Recording Drums? How many mics do you use?

Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Alan King
Another Time
Date Posted:
December 2008
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

PC running Pro Tools M-Powered 7.1 with M-Audio FireWire 1416 interface, Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro mixer, Shure KSM44, SM57, and Beta 91 mics, Yamaha HS50M monitors with Aiwa sub, Behringer Autocom Pro and Intelligate compressors, Lexicon MPX100 and MPX500 effects, Ashly PGX571 parametric and dbx 1215 and Peavey Q431F equalizers, Les Paul guitar, Line 6 and Estaban 10W G-10 guitar amps, Boss DR-3, Pearl Export drums, Kurzweil K2500S.

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Production Notes & Credits:

“Another Time” is a male vocal rock song. Alan played the keyboards and horns, Craig Chabot played drums and percussion. The bass was layed down by Tom Davis and Jason White played the fine electric guitar parts. The songwriting credits are listed as going to A.K., G.W., C.C. and since it was not specifically listed, we assume that the recording chores were a group effort.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
Recording: Alan and the guys have worked up a pretty catchy track here. The song intros with a backwards tape trick that avoids being too cheesy, and then gives way to a fairly standard acoustic rock vibe. From there the song builds in intensity, as we are greeted with bass, drums, piano and lead/harmony vocals. The performances are solid all around. We particularly liked the electric guitar solo, both the tone and the performance are first rate.

As far as the rest of the sound sources are concerned, tonally they offer up a mixed bag. To our ears the acoustic guitar has a quacky/plastic sound, usually associated with an onboard pickup system. The piano, on the other hand, sounds pretty darn good.

As for the rhythm section, we liked the presence and articulation of the kick drum, but the snare sound is a bit problematic. The sidestick/rimshot that we hear at the beginning of the track is quite impressive, clear and meaty. However, when Craig goes to full snare, the tone turns dark and flat in a way that usually spells overcompression. The bass is pretty solid throughout, although it seems to abandon the kick drum in spots during the later part of the song. As for the vocals (we are not sure who was doing what here since no one was credited with them), they are very well arranged and delivered, with only a smattering of the dreaded sibilance that has come to haunt (hey, it’s almost Halloween as I write this!) our existence.

Suggestions: Let’s start by giving credit where it is due. “Another Time” is definitely in the top third of the submissions that we receive. The track is very well written and captures the sound of an actual band playing together and having a good time doing so.

As for the tone issues, we would encourage Alan and friends to put that Shure KSM44 and Beta 91 to good use and experiment with stereo miking the acoustic guitar. These are two excellent mics, certainly able to deliver a better sound than we are currently hearing.

Regarding the snare, Craig does indeed seem to be a heavy hitter and some compression was probably needed on the snare. That being said, please remember that too much of it can begin to rob some of the high-end frequencies. We suggest that Alan either move his mics back a bit and reduce the amount of compression, or re-eq the snare, post compression, in order to re-establish some of the high end.

Summary: A good solid effort.

About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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