Recording Log #3
Drums Session For The Emily Vescovi Project
Emily really wanted a dirty Motown vibe on the rhythm section, so that left me with trying to round up some soul. If you are working in Dallas there are some great options … but if you want the best, you call Jason Thomas (JT for short) for the deep pocket!
The kit was an original Yamaha Recording Custom with various snares played. The miking setup I used was this: Snare – 57’s top and bottom, Kick – D112 in, Sub Kick Out, U87 Out, Toms – 421’s, Hat – km184, Ride – km184, OH – 4038, Room – 414’s, Center Behind Kit – BeesNeez Arabella.
The snare, kick, and toms were ran through Neve pre’s with a slight bit of EQ just to sweeten/color the tracks and leave me with the control I would need in mixing. The 4038’s on the OH’s were ran through Grace pres and were what really brought the overall vintage tone to the kit. Slightly compressed transients with a natural but not harsh high-end.
The 414’s were set to omni and placed about 25′ back from the kit about 12′ up in the air. I really wanted a strong mono image so I placed my BeesNeez Arabella right behind the kit about 7′ up, facing toward the snare. In mix, this brought a very strong center snare and kick image while the other OH/Room mics were panned hard.
I ended up running 3 kick mics. This is usually overkill, but I really wanted to be able to adjust the ambience of the kick per song. If it was a rocking song, I relied on the D12. But for more of an ambient/roomy kick sound, I would push up the U87 while relying on the Sub Kick for the ultra lows. I covered these with a blanket for tracking to cut down on cymbal bleed into the 87.
The only other thing I did out of the ordinary was to mic the underside of the ride. I knew that we were going to use brushes on at least one tune, and this really helps to be able to push the ride up without having to change the overall tone of the kit by pushing the OH’s up.
This was a fun session to work on. We got to experiment with deadening the toms with tea towels on a tune, which was fun. Not only is JT a great drummer, but he understands how to tune. I can’t place enough emphasis on good tuning! You can have great gear and a great player, but unless the drums tonally sound good, you could end up beating your head against a wall. Which might be why I have a flat spot on my head. 🙂 Just kidding … that’s because I was dropped as a child.