Sunday, 12 November 2017

Miking drums is annoying

I've had a small Sakae Pac-D drumset now for quite a while. (For some strange reason I decided to get a real acoustic drumset.) It's got also an extra 12" Yamaha tom tom which is an irrelevant detail, but thought would be good to mention.

For miking I have a Yamaha MGP12X mixer which is a bit weird analogue one without actual usb to computer, but I don't even need it. It has 6 XLR inputs with individual phantom power switches which I find very useful feature. The mic setup is snare, bass drum, two tom mics (for three toms) and two overhead mics, one of them is a condenser and other is dynamic. You would think it's a simple setup, but it's actually difficult to balance even that amount of microphones.

I have strange kind of problems with the drumset, because it's a quiet set and I want it to be quiet, much more like a percussion style set than loud "heavy metal" drumset. This far I have discovered that the best sound can be had when you turn the input levels from mic strips almost full and then adjust levels to minimum. I think it makes microphones less sensitive to other than the signal you want them to get which is the drum's sound.

I'm not sure if I should use that condenser mic or even "overheads", but rather try to focus overheads to cymbals. The condenser seems to pick up more than you want and also the other cheap dynamic overhead is quite poor quality microphone. I'm probably going to at least try with some kind of "cymbal" microphones, I guess they are making them too.

Another strange problem with bass drum and toms is that for some reason they get huge amount of low end with flat EQ. The first step for all of them is to switch low pass on, without it the bass drum is ridiculous low rumble. It does have factory heads which is probably bad, but it's 16x16" bass drum and finding any heads at all for that size seems to be really hard. I wish I had knew that and get a 18" or 20" bass drum.

I have watched lot of youtube videos about miking so I have some kind of idea how to place microphones etc. but it's still hard somehow. Then again maybe the drums are always processed with EQ and compressing to make them sound like they are in a mix and I'm complaining here for no reason.