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.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Zildjian 7A DiP

As a beginner drummer I've tried couple different kind of drum sticks. For me light weight sticks are the weapon of choice. But there are differences between them as well. Some of them like Vic Firth AJ5 American Jazz'es are light weight, but still feel heavy, as if they were falling onto the drum and you had to actively keep them from doing that. Then there are kind of sticks that are extremely light, so that you have to punch them through the air, like Vater BePop 525's.

When I was still playing an electronic set I noticed that Zildjian 5A's were the best of what I had back then. They are bigger than these new 7A DiPs I got today:

7A DiPs feels light in a good way, making it easy to hit with extremely light touch. Proper sticks in my opinion increase the dynamics of playing without having to be really good at it. The handle has some kind of rubber coating which again could be not what you want, but I think they are great, because you don't need to hold the stick as firmly.

The tip is almost round. I've noticed that round tips make cymbals sound thin, but when the stick is this good I don't know if it matters that much.

Either Zildjian makes great sticks or this is just a personal preference, but the difference to other sticks I've tried is clear and it's somewhat surprising when you think that they are just wooden sticks. I'm a kind of drummer who is obviously very sensitive to the instrument and that said sticks are an important part of it.