Recording January 2022 - 72

FadeOut
Both Sides
of the Glass
Guest Editorial by David Blascoe
I have been a full-time professional drummer for about twelve
years now, and I have tirelessly toured the country from coast
to coast and done my fair share of recording sessions in and
out of the studio. I have done everything from engineering my
own drum sessions in my living room all the way to sitting
patiently while a Grammy award-winning engineer mikes up
my kit-and everything in between. There is a lot to learn in
all scenarios, which brings me to the question: What are some
things drummers should know about engineering?
Comfort is key...sometimes
Every recording drummer has been asked to move kit pieces
around a little to accommodate the setup. While initially annoying,
the final recording will benefit from it. A good example
is the height of the cymbals. You, the drummer, may be more
comfortable with your ride cymbal down low where it is, but
the floor tom mic sitting mere inches away from it is not happy
with the resulting bleed. Raising the cymbals a little higher
than you're used to is actually a fairly common practice in the
studio, to get them as far away as possible from the close mics
on the drums. The drummer should still be able to play comfortably,
but the final result will sound better. The engineer and
the drummer need to work together to make the recording the
best it can be.
A more controlled sound
I remember as a kid, being frustrated that I couldn't get
my drums to sound like my favorite records while practicing
in my parents' basement. It's very common for young and
inexperienced drummers to not fully realize that the drum
sound on their favorite song results from the microphones
and the mixing process. The drum kit you're hearing on
the record did not necessarily sound exactly like that in the
room. That being said, in my experience, more often than
not, dryer and darker drum and cymbal sounds are king
in the studio. Microphones love darker-toned, less piercing
cymbals that sit inside of the mix instead of on top of it, such
72 RECORDING January 2022
as for example Zildjian K models. I muffle and dampen my
drums significantly more in the studio than I do live because
that ringy satisfying pop to the snare drum that sounds so
good on a big stage is unwieldy and distracting when in a
studio with a microphone inches away from it. That classic
low gut-punch snare drum, as heard on Al Green records,
does not sound like that in person. Utilizing the proximity
effect on the microphone gives you more of that low boost
that isn't necessarily present in person a few feet away from
your kit. I am reminded of legendary session drummer Steve
Gadd. He spent so much time in recording studios that he
has taken that sound with him even in live performance.
Look up YouTube videos of Gadd, and you'll notice how his
drums are tuned low and dead, and his choice in cymbals is
always on the dryer and darker side.
Self-mixing...you can do it
Some of the best advice I was ever given is getting a microphone
(any microphone will do), setting it up in front of your
kit a few feet away, and recording yourself. The first time any
drummer does this, they will quickly be humbled by the results.
Learning how to self-mix your own playing is one of the most
valuable skill sets you can bring into the studio (and stage) as
a drummer. Listen back to that recording. Are the cymbals too
loud? Then play them softer. Can you not hear the kick drum?
Play it harder. Balancing your volume levels before they get
to the microphones is what separates a professional drummer
from a novice. Whether in the studio or live, I am hitting my
drums at about 55% to 80% intensity and my cymbals at 25%
to 40% intensity. Getting comfortable with playing the cymbals
softer makes you sound more balanced both live and in the
studio and helps engineers out a ton. There certainly are times
to let loose and rock out, but giving yourself the headroom to
always have more energy and intensity available to give is a
beneficial skill.
The beat goes on
These are just a few helpful tips that were instrumental to me
throughout my drumming career. I can't recommend enough
that drummers get comfortable with the recording process and
learn what they can do to help the recordings they play on
sound the best that they can.
David Blascoe is a Nashville-based session drummer and engineer.
He records and tours with a roster of artists, including his
personal project, Black Fuse.
@blackfusemusic
@davidblascoe

Recording January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording January 2022

Fade In
Fast Forward
Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Austrian Audio CC8
Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Audio-Technica AT2040
Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Readers' Tracks
sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Intro
Recording January 2022 - Cover1
Recording January 2022 - Cover2
Recording January 2022 - 1
Recording January 2022 - 2
Recording January 2022 - 3
Recording January 2022 - Fade In
Recording January 2022 - 5
Recording January 2022 - 6
Recording January 2022 - 7
Recording January 2022 - Fast Forward
Recording January 2022 - 9
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
Recording January 2022 - 11
Recording January 2022 - 12
Recording January 2022 - 13
Recording January 2022 - A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Recording January 2022 - 15
Recording January 2022 - 16
Recording January 2022 - 17
Recording January 2022 - 18
Recording January 2022 - 19
Recording January 2022 - 20
Recording January 2022 - 21
Recording January 2022 - 22
Recording January 2022 - 23
Recording January 2022 - Austrian Audio CC8
Recording January 2022 - 25
Recording January 2022 - Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Recording January 2022 - 27
Recording January 2022 - 28
Recording January 2022 - 29
Recording January 2022 - 30
Recording January 2022 - 31
Recording January 2022 - 32
Recording January 2022 - 33
Recording January 2022 - Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Recording January 2022 - 35
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Recording January 2022 - 37
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Recording January 2022 - 39
Recording January 2022 - 40
Recording January 2022 - 41
Recording January 2022 - Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Recording January 2022 - 43
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Recording January 2022 - 45
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Recording January 2022 - 47
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
Recording January 2022 - 49
Recording January 2022 - API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Recording January 2022 - 51
Recording January 2022 - Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Recording January 2022 - 53
Recording January 2022 - 54
Recording January 2022 - 55
Recording January 2022 - Audio-Technica AT2040
Recording January 2022 - 57
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Recording January 2022 - 59
Recording January 2022 - Readers' Tracks
Recording January 2022 - 61
Recording January 2022 - 62
Recording January 2022 - 63
Recording January 2022 - 64
Recording January 2022 - 65
Recording January 2022 - sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Recording January 2022 - 67
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Recording January 2022 - 69
Recording January 2022 - 70
Recording January 2022 - 71
Recording January 2022 - Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Cover3
Recording January 2022 - Cover4
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