[Ardour-Users] Made with Ardour

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at stackingdwarves.net
Thu May 26 23:56:38 PDT 2011

On 05/27/2011 02:27 AM, fukked up wrote:

> no, but the snare is cheap and the drummer plays very "dynamically", so
> it's difficult to use dynamic tools...can't even gate the bassdrum.

you can *always* gate a bass drum. :)
but yeah, you don't necessarily have to...

> The snare is recorded with an sm58... yes I know it's for vocals and
> transmits less bass to compensate the close distance (we use a special
> word for that in german: "Nahbesprechungseffekt"). But it was the only
> mic we had, that did record anything acceptable at the level. The others
> introduced distortion. At the bottom we used a condenser. They're phase
> inverted and mixed at different levels and eq (4band parametric). Maybe
> the bottom is too loud but it sounds so much "crisper" with bottom. That
> might be caused by the condenser mic.

maybe. i'm missing the fundamental of the snare head - all i hear is 
overtones and snares. maybe you had the sm58 a bit too far away... i've 
been forced to use one for stuff it was not designed for (such as miking 
a bass amp, where i find it's the lesser evil compared to a 57), and i 
found you have to get really close, for the reasons you describe.

plus the snare doesn't sound very well tuned to me, but that's of course 
a matter of taste. as is the entire discussion here, so i hope you take 
everything you hear with a grain of salt. it's just that everybody has 
an idea of how the standard rock drumkit should sound - you can either 
comply with that idea, or do something so weird that everybody gets it 
that you don't want to sound like that canonical kit. anything in 
between will subject you to strong opinions :)

of course, the only really correct way, as paul mentioned, is to abolish 
snare drums altogether. who needs them?

> It didn't sound too good in the room, when we recorded.

that is very likely the root of the problem.


> I'd have used a gate, but the tracks weren't gate friendly, i.e. the
> loudest snare on bassdrum tracks is louder than the softest bassdrum...

that's what the key filters are for: you can put a high- and lowpass 
into the gate sidechain, so that only very low frequencies will open the 
bass drum gate, and only the overtones of the snare will open the snare 
gate (where, hopefully, the bass drum won't interfere).

but gates shouldn't really be necessary on a studio production if the 
room and set is good, unless you're in for that slightly artificial 
sound. for sure they shouldn't just be used "by default".

> My personal experience with compressors in single channels or buses is,
> that it leads to side effects if you don't watch out.

it's certainly less hairy than sum compression, where one loud drum hit 
can drown out all the rest.
the way i work, i almost never use sum compression except when i have to 
deliver a "master" - compressing individual channels gives me better 
control with less pumping...

> btw can you tell me a good compressor for channels (moderate ressource
> consumption)?

sc4 works for me on most signals, except bass/double bass, where it 
produces audible clicking. for the really fussy signals, i use sampo's 
schmooz compressor.
resource consumption shouldn't really be an issue unless you work with 
massive numbers of channels.

you could also try the calf compressors, they have very spiffy 
interfaces, but those might be a bit harder on your cpu.

> What we really need is a studio with a separate control room. We just
> have a single room for band and pc.

well, that's luxury :) you can sort of get away with a single room if 
you're prepared to do lots of test recordings: get the drummer to play, 
record, get the drummer to shut up, listen carefully to the recording, 
adjust the mike, repeat. i find it's do-able - rehearsal room time isn't 
too expensive.



Jörn Nettingsmeier
Lortzingstr. 11, 45128 Essen, Tel. +49 177 7937487

Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik (Bühne/Studio)
Tonmeister VDT


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