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-   -   Advice on mic'ing things? (https://www.musicbanter.com/stereo-production-equipment/31573-advice-micing-things.html)

Halfa 07-09-2008 10:58 PM

Advice on mic'ing things?
 
How would u mic a drumkit and/or a grand piano without specialized mics?

SATCHMO 07-10-2008 08:20 AM

The same way you would with specialized mics.
Optimally for a drum kit you would have a mic for every piece - including cymbals- in the kit. For the average kit that's 8 mics. It is always good to use application specific microphones whenever possible, especially when you have good equipment/software to support it. However I've worked in live situations with national acts that insist on throwing SM-57s on every piece in the drum kit. The result is a less dynamic, but tighter and more uniform sound.
A grand piano is considerably easier. Usually 2 mics taped to the inside of the sound box lid, one in the general area of an octave below the area of the middle C string and one two octaves above it usually works quite well.

Whatsitoosit 07-10-2008 08:38 AM

For drums I would do as Satchmo said, a mic on every piece... also try mic'ing underneath the snare drum (a clip on mic does the trick) as well as mic'ing the top of the snare drum. This allows for that crack hit sound which you can't get from just mic'ing the top... just remember to reverse the phase of that mic underneath the snare. Two overhead mics (panned apart far enough to give a nice stereo effect) is a good idea as well as a room mic, placed 10-15 feet (maybe more depending) away from the drum set just to give the overall sound some realistic dynamics.

For Piano, I've seen professionals always place two mics in an X pattern in the middle of inside the piano. I've even seen people mic underneath the piano but never heard the result... I would stick to mic'ing inside the piano.

Halfa 07-10-2008 02:55 PM

ah....ok...so what would you do if you were limited to 8 mics for the entire group, including 2 guitars, vocal, piano, bass, and drums?

(yea the situation sucks...but we gotta make due with what we got....)

SATCHMO 07-10-2008 05:41 PM

Well for the bass you are going to probably go direct out of the bass head into the sound board, so that eliminates the need for a mic. one mic for each guitar rig pointed directly at the speaker usually a half inch away from the grill. one vocal mic. a single mic for the piano, but i would experiment heavily with placement and EQ. a mic each for the kick and snare a mike shared between two rack toms, and a mic on the floor tom,and just hope that the mics on the kit catch enough indirect sound from the cymbals and hi-hat to make it sound good. Is this live or studio?

Halfa 07-10-2008 05:49 PM

studio i would say. we're just doing it in my music room at my house.

SATCHMO 07-10-2008 05:53 PM

are you recording seriously or just to capture the inspiration

Halfa 07-10-2008 05:56 PM

probably capturing the inspiration....we're gonna try to make a demo cd with our material....we just want the best quality sound possible.

SATCHMO 07-10-2008 06:09 PM

Get together for a session and put one mic dead center of the musicians general area with the mic boom fully extended , but with the mic pointing directly at the floor- like a overhead cymbal set up. Give one mic to the singer and just go to town. Go back and listen to your recording and make an inventory of the overall tonal balance of the recording, minus the singer of course cuz' they have a mic. Take the instruments that sound weak in the recording and place mics on them while still keeping the "room mic" in place. keep experimenting with this process until your sound is refined as you can get it. I will tell you right now that the bass drum will probably be the one piece that you will without a doubt want to have a mic on, everything else will be up to the room acoustics and the acoustic dynamics between the instruments. Try what I suggest and you will be surprised at just how well it works

Halfa 07-10-2008 06:15 PM

alright. thanks a lot man

Whatsitoosit 07-11-2008 08:12 AM

Satcho speaks the truth... at this stage in my life if I were in Halfa's situation I would just go buy more mics and a new rig to allow for more mic inputs, throw a mic on EVERYTHING!!!! but I understand when you need to work with what you got... good luck to you Halfa, I would like to hear whatever it is you are recording with that setup (when you are happy with the mic placement).

Halfa 07-11-2008 03:04 PM

well...we have a max of 8 mics. XP and no money to get a better rig...but i mean...an 8 mic setup is pretty damned good for a bunch of highschool and early college punks.

lebouche 10-27-2008 06:55 PM

I've heard people say if you can't get a great sound with 3 mics on drums you are an idiot.
I don't always use 10 mics...v much dependent on the song and drummer.
The better balanced the drummer the easier the job.
Look up the recorderman method and glyn johns.
Both these techniques use two overhead mics and a kick.
I normally add a snare as well but often don't need it.

Either that or hire a studio like mine.
Having a properly treated room and some nice gear helps :).

Halfa 10-29-2008 07:53 PM

we figured out a good way for drums. not the best but if ur drummer is decently loud u just need one in the bass drum and one overhead. not the best setup but it works well for decently recorded demos.

DearJenny 10-30-2008 09:11 AM

Sticks and duct tape?

Dr_Rez 10-30-2008 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SATCHMO (Post 496701)
The same way you would with specialized mics.
Optimally for a drum kit you would have a mic for every piece - including cymbals- in the kit. For the average kit that's 8 mics. It is always good to use application specific microphones whenever possible, especially when you have good equipment/software to support it. However I've worked in live situations with national acts that insist on throwing SM-57s on every piece in the drum kit. The result is a less dynamic, but tighter and more uniform sound.
A grand piano is considerably easier. Usually 2 mics taped to the inside of the sound box lid, one in the general area of an octave below the area of the middle C string and one two octaves above it usually works quite well.

Not to contradict you but I have found using only 4 well placed mics works quite well for a mid size kit. Just make sure to check with tech that you placed them where they should be.

And that right about the piano, I found with 3 it makes a very noticeable difference though.

Halfa 11-01-2008 10:30 PM

well for piano we found the best solution:
just go with keyboards. they're louder through a decent amp even if they dont sound as good at all

GuitarPlayer101 11-23-2008 04:41 AM

can you plug your keys straight into your desk and avoid using a mic on the amp?

Halfa 11-23-2008 10:27 AM

lol no......the problem is there are 4 digital imputs and a couple of analogue imputs. the analogue imputs are ehhh.....they're really hard to soundcheck. its a lot easier for us to just put everything through the digital imputs. all you have to do is get good balance between the keyboard and whoever is sharing and ur good to go.

futuredisco 12-08-2008 05:06 AM

I would use 4 mics on the drum kit ( Kick, Snare + 2 Overheads ) and one for each guitar, piano and vocal. DI the bass.

5-Track 01-04-2009 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Halfa (Post 537423)
we figured out a good way for drums. not the best but if ur drummer is decently loud u just need one in the bass drum and one overhead. not the best setup but it works well for decently recorded demos.


Totally.

or if you have 3, add one on the snare or else a 2nd overhead depending on the room. A reverberant room maybe go with the snare (or else put that 3rd mic across the room entirely) or a really dampened room maybe use a 2nd overhead to give it some space and a kind of merry crispness

Ace 01-29-2009 12:04 AM

A good thing to invest in, asuming you have a soundboard, is a noise gate.
You can use it to adjust the sensitivity on your microphones, so you're snare drum's mic isn't picking up some of the kick drum in it's feed. (Or whatever it is you're micing, not just snare drums and such.) It can really be a pain when you're mixing if you have to go through channels and silence a bunch of crap between notes, because of your mics picking up noise from elsewhere. A noise gate will keep a certain microphone from picking up anything until that part of your drum is played. Unless of course, you hit something like the kick drum and the snare at the exact same time....you get the picture. That wouldn't be a problem though.

Freebase Dali 03-12-2009 04:09 PM

I never had much luck with noise gates on drums. There's literally so much decibel level coming from each piece that it's near impossible to not go above the threshold without setting it so high that it cuts off some of your natural decay.
Unless you're playing jazz with brushes or something, then it's not realistic.

What's a better option is that most recording software comes with mute scrub tools. Just record your drums and on each channel you can scrub a mute through all the parts where the particular drum isn't playing. It's a bit painstaking, but it allows the most control of your sound.
You end up with total isolation of all drum channels apart from whats bleeding over during an intended hit.
It's basically a manual version of a noise gate, except you control it dynamically, and after the fact.

I've had better results that way.


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