Recording Drums? How many mics do you use?

Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Darin Karnes / Brian Matson's Benevolent Experiment
You're All Selfish
Date Posted:
September 2013
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Mac 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon computer with a PreSonus FireStudio. DAW not given (!) but plug-ins include Waves Diamond Bundle, IK Multimedia T-RackS ("a bit of trickery"), and Native Instruments Guitar Rig and Vintage Organs ("a small dose of shenanigans"). 2 Schoeps CMC 646g condenser mics, MXL V63 (pre re-issue) mic, Canare StarQuad XLR cables ("Yes they are important."). ART Dual MP (rack mountable) and PreSonus blue faced BlueTube preamps in addition to the FireStudio's pres. Roland TD-20S electronic drums, Alvarez (unknown model) acoustic guitar, Danelectro HoDaddy electric guitar, B.C. Rich Warlock bass ("these things record great!").

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Production Notes & Credits:

"You're All Selfish" is a male vocal acoustic rock song. The song was written by Brian and Darin. Brian handled all of the acoustic guitars and vocals. Darin played the remaining instruments (drums, bass, organ, electric guitars) and recorded/mixed the track "in a small bedroom in Fargo, ND. Yep. Fargo."

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
Recording: Ah, Fargo, was there ever a better noir comedy? Be proud, gents! As for Darin and Brian's track, well, they should be pretty proud of that as well. The song starts out light-heartedly with a bit of laughter, usually a good sign. As for the sound sources, we love the full-bodied acoustic guitar, and the electronic drums sound tremendous, nicely overcoming the issues of tracking drums in a bedroom and sounding better than many e-drums tracks we've heard. The bass is articulate, and its clarity certainly helps to accentuate the movement in the performance.

Potential areas of concern, in our opinion, involve balance, rather than tonal issues. Perhaps it's a style thing, but we found the lead vocal to be a bit too up front in the mix through our monitors. On the flip side, we felt that the electric guitar and the organ levels were pushed back, robbing them of the energy that they could have brought to the party.

Suggestions: Mixing in a bedroom (been there, done that) is not the same as mixing in a professionally designed big-budget control room. That said, Darin did a hell of a good job here, and our problem areas may actually have been conscious choices by the two. Vocal-forward mixing seems to be the deal in most types of music these days, and that is quite simply a musical decision. It wasn't that long ago that "buried" lead vocals ruled the day (R.E.M., anyone?).

As for the electric guitar, well... that's another story. The distortion on the guitar would imply to us that the guys were looking for an impact here, so tucking it back so far seems to have left the job half done. In the words of the late, great Ronnie Van Zant, "turn it up!". Ditto the organ.

Summary: "And it's a beautiful day." Sorry, couldn't resist.

Contact: Darin Karnes,
About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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