Recording Drums

New Recording Studio Trailer!

New Recording Studio Trailer!

New Ultimate Studios, Inc Recording Studio Trailer

Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Video Production. Yes of course we do all of these things. Ultimate Studios, Inc is a full service recording studio in Los Angeles. Continue reading →

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Dankrupt releases new video single!

Dankrupt releases new video single!

Recording Drums with Dankrupt!

Once again I’m very honored to work with my friends in Dankrupt. In one form or another I’ve worked with them since the very beginning and it has been fun to watch them grow as band. Continue reading →

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Great Gear Under $400 PT1: Mics & Drums

Great Gear Under $400 PT1: Mics & Drums

 

 

The size of the price tag is not necessarily the way to judge how good a piece of gear will sound. Or if it will do what you actually need it to do.

I pick gear with only 1 thing in mind…..

‘Will this piece of gear do the job I need it to do’.

That’s it.

I have inexpensive gear right next to my expensive gear, and it all works. In PT1 of “Great Gear Under $400” I want to show you a few pieces of gear, that I use all the time, that are under $400. I’m starting with microphones and the drum set.

This is an excerpt from one of the live broadcasts that got a LOT of attention. I know a lot of you are on a budget. That’s why I did this broadcast, to give you some inexpensive options to add to your studio gear.

Enjoy the video and drop me a line to let me know what gear you dig that is under $400!

Happy recording,
Charlie

 

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Make Your Kick Drum Thump!

Make Your Kick Drum Thump!

 

 

It’s time to talk about your bottom….bottom end that is!

The kick and snare sound you record can really define your overall drum sound and getting it right is super important. Not just recording the kick but actually getting a sound that works for the song.

To do that we need to have a good understanding of how a microphone reacts inside the drum. I’m talking about mic placement.

Does your sound need to have more click? Does it need more low end? Does it need to be tight and focused? These are questions you need to answer BEFORE you attempt to capture your perfect kick sound.

By the way when I’m talking about “click” and “low end” I’m not talking about using eq. I’m referring to mic placement and getting that as right as possible and then utilizing eq. If you take the time to get the mic placement to capture the most sound possible then using eq with make that even better.

If you rely on eq to make up for bad mic placement you will often end up with a less than optimal kick drum sound.

Bottom line is it’s best to take some time to experiment with the mics that you own to learn how they capture the kick. I promise you the more you know about your mics the better support your kick drum will be for your music.

Anyway enough of me blabbing! Let’s get to the video.

Happy recording,
Charlie

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Recording Overheads PT3: X/Y

Recording Overheads PT3: X/Y

Up to this point we’ve talked a lot about recording with a mono overhead. In PT3 I want to step into the early 1930’s with a stereo pair of overheads! (here’s a cool link about Alan Blumlein. The man that invented stereo)

I’m starting out with a very popular coincident micing technique called X/Y.

X/Y consists of two, preferably matching, cardioid microphones at a 90° angle with the elements as close together as possible. This doesn’t produce a very wide stereo image but it is accurate, phase coherent, and collapses to mono well. It’s also easy to setup. In most cases you can mount the two microphones on a single stand using stereo bar.

I have a kick and snare mic on the kit as well so you can here how this setup works in context with other microphones.

Happy recording,
Charlie

If you missed parts 1 or 2 you can see them here:

Recording Overheads PT1: Mono
Recording Overheads PT2: Different Mic Types

 

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Recording the Perfect Track w/Tim Pedersen

Recording the Perfect Track w/Tim Pedersen

 

 

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of Tim Pedersen joining me on the Recording Ninja Workshop Live Broadcast. Tim has been one of my musical mentors since I moved to LA. Recently I had the opportunity to work with him on mixing and a little re-recording on an EP for another great friend of mine Tita Hutchison.

We covered a lot of great info about how we recorded the drums AFTER we had a mix finished. This video is a 10 minute excerpt from that broadcast.

Drums are usually the first instrument to be tracked…and usually quite quickly. Then all the other instruments get to take their time building their parts and sounds on top of the drum tracks.

Every once in a while that process gets flipped around and the drums go on last.

That’s exactly what happened for Tita Hutchison’s song “Frost” off of her debut EP “Hello Love“.

We were already deep in the mixing process when we decided that “Frost” needed drums. The song just didn’t feel quite finished and lacked some movement in it’s current arrangement. Since our mix was pretty much done it allowed up to really take some time designing a drum sound that would help move the song along.

Tim and I spent a total of about 12 days mixing (all in a row!) and took an entire day to track just drums. It was a really fantastic time. Tim had the idea of giving the drums an old school, vintage vibe. Which is exactly what the song needed.

After spending most of the day experimenting with sounds, mic placement, eq, and compression, we landed on something that we were really proud of. It’s a sound that we really felt fit the song and helped move it along.

Anyway enough of me talking about it. Enjoy this excerpt from our Recording Ninja Workshop Live Broadcast.

Happy recording!
Charlie

 

Enjoy some photos!

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In Session: Good Vibes with Dankrupt

In Session: Good Vibes with Dankrupt

The good vibes and killer grooves of Dankrupt once again invaded the studio. Joined by drummer RJ Shankle and Producer Sean Gould, the band recorded drums for their upcoming EP.

Even though we were only tracking drums the whole band played together in the live room. This is such a wonderful way to make music. Giving RJ maximum vibe for his performance!

Dankrupt is a GREAT band! They is pure joy every time they play. Here is a short video from that day in the studio.

For more info on Dankrupt visit them on Facebook.

 

 

 

Tracking Input List – Dankrupt 6-25-16

Dankrupt Tracking Input List 6-25-16

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Minimal Micing Concepts: Recorderman

Minimal Micing Concepts: Recorderman

 

 

A good minimal micing setup can help you achieve fantastic results with only a few channels. It can also capture a wonderful, organic, sound no matter how many channels you have. There are quite a few minimal micing setups and, depending on your situation, all of them are useful. Today I would like to cover the very effective Recorderman setup.

The Recorderman setup uses only 2 microphones. One directly over the snare,aimed directly at the snare, and another over the should of the drummer also aimed at the center of the snare. Each mic should be roughly 2 drumstick lengths away from the snare. Of course the height can be adjusted to accommodate the drummer. I have also added a kick drum mic to help capture a good solid bottom end for our simple setup.

Personally I find the Recorderman a little uncomfortable as a player. It’s a very intrusive configuration so once we demonstrate the basic setup we move the mics a little higher to see if the sound changes at all.

Enjoy this setup. Next month we’ll look at another minimal micing configuration.

Happy recording!
Charlie

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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!

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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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