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Thread: Setting up Drums for Recording

  1. #1

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    Default Setting up Drums for Recording

    I finally got all the part needed to setup my Pearl Export kit, which brings up the issue of where to place them in my room to get the best sound. I'll be using them for both practice and recording, so placement is a big deal, especially for the recording aspect. The dimensions of my room are 21' L x 15' W x 8.75' H. It's a rehearsal space that didn't take any time with sound proofing/absorption, so I'm working with drywall, concrete floors and a drop ceiling. One of my friends suggested that I remove the tile on the tile and grid that holds it up to add some more height, but I have no idea what's above it. I should take down a tile and get up there with a flashlight to check out what's going on up there.

    I've posted this question on one other forum and only got one response. His suggestions was to put them at the end of the room (length wise). Whoever was here before me put up wood shelving that's 5'10" high and goes across the back wall (length wise) and halfway across one of the side walls. I'm not sure what kind of reflection this would cause if I put the drums underneath the shelving. I'm guessing that if it turns out placing the kit at the back of the room (length wise) that it be wise to put them infront of the shelving; it doesn't come out that far, which is a good thing. This will give me some added height, which is important. So that's what I got for ya, any suggestions would be awesome.



    Thanks,
    -Adam

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Setting up Drums for Recording

    It's always said to do what works for you. This is what I would try first:
    I also would set the kit up of the far 15' wall with about 5-6' out from the wall behind the throne. Get a rug or a decent piece of carpet to put under the kit. on the 15' wall straight across from the kit I would cover the wall with something like this:

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    You might consider building or buying some kind of bass traps for the corners of the room like this:


    I would only deal with the drop ceiling if it rattles audibly in your recordings. I've heard good results from people taking cotton packing blankets and laying them across the tops of the ceiling tiles. Also you could consider suspending a 10'x10' packing blanket from the ceiling over your kit.

    Important to note that you don't have to treat your room if you like the sound you get from your drums in it. Set them up, mic them, try different mic types and placements. Many great drum recordings have been done in big open rooms, and many in tight padded closets too. It just depends on the sound you are after. Research "Glyn Johns drum miking technique"

    I think it would be great if you tracked your drums in there, tracked the rest of your band wherever, mixed it someplace else, released the music, sold a million recordings, and for decades after when people ask you how you got that incredible high energy drum sound, you could say it was the drop ceiling frame rattling with the sound energy of your kit in the recording space! Stranger things have happened.
    Cut it large and kick it into place!

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Setting up Drums for Recording

    Quote Originally Posted by CollinCo.Drummer View Post
    It's always said to do what works for you. This is what I would try first:
    I also would set the kit up of the far 15' wall with about 5-6' out from the wall behind the throne. Get a rug or a decent piece of carpet to put under the kit. on the 15' wall straight across from the kit I would cover the wall with something like this:

    I think it would be great if you tracked your drums in there, tracked the rest of your band wherever, mixed it someplace else, released the music, sold a million recordings, and for decades after when people ask you how you got that incredible high energy drum sound, you could say it was the drop ceiling frame rattling with the sound energy of your kit in the recording space! Stranger things have happened.
    Haha! It's a punk band that I'm recording and they're dead set on recording live. At the back of the room (length wise) there's a wooden shelf, 80" x 36", that spans the width of that back area and around the left corner (halfway down). On another forum someone recommended I setup the drums at that back wall (length wise), under the shelf...and then put items of random weight at random spots on the shelf. The logic behind this is that it will dissipate the sound properly. The one problem is that the front of the kit, i.e. the crash and ride cymbals, as well as possibly the snare, high toms and front part of the kit might protrude from the bottom of the shelf. I haven't measured anything out tho; just going by sense.

    This would be the best spot for the drums, since it'd be the furthest away from the other mics. I found a futon frame in the hallway of my rehearsal space that I'm going to use as a makeshift baffle on the other end (length wise) of the room for the singer. I have a pull out, two part, sofa with two twin size (well a tiny bit small than a twin [i think]) mattresses that I'm going to attach to the frame. Hopefully this will be good enough to stop bleed thru on the vocal mic. I'm going to place the two sofa parts in a v-shape in-front of the kick drum. Someone suggested that I put the sofas behind the kit, but I think they'll be more efficient in-front of the kick drum. Any suggestions on which one would work better?

    As for the guitar amp, I'm going to put it in the middle of the room (closer to the wall) with the speakers facing the wall. I'm gonna use two folding chairs, one to put the amp on and the other facing the amp. Then I'm gonna put one of the moving blankets you mentioned over the top of the folding chairs to block out any sound to stop bleed thru. I'll probably rent a second blanket and use it the way you suggested: suspended over the kit (and maybe a third to put behind it).

    As for the bass, I'm gonna go DI and then overdub a second bass tracking using an amp.

    Any suggestions on this setup would be greatly appreciated. As well as any flaws you might have noticed in this setup.

    Thanks,
    -Adam

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Setting up Drums for Recording

    Quote Originally Posted by CollinCo.Drummer View Post
    on the 15' wall straight across from the kit I would cover the wall with something like this:
    Like I mentioned before, I'm cash poor, so buying acoustical treatment like this is out of the question.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Setting up Drums for Recording

    This one is easy, and I recommend you try a few different places to see for yourself. Set the kit up so that it's center with your back to the long wall, and leave enough room to play comfortably and access the kit from either side. Essentially look at the room as if it was a stage. You would not want a stage 21' deep but only 15' wide. Also drywall and drop ceilings will sound very nice but get some carpet on that concrete floor. Plaster, wood and acoustic tiles will give a nice natural room reverb, concrete however will create a lot of unpleasant reflections that will create a muddy effect.
    Last edited by SunDog; 04-25-2016 at 09:30 PM.

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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Setting up Drums for Recording

    One guy was telling me to put the kit under the shelving and then put some random stuff in random spots on-top of the shelving to help with the acoustics...the heavier stuff at the front of the shelving. What do you guys think about this? I'm pretty sure that the front of the kit isn't gonna be completely under the shelving though; it's definitively gonna stick out. It's still the best spot for the kit tho to prevent the most bleed thru.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Setting up Drums for Recording

    Quote Originally Posted by CollinCo.Drummer View Post
    ]You might consider building or buying some kind of bass traps for the corners of the room like this:
    Do you mean to put a link here? It didn't show up if you did.. Anyways, the only used bass traps I found are Auralex LENRD Bass Traps. They're $200 for 8, but that's way too much for me. Do you just need one per bottom corner or do you want them on the top and bottom corners of a room? Bass traps seem to be the most commonly brought up acoustical treatment, by far, when posting about fixing a room up for recording. Are they the most important, or to put it better, what you should buy if you can only afford one thing? Also, are there brands that are cheaper and work just as well?

    How difficult would it be to make your own bass traps? I probably should have googled this before wasting all of your time on here, but I don't do alot of recording in this spot, and I'm not too picky when it comes to sound quality during rehearsal, so if I could jerry rig something on the cheap, I'd prefer that root.

    Thanks again to everybody for all the help. I really appreciate it.

    -Adam
    Last edited by Adam O'Blivion; 04-29-2016 at 01:46 AM.

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