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Drums causing problems

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by leffe luffer, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Hello guys and girls!

    My band want´s to start recording a demo and we are thinking of some various options.

    I have friend who I have helped by playing bass om his upcoming EP and he has offered to help us record our demo. The problem is that he has no way to record the drums since they demand so manu mics and channels.

    1. So one thing that we are considering is to record the drums in a proffessional studio and then record bass, guitars and vocals at his small homestudio in his apartment using a POd for the guitars and my BOSS GT6B for the bass.

    If you record this digitally on let´s say Protools in the studio and he uses Cubase will that cause any problems or is the soundfile in the same format?

    2. Another option would be to use his minidisc recorder and just record the drums in our rehearsalroom. Would that give a good enough quallity?

    We would like to avoid to spend a lot of money for several days or a week in the real studio so any help would be appreciated.
  2. jokke_v


    Aug 15, 2003
    Bergen, Norway
    I'm not familiar with pro-tools at all, but I suspect that there is a slight possibility of problems regarding compatibility with cubase. The possible problem that I can see is that you can't open Pro-Tools projects in Cubase.. ..kind of in the same way that you can't open PC-programs on Apple computers, if that makes any sense.

    Err... ..but I'm sure that it can be solved this way:
    -Record the drums at the studio.
    -Export each track of drums that you've recorded into separate wav-files. The wav-files will need to start at 0min0sec (at the very start of the song) and last all the way through the song.
    -Then import all of the wav-files into cubase at separate tracks.

    ..it should work, if my logic sense isn't failing miserably. :)

    Using the minidisc recorder in a rehearsal room will probably give pretty poor results, and I wouldn't advise that.


    Feb 26, 2006
    Borrow a 8-16 channel mixer and line out to your recorder with one or two outs (depending on your recorder)and monitor the drum sound from another room...then you wouldnt have to deal with studio costs,and could get an alright sound.:bassist:
  4. 1. It might work but not all WAV files are equal especially if you are transferring from ProTools to CuBase, I'd expect some synching issues. You might make it a consideration when choosing a studio that they be able to record in your format, Cubase. Also if you do decide to record drums in the studio consider prerecording your gtr, bass and vox as scratch tracks for your drummer to play along with it will make their job easier and save you lots of time in the studio. Then you can track your final tracks to the drum track you want to use.

    2. If you are happy with the sound of the drums in your rehearsal space that might work, but one of the reasons to go to a studio is for the recording room, not just the fancy gear. It is very possible to get a good to great drum sound without going to a studio and multitracking each drum but it takes work and experience. I like to record drums as simply as possible usually 4 mics submixed to stereo tracks.
  5. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    This will do just fine. The studio will know what needs to be done to export to whatever software you are going to be using. Chances are, they will do exactly what jokke_v said and give you WAVs of each individual track. There should be no syncing issues if the studio does it properly and you import them all at once. This is actually a very popular way of doing things nowadays since drums are really the only thing which people tend to have problems recording in their homes. If you're familiar with Ayreon/Arjen Lucassen, this is his preferred method.

    I would attempt this first. Having done it will aid you when you eventually move to the studio.
  6. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    You could get your drummer to tab out the songs, and then you could make drum loops to build up the drum track. That's how I do it. It's faster, easier, cheaper, and the quality is way better than a live drummer.

    Betamonkeymusic.com has a CD of sampled drum and cymbal sounds of all the top drum and cymbals brands.
  7. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    If this were true for me, I'd be finding a different drummer to work with.

    You'll be much happier with your results by going to a real studio with a real live room and recording your drummer there. +1 on providing scratch tracks for your drummer to play along with. A studio may want to provide a click, but if your drummer isn't used to playing with one, it can throw their timing off.

    Also, if they are unwilling or unable to export .wav files so you can sync them, see if they'll do a standard stereo mix (which is what most studios do, anyway :) ). This leaves you less options at mixdown, but it means you can import from a CD of a mixed drum kit, and just overdub the rest of your band. Problem solved.
  8. BulkHead


    Oct 14, 2005
    Manassas VA
    Cubase and ProTools can both use these file types:
    .wav is more universal these days, go for that.
    And have a look at the cubase forum for more info:
  9. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Drum kits have been successfully recorded with as little as one microphone. Admittedly, the less mics you use, the more difficult it is to get a great sound, but it can be done. Earthworks is marketing a drum kit mic set that uses only a kick drum mic and two overheads (it's expensive).

    How much gear do you have available to track the drums? If we had a better idea of what you have, we can do a better job of recommending methods.

    As a point of reference, in our current sessions, we're tracking the drums using six mics. Three Shure Beta 57A's (snare top, rack tom, floor tom), a Shure Beta 52A (kick), and two M-Audio Solaris multi-pattern large diaphragm condensors as mid-side overhead/room mics. That's a mic budget of 140x3 + 180 + 300x2, or $1200, plus six 25' Mogami Gold mic cables (50 ea, or 300 for all six). So, $1500 just to get it back to the DAW, and that's not even including the stands! I'd add another Beta 57A as a snare bottom if I had more money.

    The Beta 57A's also double as our guitar cab mics, and the Beta 52A doubles on guitars and as a bass cab mic. The Solaris' double as vocal mics and acoustic instrument mics. I really wanted Shure KSM44's, but they would have been four to five times the cost of the Solaris' (700 each), and the Solaris is a respectable mic.
  10. I am a big fan of a more 'pure' approach where you get the drums nicely tuned and in a room that sounds really good - Place a few really good mics strategically and get the 'real thing' as opposed to the 'mic the drums within an inch of thier life and record every little lugslap' technique.

    We have done some recordings of drums in the basement that, when played for drummers, get a very amazed reaction when they learn we only used 2 mics to get it. They say things like, "That is the best sounding drum recording I have heard yet!"

    Now mind you, the guy that does the recording really knows his mics and has done a lot of reading and experimenting on mic usage and placement, but you don't have to go mic-nutty to get a really awsome drum sound. And the drummer was really good and had a great sounding kit and cymbals! Try it at home first. What do you have to lose?

    The key elements, other then a compitent drummer, are:
    1. Good mics and mic-preamps - can't overstate how much difference good mics and preamps make...
    2. Good drums that are in tune (and cymbals!)
    3. Good room - does not have to be one of those 'death to all noise' boxes either - some life to the room can really be a good thing!
    4. Good mic placement
  11. Recording drums is the single hardest engineering task in the studio, IMO. Leave it to a pro, pay someone knowledgeable to do it. And be sure the drummer's kit is tuned up really nicely.

    Good luck!

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