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Making & Using Drum Samples

Lesson 4 of 15

Microphones, Preamps, and Signal Flow

Sam Pura

Making & Using Drum Samples

Sam Pura

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Lesson Info

4. Microphones, Preamps, and Signal Flow

Lesson Info

Microphones, Preamps, and Signal Flow

Drum preparation and the recording process so we talked about the whole theory of samples talked about the whole theory of tooni drones now we need tio make our drums we need to record them and we need to record this and samples. So I'm gonna show a really cool video that we made and it's going to give you an inside look at my studio high what mike's we're using what? How we set him up on the drum kit and what perhaps they're going into. So welcome to the panel studios we are in the west live room today and I'm gonna talk start talking about the microphones that we're going to use to record our drum kit and create trump samples for us to work with today so let's start off with probably our most important microphones right here these are two microphones made by a company called s e there are and seventeen's their small cap condenser microphones is going to sit directly on top of our junket and these are going to grab all the symbol term kicks snare tom's everything so onwards tow the ne...

xt microphones which are also s e microphones these microphones are figure eight ribbon microphones therefore they pick up from the front and they also picked up from the back these microphones gonna live on our rooms and our corners and they're gonna be behind these go go's right here onwards to another mike firm firm or ambience we're going to put this microphone on the center of market this is a cathedral pipes you forty seven clone and in conjunction with this microphone this is going to pick up a za cardio and pattern on leave from the front and we're also going to use this microphone may by s e this is a the are one voodoo ribbon microphone it's another figure eight microphone therefore picks up from the front and the back we're going to use this up on top of this guy and is going to pick up the sides both of them and we're going to do a cool technique called mid side so this is going to be our mid microphone and this is going to be our side mark phone we'll get into that later but moving on these air to norman teal and one or two microphones the's mike's they're going to actually live in the hallway outside of this entire room and I'm going to capture all this extra andy it's an extra room noise that we're gonna be able to mix in with the drums let's move on to the right said this is a a very fun branding microphone here that I have says a telephone king and eighty two so this microphone is goingto go inside of our kick drum and it's going to be our inside kick mike and in conjunction with this mike we're gonna use yamaha sub kick this subject is going to kick pick up all the outside residents from the head it's going to be is a conjunction to create our kick drum sound moving on we've gotta tell a function and eighty two there's a microphone right here is going to be used on the top of our snared trump and this microphone is an eight k g c four fifty one b this is going to live on the bottom of our snare and it's going to pick up all the transient information and that's actual snares sitting on the bottom and add a lot of brightness and a lot of top and then lastly to more like phones and then we're done with the drum sound these two microphones are audio technica eighteen and twenty five is going to live on our toms rack tom for time being left tom right time so that's basically our entire drum set. So now that we've talked about our microphones let's talk about their placement on the drum kit first of all let's talk about a snare drum snare microphone my general rule of thumb that I like to go why is I set it up so that it's two fingers away from the snakeheads? Therefore when it put these two fingers should be just enough room for that snare mike to live next is the same thing with the tom's except it's three things there's three fingers that's my general guideline with that next what I'll do is I'll put on headphones we'll have these microphones going to the headphones and I'll hit the drums for a little while and be able tio place mike friends a little bit differently and make sure I have just enough attack just enough resident town and just enough bottom with the overheads here or overhead mikes are measured equal distant from our snare drum so therefore if I measure from here to the middle of snare drum and from here to the middle of snare drum that the exact same distance supply so this is our leftover head this is our right overhead there left home this is our right, tom. This is gonna be tops there and we gotta bottom snare lastly from the outside of the kick here just right outside of the whole we have our inside kick my phone and then for some kick right in front of the junket to pick up the close sound as if you're standing in front of a drum kit is our u forty seven microphone you're forty seven is acting as our mid microphone, so the cardio and pattern so therefore it's just picking up this drum kit right here and then we have our ribbon microphone on top capturing the side and information that sign information because it's a figure eight microphone has created a huge pattern that's capturing this entire space here. So we'll get more into that a little bit later, we have a good set up. Schiavo has the diffuser set upon this side to diffuse all the sound inside of you and keeping in here. And then it has a coded side over here, that's absorbing sound right behind it as far as we can go on with corn of the room, we have a ribbon back from point of the corner, pointed the drum kit point directly at this gobo that what we create a little bit of a separation that barrier and create more and ian's over here and not direct sound from the job. So now we just talked about a room like we're leaving our drum room, and we're now answering our hallway might be able to tell the sound of my voice, it's a lot more reflective in here. So that's, why I put a microphone out here, it's a lot more river be it's, basically a river track. So we're using too norman, teal and one or two microphones to accomplish this, they're set up in an o r t f pattern that way we can capture all the ambience. It's, because it's directly rejecting the drum kit and on ly capturing the ambiance here. All right, so now that you've seen our drum likes and our drum set and the microphones on our drum set, the next path and our signal chain is our microphone preempts. So all my microphone, perhaps right here on my desk, we've got fourteen microphones out there, and we've got sixteen microphone preempts here set up, so I'm going to show you what we're using on everything, so we're not going to use two of these right here, but let's start off from the top. I'm the using my cappie vp twenty eights on our kick in our sub kick our snare top arson, our bottom a wrack tom, our floor tom and our overhead left in our overhead. Right then we moved down to our next round. I've got my hair ball, audio, copper, perhaps is on my left and my right room that I'm using the horrible audio lola preempts on the hallway like friends on the left and right all I might front, and then I had lastly to more lola's on our mid microphone and are sad, my profound all these perhaps conveniently have phase reversal. And we've got out putting ops, therefore, we could make sure that we drive our microphone and saturated just enough, and then we can make sure that we tame our output so that all of our inputs on pro tools see these has negative ten d b that's the inside look in my studio, I hope that was kind of cool and entertaining to watch that was super cool. Yeah, I guess we'll start off talking about those microphones that I used basically, we'll start to kick one the californian like is a new mike that I've been using recently. I like it a lot because it's got to switch is on one of them is a high boost, and the other one is this kick you basically did too low mids, they're both handy to have whenever we're going to take trump down, I just have one of my interns, my assistant run out there, switch him, it helps, taylor are iki sound and our kid sounded sound pretty good before it gets there. I usually leave the high boost off and I usually leave the kick you want. I like that a lot. I with the sub kick together, you got to make sure that they're in phase, obviously he got kind of move around outside subjects that both microphones sound big together from there we got a mayday on top you get the fourth if you want a bottom the reason I use the four fifty one of autumn is because I really like the impact of a small diagram condenser mike that they pick up a lot of transient information really? Well well not necessary I'm not listen I'll use a lot of these words a lot throughout the day and let me just focus on what I'm talking about I'll say things like top or bottom what I mean is high end and low end I'm thinking about it as frequency spectrum we got top we've got bottom so what I'm using a bottom stair mike I'm not looking for bottom being low and I'm looking for a lot of top end so that's why I like the four fifty one a lot of people will just use thirty seven on top fifty seven on bottom I try to not he's fifty seven just because everyone uses fifty seven I just wanna be different s o I like that telephone and eighty on top and I specifically would not put the telephone and eighty on bottom because I want my bottom sound to be different than my top something both blinding compliment with each other then the overheads I really like these small cap condensers that I've been using there are in seventeen they're really quick. They got a lot of transient bite snare sounds with the good in that thompson really getting it it's it's a mike that you can just boost it and all of the top transit information of all your germs. Sounds great and your symbols, obviously, which is what it's really picking up sound so perfect, not too much bottom good sizzle, not too much brightness, the biggest issue with symbols that they're so harsh you just ice pick in your years all terms. So, uh, I make sure that I don't get too much washing the symbols and get just enough transmit information, and they're very quick to k, so we don't have this overhead washing sound when we put it into our mix, the room, like, I really like using ribbons because they don't have all this top end because we're trying to get more mid range of the drums and we want try to get a lot of bottom I'm not really trying tio at all this brightness for my rooms, and I specifically don't want them to be getting blasted in the face with similar like phones so that's, why I put the goes in between so that our symbols and don't we have a direct barrier between and it's more so picking up lots of ambience the really cool thing about having to go in front is if you walk around with it and kind of push it you can literally really tune that thing to make sure that you get just enough kicking cimarron and not any of the high hat or symbols and and as well it's also really cool to be able to flip that things that you can see if the reflective side sounds better or the diffuse inside of sounds better and that scenario that uh the coated absorption side side on better towards the microphones and keeping the diffuse sound and said so that's why I like those in my room lights the mid side is probably like the most important drowned sound when when we all stand inside of a room and listen to drummer you pretty much go stand in front the drummer and watching play so I was kind of have this conversation about I don't know when and how overhead miking techniques were developed on makes sense but it also kind of really makes sense to me in my mind because I don't stand above a drum set looking down on it and listening to it I never I never do that personally so I like to have a frame of reference for where I am in the room where it sounds good and put a mike from there so I literally walk around I'll be like sounds best right here getting lots of bottom from the kick lots of borrowing from the snare, not too much symbol I'm gonna put my microphone right here and then I put that sign mark from there so it's basically my ears going there and all of front so that's like when I bring up the drum sound later, you'll hear that that those two microphones are pretty much the main drum sound that's going on, tom makes every like those audio technica eighteen twenty five there are usually used for twenty ones all time it's almost like the fifty seven with four, twenty ones everyone uses for twenty one, so I don't want to use it anyway, but now everyone's going eighteen twenty five because I'm talking about them, but they're there just continued, so good luck finding those nights, but you have a really good mike they actually some great on times they have a lot of bottom. A lot of top cool thing about it is that they have there no point reject so much so when we look at the files later, you'll see there's not really a lot of bleed and like simple bladed stuff is pretty minimal, so I really like those comics. Lastly, the hallway in the wild card mike every drum set that record, I'd like to put something up that's weird, and if I have enough inputs for, I'll get really weird, so maybe tapes and pz ends to a floor, maybe put, uh, a microphone and economy of fish, but there's something I don't know like it were to get, like, as as off the wall as you can, so I'm my hallway. It was like one of the first ways when I was like, I'm just not getting enough room response let's, open up the door, let's stick a mike out here and that has forever been a part of my drum sound now, because one day I was just like let's experiment and let's, just stick around, I guess, you know, so I highly suggest always throwing up a microphone that you would never suggest to work. Maybe fifty seven is a room or something weird and just trying it like lots of times people always talk back mike so the drummer at least could just talk to you and you can hear him and those talk black mike's usually end up being like andy edge tracks under strained because of super compressed and they sound pretty cool, so any weird microphones that you can get in weird spots are going to help you just have more options with the drum sound so we talked a little bit about the microphones now we need to talk about their patterns of why we used these patterns and why they're important cardio pattern is pretty much every microphone is like that and the the really cool benefit of cardio pattern is the no point so that anything behind the cardio pattern is being rejected. So I talked about a little bit earlier with the snare drum stuff, but I really like to place all those microphones so it's rejecting everything with no points so the snare drum it's rejecting the high hat, the tom it's rejecting the symbol that'll be right here the four time it'll be rejecting the reid and the other symbol so I want to make sure that you do know points to your advantage so that you can try to eliminate as much external bleed in those sources the other disadvantage about using cardio it is that proximity effects basically meaning the the closer you get to the mike ma'am or low and that happens because it's responding differently so army doesn't have proximity effects so I like to use on me a lot on rooms and things like that because it kind of eliminates this boom eunice that happens with some likes and just picks up more of the air the other really cool one is the figure it mike because it's no point is on the side so you khun face a figure eight at a drum kit and have picking up this way and it's pretty much rejecting that entire drunk it it's not going to pick up direct sound from it it's only gonna pick up and it's so understanding you're no points your patterns and how to actually use them correctly on those microphones are going to help you get better drum sounds you have to be aware of the room what these microphones are picking up and you have to be aware of how to accurately eliminate those bleed and or limit the bleed the best you can with these options the other thing is the uh we're talking about the fans relationship with the snare drum and the overheads you saw me mentioned that to make sure that it's the same distance from the snare so this overhead the same distance this one reason why is we want to make sure that the scenario just a slot in both won and that's the center of our kid otherwise we're gonna have a snare sound a little water on one side of the other so you gotta make sure that your scenarios in the middle that's the most important thing for me with drums I find the snare drum to be the most important trump it's being hit consistently it's the one that's driving that song and has all the character so I make sure that every single microphone isn't phase with the snare drum a lot of people do things like make sure the kick is in phase with the overheads and stuff don't do any of that. My suggestion is on ly listen to your top snare mike, and make sure every single microphone isn't phase with that might that's the one that's going to be hit the most that's, the one that you need the most low in on and that's the one if you do everything with the snare, your phase relationships are going it's going to make more sense and everything come together a little easier. Okay, it's, the last thing, the goebbels that we talked about rejecting symbols, those type of things really smart to be able to create more andy it's so let's, get into our next video. Here are our next slide, rana preempts you said we talked about the tramps uh, the first eight that I used is the cap e v p twenty eight that's basically an a p I preempt those preempts really cool on close mikes, and the reason why is they have really cool transient detail? Because we're trying to get all of this transient information from these close max, we don't want it to be too, believe me, we don't want to be too soft want to be very nice and snappy that way we could get a little clicking a little sounds going on so I really like the ap eyes on it because I feel that more you saturate them. The snappier things get so it's it's really cool on drums. The lower microphone is pre and, like footprint it's like the cleanest signal possible. So I run things like overheads, outer rooms, anything that I want to be extremely true to the source through that the cap is where I could start mangling tones and kind of saturating them a little bit. Lastly, we got the copper. Copper is basically the classic leave sound transformer sounds really good. It's really good to be able to kind of try things and dangle them. So ideas are rooms, anything that like you, khun, you want to get effective with. So now we need to talk about a signal flow. You have your source, but mike fire source microphone goes in a prius. Then you have an option we want to do with your parents. Do you want to put it into an e? Q? You want to put it into a compressor and you want to do anything else. Or do you just want to put it directly to your pro tools or take whatever going to use for this thing for this lesson? It's just source microphone preempt did of you nothing else in life? The reason is, I'm going to be able to show you guys how we conducing treatment on these drums later, but I really want to stress that the best drum sound that you're going to get is by moving microphones, tuning drums, right, and not relying on any tools until you have to. So I want to really reinforce that the sound starts at the source, your microphone is going to help capture that sound, and then your pre empt is going to help saturate that and live at a nice level inside of pro tools. So those are the three most important things and that's what I really want to focus on talking cool. So the next thing is that all your signals that we get into pro tools, everyone it's, a very ambiguous thing. How long do I go what's the red light? What is that? Well, we need to understand that the red light is zero. Once we hit it, we've gone too far. The computer doesn't know at what's past cereal and it's creating distortion at this point. So in order for us to be safe and make sure we don't have that zero point, you want all these microphones coming in at negative ten tv full scale. What that means is that on pro tools show this little letter, but there's a meter and you want that to be hitting negative ten if you do negative ten it's, smart and it's safe, and the reason is is that you get plenty of signal, you're not you're nowhere near the clipping stage, and if you put a plug in on that you khun increase high and you like six decibels and not reach anywhere near the zero point because you still got four decibels left to go. So it's a it's a very smart thing, tio ensure that you're creating enough head room inside of your d a w so everything operates and it's seen this signal that it wants to see does want to get too hot but doesn't want to get too quiet and wants to see it in a nice nominal level and negative ten g b f f is the smartest and safest thing I do that on everything it's like our religious rule about everything is kind of negative ten if it doesn't come in at negative ten there's an issue, either we don't set it right or the sources is wrong. So that's one of the most important things that I would, I would highly recommend that everyone stopped hand attention to when you make sure you drive it in don't hit the yellow light do not hit the red light. Stay right in the green right before it starts hitting the ela.

Class Description

Drum samples are a staple in modern music recording. Drummers can’t deliver a pitch perfect performance every time – drum samples free you up to make small mistakes that you correct for in the recording studios. Learn how to use them.

In Making and Using Drum Samples with Sam Pura you’ll learn all about recording, editing, and placing drum samples in a mix. Sam will help you identify weak spots in a performance and show you how a sample can reinforce your tones, add depth to a recording and fill in the gaps. You’ll learn how to record samples from a drum kit, edit them, and then place them in your mix using Beat Detective and Slate Trigger. You’ll master the art of integrating drums samples that sound authentic and natural, not copy and pasted.

If you are ready to get solid drum tracks that cut through the mix, this course is for you.


a Creativelive Student

This is actually money well spent! A good deal of knowledge to be learned. Much better than the Eyal Levi class, that I spent nearly 8 times the cash on!


Crazy useful knowledge on Making & Using Drum Samples. Sam is the man, and throws in tons of tips and tricks along the way on building gobos and room treatment and other random production ideas, this class is definitely worth it!!

Zach Herman