Academy Dashboard Forum Production Recording Techniques X-Y Drum Overheads

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  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Niklas åström.
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    Paavo Downing

      So recently I have been researching X-Y drum overhead techniques. It seems that everyone has a different approach. As far as Small-Diaphragm Condensers I have seen the capsules placed both apart and overlapping. There are also various ways that it is done with Large-Diaphragm Condensers. Does it make a difference? What are your experiences? What have you gotten good results with? Also, where are they relative to the drum kit? (I read that above the snare is good)

      Thank's for your input,

      Jeff Macdonald

        XY is a good technique, you will pretty much guarantee good phase, but you will do this at the cost of stereo image width. At least that's been my experience. You will want to make sure the capsules are as close together as possible, and as far as placement goes I tend to point them at the snare, but try to dissect the kit in 1/2 using the kick and snare as your centre line, so you get an even amount of each side in its respective mic. Trial an error works well here as well, a lot of this is going to depend on the drum setup and how the drummer plays. I got good results from using the 'XY-Together' technique shown above. You'd be wise to get an XY bar so you can put this on a single stand.

        What I have found is SDCs are going to result in a more 'cymbal focused' capture, as they just don't pickup the bass as well as the LDCs do. I guess you need to find the sound you are after, do you want your OH to drive your drum sound? If so, you'll want lots of shell in there an maybe an LDC is the way to go. If you are looking rely on close mics for that, then give SDC a shot. I have also gotten good results with ribbons as Overheads with a ORTF pair of LDCs right in front of the kit. That's a phase nightmare if you need to work fast, but with enough patience gives you a super cool stereo image of the kit.

        I honestly haven't had an XY pair up in many years, I find spaced pairs work best with LDC for my sound - it's fast, wide and works. I'll switch it up and some point and go back to XY or ORTF just for fun at some point.

        Hope this helps a bit.



        Niklas åström

          What i have found is that you want do make it easy to mix and therefore choose mics that eliminate the common problems, like if you have a guy hitting the cymbals real loud for lets say metal you might want to go with a duller mic, but often if you have really loud toms or not so loud toms they can be really loud in the lowend so therefore you might have to keep the (ribbonmics?;P) further away to only have the loud volume in the cymbals since distance kills low volume sounds. Also like if you have a certain tone, feel like the snare is very buzzy or dull you want to considering a mic that is going to eliminate the kick and hihat because they often tend to go into that close mic which i think eliminates the tonechanges that can be applied afterwards. So if you have a loud bassy kick and a loud bassy snare then maybe if you get a less boomy mic you will get the kick out of the snare, but then you will have more bleed in the hihat so then maybe you have to have a dull hihat or a dynamic mic that is quite bright but only takes up close sounds? I haven't really thought about this topic that much lately because i have gotten stuck in that area, which mics that actually are usable in which situation. What i find is that if you have a certain micpositioning you often get closer to the same result you get every time you choose that setup. Since music isn't static you might want to consider why you are choosing a certain setup, for what puprose, do you like a tubby upfront snare or kick etc, how is it adaptive to the situation.

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