ORTF beyer 160's on the Pie-Anna

I love these Beyer mics, I use these as overheads and room mics, today I pointed them at our big fat Steinway.

P1040076.JPG

You need a ton of gain to get a ribbon rockin, so it's best to pick a quiet pre usually. These mics are hyper cardiod which means excellent rejection and pin point image.

P1040078.JPG

The Steinway is a huge sounding monster in a room a bit too small to handle it. Using large diaphragm mics will get way thick results in a hurry. This is great for a jazz combo, but often we are layering in complicated mixes where we would strip away most of the girth this piano throws at us. I get better results using small diaphragm condensers pointed at the hammers through transistor preamps like the ones found in the Neotek desk.

P1040077.JPG

Today, I needed 6 stereo tracks of a simple riff that will ultimately be buried beneath a wall of guitars. I thought I'd try the Beyers in ORTF for kicks. The angle shown in these shots isn't quite wide enough to be official radio televesion France, but I find collapsing the angle in a bit to work better in a mix.

Cranking the pres and adding 8k shelving with the Neotek was easy, instantly gratifying, albeit with a bit of noise floor. I prefer channel strips from consoles rather than just preamps. While a lone preamp is quieter, I find the flexibility a channel offers to be more functional in everyday tracking. So I'll take the added noise floor along with the extra real estate a signal must pass through, to obtain mojo.

Mapex Brass Master

What's a brass master?  Is that like the master of the brass? (remove the "br" and you get a Margaret Cho reference)

Look at my reflection in this otherwise cool shot :/

Look at my reflection in this otherwise cool shot :/

One of our favorite drummers we like to record gave us this snare. Just gave it to us. I couldn't believe it. This was probably 8 years ago. I tried it right away, didn't get it, and it's been sitting unused for almost a decade.

Boy, am I stupid sometimes. I honestly have no idea what I was thinking, this chunky monkey sounds real good.

This is recorded in a typical fashion with plain 'ol sm57's on top and bottom-no eq

Another beauty shot ruined by the photographer's reflection

Another beauty shot ruined by the photographer's reflection

Big Fat Kit

When I first started playing drums, I thought less is more, smaller shells are coolest.

Some poor soul converting a floor tom to a kick

Some poor soul converting a floor tom to a kick

Fishbone  

Fishbone

 

I wanted to be a funky white boy, I idolized Prince and learned a bunch of funk tunes. I liked the way Fishbone's drums sounded on early albums, I was abandoning my rock roots and wanted to branch out into music that made people move. It was 1990, I was teaching guitar for a living, improvising nightly in a barn and recording the horrific results to tape.

Fast forward several decades and here we have an opportunity to record drums every single day. No one to blame but myself if the tones don't come out slammin. More and more we find that the source is the ultimate deciding factor. If our snare is out of tune and our other surfaces aren't responding well on their own, then slapping a mic on it, slathering plugins later just aint gonna cut it.

dsc03969.jpg

I can't tell you how many times I've smacked down on a suspended 14" floor tom. I hate suspended floor toms. They look like a mullet. They sound like a poor imitation of a floor tom.

I gotta have the old school, 3 legged, tried and true chunky cousin of the tympani in a more affordable, portable form.

26" kick, 13" and 14" rack toms, 16" and 18" floor toms

26" kick, 13" and 14" rack toms, 16" and 18" floor toms

 

So, we struck gold when we found this giant, tractor trailer of a drum kit near Madison, Wi. I bought it off a collector who claims he's got 100's more stored away. "You want any snares? I've got like, 500 of 'em" I remember showing up with my family in tow. I just was hoping that the toms would sustain a bit, my judgement of an out of round shell would be obvious if I couldn't get an even, long note from all the shells. Right away, the first floor tom I tried was massive sounding. Even though I was hearing it inside a packed storage locker. My thought was; "finally, I can easily get that big bottom without any effort"