Keep some large sized cymbal felts on hand in the studio. You’d be surprised how many times we see mics placed too close to unopened hi-hats at live gigs, only to be knocked over the second the drummer starts using the pedal to open and close them. Some de-essers allow you to have the compression triggered by the high frequencies that exceed the threshold but with gain reduction across the full audio bandwidth instead, and while you may find this useful occasionally, it generally works best on drums when you have the de-esser filter out only the highs. Ride: Positioning/Placement. He is a former featured monthly columnist for EQ magazine, and his articles and product reviews have also appeared in Keyboard, Electronic Musician and Guitar Player magazines. Since the drums have similar issues, a de-esser can sometimes be used effectively on them too. If you place the mic on the outside edge of the hi-hat, you kill two birds with one stone. Try a tape sim plugin - these can often soften transients and smooth out the high frequencies. In short, once you find the right placement of the ride mic, use it to complement your overheads in the mix, and experiment with panning the ride individually to see where that attack sits best in your overall drum mix. Oops! You'll save yourself time in the long run AND have better sounding results than you'll ever get from trying to "fix it" when it's that bad. A better sounding room will make a big improvement in the overall sound of your drum tracks, and with laptops and modern multichannel interfaces, there's no reason why you can't take the tracking tools to a better room and record the drums there. Required fields are marked *. At this point in your setup, you can sit behind your snare with your feet comfortably accessing the pedals. Cymbals can sometimes be overly bright and harsh sounding due to the conditions in smaller, acoustically under-treated rooms. This helps because it changes the impact angle of the drummer's sticks and can help to remind the drummer to go easier on the brass... but tread lightly here - drummers are like everyone else and they won't appreciate you going in and changing their setups without asking, but if you talk to them about it nicely and explain the issue, they might be willing to give it a try. Most will have some sort of range or threshold control that determines how loud the high frequency peak has to be before the de-esser kicks in. It can help to do the song in sections - intro, verse, chorus, etc. Like most parts of the kit, you’ll want to place the mic close to the source to eliminate bleed; just be careful with the ride because a mic positioned to close to the cymbal can add unwanted low-end boom that will muddy up a mix. MIKING CYMBALS: If you have enough free mics and inputs, mic up the most important cymbals — usually the high hat and the ride (though you should ask first, some drummers may feel their crash or china are more favored/essential to the track). Your email address will not be published. To avoid this, the typical placement would be angle the mic at about 45 - 90 degrees to the hats, aimed at the edge of the cymbal for a shimmering sound, and at the bell for a harder sound. Like most parts of the kit, you’ll want to place the mic close to the source to eliminate bleed; just be careful with the ride because a mic positioned to close to the cymbal can add unwanted low-end boom that will muddy up a mix. Figure 2: The Digirack de-esser plugin that comes bundled with Pro Tools has a simplified control set, but can still be quite effective. He has engineered, produced and performed on countless recording sessions in a diverse range of styles, with artists such as Alien Ant Farm, Jules Day, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John McGill, Michael Knott and Alexa's Wish. A trusty Shure SM57 is also an acceptable mic to use on hats. A small Diaphram Condenser Mic located 1/2 way between the Bell and the Edge on the outside half of the Ride cymbal. Less airspace is better. This might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure the mike is positioned high enough above the hi-hats so as not to interfere with the opening and closing. Mic Placement. Different de-essers will have different controls, from the comprehensive to the simplified, so giving you specific settings for every de-esser isn't going to be possible. If it's just a mic on the ride to stay safe then try any dynamic and try it not only from the top pointing down but also as an underhead. Experiment with mic placement and position. Try a different drummer. Still struggling with that mix and the aggressive cymbals? Audio-Technica also has a number of helpful tips for miking hi-hats. Placing the elements of your kit properly in the left, right and (phantom) center channels will make the drums sit well amongst the rest of your mix, and will spread out and “de-congest” the overall balance of the track, as opposed to drums that are centered down the middle with no thought to proper spatial placement and panning. Ribbon microphones can often even out the harsh high frequencies while still giving you excellent transient response, and in many cases they make excellent drum overhead microphones. When you close the hi-hats using the foot pedal, there’s a lot of air being pushed around, and a big attack like that can spike or possibly damage fragile diaphragms, especially in smaller condenser mics. In additional installments, we’ll tackle the rest of the kit plus effects, so stay tuned (no pun intended). Placing the overhead mikes directly above the cymbals and aimed down at them often accentuates the brass in the overheads at the expense of the rest of the kit. Ben Kweller needs no introduction…but he deserves one, so here goes. (Normally that is not considered close micing but for a cymbal it might be.) In addition to basic de-essing and automating the plugin's threshold, frequency and sensitivity to deal with the varying needs throughout the course of the song, some volume automation on particularly loud cymbal hits will help to reduce the impact of those hits that are just too much for the de-esser to deal with alone. The mop-topped indie kid who broke onto the scene with Radish two decades ago is now, without question,... Thurston Moore Opens Up About New LP and Surprise Project, Using Gratefulness to Reframe Your Definition of Success, 5 Ways to Build Your Fanbase Before Your Next Release, NEW SYNTH ANNOUNCEMENT! As with our drum cymbal issue, these strident high frequency sounds occur irregularly throughout the track, and the de-esser's job is to reduce their volume and impact while leaving the rest of the vocal tonality as unchanged as possible.
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