Semitt Falls recording blog

So we spent saturday the 29th march recording drums. It was pretty much lots of fun.  We arrived at 9am at the University of Salford, where Kenders works.  We loaded in and put all the equipment in to the room we were to record in.  We were using the Listening room which at the university is more commonly used to carry listening tests of sound reproduction systems.   But it does mean that the acoustics, while quite dry, are extremely well controlled and there is little coloration for a relatively small space.
First job we set up, putting the drums towards the centre of the room where the the most number of diffusers so that this limited the ammount of ‘slap’ echo we would get.
Next was the placing of the Drum mics. This is pretty much the set up we used:
  • 2 x Neumann U87 AI, placed either side of the kit angled downwards, about 2m apart, cardiod setting
  • snare mic top sennheiser e 604
  • snare bottom EV RE20, optimised for reduced proximity effect, cardiod, placed so that kick is off axis
  • Home made sub kick placed towards kick drum skin, wired to positicve and negative xlr.
  • hihat – SM 81 – – cardiod pattern point towards centre bell of hihat
  • rack tom sennheiser e 604
  • Kick mic – Audix d6 – scooped mid range
  • floor tom atm25
  • room mics – Audio Technica AT4040SM x 2 in each corner of the room
  • Soundfield mircophone –
    The homemade sub kick involved using an ns10 driver with the inputs soldered to the hot and cold on an XLR mic cable. The driver was clamped to a stand pointing at the resonant head of the kick skin, about 5cm away. A speaker is essentially just a microphone in reverse and therefore can function as such. The increased surface area that is effectively utilised for capturing the sound pressure fluctuations enanbles butter coupling between the lowest modal vibration of the skin as compared with a smaller diaphragm on a microphone. Next time I think the speaker needs to be damped somehow, the magnitude of the pressure was so great that I believe it was causing the speaker to over extrude and there was some audible distortion and the kick sounds recorded with tho device were insufficient my damped and were a little wooly sounding… I think putting the driver in a sealed cabinet with some foam I. The cabinet could work…. Next time…

A focusrite pro 40 sound card was used as our hub, where we rigged up a ART DPS dual channel pre amp via spdif, and an 8 channel benrhinger ADA8000 for an extra 8 channels.  everything was clocked from the ART DPS, using adat to sync up the  ADA8000.  So that 18 channels of audio all through the pro 40, pretty impressive.

Cubase is my DAW of choice and I had previous set up all the guide tracks.  so then we got cracking!
8 tracks down on the drums, kit sounding massive, cant wait to get this mixed and out there now!