Rage Drums #8 – Bombtrack Live Session

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.

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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

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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)

IMG_0255Guitar 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.

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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.

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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]

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