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Steve Albini drum sound resource

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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby numberthirty on Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:58 pm

eliya wrote: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.


On the point Elyia is making...

It seems like Steve does mention certain pres and ribbons. I think it is just a matter of being realistic about the point of view in the video versus trying to use a board/interface pre on a "Budget" range ribbon microphone.

To me, there's validity on both sides of the discussion.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:28 am

eliya wrote: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?


Between 8 and 18 tracks I reckon is pretty typical for an amateur setup these days.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:36 am

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.


You gonna play air drums, you need 'em panned drummerside. Nobody wants to feel like they are standing in front of drums. You want to feel like you ARE the drummer, the king of musicians.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby n.c. on Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:44 am

why i always pan and notate in drummers' perspective:

i will always remember what 'oh l' means.

also when recording a full band with plenty of bleed it's pretty important to pan instruments relative to their placement in the room. of course you could just as easily have the opposite policy, but it's sort of like how its easier to figure out a chord while i'm holding a guitar as opposed to when i'm looking at one.

full disclosure, a left handed drummer might fuck me up.

if you want it panned opposite, just reach behind your amp and switch the rca jacks.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Tommy on Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:38 am

Anthony Flack 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.


You gonna play air drums, you need 'em panned drummerside. Nobody wants to feel like they are standing in front of drums. You want to feel like you ARE the drummer, the king of musicians.


Okay. I will concede, as this one totally makes sense to me -- because it is still taking the listener as the first consideration.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby steve on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:44 am

Drummers have to endure so much just to do their thing, panning from their perspective is the least we can do.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby n.c. on Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:51 pm

the one thing i'd love to hear more about is how to check for phase with that many mics, and specifically between the 3 sets of ambient mics.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Justin Foley on Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:34 pm

My recording setup usually has the whole band recording together. The room mic picks up the amps along with the drum kit. This starts with the audience experience of listening to the band-in-the-room as the default presumption for making recording decisions. Things get adjusted from there when problems arise. As result, I usually use audience pan-perspective on the drummer to match the room mic's orientation.

I can see it might sound weird but - gotta be honest - in 20 years as a band our drummer has never complained about this even once.

Separately, that observation about using the console's preamps vs outboard stuff has had me eying my pro-sumer Allen and Heath "board" in a different light all week.

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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:53 pm

Justin Foley wrote:I can see it might sound weird but - gotta be honest - in 20 years as a band our drummer has never complained about this even once.


I know what your drummer is like. "Easy-going" is putting it mildly.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby steve on Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:42 pm

n.c. wrote:the one thing i'd love to hear more about is how to check for phase with that many mics, and specifically between the 3 sets of ambient mics.

When mics get a few feet from each other and the thing you're recording, they will have an essentially random phase relationship with the other mics. Polarity is not the same as phase, but also I don't subscribe to the the notion that absolute polarity is important.

What I do is build the basic balance of the drum kit, with the close mics all up and working well on a per-drum basis, then test to see if flipping the polarity of one or the other pairs of tom mics makes things sound generally better or worse. I'm usually listening for depth of resonance in the bass, harshness or squall in the cymbal bleed, attenuation of overall impression of clarity, but I can't get too specific. Whichever orientation sounds best, I leave it that way.

Next I'll pull up the stereo mic in front of the drum kit and do the same thing with the polarity switches on those channels, switching them simultaneously and always maintaining a consistent polarity between the two. Whichever way sounds best, I leave it that way.

Then I'll add the overhead mics and do the same thing. First get a balance, then flip the polarity and listen, leaving it whichever way sounds best.

With the room mics I'll try scrolling the delay line until it sounds good, then I'll quickly flip one or the other or both mics' polarity and see if one way sounds better than another. I'll leave it whichever way sounds best.

Before I had a console with polarity switches on each channel, I built some minus-theta (okay nerds, minus-phi) cables and marked them, then I used those cables on the bottom mics of whatever drum I was recording. It was a pain to swap them out so I generally just left them and it wasn't really a problem. Flipping the polarity is a quick test now, and one way or the other usually sounds better, so I indulge in it.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby J. Burns on Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:36 pm

Tommy wrote:
Anthony Flack 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.


You gonna play air drums, you need 'em panned drummerside. Nobody wants to feel like they are standing in front of drums. You want to feel like you ARE the drummer, the king of musicians.


Okay. I will concede, as this one totally makes sense to me -- because it is still taking the listener as the first consideration.


Yeah, I have to be able to play air drums.

Sometimes when I hear that the drums aren't panned from the drummer's perspective, I check and see if the drummer's a lefty.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby greg on Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:06 pm

It seems to me, if you're going to pan the drums in any kind of 'realistic' fashion, doing roughy from the drummer's point of view makes sense. There's almost no context where you would be listening to drums from an audience perspective that will be in stereo, other than ambience.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby numberthirty on Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:38 pm

Anthony Flack 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.


You gonna play air drums, you need 'em panned drummerside. Nobody wants to feel like they are standing in front of drums. You want to feel like you ARE the drummer, the king of musicians.


Folks who have air drummed at shows would like a quick word.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby n.c. on Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:38 pm

numberthirty wrote:
Anthony Flack 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.


You gonna play air drums, you need 'em panned drummerside. Nobody wants to feel like they are standing in front of drums. You want to feel like you ARE the drummer, the king of musicians.


Folks who have air drummed at shows would like a quick word.


yeah, but i don't air guitar lefty at shows.
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Re: Steve Albini drum sound resource

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:28 pm

Full disclosure, I always keep all the close mics panned fairly close to centre myself, as I am not a fan of having the toms galloping brazenly across the stereo field anyway. So as far as that goes it probably is more like audience perception since the drums aren't panned wide.

But to the extent that it is done, I still feel they should be panned drummerwise.
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