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Drum Miking Techniques with Cameron Webb

Transcript
Warren: Hello everybody, hope you’re doing marvelously well. I’m here with the great Cameron Webb, how are you?

Cameron: Hello Warren, how are you?

Warren: Good, we’re actually filming a new course, what’s the Punk band called?

Cameron: It’s called The Runaway Kids.

Warren: The Runaway Kids. It’s a new band, new recording, yes?

Cameron: Newer band, they’ve been around a year or two, and they’ve been touring with Pennywise and The Likeness of those kinds of bands, Strung Out, and they’re new and they’re starting out and they’re great.

Warren: I love this track. You did some really cool production stuff that I think people will love to mix.

Cameron: Yeah, had to do some fun tricks so it’s not the same old Punk we’ve always heard.

Warren: Yeah, it’s really cool. He gave me a few songs to choose from for a course, and this one kind of really struck me. I think people will love it. And the best thing about it is we’ll be mixing it with stock plugins.

Cameron: Yes, all stock plugins. You threw me a curve ball, but I can do it, it’s easy.

Warren: Well you opened up a session and 90 percent of it was stock plugins, so I was like, “If you could just change out these two or three…”

Cameron: And you can do it, I can do it.

Warren: Perfect. So two things, show us your studio. It’s been really successful. We have four videos running showing us the studio. Well, there’ll be a fourth one, so please send us some more videos. You can do that, you send it to Warren at Produce Like a Pro or you can go to the Facebook and post it on there.

So while we’re here, I thought — I came out to film this studio to talk about Show us Your Studio, and I thought, “He’s got all the mics up on his kit, let’s talk about drum miking.”

Cameron: Always mics up.

Warren: Okay so couple of things I want to ask you, first of all. The D12 VR, the vintage reissue. I see that it’s got these different patterns on it which my old one doesn’t.

Cameron: Yup. So basically EQs. You’ve got an EQ, you can scoop out your mid-range, or you can add a little bit of high end. I use it in the middle. The mids I want to get rid of.

Warren: So it’s probably that ugly 250, 350, 450, right about 300, 400ish?

Cameron: It sounds better, I don’t know. [laughs] I mean, you know what I mean?

Warren: It’s the sounds better control!

Cameron: It’s one of those things I didn’t look it up and research it, but I plugged it in and checked the settings, and I do more and feel more, less on the technical side.

Warren: Totally understand. If it sounds better, it is better. And this is an Audio Technica —

Cameron: No, go back to this though. So I used to — and sometimes I still use this. This is a Sony C500. This is a really special mic. It’s similar to that, but its got this cool openess. It’s very unique. You don’t see them very much, they have them around, they’re not super expensive, but amazing mic on the outside of the kick drum. The best.

Warren: Does it give you that bottom air?

Cameron: It gives you the air, it gives you the lowness, but it’s also a very real sounding mic. So you get the reality of what a kick drum sounds like. It’s not like, all bottom.

Warren: Oh, fantastic. What’s it called?

Cameron: It’s called a Sony C500. They’re great.

Warren: Sony C500. Okay, so next up is the Audio Technica. The reason why I jumped to that quickly is because we were talking about it earlier on a Q&A, and I had noticed quite a few people are now starting to mention this, which I think is kind of special.

Cameron: You know what, it’s funny because it’s kind of the more modern version of an RE20. It’s a little bit more EQ’d, and that’s what’s cool about it. They don’t make them anymore, they reissued them for awhile, I got them a long time ago, and I bought like, four of them. I use them for toms, kick drum, bass. They’re great.

They’re also very similar to a 421, and they’re a little smaller so they fit under your cymbals.

Warren: Now the drums are going to be on this course, were they recorded with this setup?

Cameron: Yes, this drum kit. Pretty sure. This drum kit, this room, everything. These mics, identical.

Warren: Excellent. So 414s on overheads. How are you setting those? You keeping them just in cardioid?

Cameron: Cardioid.

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Warren: And are you rolling off the lows?

Cameron: Yes, probably at 80 I think.

Warren: Great. That’s perfect. So yeah, these make quite a big appearance. The ATM25s.

Cameron: They’re the show stopper.

Warren: What is this?

Cameron: This is a Blue microphone. I think it’s called a Bluebird? I don’t know. It’s a great little mic. The guys from Blue gave it to me and they said, “Hey, you’ve got to test this out.” And I love it, so.

Warren: I love this idea of the capsule moving.

Cameron: Oh, this is so great. You can adjust it. So it’s awesome.

Warren: Fantastic. Is it a dynamic, or a ribbon, or a condenser? What is it?

Cameron: It’s very similar to the 451.

Warren: So you’ve got the 451 on the hi-hat, 57 top. What’s on your bottom there?

Cameron: I don’t know. It’s some crazy AKG one. It’s got good high end.

Warren: Oh, it’s a D310. These are great mics.

Cameron: It’s a brighter version. It’s brighter than a 57 or a 58, and I’ve had it forever, and I just love it on the bottom snare. It’s good. I try to — I’m not big — I don’t like a lot of bottom snare, so I like to back this thing off a little bit.

Warren: I see, and you’re not pointing it directly?

Cameron: No, because you want the ambience. You don’t want that, [imitates snares]. I don’t like that sound, I like more of a roomness to it, and that gives you a little this much more depth.

Warren: Great. 57 top. Looks like you’ve got a bit of baffling there just to stop some bleed.

Cameron: Yeah, I’m trying. The hat is always in your snare drum. Especially when someone’s hitting a little softer. It’s always your biggest crutch.

Warren: Any rooms?

Cameron: Always have rooms. I keep rooms — they’re kind of hidden away. There’s one over here. The stereo one is over here. Right now, they’re kind of not exactly where they’d be.

Warren: What are these?

Cameron: Those are MXRs. They’re not expensive mics, they were probably $100. They sound great. They sound great on rooms. It doesn’t matter that they’re not expensive, they’re great mics.

And a lot of times, for that I probably have a mono room right here. SM7 or something. I don’t know exactly, but I usually have three room mics going at the same time.

Warren: Now, we were just talking, because we just did a recording where we were able to go back to Sunset Sound and do a Van Halen recording with using the Van Halen session sheets, and the reason why we’re talking about it is because it was a 57 on the kick, and 546s, which are like budget 57s on the snares and tom tops. Then they put 421s underneath, and they had 414s as the overheads.

But it’s not unlike what you’ve got. A lot of dynamic microphones, and they had three overheads, and I imagine that’s because Alex’s kit was like, I think he had five or six toms, double kick, so it makes sense to have three, because they’re so spread out, but in general, all inexpensive dynamic microphones.

Cameron: I think there’s a simplicity to these kinds of mics that they’re not too hyped in any direction, and that’s where you get a very true sound. If you have your — I’m not going to say brands, but some brands that are really bright or dark, you’re not getting the trueness so much.

For me, I can EQ some bottom end in, some high end, it’s easy, but they come pretty close without a lot of EQ. They’re straight forward. You’re not going to have too much bottom or too much high end. You’re going to have an even keel I would say.

Warren: The other thing with dynamics, tighter polar patterns, less bleed from one mic to another. As much as we love condensers, putting 414s on toms I think is pretty popular. They’re pretty good, but still a lot of bleed.

Cameron: Especially the kind of records that I’m doing, where people are hitting hard, cymbals are crashing all the time, you’re going to get so much of that in there, because it’s just hard to control whenever you open up your toms.

Warren: Well thanks for showing us the basic miking stuff. Any comments and questions, leave them below, show us your studio. Post us, email us. Email us at warren@producelikeapro.com, go to the Facebook page Produce Like a Pro and post your videos. You can do videos or you can send us stills, and we will create some more videos.

Thank you.

Cameron: Thank you, take care.

Warren: Have a marvelous time recording and mixing, see you soon.

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Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at producelikeapro.com.

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