After spending some time becoming familiar with the audio from the test sessions, I decided on a few changes that would improve the drum sound. The test recordings hadn’t taken advantage of the cymbals that were available, which I made sure to do for the main session.
I used the 15” hats, 22” dark ride, 17” med/thin crash and thin 20” crash. The 15” hats fitted the track really well, allowing the open ‘sloshy’ sound but still remaining detailed and never harsh.
The setup was as follows:
Kick – AEA Nuvo N22 – Peeping down at kick pedal over shell
– Neumann TLM193 – 2” outside of cutout (Instead of D112)
Snare – Shure SM57 – 40º and 1” off skin
– AKG Pencil Condenser – 3 to 1 rule – 20º and 2” off skin (Instead of R121)
Floor Tom – AKG C414 – Hypercardioid – 4” off skin – just off parallel
Overheads – Coles 4030 – Low Blumelein
– SE/Rupert Neve RN17 – A/B – 40” from snare
Room – Royer R121 – 1m in front of kit – Same height as RN17s – angled down 30º
Although the Coles 4030s as overheads suited the sound in the test recordings, I wasn’t confident that they would sit in the mix well. Because ribbons have the highs slowly rolled off the cymbals sounded a lot duller and could struggle to occupy the 10kHz + spectrum that is often sparse, leaving room for cymbals (Senior, 2015). The pair of RN17s were a precaution, incase the guitars drown out the cymbals from the 4030s (White, 2015)
Guitar and Bass were plugged straight into the Radial DI box in the live room, with a line of sight through the glass doors to the drummer. Guitar was also routed to the Kemper for a distorted sound to put into cans. The dry guitar track would be re-amped through Alfie’s AxeFx at a later date, when we could sit down and accurately model the guitar tone. I also planned to re-amp bass though an Aguilar ToneHammer 500 head and 4×10” cab, that could not be transported to the studio.
The vocals were recorded in the same room as the guitars, with a handheld SM58. This was to get the performance out of the rapper (Olly Hodding) while minimising handling noise and spill from the drums and guitars. I didn’t want to record with a TLM193 while tracking everything live, because a lot of spill would be picked up. I did, however, want to re-record vocals afterwards with the TLM193 to get the flat and detailed sound the
SM58 would not produce. I would have also been able to ensure proximity to the mic with a pop shield, reducing plosives and fluctuations in volume.
Senior, M. (2015). Recording secrets for the small studio. Oxon: Focal Press, p.160, 223.
White, P. (2015). SE Electronic RE17. Sound on Sound, (March 2015). [Accessed: 11 April 2015]