PC with Zoom R16 Mixer/Interface running Steinberg Cubase; Behringer Tube Pre; Mics: Shure SM57 (snare) and SM58 (kick and ride), Behringer T-1 Tube Mic (vocals) and C-4s (overhead) and B-2 Pro (guitar amps).
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Patrick relates that this is his first full-band project, his other efforts having been acoustic guitar/vocal affairs. On first listen we were (A) impressed by the quirky songwriting/performance and (B) puzzled by some of the mix choices that Patrick made.
So in an attempt at cutting to the chase, let's focus in on the primary source of our confusion, that being the drums, or more specifically the kick drum. Now Patrick comes across in his cover letter as a pretty intelligent and savvy guy with a fairly good grip on recording. So given that, why oh why is his kick drum panned completely over to the far left hand side of the stereo field?
Sure we've heard drum sets panned to the side before, the Beatles did it often in order to establish clarity in dense mixes that were recorded with very limited track counts. That said, it was the entire kit that was placed out from center. In Patrick's case the rest of the kit is centered, with only the kick panned. Hey Pat, you wouldn't be toying with us, would you?
Suggestions: Making suggestions in this column can often be a slippery slope. After all, from our seat we can only make educated guesses as to what transpired during people's decisionmaking processes. To that end, let's examine two possibilities regarding the wayward kick drum.
The first theory would be that since this is Patrick's initial foray into full band recording/mixing, something simply slipped away from him and he failed to notice. The other real possibility is that Patrick took the more anarchistic approach towards his mix and decided to defy the "kick drum goes in the center" theory that has been around for, say, about as long as people have been recording kick drums. Convention vs. creativity, and the winner is....
Summary: Square peg, meet round hole!
Contact: Patrick Buhr, email@example.com.