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Author Topic: Drums  (Read 1836 times)

Curtis McGill

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Drums
« on: February 14, 2021, 05:44:01 PM »

We are currently considering the best way to enclose our drums and how to mic them. A picture is included. We have 11 channels that pick up drum sounds on our stage. Only four of them are supposed to. We currently use Audix mics on our kick, snare, and toms (2). Our drummer plays with reasonable care using hot rods. Our worship center is 36' wide and ~50' deep. Our platform is 17-20 deep and 25-36 wide, depending on the location. We try to keep our volume ~90 dBC, peaking ~95. We live stream our full service. What suggestions do you have to clean up and control the percussion sound?

Thank you!
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Drums
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 01:30:02 AM »

For as small as your space is......a good set of electronic drums, simple, controllable, done.

Yea they may not sound exactly just like a Yamaha Recording Custom set but no one in the congregation will care, but they will notice the volume is under control and consistent.

Putting up any standard drum shield would help mic bleed a little, maybe, but the drums are still going to spill into the room.
I don't think you want to build a big iso booth on your stage.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 01:32:25 AM by Mike Caldwell »
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Drums
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 06:10:28 AM »

Considering the room looks like a lot of hard surfaces. with only the carpet to absorb sound, I would go with Mikes suggestion of electronic drums.
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Matthias McCready

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Re: Drums
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 10:39:18 AM »

I would probably not go with an e-kit in your situation (answer the following questions below). The cymbals never sound like real cymbals; nor do they feel it. Someday that may change, but that hasn't happened yet. Most I have encountered do not sound great, and as a former drummer, they usually feel awful as they mostly disregard stick technique and dynamics. To the point, it can be hard to attract better players with an e-kit.

An e-kit is not a terrible option, however, a quality one will cost as much or more than an enclosure. In that mindset what is the way you want to go?

For enclosures, I would strongly consider purchasing a pre-built one.

In a sanctuary your size, you will need to fully enclose the kit (unless you have a very good paid drummer). A simple shield won't do you any favors.

I have seen several stabs at homemade enclosures at many budget points with various levels on construction ability, while some of them have done the job of isolating and from the room or even look nice I have yet to find one that sounds good inside; ie the miced kit will not sound good.

Avoid the brand Clearsonic like the plague. They are overpriced and sound awful; their products also do not hold up well. Their enclosures do NOT sound good inside.

For enclosures check out Drum-Perfect or Perdue Acoustics. I currently own a drum-perfect enclosure, and it sounds phenomenal inside. If you are interested I can send you some multi-tracks from it. To the point, $3,000 overheads sound like $3,000 overheads in it. When a drummer is using some expensive hand-hammered cymbals and a Ludwig Black Beauty snare, and you can tell.

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Some other factors for real drums are:

1) What current mics do you have? Are they Audix D series (great mics that should be kept)? Or are they Audix F Series (which are rubbish and should only be used as paperweights)?
2) Do you have budget for overheads? You will need some if you enclose the drums.
3) Do you have IEM's? The drummer will need some sort if headphone amp at minimum. Wedges in enclosures are a recipe for very bad hearing loss.
4) What kind of console do you have? Does it have compressors? Can you dedicate 5-9 channels for drums?
5) Do you have any skilled drummers or anyone on the horizon? If not a great miced kit is just putting pearls on swine. An E-kit would be fine.
6) Do you have budget for quality drum heads, do you have someone who is good at tuning? Good heads are expensive, and tuning is an art in itself.
7) Is your kit worth micing? While head choice and tuning make a larger difference than the brand of kit; drum construction does matter some. Especially snare, usually a great snare is not the one that came with the kit.
8 ) What cymbals do you have? If they are ZBT's or B8's or something similar they are not worth micing.

Yes, this can be an expensive game to be in.

A good kit can be the following (before we get to mics)
-$1,500-3,000 for a good shell pack (kick and toms)
-$1,000-2,000 for good hardware (Roc-n-soc throne, DW heavy duty hardware and kick pedal, Tama hat stand)
-$300-800 for a quality snare
-$200-300 for good heads
-$500-1500 for good cymbals (presuming hats, 1x crash, and ride). K custom, or byzance are typical options for churches in my area.

Mics kinda depend, but that can get expensive.

The typical setup I mix with is something similar to the following:
Audix D6 (Kick), Shure Beta 91 (Kick), SE V7 or  Shure Beta 57 (snare top), Senn 906 or Shure SM81 (Snare bottom), Sm57 (Hats), Senn e604 or Senn 421 (toms), and Shure KSM 32 or Neumann TLM 193 (overheads).

Obviously, you don't need that many mics, but you do want quality mics. Quality doesn't mean expensive such as an SM57 or a D6.

For a basic setup you could add some overheads, use a 57 or i5 for snare top, use a D6, and if you have cheaper mics for toms that is probably ok.

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For drummers the way I see it

1) You can a drummer who plays in time, to the click.
2) You can have a drummer who knows and can play the song parts
3) You can have a drummer who has great feel.
4) You can have a drummer who plays dynamically to the room.

Do I know drummers who can do all of the above? Yes, but they are rarely church players, and they are never free. In that drummers in the church are usually volunteer and less skilled I find it reasonable to spend some money eliminating 4 from being a problem. If you eliminate 4, and the drummer can figure out 1 and 2, you are in the ballpark.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Drums
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 11:20:03 AM »

In your set up and many others the compromises made buy using an e drum kit are far out weighted by the consistency in sound and volume and nobody in the congregation will notice the difference in the actual drum sound.

You will need to spend upwards to $3000 plus to get a e drum kit that does not sound
like a toy.

Geert Friedhof

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Re: Drums
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2021, 01:28:43 PM »

... as they mostly disregard stick technique and dynamics. ...

Same can be said about most drummers.  ;D
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Drums
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2021, 03:05:04 PM »

Same can be said about most drummers.  ;D

And a lot of pro paid drummers cant play to a room too.  Had a pro toured-the-world in arenas dummer play a wedding once.  He could only hit the snare one way - hard like an arena rock show.  I ended up using a shield to throw the sound up and across the ceiling keeping it mostly out of the vocal mics.  It can rattling back off the back wall (1k cap sanctuary) a moment later but that was manageable.  No need for snare verb!  I was thankful he wasnt my regular guy.  My regular guy didnt have the resume but he could play the room and that was golden.
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Drums
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2021, 03:05:22 PM »

What suggestions do you have to clean up and control the percussion sound?

Beyond a quieter drummer, a full booth (with dampening on its ceiling) may be the only way to go if you need to stay on acoustic drums. This would block the screen in its current location, so you may have to scoot the set over toward the corner. That's a tough layout.

Are your other mics supercardioid? Are you utilizing Gates?

Dave
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Curtis McGill

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Re: Drums
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2021, 05:51:34 PM »

It is definitely a rough space, not designed for what we do.

We would prefer not to use an e-kit.

We are open to an enclosure as long as we can move it around. We are looking at moving it to the corner of the stage if we do so.

Audix D series mics

We have a budget for the enclosure and a pair of reasonably priced overheads.

X32 Compact, P16, and plenty of channels.

I have a drummer who says he knows how to tune a kit and I have no reason to doubt him, but I have no knowledge yet of what it takes.

Kit quality could probably be upgraded in due time. The cymbals are not good (I don't know what brand) and I don't know about the snare.

Our drummers easily play with a click, can play parts within reason and/or create their own. They tend to have a good feel and one of them is definitely more willing to play to the room than the other. Ongoing discussions...

Vocal mics are e835 and we aren't using gates because I don't know how to implement them. Learning...

Our piano mic, an AT something, picks up a lot as well and hardly needs to be amplified in the room. Mostly for the live stream.



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Brian Jojade

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Re: Drums
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2021, 07:30:19 PM »

The bases seem pretty covered here.  The issue is that the drums are too loud causing bleed into everything.  Sometimes, the case is that even with the PA turned off, the drums are too loud.  With that, there's not a single thing that can be done with the PA that would fix the problem, though we may get asked to...

There are 3 essential solutions, and all of them are different variants of making the drum kit quieter.  1. Get the drummer to play quieter.  Some drummers can, others, well, move on to the next steps.  2. Acoustically isolate the drums. This typically means a physical barrier between drummer and everything else.  There's a reason that in studios, there's often a separate room just for drums.  3. Get drums that don't make noise.  Electric drums are awesome for this scenario, of course with the loss of that 'live' drum feel.  They do, however, give you the absolute best control on the overall volume if you want to be in the same room.
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Brian Jojade

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Drums
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2021, 07:30:19 PM »


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