[linux-audio-user] drum loops, samples,

R Parker rtp405 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 1 13:29:59 EST 2004

--- Daniel James <daniel at mondodesigno.com> wrote:
> > While testing my new system configuration tonight
> Bob
> > Josland, the drummer for my band, and I produced
> some
> > Ardour drum sessions.
> Which mics did you use, Ron?
kick; AKG D12E <- good (this is the old square one
which is better than the newer egg shaped model)
snare; Sure beta 57 <- good
hat; Sure 57 <- sucks for all cymbals
toms; EV N/D 408 <- good
overhead; Sure SM81 <- OK

These are all relatively affordable microphones. I've
got a slew of cymbal samples which are all run through
a Nueman M 147. It's a versatile mic and for its
quality pretty affordable, $1,500.00 U.S.

> The sample shows what you can do with eight mics,
> rather then the four 
> we usually use.

The stereo field is highly critical in pop music which
includes Brittney Spears, Death Metal and everything
between. Drums are the most difficult and perhaps most
important instrument in a mix. They establish the
stereo field. They have the widest dynamic and Hz
response spectrum. They generally are eight
instruments bleeding into their neighbors microphones.

All instruments are obviously critical but with drums
a mistake = x 8.

ron-bob07 demonstrates proper panning for building a
stereo field. The remaining primary instruments can be
panned within the drums as though they're on stage.
* most keyboards are stereo
* lead vox; Noon/Straight up. Backing vox; record
everything at least twice. 

With backing vocals; if one voice, record twice and
pan one of them hard left and the other hard right.
This is called a mult. Extend that principle
throughout all multi part harmonies. This is how pop
music producers build lush wide stereo vocal fields.
This principle also keeps vocal mixes balanced. Of
course you have to arrange them but that's another

 On my little monitors the kick drum
> sounds a bit 
> paper-ish though - I guess that's because the bass
> end just isn't 
> there to round out the sound of the kick drum.

Interesting observation, thanks for letting me know.
This sample is the result of a five minute drum
mix/sound check. With the kick drum, I tried a new
signal path; mic -> Solo Soundtrac (op and eq) ->
Avalon Vt 737sp. The immediate result was awesome. I
used the Avalon only for its tubes. No compression or

Lastnite I did a black metal band and used the same
kick drum signal path but spent five minutes getting
the bottom end of the kick drum to sound right. Total
time on that drum mix was about an hour with at least
30 mintes invested into tuning the drums.

BTW, the amount of time I spend on drum mixes can be
rediculously low. It should not be an indication of
how much time anyone else could be forced to invest.

During the last year my current band has written an
album using MIDI instruments. We have begun the
process of replacing all MIDI instruments with live
players. Many of the songs have complex time
signatures and tempo changes. With the ron-bob07
drummer, we have invested about five hours into drum
setup and mix. This includes all new heads and tuning
by three talented drummers.

The takes all have to be start to finish with zero
mistakes. Everything is done to a click. In about
fourty hours of recording time, we have two keeper
drum takes and those are the simplest songs. There are
a miriad of variables and every situation is unique.

Daniel, your observation for a lack of bass in the
kick is likely my fault more than it is your small
monitors. I'd put money on it.


> If anyone wants to cut up tracks like these into
> loops, I'm sure we've 
> got a few drum-only tracks that we could make
> available on request.
> Cheers
> Daniel

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