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Author Topic: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs  (Read 4377 times)

gainreduction

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Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« on: September 20, 2004, 01:49:18 am »

(Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse, but I couldn't find any discussion of this specifically in the archives.)

 We have a contemporary worship style at our church with a full band (no choir) elec. guitars, bass, keys, drums etc.  We have the whole team on IEM's and everyone is direct except of course, the drums.  In our square wharehouse it just ain't workin.  I get 90-95db C-weighted at FOH from my Radio Shack meter off the drumset alone.  Needless to say, I have to mix too loud to get over those things.  We sprayed K13 on the walls, and it really helps contain the slaps and stuff in the higher registers, but the 'boominess' is out of control.  I've tried to get King Kong to play with straws, but that ain't gonna happen.

  Long story short:  V-Drums - not for a while.  Clearsonic IsoPac - good possibility for the near future.

 OK, my question..  How is putting the drummer in a box like that going to affect the sound I get from the drum mics?  I have the standard K, S, Hat, Rack 1 & 2, OH 1& 2 setup and I can only imagine that every sound will be bleeding into every mic most all the time giving me a big washy drum mush.  I use comp/gates for each channel but will that really help in a little cage like that?  What is the tonal/volume trade-off that happens when putting one of these booths in?  I know it would be quieter overall, but will I achieve a usable or good sound in there to mix with, or is it a lost cause and should I just wait and pray for the V-Drum angels to come?

Any thoughts, especially from those using the iso's, would be greatly appreciated!

In Him,
Steve Johnson
Miami Vineyard Community Church


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David Haile

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2004, 01:19:52 pm »

You have a tough problem.  We've tried it only a few times in the past 5 years.  The most success was when we put some cloth-covered boxes in front and sort of around the drums to catch some of the downward cymbal and drum sound before it got away.  It is terrible.  You should record the service and play it back for the band so they know how truly bad it is.

One big difference I've found between drummers is the good drummers know how to play quietly.  Get a new drummer!

You've already filled the drums with towels, right?
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Kurt

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2004, 03:12:51 pm »

I was at a church before and the drummer was in a full plexiglass box with forum on the celling of it and the bottom of the sides. It looked like it was fully miked but they sounded like paper. It was a Pearl Masters drum set too. It looked like a feakin cave in the middle of the stage.
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2004, 01:30:27 am »

I use a Clearsonics system quite often, the kit in question is a heavily customized Yamaha kit that is constantly being tweaked between our two best players. Its a sweet kit. In any case, they are both louder drummers, and it is a smaller room - hence the Clearsonics. While the sound isn't quite as "pristine" as the uncovered full on roaring sound of the natural drums, it is quite good, and the more control we have is a Godsend. It does take some work to tweak your mic positions and re -eq and such, but good sound is easily attainable. If you want to go through with the (careful) use of gates and efx can bring back almost everything lost. I personally get good results with two overheads, a bass tom, a bass drum and two snare mics. and just mix them down on the board sans anything.

While your results may very, I still like the setup for what it is, and would recommend it to someone else, so long as you realize there is work involved for all involved.

But, I still don't like it as much as the newest Roland Bad-A set.... My drummers even like that set, yeah, the ones who between the two of them have close to 50 years on drums.


Karl P
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Adam Kane

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2004, 04:48:36 pm »

As the sound director for my church and a drummer who has played professionally, I feel I may have some insight.  

Just for reference, our sanctuary seats about 2000.  We have a 48ch A&H GL4, Community SLS and McCauley FOH.  The drums are Pearl Session with lots of toys.  I built a plexiglass cage to totally enclose the drums.  4 inches of studio foam surround the kit at the bottom 18" of the cage.  The roof is made of oak plywood (stained to match other woodwork on/around the platform) with foam on the bottom (inside).  Fans and ventilation have been installed to keep me from passing out!!!

There is a mic on each drum and two condensers for overheads.  If you tune the drums correctly, use proper and high quality mics, and spend some time on the EQ, you will get a beautiful sound.  Stuffing things inside of drums actually makes things worse.  You may deaden various overtones, but the "boominess" will, for the most part, remain unaffected.  If anything, whatever sound you can squeeze through the system will sound dead and muffled with no tone or sustain.

During the service, if you turn the drums off in the house, you lose them completely...which means complete control.  Good or bad depending on the guy at the mix Very Happy

It took a lot of time to get it right, but it was well worth every second.  Not only do they sound great out front, but the drummer can play comfortably with no worry.

I could go on and on about the misunderstood drummer, but I've said enough.

Good luck with your sound.  And don't forget the real reason why we come and do what we do every Sunday.
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Adam "Drumrkane"

gainreduction

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2004, 05:04:33 pm »

Mr. Kane,

 Thanks for your response. I also, pull double duty as sound director and drummer! Sometimes I wish I could be both places at once.

  How similar is your enclosure design to the stuff that Clearsonic puts out?  Have you got any photos I could check out?

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Adam Kane

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2004, 05:15:17 pm »

As far as the results go, they are probably pretty close to the clearsonic IsoPac A.  I believe that is the one that is totally enclosed.  Cosmetically, it's quite a bit different because the basic frame is stained oak with a solid door.  Same general idea though; totally enclosed with a roof with foam in various places.

I don't have any pics as of yet and I'm not sure how much longer before I can get some to you as my digital cam is on the fritz at the moment.

One thing I forgot to mention in the last post was the importance of either good high-isolation headphones or in-ear monitors.  Speakers are absolutely out of the question.  They will bleed into the mics and, being totally enclosed in that "cage", I found that SPL was exceeding 125db in there.  OUCH!!!  I am able to play quite comfortably with nice iso headphones.

Good Luck
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Adam "Drumrkane"

jslick

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2004, 12:48:16 pm »

We have the ClearSonic IsoPac on our DW Kit in a warehouse style auditorium that seats roughly 1500. We also placed the whole assembly on top of Auralex Hoverdeck w/ a rug, and the drums have never sounded better. I belive it goes without saying that careful mic selection and EQ are paramount in your drum sounds, but I'll say it anyway. One other benefit to Iso on your kit is a drastically reduced stage volume, which should translate into lower wedge volume and a cleaner FOH mix.

jslick
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Well Done is better than well said.
-Ben Franklin

gainreduction

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2004, 09:12:37 am »

Thanks for all the input.

I contacted Clearsonic yesterday and got a quote for the isopac A system, using the front plexi shield I already have, and adding on to it.  I'm pretty excited.

Although it does seem strange that the entire rear top side of the box is open air.  I mean, I know the drummer needs to breathe and stuff, but isn't that defeating the purpose a little?  Or is a little exhaust a good thing?  I dunno.

I'll be back with a review once I get it all in, as long as our building is still standing  Confused

Hurricane #4 (Jeanne) on the way...

Take Care & God Bless
Steve Johnson.
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jslick

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Re: Drums w/ Clearsonic IsoPacs
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2004, 09:25:54 am »

Our Iso-Pac came with a roof made of the same material they use for the back/bottom. It's a felt lined homosote type material. We only used 2 panels on the top, so as to allow some fresh air, and a little light into the drummers lair. YMMV.

j.
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Well Done is better than well said.
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