When first starting out a lot of people myself included have a hard time properly capturing a drum kit in a budget studio. This is largely because everything can be limited including space, microphones and inputs. Many people think you need a fancy studio with a lot of microphones and high end gear to record drums but this is not the case. The common belief is that due to the limitations of a beginner home studio, accurate drum sounds cannot be achieved.
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Tweet Stereo miking techniques can be used to create the perception of width, space, and location. Recording different signals for left and right stereo channels mimics the function of two human ears. Our auditory system perceives width, space, and location by comparing the sounds captured by our ears. Because our two ears are in different physical locations, we capture two different signals.
It is believed that our brains analyze a few types of differences between the signals capture by our left and right ears. Interaural Timing Differences ITDs occur because sounds produced physically closer to our left ear arrive at the left ear before arriving at the right ear, and vice versa. Interaural Intensity Differences IIDs occur because our head absorbs some of the energy of sound traveling to our ears. However, each technique is a little bit different.
There are advantages and disadvantages to consider as an audio engineer when placing microphones. Here are the perceptual results of common stereo miking techniques. Spaced Pair By placing two microphones several feet apart, a wide stereo image can be achieved. In fact, these differences can be extreme. The timing differences between the microphones will be greater than what occurs naturally between ears that are only separated by several inches.
A similar thing can occur for level differences depending on the location of the sound source. Therefore, the spaced pair miking technique can be used to create an unnatural stereo image.
Sometimes this is exactly what you need. When two microphones are separated in physical space, there will be destructive interference between them at certain frequencies. By placing the capsules of the microphones in the same physical location, there will be no timing differences.
This is because the important IIDs are missing. In this technique, two microphones are placed close to each other, but not in the identical space. The distance, direction, and angle are all supposed to replicate human ears. Additionally, these differences captured by the microphones are similar to what would be captured by ears in a similar location. The result can sound very natural. Mid-side The mid-side stereo miking technique is somewhat unique in comparison to the aforementioned techniques.
Rather than using one mic to capture the left channel and one mic to capture the right channel, the mid-side technique uses one uni-directional mic to capture a signal to be panned to the center and one bi-directional mic to capture a signal panned to the sides. The result is a recording where the relative amplitude of the two signals determines the stereo width. When the center is louder, the stereo width is narrow. When the sides are louder, the stereo width is wider.
This miking technique gives the engineer an extra degree of freedom to control the stereo image. One thing to be aware of with mid-side miking is mono compatibility. When the left and right channels of a stereo signal are summed to mono, the sides will cancel. Therefore, be careful and intentional when setting the relative levels of the mid and side channels if your mix could ever be converted to mono.
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Five Techniques for Stereo Miking Drums
Tweet Stereo miking techniques can be used to create the perception of width, space, and location. Recording different signals for left and right stereo channels mimics the function of two human ears. Our auditory system perceives width, space, and location by comparing the sounds captured by our ears. Because our two ears are in different physical locations, we capture two different signals. It is believed that our brains analyze a few types of differences between the signals capture by our left and right ears.
Minimalist Drum Miking Techniques
I was fading fast, isolating my loved ones, all to stop the bleed. Every quarter-inch went to more microphones, and I was one Neumann away from becoming homeless, hanging by an XLR. With the four-track recorder as the standard medium of the time, it limited engineers to very few microphones on the drums. The engineer on that track, Andy Johns, brother of Engineer Glyn Johns, is greatly responsible for this definitive Bonham sound. While in a large house, Johns recorded Bonham with two M double-ribbon microphones placed approximately halfway up a stairwell in the foyer, compressed to all hell, and affected with a Binson Echorec delay. According to Johns, it was the first time Bonham was actually happy with the drum tones and rightfully so.