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Steve Albini drum sound resource

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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby JohnnySomersett on Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:52 am

Stinky Pete wrote:It depends what you're doing, of course, and it depends what an "Overhead" is versus what a "Room" sound is. I tend to run them as hot as I can without muddying the mix too much, otherwise it feels a bit anemic to me. Another guy would mic the kit different and use no room mics and get a result that might sound 'full' but might aesthetically very different.

I've never done a record that called for 100% dry drums. For a funk or pop outfit it might be ideal, but I work with rock bands.


I've never had the chance to record in a dry enough room to get 100% dry drums!
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Stinky Pete on Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:15 am

JohnnySomersett wrote:I've never had the chance to record in a dry enough room to get 100% dry drums!


We have use of a dead room and between me and the owner we have some large rockwool panels that could be placed but I'm not into it, my college had very dead rooms and there's only so much you can handle a room where only the LF modes ring. For a start, they're just not pleasant to play in.

I know some guys who would just mic the toms for their stereo spread for a super dry thing, or bring the overheads in really close (Glynn Johns maybe or similar), but it's just not my thing.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby jpmarin on Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:19 am

What rack delays are people using to get out of the Haas Effect region? Anyone used at TC Electronics TC2290. Seems great, but maybe does more than what I need. Thanks
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby prowler on Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:14 pm

here's a nice long doc about recording drums at EA
phpBB [media]


no idea if this is the right thread for this & hope it hasn't been posted before
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby n.c. on Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:18 pm

i watched that video a couple nights ago and the part about always using console preamps for drums has been blowing my mind ever since.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Anthony Flack on Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:50 pm

That was great. And backs up my opinion that for the amateur recordist, whatever your problem is, the answer is probably not better preamps.

Also mentions panning from the drummer's perspective in case anybody was in doubt that this is the true and correct way.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby eliya on Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:44 pm

Anthony Flack wrote:That was great. And backs up my opinion that for the amateur recordist, whatever your problem is, the answer is probably not better preamps.


Sure, but also the preamps on the Neoteks are way better than the onboard preamps you'd find on most recording interfaces. So sometimes the answer is better preamps.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Anthony Flack on Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:00 pm

FM steve suggested that even if the preamps on the desk were total shit he'd still use them, because anything south of the microphone is subtle at best and on a 14-channel drum setup with so many other far more important variables to manage, not worth bothering your head with.

I would think doubly so for the amateur who almost certainly has bigger problems going on.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby eliya on Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:34 am

Anthony Flack wrote:
I would think doubly so for the amateur who almost certainly has bigger problems going on.


Well, since amateurs usually use a lot less than 14 microphones to record a whole band, then it would stand to reason that they should have nice preamps, no?

My point is that I get what Steve is saying, but also some preamps are shit and he doesn't have one shitty preamp in his arsenal.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby 154 on Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:10 am

Anthony Flack wrote:FM steve suggested that even if the preamps on the desk were total shit he'd still use them


Eh, FM steve is not recording anywhere without a maintained 2" multitrack, and even though he said so I'm betting it's been a long time since he's recorded on a Soundcraft. The takeaway from that was session priorities (when you're most likely working on a nice board anyway) and not "preamps don't matter much".

I've made 4 records on that console and while most of the drum pres came off there, we usually ran the snare & kick into pres with a bit more low end 'color'. The most recent session we had the rooms going to Ampex 451s ran a touch hot. Overdubs and vocals are almost always something else (Neve, Greg Norman's pre, Ampex).
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby n.c. on Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:57 am

i have a soundcraft 600 which is no neotek, but still sounds really good to my ears (especially for a home studio). i rarely use the preamps but i'm always pleasantly surprised when i do. i've been in this mindset for so long that since i don't have a better board i should compensate with preamps. i've even made economical mic'ing decisions based on trying not to go through the board to tape. also my board is a 16x8x2, but i rarely use the routing and usually end up printing things like the bottom snare mic to tape, which is a little frivolous with only 16 tracks.

i'm not about to stop using the external pres that i have, but it makes me think i should spend a lot more on mics before i bother getting another preamp, and it changes my thinking about mic'ing the drums. in the future i may go ahead and put up some extra mics and just buss them down.

and the whole session flow thing is so relevant. i've always found it a huge asset to be able to get sounds quickly, not just in terms of the clock, but the whole flow and morale.

...and plugging 10 mics into the snake, going back to the control room, and then patching all 10 mics through external preamps, (sometimes) compressors, and then to tape and back to the board without any head scratching or patch checking hardly ever happens.

it's just one of those things you hear that makes you say 'of fucking course, why not? fuck yeah).
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby 154 on Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:20 am

n.c. wrote:i'm not about to stop using the external pres that i have, but it makes me think i should spend a lot more on mics before i bother getting another preamp, and it changes my thinking about mic'ing the drums. in the future i may go ahead and put up some extra mics and just buss them down.

and the whole session flow thing is so relevant. i've always found it a huge asset to be able to get sounds quickly, not just in terms of the clock, but the whole flow and morale.


Yeah. We self-recorded an EP in our space a few years ago with 8 channels of borrowed lunchbox pres + a Soundcraft. And it was a pain in the ass (way more time drum checking, one or two emergency trips to Guitar Center, etc). But, I don't think the answer for our scenarios is no outboard pres at all, just better prioritization. Like, maybe the API clone on the floor tom mic wasn't worth the time-suck balance. Drum overheads: perhaps worth it. Guitars: always worth it 8)
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Stinky Pete on Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:49 am

eliya wrote:
Anthony Flack wrote:
I would think doubly so for the amateur who almost certainly has bigger problems going on.


Well, since amateurs usually use a lot less than 14 microphones to record a whole band, then it would stand to reason that they should have nice preamps, no?


They could just spend that money they would spend on pre's on nice mics or nice gear. I run an 18 channel setup and I've a single external pre. I'd like to get a second, but it's just way down the pecking order.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Tommy on Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:22 am

Anthony Flack wrote:Also mentions panning from the drummer's perspective in case anybody was in doubt that this is the true and correct way.


I still do not understand this practice. There is only one person who hears music this way. The drummer. Every person seeing/hearing any sound source should hear it from the direction it originates. Not backward. When you see AC/DC, Malcolm in on the left and Angus is on the right. Their records are mixed this way too. I'd call that correct.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby eliya on Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:30 am

Stinky Pete wrote:
eliya wrote:
Anthony Flack wrote:
I would think doubly so for the amateur who almost certainly has bigger problems going on.


Well, since amateurs usually use a lot less than 14 microphones to record a whole band, then it would stand to reason that they should have nice preamps, no?


They could just spend that money they would spend on pre's on nice mics or nice gear. I run an 18 channel setup and I've a single external pre. I'd like to get a second, but it's just way down the pecking order.


Dude, you're missing the point. Sounds like you have actual mixer, where someone put thought into the preamps. Or at least some thought. I'm talking interfaces that are powered with USB and still offer you preamps with +48V. These preamps don't sound good. They don't have a lot of gain, they get noisy, and they distort. I have nice microphones, and I used them with onboard preamps as well as decent preamps (like Sytek, or stuff you'd find in a mixer) and the difference is quite noticeable.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby endofanera on Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:07 pm

Tommy wrote:
Anthony Flack wrote:Also mentions panning from the drummer's perspective in case anybody was in doubt that this is the true and correct way.


I still do not understand this practice. There is only one person who hears music this way. The drummer. Every person seeing/hearing any sound source should hear it from the direction it originates. Not backward. When you see AC/DC, Malcolm in on the left and Angus is on the right. Their records are mixed this way too. I'd call that correct.

I agree, but this debate will never end on the PRF. I think the only thing supporting the drummer perspective argument is the idea of pleasing the band in their representation, which is a guiding philosophy I am behind. Of course, like most philosophies it can fail if carried to its logical conclusion. Pleasing the band in this manner also ignores what the audience would hear, which I think should be at least as important.

The AC/DC mix comparison is worth raising. If you mixed those tracks from the guitarists' perspectives, both guitars would be straight down the middle.

That said, I don't really care that much either way anymore. It's easy enough to change a pan if someone doesn't like it while you're working on the record.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby MrWarandieBoy on Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:11 pm

Tommy wrote:
Anthony Flack wrote:Also mentions panning from the drummer's perspective in case anybody was in doubt that this is the true and correct way.


I still do not understand this practice. There is only one person who hears music this way. The drummer. Every person seeing/hearing any sound source should hear it from the direction it originates. Not backward. When you see AC/DC, Malcolm in on the left and Angus is on the right. Their records are mixed this way too. I'd call that correct.

When I first started recording I took this viewpoint until I actually listened and realised that, as a drummer, it was fucking WEIRD to listen to. Just plain wrong. Ever since I’ve gone with drummer perspective.

I think the only people who notice are drummers in any case, so you might as well mix the drums so they sound right to them. Anyway, if you’re going to mix it from anyone else’s perspective then you should really essentially mix the drums in mono.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Mason on Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:25 pm

endofanera wrote:When you see AC/DC, Malcolm in on the left and Angus is on the right.


And they'll sound pretty well mono by the time the front-of-house reaches the stadium seats, I'm sure.

Stereo imaging on a record can be done however, but I feel like the player's perspective is the most reasonable default when it comes to instruments w/ stereo information. I've seen the example given of a piano recording where the lower register is in your right ear, and the highest keys in your left. Instinctively I think that's messed up. I'm sure it's happened, maybe it even sounded good. But I think wanting to hear it from the player's perspective is the most defensible instinct.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Tommy on Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:58 pm

MrWarandieBoy wrote:
Tommy wrote:
Anthony Flack wrote:Also mentions panning from the drummer's perspective in case anybody was in doubt that this is the true and correct way.


I still do not understand this practice. There is only one person who hears music this way. The drummer. Every person seeing/hearing any sound source should hear it from the direction it originates. Not backward. When you see AC/DC, Malcolm in on the left and Angus is on the right. Their records are mixed this way too. I'd call that correct.

When I first started recording I took this viewpoint until I actually listened and realised that, as a drummer, it was fucking WEIRD to listen to. Just plain wrong. Ever since I’ve gone with drummer perspective.

I think the only people who notice are drummers in any case, so you might as well mix the drums so they sound right to them. Anyway, if you’re going to mix it from anyone else’s perspective then you should really essentially mix the drums in mono.


Should we go ahead and mix it like it sounds with ear plugs in too?
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby numberthirty on Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:54 pm

(Considers the panning of the Quad version of The Song Remains The Same. Grins a bit.)
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