Author Topic: Recording drums on a shoestring  (Read 2194 times)

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Offline RacingHippo

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Recording drums on a shoestring
« on: November 13, 2008, 02:29:45 PM »
This is the continuation of a conversation over here that was getting too far off-toopic even for Frost*ies.

The basic prob is that I would like to record this lot:

..but only have a humble PC with a stereo line input at my disposal.

Quote from: "SerFox"
Oh and to RH:

A stereo input is good. The best thing to do is buy yourself a cheap mini-mixer from maplins, and bring the stereo out of that with a combination cable (mono-mono to stereo) then record that using audacity or your daw of choice.

Ta for the suggestions Mr Fox.
As it 'appens, I have this*:

...which normally serves a dual purpose as a mix-down/eq for 3 tom mics + 2 overheads and my monitor mix².
So getting it down to 2 channels isn't a problem.

The problem is achieving a good mix: What do I pair with what? How many takes will it need to get it so that I don't have too much OH in the OH/Toms mix or the OH/Toms/Snare mix or the OH/kick mix...

I could probably get it down to 3 channels by mixing OH+toms but kick and snare really need to stay on their own channels.

Any more ideas?



* The mixer, not the D4.
² It links via a multi to our main desk which receives my vox and 4 channels of drums and sends all the other stuff I want to hear in my in-ear monitors (aka cheap earphones).
* May contain nuts.

Offline rogerg

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2008, 11:09:08 PM »
what kind of recording machine can read a shoestring?

Offline catherine

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2008, 11:45:08 PM »
One that takes analogue bootstraps.

Offline vocalnick

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008, 05:49:33 AM »
If you can get your hands on a Valdemar Poulsen Telegraphone, you may be able to coat the shoestring in some sort of magnetic substance and yield a recording in that fashion.

I believe the high-speed at which the medium passees through the machine (about 37 metres per minute) would allow for less than a second of recording. You may be able to find higher-capacity media, perhaps up to two seconds or even longer, but I think technically that would be a bootstring, and may not be appropriate for your needs.
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Offline vocalnick

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 05:55:39 AM »
Seriously though, as far as micing is concerned, I'd say kick, snare, and stereo overheads is a good basic starting point. Don't mic up toms individually at the expense of the OH mics.

Pan Kick and Snare down the centre, your overheads to the sides, and then if you have the mics and the inputs you might like to close-mic the toms and pan them out to correspond to their positions on the kit. That's a basic bog-standard setup. Then it's just a matter of setting mixer levels, recording a few bars, listening back, adjusting mixer levels again, recording a few more bars, and repeat until it sounds good.

There is so much more that could be said about pulling drum sounds (and I'm no expert) but as a basic (sort of) answer to the question, that would be where I'd go.

That's if the wire recorder doesn't work out  :mrgreen:

Oh, and have a gander at this:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Feb03/a ... miking.asp
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Offline RacingHippo

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 11:04:11 AM »
At last! A sensible answer!

I rather assumed that "shoestring" wouldn't be taken literally; of course, I'd use a length - whether from a shoe or boot -  suitable for the length of recording I was making, and if necessary tie several together.

That's useful stuff you've suggested there. Thanks :)
I guess what I'm really trying to angle at is a way to record more than 2 channels simultaneously (multiple bootlaces?), but I suspect the only way to do that would involve spending more money than I have available, either on a HDD recorder of some form or multi-channel input for the PC (I presume these things exist?).

For now I suppose I'll just have to use the trial-and-error approach!  That is, assuming I get the blinkin' time to do it...
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Offline vocalnick

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 10:27:34 PM »
Quote from: "RacingHippo"
At last! A sensible answer!

Uh oh... what have I done?

Quote
I guess what I'm really trying to angle at is a way to record more than 2 channels simultaneously (multiple bootlaces?), but I suspect the only way to do that would involve spending more money than I have available, either on a HDD recorder of some form or multi-channel input for the PC (I presume these things exist?).

They do indeed exist, and that's generally the better way to do it. Saves much of the trial and error and lets you sort out the balance between mics afterwards. of course there's a lot more to it than simply balancing the mic levels - you have to put them in the right place for a start, get the drums sounding good in the room before that... and it goes on and on.
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Offline RacingHippo

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2008, 09:55:57 AM »
Quote from: "vocalnick"
Quote from: "RacingHippo"
At last! A sensible answer!

Uh oh... what have I done?

Well, it was only mostly-sensible. I've looked everywhere on the net and can't find a Telegraphone anywhere.
Back to the drawing board :P


Quote from: "vocalnick"
They do indeed exist, and that's generally the better way to do it.
Yeah... don't suppose you've any recommendations? I keep thinking I've found something and then I find the small print saying that, whilst it does have 374 inputs, you can only record on 2 simultaneously.

Quote from: "vocalnick"
of course there's a lot more to it than simply balancing the mic levels - you have to put them in the right place for a start, get the drums sounding good in the room before that... and it goes on and on.
That SoS page is very, very useful - thanks!
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Offline Pedro

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2008, 12:24:30 PM »
This place (tweakheadz) has a lot of useful info - you might find some advice in there. :)
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Offline RacingHippo

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Re: Recording drums on a shoestring
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 09:06:03 PM »
Oooh... it has comparison tabley things! That's a handy-dandy site - ta for that!
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