don't see it get tommy tommy can you hear me sir? Awesome uh but yeah we'll get tommy tio play the kick drum real quick usually start with a kick drum always want to check the game structures and I want tio uh you know, make sure I've got you know I'm not clipping on the pre amp itself and also want to make sure that I've got a good, clean, safe going to the pro tools, but tom, if you can just give the kick drum nice and solid so the kicks coming through the fbi? Yeah, so I've got the inside kick is coming to the fbi and I believe the outside kick is actually going through the the focus, right? Right, I think, yeah, because how we have it wired in normally my studio have mohr ap I saw yes, we're on the inside and outside through yeah, like society guys going good transit response I normally I'm going for the, uh, you know, I want to definitely inside like to be with a p I got a good signal to the inside of me might be a crime. There we go so the outside marks actually going through the universal audience in yeah, it looks like we've got a good game structure nothing's clipping on the pre empts and then you were in the yellow comfortably tommy's hitting pretty hard cool I've got to kick good let's get the snares hit dead center is nice and solid cool I've got this near umm yeah just like with the kid was to make sure it's not you know we're got a good hot game struggling on the prion but it's not clipping and also we were in the yellow with with snare it's important to know with the with the a lot of times the drummers a lot of times the drummers when they they're giving their samples you know I'll try to tell them hey hit it nice and solid la times drummers especially in rocket middle they actually play harder when they actually start playing so I used yeah, they started to get in the groove and they're really killing it so it's important to a double check your settings so do you leave headroom for that when you like right now is they're headroom built in their usual like yeah, just always this in the in the yellow and like said as they play if it's like clipping out or you know always throughout the session especially as the you know, the first couple of tracks if you're playing really heavily want to double check to make sure you're not getting including whatever oftentimes like it's not something you'll hear immediately especially why that live acoustic instruments of going on so you definitely want to check that out but let's do this again with the tom well that's all we hit that the tom one mike what mike is that they were using this is the sennheiser four twenty one and I'm you know, I guess we'll listen to it, but I may need may need tio move the mic up a little bit if you can push it up just a little, same angle just you just push it in closer to the center of the drum to sort of like an answer to the proximity effect with the drums. Whatever. I usually try to make sure that each mike has, like, an inch bite or inter to, like, bite on the two drum itself. Perfect. You go ahead and give me that, tom. Well, that looks healthy. Let's do the time. Cool. It looks great. Um, I'm now gonna get you to just kind of jam on the kid because I would get some overhead in room, got game structures and just you could just play whatever it looks like. Our game structures are all good way. Spend some time setting this step up. Previously, tommy playing nice in holland, where we're not seeing any clipping on the free. And we're not seeing anything. Everything is kind of in the yellow here in the booth. It's important to know for your guys out there, tom is not a drummer and he's rocking that's pretty good for not a drummer. But he's played drones before but you know it's solid awesome uh yeah, I think I'm trying to think it was anything else we need to discuss for us for us this oh yeah I'll go over some of my the preset stuff in my pro tools because that seemed really easy you just said like you make sure in the right spot you're setting the levels here checking in pro tools and then getting games tricks really easy like that especially about drummer who understands I handed to play hard you know, because a lot people when they warm up there they play lighter than when you're actually tracking things like that it's important to note kind of lecture the drum roll on hey, you need to hit the drums you know for the tommy you know he's been doing this for years and he knows you know but you know like I said, I know only start with a priest you know, kind of you know, preset thing I'll go into pro tools here and as you'll knows, this is a pretty radical looking cue here happened but I kind of get it to where I normally start so we got a question jamie from uh goog I fifteen is that reverb on the snare just the sound of the rumors out of plug in yeah, yeah there's someone mentioned that earlier we actually do have a river of here on mike my template uh this is just ah just a generic just starting point it's a the renaissance of r by results reverberate err by waves and you have just kind of got like a medium room like studio room kind of emulation on the overall drums right now and I can I can bypass this and have tommy play a little bit just so people can hear the difference would be cool yeah, they tell me go ahead jim samora turned the reverb off whatever that they got some viewers and want to hear the difference you hit a nearby for me yeah hopefully those you can hear this but the reason I do that like I said you know oftentimes I'll put some extra verb in the mix or whatever but it just makes it sound cool for the drummer you know it's kind of you know like uh you know you're like I've said it before you know my vision you know the ultimate you know recording is is the band on their best day eyes you know, sounds like the band with their ideal equipment that you know everybody nails all their takes and you know in their in their usual environment you know and always envision the band's playing big you know, hall venues or you know, big coliseums and things like that and it's you know, I kind of grew up listening to music that had you know that you know, bob iraq was a producer that you know made the man sound huge, you know, they're your arena rock bands and he made him sound like they were playing in an arena and that to me makes a lot of fish, you know, obviously there's alternative era something you change as far as the desire drum sounds like they you know, a lot of the producers want to hear a lot of the actual studio room and and I said I'm again I'm not I don't subscribe to that I'm not really a big fan of like having to, you know, band sound like they're in room unless that's like senselessness with the client wants unless that's you know, they kind of want that kind of intimate translation of their music toward they want the listener to feel like they're in the room with the band but a lot of times like I said, I want the listener to feel like they're at the venue you know, um you know, experiencing this show or whatever, so, you know use up use a bigger room type of reverb on the drums, you know, obviously and I didn't have a large room myself said I usually emulate but using this veit reverb you know, on the drum it kind of gives them you know, the drummer that you played in the big room and in the listener also so, you know, obviously, you know, well, you know, this is this river, but, you know, this is actually a template of, ah, tommy's record, whatever. This is actually used this on the record, along with a few other plug ins that we didn't have available to us here. Ah, but this is, you know, this this actually the river we used on the record and it's, just, you know, it's, just a twelve percent mix of, you know, the river is not a whole lot, but it's enough to give the drugs to make the drum sound larger and things. So we'll we'll put that back on tommy's inspiration, but they're what you call the plug in. Yeah, tommy's, inspiration for you.

Class Description

Get an inside look at how things run in the studio with Tommy Rogers & Jamie King in this Studio Pass.

Tommy is the vocalist for the progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me and has worked with Jamie to produce most of the band’s albums. In this class, they’ll share their signature approach to production and detail the process they used to record Tommy’s latest solo album “Modern Noise”.

Both Tommy and Jamie aim to track songs that sound organic and real. In Studio Pass: Tommy Rogers & Jamie King, they’ll show you how things should run in a studio to get a final track that sounds like the band on their best day, but not over-produced.

You’ll learn about the role good pre-production plays in getting the best sound and what you should do before you ever set foot inside the studio. You’ll learn about the recording process as Tommy and Jamie track drums, bass, vocals, and guitar for a song from Tommy’s solo album. They’ll also deconstruct Pro Tools sessions and talk about how performance impacts the final arrangement.

If you want to learn how these guys work in the studio, don’t miss your chance to hang for two days with Tommy and Jamie and get a behind-the-scenes look at their process.