Friday, October 16, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
This week is part 3 in a three part series of recording drums. Be sure to check out the Podcast that goes along with this weeks blog.
This week focuses on adding additional elements and percussion to a drum mix, and how to make them fit in early on in the mix process. I'll also show you how to use some special efects on a drum mix to make it more lively and have some movement, without being distracting in a mix.
First off, many people add auxiliary percussion to their mixes as a final element to fill in some holes they may have. Being a drummer and percussionist, I like doing it the other way around. Add all the percussion you think you'll need at the beginning. When I record a drum track, I often add some other percussion to go along with it. Even if it may not be used in the final mix, it's there to set a foundation and a starting point for everything else that my come along in the recording process.
Second thing I like to use are some special or weird effects on drum mixes. Of course, there are many purists out there who would never dream of using effects plug-ins on drums, only on electric guitars, but I say if it can be done, why not try it? Then if it doesn't work, move on to something else. I don't want to get too extreme with this first introduction of the process, so we'll just start with a simple reverb plug-in.
Now, though reverbs are common in many types of music, the way it is used can be unique. Here's my unique approach.
1. Take a drum mix, or even just a snare drum track.
2. Duplicate the track.
3. Use a Reverse plug-in to reverse one of the duplicate tracks.
4. Add a Reverb plug-in to the Reversed track. Try setting the reverb time to whatever your quarter note value is. If your tempo is 120, the reverb time would be 500ms. Keep the Reverb 100% wet, because you'll be adding this to your dry signal later.
5. After adding and processing the reverb on that track, Reverse the track again. This will give you a track that has a reverse-reverb on it. Instead of hearing a reverb after a snare hit, you'll hear a reverb coming up to the hit.
6. Add a little of this reverse-reverb track to your dry signal.
For even a little more fun, try alternating the panning on the new track from hard left-right, to center, on each beat. This combined with the reverse-reverb effect gives the impression of the drums spreading out and then imploding to the middle on each beat.
Be sure to download the Podcast so you can hear these processes in action.
Stay tuned next week when we'll hear from Miles Fulwider about Ambisonics and the B and B+ formats.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
This week is part 1 in a three part series of recording drums. This blog focuses on different microphone techniques. This blog coincides with the new podcast where you can hear the difference in various mic configurations and placements, and how they affect they overall sound. You can subscribe to the Podcast here. The next two blogs and podcasts will focus on mixing techniques including EQ, compression, reverb, and other tricks.
As with any acoustic recording, mic placement is the second most important ingredient to a great sound, second only to having a good source. If you have seen ads for Millenia Media's preamps, then you're familiar with their slogan "Their is no undo on your preamp". I like to go a couple steps before that and say, there is no undo on your mic placement, even more, there is no undo on the sound coming out of the instrument in the first place. This means that basically, what you hear is what you get. Of course, the whole recording studio industry, software, hardware, gadgets and gizmos aplenty, is built around trying to make people believe that they can polish the proverbial turd and make things sound better than the original source, but always remember, it starts at the source and mic placement.
Some of my favorite mics for recording drums, and what you will hear on the podcast, are listed below.
Kick - Audix D6
Snare Top - Shure SM57
Snare Bottom - Shure SM57
High Tom - Audix D2
Low Tom - Audix D4
Overheads - Rode NT5's
HiHats - Nady Starpower SP-9
Now, some of you may not know that the Nady Starpower is basically a $15 radioshack mic, but hey, if it works, why not use it? Most of the other mics are standard studio fare. You can find them in any professional setting. Perhaps soon, Grammy winners will be judged on how many Nady Starpowers were used on their album, instead of how many millions of records were sold to their aging, rich, grandmother.
Back on the topic now. No matter what mic you use, or what kind of mic placement you have, there is one thing that all the best recording engineers have. Good ears! No piece of equipment or gear even comes close to having as much impact and persuasion on a recording than using your ears. It's the one thing you can't buy on eBay, Guitar Center, or any store. So listen to the podcast, and do some experimenting yourself. Use your best equipment that is always with you. Here's to your ears!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
- Record your song, could be just a rough demo or completed song
- Upload your song and tell me what kind of drums you want
- I record a drum track for your song
- Download the finished drums and add them to your song