Drum recording, one-channel compressor

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by JoaoSpin, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. JoaoSpin

    JoaoSpin Active Member

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    Here's a quick one: One-channel compressor. Should I use it on the snare, the kick, the room, a mono overhead, or where else? where would you use it? (on the way in)
    Thanks!
     
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    What compressor?
     
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  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    My first reaction was, if you have stereo overheads as well, then mono overhead to crunch it ...
    But the best answer comes to this ; does anything need the dynamics to be controled.
     
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Kick or snare makes sense, even tho their likely to be blended w samples during mix, it can help. Compression on overheads really depends on the drummers technique and ability as a recordist, since the cymbals will be brought out with compression. Usually the cymbals are already too "out" with the drummer smashing them to hard, and the engineer using sub par mic placement.

    Having the OH pretty close to the drums, aimed at the drums, w the drummer using jazz hands on the cymbals yields a track that would love compression on it.

    That said, a couple of DB of compression will likely be inaudible no matter where you use it, so if in doubt keep the attack slow, release fast, and the threshold set for a couple DB.
     
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  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Compressing a track will push up the bleeding and it will make sample triggering harder, no ?
     
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    In my experience the amount of bleed on a kick or snare close mic is negligible, even on stage/live tracking with a full band. In theory the compression would be there to tame the random extra loud hits, as well is bring up the softer ones and associated bleed/noise, but in all but the worst cases it should deliver an otherwise fatter snare waveform overall. This "should" technically make the triggering easier since there would be more hits in the same range of volume or dynamics. Beyond that you can work around noise by duplicating a track and gating it, and more realistically the triggering program will have compesation for this, and really is a peak detection algorithm/circuit more than anything else.

    In the case of a velocity sensitive or multi sample setup like my drummagog/BFD the compressed trigger track could set off different samples than the non-compressed track, since the dynamic range could be different between the two. Drummagog has great easy options to set which sample(s) you want to trigger. In the case of a lot of dance, rock and death metal, I've set it to trigger only one sample, which lends a rock solid sound that doesn't "go anywhere" or vary at all. This lends the type of in-human consistency moshers and dance floor hounds like.

    Blend that underneath the actual track that has the players live performance, and you get the cool chharacter of the love performance like rim shots, ghost rolls, even slight flubs, but with the type of consistency and size current recordings require in general.
     
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  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I get you, thanks for the inspiring answer !
     
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  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Boulder's question hasn't been answered. I think it's an important one.
     
  9. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    That question, and several more....

    What kind of music?
    What does the song need?
    Are you mostly trying to level out inconsistencies, or punch something up?
    Through a channel insert, or inline?

    With nothing else to go on, my guess would be either kick or snare. Why not record a little with the mystery compressor on each and see what works best for you?
     
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Knowing which compressor you have, as asked by @bouldersound - along with the other very pertinent questions Dave ( @dvdhawk ) mentioned above, will go a long way towards helping us help you further. Style of music, what you expect to have happen, etc. all matter when using any gain reduction device.
    But...
    Different compressors have different characteristics - depending on their type (opto, tube, solid state, FET, transformer/transformerless,) all react differently ...and some are suited better for some things and perhaps not best for others.
    Also, knowing how your particular compressor works is going to go a long way towards helping you to understand when - - and when not -- to use it, and which settings (attack, release, ratio, threshold, input and output gain, etc) to dial in.

    -d.
     
  11. cicciosound

    cicciosound Active Member

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    Look man this is a very hard question ahahah!!! one channel ???? one compressor???? If i was you, would use the compressor on to the kick, but it also depends what genre you are going to play, because if it is a genre that has to have a soft kick like jazz, then i would advice to use the compressor on the kick otherwise if you are looking for a puchy kick i wouldn't worry about it !!!! btw i found this info, they may be helpful for you !!!! have good one (y)

    Recording DRUM , tips for setting up !!!
     
  12. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    My first inclination would be to compress the kick. The snare would be the second most likely candidate. I generally don't compress overheads, and toms would need one each. I guess that leaves high hats as the third possibility, but I haven't even been giving them their own mic lately. It all really depends on what needs it and what hardware you've got.
     
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Maybe the OP bailed on us... I'm still waiting for the answer to Boulder's ( @bouldersound )question.... what compressor?

    Depending on that, the OP may not want to use it at all.
     
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  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

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    It's sort of a problem we used to face every day in the 'old days'....Since everything going in was to print the choices became important.
    Now, not so much.

    Since there is only ONE mono device and a multi-mic'd source, the answer is none. Don't use it on anything.

    This way there is a commonality to the bleeds and the overall sound of the kit. Let me 'splain....

    Think for a minute about what the comp will do to the ...say kik drum if used there...You real engineers know exactly what the results will be and if you extend this to the bleed in the kik it figures to add some compression to the overall sound of whatever else is in the kik mic....which cannot be avoided and rightly so.

    So what does this do to the 'time' of these 'bleeds' being captured and compressed by the kik drum mic?

    Unless you are planning to replace the drums and just need the trigger hits, then there will some smear coming from that track. Maybe its good....maybe not....
     
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    ThinkIng about this - and still just a hypothetical scenario because we still don't know what compressor the OP has - (for all we know it could be a foot pedal compressor for guitar) ...if I were going to use it on anything, I'd consider setting up a mono room mic ( in addition to the direct mics and overheads) and putting the GR on that, bussed to its own mono track, and then maybe blend it into the mix as a "sort" of parallel compression.
    Nice optos would work for this, also an 1176(ish) using a higher ratio (12:1?) with a slow attack and a quick release. You'd have to be careful on the blend in the mix though, as it could detract from a stereo mix.
    It's gonna depend on the compressor, the mic and placement, the quality of the drums. The player, and most certainly in the acoustic characteristics of the space where the drums are located. Other than that, If it's just a cheap run of the mill budget compressor, without any pleasing characteristics of its own...well, I guess I'm saying that just because you have a hardware compressor, doesn't mean you have to find a place for it.
    And, remember that any signal you print through it to your DAW, means that it is there for good. You can't un-bake that cake. ;)
     
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    That's a nice safe and creative way to use a compressor. lol even if it isn't just for the sake of using a compressor on something.

    The DBX 166xl (black) is a pretty low cost compressor that I've used with pretty good results on kicks snares OH bass and even acoustics and vocals.

    Obviously it's got a punchy medium-fi sound, not necessarily the first choice for say, pop vocals, or even the first choice for much in general. But if there's one around it sits just fine in the blues, rock, realm on most sources.

    I just wanted to kinda mention that, because just cuz a compressor is inexpensive, doesn't mean it's not good or useful. It's important to be selective in the inexpensive gear just as it is with expensive gear, albeit maybe for different reasons. I found the DBX to be one of those that are a true price of gear meant to be used in the field, a diamond in the rough per sey. It's one that stands out vs berringer or Samson ect.

    I find generally Alesis and DBX make decent stuff that's relatively inexpensive. Mine was a $25 CL buy, and it helped me learn and experiment at home with tracking thru a hardware compressor.

    The DBX 163x I had in my rig's rack fit my bass sound better than the 1176LN (silver) at the studio when we were doing one of our demos.
     
  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    For a single ended compressor with no bells and whistles,the dbx 163 is near and dear to my heart. I still have one, and occasionally I'll use it on bass.
    But I don't use it just because I have it. It's when I'm after a particular sound that I'll turn it on.
    I think maybe this thread has become a dead end, the OP hasn't gotten back to us , although if it helped someone doing a search on the topic then it served a purpose.
     
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  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Lol any excuse to talk compression I'll take!! Thought I was the only one who loved the 163.
     

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