NEW! The Music Chamber Podcast!

NEW! The Music Chamber Podcast!

The Music Chamber is an amazing live concert series that is broadcast live to the world from Ultimate Studios, Inc. Featuring some of the best artists in Los Angeles, The Music Chamber is a platform for artist to showcase their immense talents to the world with live, and on-demand, video.

Now Dan & Charlie have taken this one step further with a brand new Music Chamber Live weekly Podcast!

Every Thursday night at 10pm (pacific time) Dan & Charlie will be joined by guest at Ultimate Studios, Inc for candid conversations about the music business, surviving as a musician, building content, networking, branding, and much more.

The Podcast will be broadcast live on The Music Chamber’s Facebook page and put up on The Music Chamber’s Soundcloud Page for later listening. iTunes link and subscription coming soon!

 

Please subscribe on Soundcloud and like The Music Chamber on Facebook!

TMC Podcast EP2 w/guests Dankrupt

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Compressing Your Room Mics

Compressing Your Room Mics

 

 

Compression has a lot of uses but arguably none more fun than drum room mics. Adding subtle compression to your room mics can add just a touch of excitement while adding tons of compression can completely take your overall drum sound to the next level.

In this excerpt from the stereo room Live Broadcast Seminar a few weeks ago I want to demonstrate just how compression can effect your overall drum sound. I’m doing it with hardware but you can do it with a plugin in your DAW too.

The big thing to remember is there is no one way to do this. You’ll need to experiment but above all LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC and do what it requires. Using compression is a ton of fun but it is easy to overdue it.

Happy recording!

Charlie


Watch part 1 of this series: Recording Rooms with the Blumlein Configuration

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Stereo Room Micing Techniques: Blumlein

Stereo Room Micing Techniques: Blumlein

 

 

There are a lot of ways to capture drum room sounds but none more effective than the Blumlein configuration.

While there are microphones specifically designed to be in a Blumlein configuration you can easily create this setup with 2 Figure 8 microphones. In this video I’m using two Studio Projects CS5 multi-pattern microphones, set to Figure 8, and placed right on top of each other.

The Blumlein configuration captures a very nice stereo image and works well in any size room, small to large. Give this great setup a try and let me know how it works for you!

Happy recording!
Charlie

Check out the USI Music Production Page for much more great info!

Posted by studioadmin in Recording Ninja Workshops, Recording Tips, 1 comment
The Sonic Killer…..Phase!

The Sonic Killer…..Phase!

If there is one simple thing you can do to make your recordings better, it’s checking your phase relationships between each of your microphones!

It seems like such a simple task yet I hear recording after recording that has obvious phase issues. On drums maybe it’s the overheads are out of phase, or the outside kick mic, or it could be a multitude of problems with a multiple mic setup. With guitars phase issues usually occur when using 2 mics that aren’t lined up properly (I’m not talking about a phase pedal or effect).

Phase cancellation. happens when one sound hits two mics at different times. When you are likely to get some degree of phase cancellation. Meaning the source will lack body and sound thin. It will also be somewhat quieter. Guitar players that have used phase pedals are familiar with this. When used correctly it can be a very cool effect but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

On drums phase issues will absolutely ruin your tone. Kick drums will lack punch and bottom end, snares will sound thin, and cymbals can sound harsh….and no amount of eq will fix it. Fortunately it’s easy to check if you know what to listen for.

Phase kills tone fast and for some reason I’m hearing this issue a lot lately. I’ve come to think, that for some reason, a lot of people must not know what to listen for so I decided to tackle this subject in a recent Recording Ninja Workshop Live Broadcast Seminar. We setup a simple drum kit and simple guitar setup to demonstrate the effect of phase relationships between multiple mics and how, if left unchecked, they can destroy your tone.

For an excellent, detailed, explanation of phase check out this article from Sound On Sound.

I’ve pulled two different clips from the “It’s All About Phase” Live Broadcast. One focusing on drums and one focusing on guitars. These two videos should help show you what to listen for when checking for phase issues during your next recording.

Happy, phase correct, recording!

Charlie

 

 

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Recording Drums w/Dynamic, Condenser, & Ribbon Microphones

Recording Drums w/Dynamic, Condenser, & Ribbon Microphones

 

 

The first step in your signal chain is the instrument, the next step is the player, and the third step is the microphone. It’s in this step that we can start to alter, or mold, our sound.

Although there are hundreds of mics on the market there are only really 3 basic types; Dynamic, Condenser, and Ribbons. There are also tube mics but in the video I’m only covering the 3 main types we use on a regular basis. The video is meant to give you a simple, side by side, demonstration of how the different mic types sound on drums. The mics are placed side by side about 5 feet in front of the kit.

I think you’ll get a good idea of how the 3 different mic types sound. The better you understand the differences the more you can take advantage of these mics to mold your sound.

Below is a bit more in-depth explanation of dynamic, condenser, and ribbon mics.

Happy recording!
Charlie

Dynamic Microphones

The dynamic is the most common and robust type of microphone. Popular examples include the Electro Voice RE20, the AKG D112, and the ubiquitous Shure SM-57. The durability, form factor, and inherent directionality of the dynamic make it ideal for live applications.

At the heart of every dynamic microphone is an electromagnetic coil attached to a diaphragm. Sound pressure hits the diaphragm, which moves the coil relative to a static magnet, producing a voltage. This configuration is inherently more directional and less sensitive than other types, making dynamic microphones ideal for close miking – especially of loud sources like drums and amplifiers.

Dynamic microphones are inherently cardioid or hypercardioid and most can handle even the loudest sources. Dynmanic microphones also tend to have narrower frequency response than other types (less low end and high end sensitivity). Some models designed for specific purposes (ie: kick drums) can have wildly nonlinear response curves.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones offer greater sensitivity and wider frequency response than most dynamics. This is one reason they are favored as overhead microphones as well as hi-hats and rides cymbals. The increased sensitivity can make some condensers unsuitable for some high SPL applications like drums. Some condensers will feature a switchable pad to reduce sensitivity for high SPL situations but this may not always be adequate.

Condensers can also feature a variety of polar patterns, or may have multiple, switchable patterns. Often they will also feature a switchable high pass filter to eliminate unwanted lower frequencies. Common examples include the AKG 414, Shure SM81, and the Neumann U87.

A condenser element consists of a thin metallic diaphragm oriented parallel to a larger metal plate. When charged with an electric current, these two pieces act as a capacitor. As sound pressure moves the diaphragm, the capacitance fluctuates. This fluctuation creates a current that is converted to the output signal by circuitry within the microphone.

This circuitry and the need to charge the element require all condensers to be powered by either external phantom power or an internal battery. The wide frequency response, variety of polar patterns, and robustness of modern condenser microphones allows for an enormous variety of microphones to suit almost every application.

Ribbon Microphones

The oldest common microphone type is the ribbon. A thin metal strip – the “ribbon” – is suspended between two magnets. Sound pressure moves the ribbon through the magnetic field, creating a voltage between contacts at each end of the ribbon. This offers better high-end response than a dynamic element, but the design’s inherent figure eight pickup pattern limits their usefulness in situations where isolation or feedback is an issue. Many vintage ribbon microphones, such as the RCA 77, are highly prized for their smooth top end and robust bottom.

There are also many modern ribbon microphones, such as the Royer 122, that offer the classic ribbon sound while maintaining performance on par with other modern types. When connecting a ribbon microphone, be careful not to expose it to phantom power. Some older designs may be damaged by its presence. Most contemporary ribbon microphones have protection built in – some even have preamps requiring phantom power, but the safest option is always to keep ribbon microphones isolated from phantom power entirely.

For drums, the ribbon microphone’s figure eight pickup pattern limits its usefulness for most close-up applications. However, the smooth top end and full bottom of many ribbon microphones can be ideal for overheads and especially room miking.

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Recording Drums w/1 Microphone

Recording Drums w/1 Microphone

 

 

I know what you’re thinking. Do we really need to talk about recording drums, or any instrument for that matter, with 1 microphone again?

Yes.

Capturing any source with one 1 mic allows you to really learn about what you’re recording. Especially on a drum set which has many different parts. By focusing on using 1 mic you’ll learn to get the most of each mic you put on a kit.

In short, you’re multiple mic setups will become more effective by understand how to use only 1 mic.

This video is an excerpt from one of my Live Broadcast Seminars. I’m going to use a single Audio-Technica AT4047 to capture our drum sound. The big focus will be on using mic placement, specifically the height, to act as a natural eq.

Find some time this week to pic a microphone out of your mic locker and try this out in your recording space. I promise you what you’ll learn will make your recordings better!

Happy recording!

Charlie

Posted by studioadmin in Recording Tips, Video Posts, 2 comments
New In Studio Performance: Bleeding Harp!

New In Studio Performance: Bleeding Harp!

The Music Chamber has been a HUGE success! We’ve been fortunate to have some amazing musicians performing to a fantastic live audience in the studio as well as a huge online streaming audience. It’s been electric in the studio for these performances.

At the last Music Chamber concert the audience was electrified by Bleeding Harp’s performance. They were simply on fire!! Now we have video out for everyone to enjoy!

Continue reading →

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Rock Drums Sounds with 5 Mics!

Rock Drums Sounds with 5 Mics!

 

 

Over the past couple of months I’ve started doing a lot of live streaming seminars. I love going live because I can interact directly with other recording enthusiasts that are watching….in real-time!

One recent seminar was on the topic of capturing a full rock drum sound with only 4-5 mics. Not just drums on their own though.

That’s too easy.

Since the ultimate goal is for the tones to work in a song, we used a full blown rock track to test our sounds.

Before you watch the video I want to reiterate my stance on minimal micing….

I am not a hard core minimal micing setup only fanatic. However, I ALWAYS start with some sort of minimal mic setup. No matter what style of music I’m recording.

By making sure that I’ve captured my drum sound with only a few mics (3-5) I’m ensuring that the drum sound will be full and have good depth. Then I listen to the drums along with the music to find out what other mics I need to add to make the sound work for the song.

Sometimes I don’t need any other mics. Sometimes I need a few spot mics to make sure certain elements will fit. Sometimes it all just needs to get miced up. It ALL depends on the song.

Since my core overall sound has been captured with only a few mics I know the kit will sound full and cohesive and not fall prey to the “spot miced” drum sound.

Happy recording everyone!

Charlie

p.s. We’ll be releasing a full schedule of live streaming seminars very soon! Check out the events page to stay informed!

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Simple Room Micing Trick

Simple Room Micing Trick

 

 

There is simply no better way to add depth, space, and sometimes excitement to your drum sounds than using room mics. Can you say Led Zeppelin?

However, I realize that not everyone has the space to really explore all the cool room mic possibilities. Yes, you could use reverb to simulate a room sound and it would work nicely, but…..

There is nothing cooler, and more realistic, than the feeling of an actual mic capturing the drummers performance in the room.

Today I want to show you a cool room mic trick that can work in ANY size room. Small or large.

On a recent Live Streaming Seminar I pulled out an old trick I used to do in my first studio that was considerably smaller than my studio now. Actually it was smaller than my current control room!

Best of all this trick used only 1 microphone so all you need is a single condenser (you could try a dynamic mic too).

So watch the video and then go grab a mic and experiment!

Happy recording!

Charlie

p.s. I’ll be doing a part 2 with concept soon!

 


Take your drum recordings to the next level!
Get your copy today!

The Art of Recording Drums Vol. 1 by engineer/producer Charlie Waymire

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Behind the Scenes with Chad Smith

Behind the Scenes with Chad Smith

Yesterday we posted video of Chad & Kevin tracking “Eagle Eye”. Today we bring behind the scenes footage from the session.

As far as sessions go it went pretty smooth. Working with professional musicians like Chad & Kevin make my job as an engineer pretty easy. Kevin and I had talked quite a bit in the weeks leading up to the session so I had a pretty good idea on what type of tones they wanted.

We decided to use a vintage Rogers Holiday kit restored by a good friend of mine Kurt Berger and drum whisperer Chris Heuer. It is a truly amazing drum set. I love all of my kits but that kit just has the “it” factor. It really is amazing.

Kevin brought his Mark Bass rig which is a piece of cake to record. Although Kevin could make any bass rig sound good the Mark Bass is bad ass.

All in all this was a really fun day in the studio. Tarja joined us via Skype from Buenos Aires and stayed on for the entire session. Once we’d get a track we would also send them an MP3 to listen to. This is one of the great ways that technology has made our lives better. It was an international session!

Tarja is a wonderful person and an amazing artist. Check the new album out at www.tarja-theshadowself.com. Links to purchase the album are below.

Anyway let’s get to the video! I’ll post a full list of the mics used and a few photos below too.

Enjoy!
Charlie

 

 

The Brightest Void
Tarja CD DigipakTarja 1LP+DownloadTarja iTunes

 

Microphone List

  • Kick In: MXL A55 kicker
  • Kick Out: Studio Projects CS5
  • Snare Top: SM57
  • Snare Bottom: SM57
  • Snare Side: Cascade Fathead II
  • Hats: Audio-Technica ATM450
  • Rack Toms: Heil PR30
  • Floor Toms: Audio-Technica AT4047
  • Ride: Audio-Technica ATM450
  • Overheads: Audio-Technica AT4060 Tube Mics
  • Mono Room: Cascade Knucklehead Ribbon Mic
  • Stereo Rooms: Audio-Technica AT4080 Ribbon Mics
  • Stereo Wide Rooms: Audio-Technica AE3000
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