Skip to main content

Cymbal Mic Setup

Lesson 19 from: Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Eyal Levi

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

19. Cymbal Mic Setup

Next Lesson: Touch Up Tuning


Class Trailer

Intro to Bootcamp


Purpose of Pre-Production


Technical Side of Preproduction


Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map


Pre-Production: Importing Stems


Pre-Production: Click Track


Creating Tracking Templates


Intro and the Tone Pie


Drums - Lay of the Land


Bearing Edges


Wood Types


Depths and Sizes




Sticks and Beaters


Drum Heads


Drum Tuning


Drum Mic Placement Intro


Basic Drum Mic Setup


Cymbal Mic Setup


Touch Up Tuning


Microphone Choice and Placement


Drum Tracking Intro


Getting Tones and Final Placement


Primary Tracking


Punching In and Comping Takes


Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking


Amplifiers - Lay of the Land


Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out


Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement


Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain


Finalizing Amplifier Tone


Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin


Intro to Rhythm Tracking


Setting Up Guitars


Working with a Guitarist


Final Guitar Tone and Recap


Guitar Tracking with John


Guitar Tracking with Ollie


Final Tracking


Tracking Quads


Intro to Bass Tone


Bass Tone Setup


Bass Tone Mic Placement


Bass Tracking


Intro to Clean and Lead Tones


Clean Guitar Tones


Lead Tones


Vocal Setup for Tracking


Vocal Mic Selection and Setup


Vocal Mic Shootout


Lead Vocal Tracking


Writing Harmonies


Harmony Vocal Tracking


Vocal Warm Ups


Scream Vocal Tracking


Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction


Vocal Tuning and Editing


Routing and Bussing


Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels


Setting Up Parallel Compression


Setting Up Drum Triggers


Gain Staging and Trim


Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ


Drum Mixing - Snare


Drum Mixing - Kick


Drum Mixing - Toms


Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms


Drum Mixing Recap


Mixing Bass Guitar


Mixing Rhythm Guitars


Basic Vocal Mix


Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars


Mixing - Automation


Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek


Lesson Info

Cymbal Mic Setup

We want to get the snare and the kick drum in the middle. We'll have to go this way with it. If we want to approach that method, we can do that or we could go more of approaching this as the center of the kit, which would pull the snare over to the side a little bit. I want the snare in the center. Okay. Yeah, for sure. Okay. Well, do you want more cymbals than drums or kind of a picture of the drum kit? I want more cymbals than drums. Okay, so we'll go a little bit more over the cymbals with it. Yeah. Want more cymbals than drums and we can get length out of the rooms or whatever because we're still gonna, that one right there, the SM-7, I know it's gonna pick up a lot of cymbals, but I want to point that right at the snare. I've got a tape measurer in my pocket. Maybe we should go off a based, off of these. Are you miking the China? Individually? Yes. Yeah. Okay. Absolutely. So these are more for the main crashes then. Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna mic every...

cymbal. So, I can't tell how high that is. Let's see. Got some tape measurer. Let's see here. Here, let me turn this. That one's upside down. Yes it is. Hence why it was not position-able. Okay, we're at 42. Do we want to bump that up to 46? Sure. Okay. You want me to do it? I just need to come up with it a little. Okay. Where we at with. Close. Huh. This one's at like 41. Yeah, might have to go further up with that one. There we go, just over 46, let's pull this down this way. Okay, 46 and 46 is right where my thumb is. Is it, now? Right about there? Little higher. Right about, you can let it go there and let's see where it's at. It's very close. (mumbling)? No, we can do this. Okay. Drop it down this way. 46, and this one needs to come up here. My only concern, we'll just have to hear him, is that these are a little high, compared to where it normally go. Right, but he is using one of these giant sticks and he's a hard hitter, so this might be okay. Typically on metal kind of stuff, sometimes we'll use like two sets of overheads, one for a kit picture and one more for isolated control. Almost like crash mics, but we'll usually be like around here. This is a little taller, but we'll see. He is a beast, drummer. Hat and ride, are we gonna do those now, or is that later? Let's do those later, let's see where we're at with this. Alright, move this mic back just a hair. Does that look about right, same as the rack tom? Um, yeah pretty much. Need to come in a little bit? Yeah. You think maybe the snare mic is a little high? I don't know, if it sounded good. It was okay. Well let's see what it sounds like with the overheads on. Okay. Matt, can you hear me? Yep. Okay. I'm gonna need you to tap the high hat side mic. (tapping) Okay, cool, tap the ride side mic. (tapping) Okay, good times. (cymbals crashing) Do me a favor, I'm gonna record. I just want to play some cymbals, but then hit your toms and snare, I want to check where the phase is at. Okay. You're good to go. (drums pounding) (rock and roll drumming) Hold up. Alright, so right now I'm just making sure that the, that we don't have phase problems between the overheads and the snares. Ooh, those things are clippin'. Yes they are. I'm gonna fix that. So, we got reverse polarity goin' on. But it's lining up. Looks like it's in phase 'cause of the distance. Yeah. Kinda. Kinda, it's weird. Anup, do you want to go in there? Yep. Play some, let me make a group here. (drums pounding) Okay. Yo. Okay. (rock and roll drumming) Yo, hold up. Okay, you need to play some more. (rock and roll drumming) Okay, thanks. Go again. (rock and roll drumming) Hold up. Okay. Yeah, still doin' it. Still doin' it, yeah. So we need to go even higher with the mics? Yeah, but damn. He's using tree trunks. (laughing) I know. It's not doing it quite as bad, but. (rock and roll drumming) Pull 'em up and see if it's like helpful or not. What's that? See if it's helpful or not. (rock and roll drumming) The snare is so loud in that, too. Go again. (rock and roll drumming) Alright, hold on. It's the drums, it's not the cymbals. So, we need to get in closer to the cymbals. Yeah, check it out it's when he hits the. The snare. It's when he hits the snare. (rock and roll drumming) Yeah, it's whenever he hits the snare. Okay. So yeah, we should drop those down a bit. Okay. Okay, alright I'll go in there with you. Let's do this. Hit the flub. What's that? Flub. So how close do you want to go? I don't know. Man, this is like. There we go. Do we maybe want to point away from the snare drum a little bit? Yes, that too. I was gonna suggest that we kinda try to reject it a little. Your snare drum is just destroying these mics. That's at 40 and where's yours at? Yours is at like 32. Okay. 32 is like here. Let me bring mine back a little. Let me get mine down to 38. You're a beast. It's okay. I still like you. (chuckling) It's fine. That's 35. Alright, where we at here? 34. Ooh. I'm gonna come in with it a little bit. In. And then up a little bit. Right there is where 35 is. Here? Yep. Alright, shall we? Yeah, let's try it. Recording. (rock and roll drumming) One side is way lower than the other. He keeps playing on that side. (rock and roll drumming) Are we running through a compressor? 'Cause it sure looks compressed. No we're not, not that I know of. (drums pounding) Hold up a second. All I know is we're running through Neve pre-amps. Maybe we should ditch the Neves. Maybe we should. Why don't we try going to the Trident. Yeah. Alright, play some stuff. (rock and roll drumming) Top one. Oh yeah. That's a lot better. Hey. Are you saying something? No, I was asking if I should keep going? Yes, I would like you to keep going, but try to play some fat beats yo, with like fills and all kinds of stuff. (rock and roll drumming) Okay cool, thanks. What are your thoughts? I like 'em. It's a lot better than it was, that's for sure. So this is where we plugged into the Trident. Is he using the dark crashes? Yes, he's using the super dark crashes that he brought. Those are his cymbals. Did they give us the mediums and brilliance? Yes. Not brilliance, but yes medium thin, I think we have a couple. We should, I want to hear those. Okay. Hey, Anup? Yeah? Could you change your crashes out to the medium thins that they gave us? Yup. Thank you, sir. 18 and 19. Is that a 19? These are both the same. MB-20 heavy crash, and that's a medium crash. These are pretty cool. Maybe put this with the ride side, because I'm more dominant there. It's also (sneezing) if (mumbling), but I guess we'll find out. It's what? Might be a little washy, but we'll find out. Okay, let's hear the difference. Okay, so these were also his dark. His cymbals, yeah. Anup's crashes. And these are. 18 inch brilliant and a 19 inch heavy. Alright, play some beats. (rock and roll drumming) Is that better? We have an 18 in that same cymbal, so we want to go a little bit higher with that crash ride. I don't want the. Hard switched out though. Yeah. Okay, stop. The one on. The crash, yeah. His hat side sucks. Hat side. Change out to this one. I like it. Here's what I noticed playing the kit. There is a ton of low end coming off of that drum that we're not capturing. Yeah. And so I think we need to put something behind the kit to really capture that body of the snare drum, 'cause there's a lot of body in that drum that it's like engulfing you when you play it, but. We're getting zero of it. We're getting none of it in here. Okay well, let's see if this crash is better and then let's do that next because the snare's making me sad. Okay. Okay. Alright, play. (rock and roll drumming) A little whistley. Mhm. But that's better though. Yeah. Okay. You want him to add some seven? Yeah, hold on one second. Alright, good, thanks. Move those go-gos out of the way? Yeah, I was thinking maybe, depending on when we get to rooms or not, maybe we would put them on the side like we do in Florida, I don't know, but, yeah, so were you thinking that we activate the SM-7 that's above, or were you wanting to do one like level with the snare behind the kit? Or did you want to try a ribbon thing like we do with the Roy-Ers? Uh, well I felt it on me as playing the drums, so I know it's in there, so maybe we should do the behind, the X, the bloom line behind the kit and see if that helps. Okay. But since the SM-7's there, might as well plug it in, see what's going on. Let's do all of it, let's do all of the above. You want to use the Coles? Yeah, sure, why not? For the bloom line. Yeah. Alright, so, we'll get the SM-7 and the Coles going. Cool. Alright, cool. We also need to check the phase on the overheads too, 'cause we might be getting more bottom-end if we flip the phase on those guys. It could be. But I also thought it was a little dinky before we even got those in. Who knows. (mumbling) What's that? The Coles, would you like them (mumbling) to do? A bloom line configuration. What's that? A bloom line configuration behind the kit. Okay. So right here. So these are the ones, this top one? Exactly, yeah. Got it, cool. So we're gonna need the three (mumbling) five. Yeah, so I'll go in a three with a SM-7. Okay, cool. Now, Matt, you know it might be interesting to actually put the SM- through one of the Neves. Yeah. Make it sound trashy and awesome. Yeah. Maybe I'll do that. That'd be good. Yeah. Okay, try that. We're gonna go down low with it. I'm gonna sit somewhere around-- Who's tall, you're tall. Do you think you could reach that for me? Do we have another short stand that we could put one on? Thanks. You won't two short ones? No, just one short should be fine. Oh, perfect. The short one (mumbling). Alright, I'm gonna go set up those channels, then. Okay. We want to get the rest of the mics hooked up, and hopefully sounding somewhat decent, so when we come in tomorrow we only need to do maybe two hours of tones if that and then track. Cool. Alright. Which one of those are we calling a hat, and which one are we calling a ride with the bloom lines? We're just gonna have to tap it. This one's hat. That one's ride. This one's ride. Okay. Do we want to measure that to the center of the snare? Yeah, we could. It's pointing towards the cymbals a little. Yeah, it needs to come over a little bit. It's at 51. Wait, now it's at 52. 52, and 57. Do you want me to raise this a little? Or I can move this closer. That closer? Yeah. Let's try that. Okay. Just a hair closer. Have you ever done anything really ridiculous, like put a. All the time. Like a kick drum mic on a snare? Mostly when I was younger. (laughing) Me too. Have you ever done anything ridiculous, like put a mic intended for a kick like on the bottom of a snare, or anything like that? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Sometimes you just deal with what you have and do things like that, but other times I have put D-112s on a snare before. And how'd it go? It worked for that particular thing. 421s on bottoms of snares. I've done that. Alright, so we straight with this? Yeah. Okay. Those'll definitely be, let's just make sure it's over the center of the drum. Go this way, that way just a hair. There we go. Okay. Oh, man. Back just that way. Right there, right there. That's it. Alright. Let me just double check, make sure it's 52. Closer to 53 now. We're really close. This can come down just a fraction of an inch. Just a little bit more. Getting exact up in here. Hm? Getting exact up in here, look at this. Yeah. Gots to. It is a science. Fair enough. What's that? I said it is a science. Yeah. (laughing) Alright, so we just set up an SM-7B above the snare because they can sound really cool and then a set of Coles, a bloom line configuration behind the snare, measured to the exact same distances, and we'll see what happens. Never know. Hit the snare. (drums pounding) It's already something that we didn't have before. Mhm, the SM-7. Yeah, that's a tone we definitely didn't have before. Mhm. Cool. Let's see these Coles. (drums pounding) There's your low end, yeah. Told you it was there. (drums pounding) Let's turn the phase on the overheads while we're here, too. Yeah, I'm gonna record now. (drums pounding) Okay, thanks. Let's see where our phase is. Here, let me just put the snare top right here. On the bottom right there. Okay, here's the snare top. Looks like the SM-7 is. It's just got better transients. Looks like we're in line. What about the Coles? I think those are not. I mean, look. The SM-7 might be out from the snare drum. Yeah. Let's try flipping that one. Yep. And the overheads are also out for the snare as well. Okay, I'll flip those too. (drums pounding) Here, let's solo these guys on the snare. (drums pounding) Oh, yeah, way better. Way better. Alright, now let's check that SM-7. (drums pounding) Yeah, it's out of phase. Yeah. Okay. Well, I have a flip coming in. Cool. Well, they're in phase with each other. And the SM-7, so I guess they probly got to be flipped. Yeah. Okay. (drums pounding) Hang on. (drums pounding) [Matt] Actually, they're good. They don't need to be flipped, those are fine. Yeah. (drums pounding) Hold on, that's flipped. (drums pounding) Lot more low end when they're normal. But then what about against this? This one's flipped. (drums pounding) I think there's more clarity with it flipped. Yeah. Alright. Alright let's capture him again. But you have it engaged there, so we don't need it here. The joys of phase, man. Alright, play us some snare again. (drums pounding) Play some beats. (rock and roll drumming) It's better. Play some beats with cymbals and stuff and everything. (rock and roll drumming) Hold up. You know what would be helpful? Panning 'em. Panning 'em. (chuckling) Yup. Go again. (rock and roll drumming) Alright, cool, thanks. We should finish miking things, but also, I don't know, so those Coles helped, in my opinion. For sure. A lot. Captured what it was like to play the kit. Yeah. What can we do to add some length? We're gonna need to put some further rooms. Yeah, for sure. We were told to put a U-87 in that hall. Okay. So we should do that and start adding more mics and just get this over with. Yeah. Okay, cool. But no, those Coles and the SM-7 really helped. Yeah, that's a great example of sometimes the close mic isn't necessarily picking up what it's like in the room, and adding something that's closer to the kit, capturing what the kit is doing will bring in some of that room sound, without being roomy. Yeah, like so. (rock and roll drumming) And I can, with a little processing to get rid of some of those cymbals and stuff, I think that that could be real cool. Watch how the kick drum, see what the kick drum's doing with that. Yes we do. Let us see. Looks like we might be alright. Yeah. Alright, here we are. Whoops. Yeah. Alright, there we are. With the SM-7 and not, but these are flipped, so. Okay. Alright. Alright, shall we add some mics? Yeah. Alright.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Eyal Levi Bootcamp Bonuses
Drum Editing - HD

Ratings and Reviews


I'm on lesson 19! Already worth every dollar!!! Priceless insight! I have already incorporated some of the ideas (preproduction common sense stuff that I never thought of, but damn). VERY HAPPY with this course! ALWAYS LEARNING and looking forward to the next 50 (or whatever) lessons!!! Excellent course! GREAT PRODUCER/ENGINEER, GREAT DRUM TECH, and GREAT BAND!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.


Amazing knowledge is being presented here. If you want to start out recording, this should be your first step, it'll save you lots of time and get you awesome results. Highly recommended class.

Student Work