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Drum recording question

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Rugmaster, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Has anyone ever done a recording where the drums were recorded at a different location than the rest of the instruments? I'm asking because my band wants to record at my guitarists home studio and we can do everything except drums there because he lives in a condo. We're just a little concered about having problems with the drum track after we put it in pro tools because it will only be one track and we won't be able to adjust the volume on the individual pieces of the kit.
  2. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    Why does the drums have to be one track? Do you want it that way?
  3. I'm no recording expert but my guitarist says unless the studio records them in pro tools it will have to be that way, because that is what he uses
  4. You can record to a click--- drums can be rendered down to individual wav files for final edit
  5. Shouldn't be a problem, take notes on details like tempo changes, etc, so that you can sync up everything when you're done.

    When you're recording, make sure each piece is miked separately as well as a group, this will help in adjusting for bleed later, while ensuring that the dynamics are captured. More mics initially, but when you're putting it together with the other instruments, you could always remove or adjust levels of the extraneous mics.

    I think a lot of people record at separate locations, even across countries. Especially nowadays, since it's fairly easy to share files. And like the others said, you could always render each file separately as a .wav so that you have the different pieces and can EQ and add FX separately to suit taste.

    - Jimmy Rage
  6. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    With the variety in recording options you can do it a multitude of ways. I'd advise pretty strict click tracking and note taking for ease of mixing.
    From what I hear drums take a bit of experimenting to record well - for acoustic kit recordings the room and the mic'ing scheme is really important to get great recordings.

    If you record a kit by close micing every piece you will end up with a bunch of tracks you can filter and mix separately - this is not nearly as simple as a room recording of the kit. I'm no expert but I suspect there's no substitute for care and experience.
  7. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    You can try recording the other musicians first to bpm click protools provide and mix them down to a two track stereo file. Then record the drums with each piece miked tonthe mixed file and then mix down the drums. This should help avoid one tracking the drums. If you want a good clean mix you should have the drums on one track.
  8. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    It sounds like the guys in your band who have the most recording experience don't yet have much experience recording to a click or flying in drum tracks.

    I'd seriously consider using that drum session to record basic band tracks along w/ the drummer.
  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If you get a bad recorded drum track there's alway
    Or similar

    It really is the original drummer playing, just the sounds are replaced.
  10. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    I use this ALL THE TIME - most "big-time" records do as well (or a similar drum-replacer application). However, EACH drum really needs to be recorded to its own track.

    Replacing cymbals - especially hi-hats - can be extremely difficult.

    I have done this:

    1) track drums with mics and triggers - separate tracks with accompanying separate trigger tracks. A few takes, as well.
    2) cut-n-paste better performances.
    3) use Beat Detective (to tighten up timing to taste).
    4) use Drumagog to trigger the way-better-sounds in BFD or sample library. Create MIDI tracks for better fills, etc. if desired.
    5) re-record cymbals only - usually crash and ride. Or better, create a MIDI track and then trigger BFD.
    6) pray that I can keep original hi-hat (even if it was corrected by Beat Detective). Re-record or MIDI - I sometimes use a MIDI hi-hat.

    WARNING: It can be quite tedious and time consuming.

    Otherwise, hire a top-level player and get a studio with a GREAT drum room/mics/engineer/knowledge - a LOT easier.

    Your guitar-player is no expert, either. He is wrong. Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Sonar, Reaper, GarageBand, etc. will import/export .wav or .aif (and probably other formats). It is crucial that the original tracks are aligned or consolidated.
  11. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    I can't imagine that statement being correct.
  12. Isn't correct - render to individual wav files
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Or if you can just get the drummer to play Midi drums ... :bag:
  14. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Ever tried to get a "drummer" to do that? Impossible.

    It's best to go along with 'em, track 'em, and get 'em out ASAP, then clean up their mess. :D
  15. That is not what the problem is.. obviously we would use a click.
  16. Thanks for all the help guys. Yes I even thought it was a bit silly myself when he said the drums would only be on one track and could only be recorded in pro tools. We definitely would be playing alongside our drummer and using a click track to make sure it's timed right.
  17. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If your point guy thinks you have to bring the drums back as a single track, he's kind of new at this. (No offense intended.)

    My point was this: instead of tracking just drums, if you're well rehearsed you could track bass/guitar/keys live with the drums. Depending on your drummer's experience and the experience of your band's in-house project engineer, that might ultimately be easier, have a more cohesive groove, and be cheaper than recording drums first to click, then bringing those tracks back and overdubbing everything else to them.
  18. Yeah that would definitely be alot cheaper, we might consider that for one of our simpler songs. Thanks for the suggestion.
  19. This sounded all along to me like a question about file format and so on......

    You need to ask him "why" and report back to us, we might get a sense of his level of knowledge then, and what the real or perceived issue is.

    I think he does not understand that (as others have pointed out) he can import the individual drum tracks into PT that have been created in whatever DAW is used at the studio.

    My band tracks drums, 1st take bass and 1st take guitar in Cubase to my drummers desktop. I then take the files home on a portable drive and import them into PT for edits. After that I send them an MP3 rough mix that the drummer imports back into Cubase. That is used for the guitarist to play to for vocals and additional guitars. They then FTP me the raw overdub files and I import those into PT, line 'em up and do any edits, then I do the mixing.

    It's not the way I'd prefer to do it, I'd rather spend weeks hunkered down together in a hotel in Switzerland or some damp cottage in the English countryside. But, it works for these weekend warrior middle aged blooze playing guys with families who live a bit far from each other.

    You can listen here, works in progress:
  20. Pretty much, but he understands now though. Kind of embarassing:rolleyes:

    Who wouldn't? :p

    You can listen here, works in progress:

    Not bad at all :)