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almost nothing but clean, clear cymbal. The rear lobes of the figure-8 polar patterns were pointing up at the ceiling, but the sound bouncing back was sufficiently attenuated (due to inverse square) that it was not a problem. Had we been in a room with a very low ceiling we would have listened carefully to make sure we were not hearing too much of the ceiling reflection. Moving on, we chose a third KSM44 for the ride cymbal, set up the same way as the overheads. The ride cymbal was placed about 1 foot lower than the overheads and we wanted to eliminate as much crash cymbal leakage as possible, so we placed this mic at the same height as the crash cymbal. This way the figure-8 pattern rejected the crash cymbal very well because a figure-8 pattern picks up the least amount of sound from 90 degrees. We took the same approach with the hihat mic, choosing a Royer R-121 figure-8 ribbon mic and placing it at the height of the crash cymbal on that side of the kit. We also angled this mic almost 45 degrees away from the snare. We got plenty of direct hi-hat and almost no snare leakage this way, and the smooth frequency response was very complimentary to the splashy hi-hat. Moving downward we chose three good old reliable Sennheiser MD421 largediaphragm dynamic mics for the floor tom and two rack toms. These mics were carefully angled to point right at the toms and away from anything else. On the snare we used a Shure SM57LC, the sub-$100 old-school incarnation of the 57 which I still prefer for most snares and guitar amps. Underneath the snare we usually place another 57 but we decided to pump up the jams and stick a Shure SM7 dynamic down there. Dunno why, just the way we roll. The bottom snare mic can be mixed with the top to provide extra snap and high end without having to reach for the high-frequency eq. Finally, we decided to double-mike the kick. The kick had a very crude and hastily cut hole in the front head, so we stuck an Audix D6 just inside and pointing back at the spot where the beater hits the head. The D6 is an excellent and affordable mic with a deliciously deep extended low end. It works great on kick, floor tom, bass cabinet, and anywhere else where you are really wanting to probe the depths. About a foot away and pointing at the center of the kick we placed the even more affordable ($99 MSRP) MXL Cube cardioid condenser. This is yet another modern microphone designed to do what we used to need an expensive Neumann U47 FET (Field Effect Transistor) mic for, which is to handle the relatively high sound-pressure level of a kick drum without overloading or compressing the way a tube mic might in this situation. This mic yielded a very clean, tight, and punchy sound which really blew our minds when mixed with the deep thickness of the Audix D6. Soloing these mics was very satisfying. Because we had such well-isolated sounds we could pan the mics any way we wanted, even right up the center in total monophonic old-school glory. The lack of leakage between mics kept everything sounding extremely clean and tight. We soon realized that we could achieve a very wide range of sounds from wide open stereo to a more narrow soundstage with no degradation of sound quality. The MXL Cube was the surprise MVP. It sounds fantastic and at less then $100 you ought to snag one for your arsenal. Signal chain, polarity, time alignment We ran all these mics through some very nice preamps including a Focusrite ISA828 on most of the close mics and a pair of Avalon M5 pres for the distant pair. These preamps all have transformer inputs and outputs so we really got the solid sound of some old-school iron happening. We recorded at 44.1 kHz/24-bit to Pro Tools. In Pro Tools we flipped the polarity of every mic but the two kick mics and the bottom snare mic. Why? Here’s why. The mic on top of the snare sees the drum head moving away from it when that drum gets hit. The bottom snare mic sees the head moving towards it at the same time. Looking at the waveform display you can see that the top snare track swings down (negative pressure) while the bottom snare track swings up (positive pressure). See Figure 1 for their waveforms. Mix these two tracks together and the top snare track will pull your speaker cone away from you while the bottom snare track pushes it towards you. The result is a very thin sound. Flipping the polarity of all mics that are on the top side of the drums makes the speaker cones push towards you anytime a drum gets hit. It’s not as important whether the speakers move towards you or away from you, but it is extremely important that the polarity of all tracks match. We used the Pro Tools Trim plug-in to flip polarity on the overheads and the Time Adjuster Short plug-in to do it everywhere else because we also wanted to time-align our drums. As usual, we recorded a single hit on each drum and cymbal for this purpose. Even though we had such good isolation we wanted as clean a sound as possible. When
RECORDING February 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - February 2013
Recording - February 2013
The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
Big Money Drums.
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
Stereo From A Mono Mic.
Recording - February 2013 - Recording - February 2013
Recording - February 2013 - Cover2
Recording - February 2013 - 1
Recording - February 2013 - 2
Recording - February 2013 - 3
Recording - February 2013 - Fade In.
Recording - February 2013 - 5
Recording - February 2013 - Contents
Recording - February 2013 - 7
Recording - February 2013 - Talkback.
Recording - February 2013 - 9
Recording - February 2013 - Fast Forward.
Recording - February 2013 - 11
Recording - February 2013 - 12
Recording - February 2013 - 13
Recording - February 2013 - The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
Recording - February 2013 - 15
Recording - February 2013 - 16
Recording - February 2013 - 17
Recording - February 2013 - 18
Recording - February 2013 - 19
Recording - February 2013 - Big Money Drums.
Recording - February 2013 - 21
Recording - February 2013 - 22
Recording - February 2013 - 23
Recording - February 2013 - 24
Recording - February 2013 - 25
Recording - February 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
Recording - February 2013 - 27
Recording - February 2013 - 28
Recording - February 2013 - 29
Recording - February 2013 - Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
Recording - February 2013 - 31
Recording - February 2013 - AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
Recording - February 2013 - 33
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Recording - February 2013 - 35
Recording - February 2013 - Shure KSM9HS.
Recording - February 2013 - 37
Recording - February 2013 - Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
Recording - February 2013 - 39
Recording - February 2013 - Audio-Technica AT4047MP.
Recording - February 2013 - 41
Recording - February 2013 - Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
Recording - February 2013 - 43
Recording - February 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
Recording - February 2013 - 45
Recording - February 2013 - 46
Recording - February 2013 - 47
Recording - February 2013 - Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
Recording - February 2013 - 49
Recording - February 2013 - DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
Recording - February 2013 - 51
Recording - February 2013 - Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
Recording - February 2013 - 53
Recording - February 2013 - Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
Recording - February 2013 - 55
Recording - February 2013 - Readers’ Tapes.
Recording - February 2013 - 57
Recording - February 2013 - 58
Recording - February 2013 - 59
Recording - February 2013 - 60
Recording - February 2013 - 61
Recording - February 2013 - Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
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Recording - February 2013 - 67
Recording - February 2013 - 68
Recording - February 2013 - 69
Recording - February 2013 - Stereo From A Mono Mic.
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Recording - February 2013 - Advertiser Index.
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Recording - February 2013 - Fade Out.
Recording - February 2013 - Cover3
Recording - February 2013 - Cover4