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Drums sound muddy!

Drums sound muddy!

posted on #1
Mastiff Supporter
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 28, 2020
Hey guys. I'm learning as I go here recording drums. The main thing is, no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get good attack and an articulate sound from toms and bass drum. My heads have a ton of attack in person but it's not translating to the recording. Any tips?
posted on #2
TeeGee Supporter
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sep 27, 2014
Hi, I think if you give us some details about your recording equipment, and maybe some pictures the drummers here might be able to give you some tips :)
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posted on #3
wjl Supporter
Posts: 796
Joined: Feb 14, 2018
Hey Mastiff,

recording and mixing drums is a complex topic because what you mostly do is to combine several microphones which all "bleed" into each other, so you run into all kind of phase issues.

One who knows what he's doing (he produced people like Aerosmith for instance), filtered by a keyword like 'drums', is Warren Huart: https://www.youtube.com/c/Producelikeapro/search?query=Drums

In the first one you'll find with a search like this, he also gets into phase issues first:


There are others who wrote about the topic of course, like this one for instance:


And apart from experimenting with mic placements, compressors, eqs, and all the rest, there are tools for everything including phase - some DAWs even have it built in - see here for instance:


But like TeeGee said, tell us something about your setup, and then let the drummers amongst us give more tips :)

Hope that helps,
posted on #4
LittleWing Supporter
Posts: 449
Joined: Sep 19, 2018
Sound sample please.
How are you recording?
posted on #5
Mastiff Supporter
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 28, 2020
I'm recording with a 7 mic setup (bass, snare, 3 toms, two overhead) into a Presonus 18/24c and using Studio One. My drum room is small, about 10x10x7.5 feet. I have it deadened pretty well with insulation on the interior walls.

As far as examples go, click my profile and you can hear my recent uploads. My problem could be equipment/tuning, micing or mixing. I'm not really sure. The thing that makes it challenging is that it doesn't sound terrible to my ear until I get the final mix put together and compare it to other peoples' stuff (or pro recordings for that matter).
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