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Balancing stereo image (Drums/overheads)

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Balancing stereo image (Drums/overheads)

Postby hstlilley on Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:05 pm

Kia ora (gidday/hello)

Forgive me if there is a discussion already about this. A brief search of the forum didn't illuminate a thread.

I've been trying out different methods for recording the stereo image of a drum kit over the last year and have been encountering some difficulty getting a stereo image that I'm satisfied with. I've come to enjoy the sound of a blumlein stereo field ribbon mic in-front of the kit in combination with ribbons as 'OH' mics that are placed behind the drummer (to their left and right at about ear height). However often I find this approach has at times resulted in an image where the snare is more dominant in the left side (drummers perspective). Ideally I'd like to get the snare stronger in the centre of the OH/stereo image without relying on a close mic to restore it to the centre.

I've tried altering the position and distance of the mics relative to the snare to try to account for this but am wondering if anyone has some tips that I should try to keep the snare closer to the centre when recording this way.

Ngā mihi (cheers, thanks)

(Te Papaioea, Palmerston North - Aotearoa New Zealand)
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: Balancing stereo image (Drums/overheads)

Postby tmoneygetpaid on Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:08 am

Hey! Welcome.

The mic'ing techniques you like are placing the snare at left because the snare is not actually centered in a drum kit- it's at the drummer's left.

If you shift your "overhead" pair (both mics) left that stereo image will become right-heavy. If you put your left mic back, it will also become right-heavy, and you'll lose some proximity effect and change the relationship between direct vs. reflected sound picked up between the left and right.

A front-of-kit stereo mic might give you a centered snare if you angled the mic such that the center (coincident point of XY or Blumlein) is pointed right at the snare. But then you will have the pickup of the (drummer's) left mic pointed away from the kit.

Maybe there's some other way of doing this someone else could offer, but I can't really visualize how you could use these two stereo techniques and get a centered snare without substantial compromises.
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