Show 122 – Hammond organ comparison + 4 mics on drums and more

This week we discus some listener submitted content: a hammond organ comparison and what to do with 4 mics on drums (top+side style). In Rapid Fire we talk about: 1 piece of hardware/software we can’t work without; favorite homemade percussion; and our go-to synth.
Dave Chick from Inside Home Recording joins us this week.

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16 thoughts on “Show 122 – Hammond organ comparison + 4 mics on drums and more

  1. Audio Technica Especially the 40 series of microphones, and NOT chinese they are made in japan, and are an amazingly HIGH quality of Microphone… The 4033 single handedly changed the face of recording… The complete 40 series i would put up against Any mic at any price… NO i dont work for AT…. But i sure do use them, as do some of the most amazing engineers in the last 20 yrs…. And whats with the Baby crying????

  2. I’m glad you guys pointed out the difference between the Line6 plugins and the amps. I use the plugins a lot because of noise restrictions and have not found anything that I like as much (the new Cubase 6 amp plugins are AWEFUL!!!). Line6 amps for the most part are their software sounds in a powered speaker setup. They mic up better than a lot of practice and/or solid state amps, but are nowhere near the actual amps they emulate.

    Do you guys dither (Apogee UV22HR, Waves IDR etc.)?

    Keep up the great work!

    -James from SK

  3. Even with my lengthy post last week, I have to agree with skidmark. And I will reiterate my primaru comment; if you are starting out and need high quality mics that are easy to get a good sound with, then SM 57/58’s and an assortment of AT mics (preferably the 40 series, but including the 2035 and 2050) including a couple of small condensers will make your life easier until you can start experimenting with other mics, including tube and ribbon. And remember, tube and ribbon mics aren’t desirable for their extended frequency range, they are desired for the way they roll off frequencies at the extreme ends. They won’t always sound as good on everything as other mics and are a bit more suited for certain types of voices and instruments. And the “cheap” tube mics are not the same as “cheap condensers” relative to more expensive models. But what they work for sounds really nice.

  4. Guys, I just wanted to point out that you really need to read up on the Glyn Johns 4 mic method and some of the variations and actually do some recording before you start critiquing the method and making such errant pronouncements as the “minimalist” method is only good for small kits, classic rock, folk rock, etc., and can not be used for a “modern” sound. And guys, based on your comments that you don’t like the way it makes the tom sounds and is primarily to get a punchy snare and bass sound tells me you either don’t really understand the concept or you haven’t really tried it much yourself. First, check out this youtube video and tell me that you can’t do pretty much anything you want with the drum sound this guy is getting, including getting a modern sound. The drums are completely dry and with a little EQ, compression, gating, reverb, etc, you should be able to make them sound like anything you want.

    Although it says it is mono, it is in stereo.

    Next: There are two important factors when using the Glyn Johns method I think you guys have missed out on. Not only do the overheads need to be equidistant to prevent phase issues, but the placement and type of overhead will greatly affect the sound of the toms. The overheads should be large diaphragm condensers, not small. If you aren’t getting enough tom sound, move the overheads closer or turn the pres up, but keep them equidistant from the center of the snare. In actuality, once the overheads and the snare mic are set, the kit should sound very balanced and the toms should be fine. When set up properly, the primary recorded sound in fact is meant to come from the overhead mics. It is the snare and kick drum mics that are used to round out the sound, not the other way around as you stated. Again I refer you to the video for an excellent example. There is also a modified version that comes from the three mic method. It uses a fifth mic, another large diaphragm condenser, in front of the kit, about three feet away, with the diaphragm facing the kit. You will need to adjust placement to find the sweet spot for the best sound. If desired, a second kick mic and a second snare mic underneath can also be used. But placing the 4 or 5 mics correctly should give you anything but a folk or jazz sound if so desired.

    Honestly, it really wasn’t a fair or practical example to use drums that were already recorded and then try to just pan them and use that as an evaluation of the 4 mic method. If the tom sound wasn’t what you wanted, you would have to change that when you recorded. Again, understanding the principles behind the Glyn Johns method go a long way to making any adjustments that will correct what you all thought were lacking in your examples. And good tuning and a good drummer are pretty critical for the method to be very effective. A good room helps also.

    The other issue concerns proper panning and how to get the proper stereo image and “sound” using the Glyn Johns method, and since you didn’t mention it and none of you included it in your panning examples, I will. The snare and kick are panned to center as normal. However, the overheads are not panned in what would be considered a “normal” pattern. The snare overhead is panned to the right at about 3:00. The side mic by the floor tom is panned hard left. Otherwise, you get a weird stereo field and the snare especially will sound out of position if panned too far to the right. To be fair to the listeners and the Glyn Johns/4 mic method, you really should check out a few web sites that explain it and then do some actual experimentation your selves before you start putting artificial limits on what it can or can’t be used for.

    I will remind you, the guy in Canada with the “incredible” drum room had 16 high end and/or vintage mics on a 5 piece kit, running through a seemingly endless assortment of the most sought after vintage, high end analogue preamps, EQ’s, compressors, etc., all running through that wonderful SSL console, and he still felt a need to use as many as 8 layers of samples on top to get the right sound….so I’m not sure your criticisms of the 4 mic method are justified….But then again that may be more a function of the man at the controls of all that wonderful equipment than an actual need to use samples that were recorded with essentially the same kind of equipment…..

  5. Hey guys,

    After listening to your opinion on Line 6 amps, what do you think about products like Amplitube or Guitar Rig?

    Thanks for a fantastic podcast,

  6. Scarab is right about the panning issue. With the examples I sent to the guys, when I mixed them in the project they were recorded for, I panned the side mic hard right and then adjusted the pan of the center mic until the snare seemed to sit in the center which ended up being around 3:00 left. Then I added the snare and kick mics to give it more punch. There were a couple of mics in the setup I recorded but didn’t include because I was giving examples of the 4 mic method; I had a ribbon about 4ft in front of the kit that I squashed and also a M/S room pair about 15ft back.

    I did use a two tom kit in the example. The top mic was about 35-40″ above the center of the snare which seemed to pick up enough of the rack tom to me and the side was the same distance from the snare center and about a foot above the floor tom which picked up plenty of lows from the tom. I messed with the height of that mic until I was happy with the sound of the floor tom, keeping the distance from the snare the same as the top mic. Those two mics were the AT4047 and AT4060.

    On the B3 discussion, I’ve found that you can run just about any organ sim from a keyboard into a real Leslie and get great results. Most keyboards do a great job of simulating the sound of the tone wheels in the B3 but a lousy job at the leslie. The sound we love from a B3 is mostly the Leslie and the tube amp inside of it.

    Also, the best modeling amp out there is the Vox Valvetronix in my opinion. I build and love tube amps and its the only non-tube amp I own. It has tons more depth and feel than the Line6 or Marshall Valvestate. It seems to react to dynamic touch the same way a tube amp does, where others seem to only have one sound no matter how soft or hard you play. It might not be a dead-ringer of the amps it is portraying, but is a great sounding amp in its own right. Plus, with the built-in effects you can just carry it to a gig with a guitar and Bob’s your uncle.

  7. BTW, I didn’t notice the cymbal tremolo that Jon commented on until I was already in mixdown. I must’ve had the front crash too close to the hieght of the top mic.

  8. For Jon!

    Jon, I know on a recent episode, you were talking about working in a studio and taking a measurement of the frequency spectrum in the control room,( where it did not sound that good and there was a frequency bump) could you expand on that? Also, what program were you using to check that? Thanks Guys…Keep up the good work! HRS is the BOMB!!

  9. Hey Dave, thanx for the heads up! Although I wasn’t sure how you had panned originally, because you had such an apt description of the technique I figured you had done something similar.

  10. ‘Shotgun’ mics are more accurately called interference tube microphones. The ‘shotgun’ term comes from the look of the mic, and not the spread (or lack thereof) of the polar pattern.

  11. I loved the segment on recording drums with 4 mics. But I need some help on how to do it with just TWO!

    As a folk singer/songwriter, I’ve gotten great demos out of my Tascam DP01-FX. But now I wont to get a little ambitious and record a full band sound, so I need some suggestions on capturing drums with the ability to only record 2 tracks simultaneously.

    My mics are:

    I’m willing to buy a different mic or some other new gear within reason if I absolutely have to. How would you guys handle this? Thanks!

  12. An enhanced podcast with chapters would be nice. Having to sift through 19 min to get to the title story was a real waste.

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