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  1. #1

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    Did a few demo tunes with this band, trying to see how and where to record an album in the next few months. This is a pretty common mix for this type of sound, but what i 'm missing is the open sound on the drums, ride and hi-hat mostly. In most classic recordings on this style the drums drive the groove with an open ride and more of a treble full sound (for lack of a better explanation..). Probably a lot more overheads in the mix?

    Anyway, i hear the problem mostly on the first tune.. Would love to hear opinions on it. I am going to do a remix in the next few days, so.. Sorry for the low quality videos, i just used two cameras i had, no lights, mostly did the sessions to check how we 'd record..


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Hi, a fellow lefty here. First off, love your guitar.

    Fwiw, I’ve been recording for 20+ years.

    It sounds pretty good!!! I do hear the drum “issue”. I’m only listening on an iPad right now, but I’ll do my best. What exactly is going on in the drum mic placement? Mono overhead and kick? What were the mics?

    Your options depend a bit on how experienced you are with compression. The very very basic option would be put a limiter on the overheads, pull it down until you like what you hear. Don’t overdo it.

    If you’re better with a compressor. Try 2/4/6 to 1 ratio, slow attack fast release. Just a few dB will go a long way. Perhaps explore more compression, but using parallel compression. Afterward experiment with a limiter for a little more life. EQ after that, perhaps a touch of air, high shelf at 15k, pull the freq down and back up, settle where you like, maybe 2-3 dB boost.

    That mic position doesn’t have a lot of “space” or “room” to it (which is likely what you’re “missing”). You may want to try to create a false space using a good Reverb. Don’t go overboard, but just enough to give the drums a false sense of being in a room.

    So, overall the drums don’t sound bad, and I say that to hopefully prevent you from going overboard trying to “fix” them. They just need a little love, and it will really come together. I might bring him up in the mix as well.

    Hope that helps. Take care.

  4. #3

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    Sounds very good. Just playing with the overhead mic placement could fix what's lacking. Hi-hat usually has lots of it's sound captured from the snare mic placement. Mic placement is everything and an expert with modest mics can usually get a better sound than a novice with pricey mics, just by placement.

  5. #4

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    I don’t know how I missed the overheads in the video...

    Are you using mostly overheads or close mics in the mix?

  6. #5
    I remember the drummer asking the sound guy to lower the overhead mics in the mix, so it probably is an oversight on that. It's more like a style decision rather than bad mixing. Guess I prefer a different sound on the drums, especially for an Art Blakey type of sound. Remixing today, I'll post the results for comparison. Probably just raising the overhead mics in the mix will fix it. After all I believe a mix should reflect the natural sound of a band, and hearing the natural sound as captured by the camera mics it was old fashioned, lots of cymbals etc, as the drummer really knows the style..

  7. #6

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    This article discusses how Van Gelder may have recorded the drums for Blue Note, might be of interest.

    Recording Magazine Resources: Recording Drums Then and Now

  8. #7

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    I'm not quite following what you don't like in the cymbals they sound OK to me. But snare and kick strike me as a little quiet. I also think the snare could use some more highs, and the whole kit needs more reverb. Guitar should come up a bit in the mix (maybe more compression on it as well). But I think these are small tweaks. The overall sound is quite good.


  9. #8

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    For a classic ‘jazz/Art Blakey’ sound I would want the ride cymbal to be more sibilant in the first video, it seems a bit ‘muffled’ to me. Needs a bit of sizzle!

    Caveat, I am only listening on an iPad though.

  10. #9

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    Very cool! I like the slight, over-driven sound of the guitar -- is that amp, or pedal?

    Fun stuff!

  11. #10
    Very cool! I like the slight, over-driven sound of the guitar -- is that amp, or pedal?
    Thank you! Its an original Princeton reverb from 68, volume on 5 on this tune, 4 on the rest of them, and i varied the guitar volume a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    For a classic ‘jazz/Art Blakey’ sound I would want the ride cymbal to be more sibilant in the first video, it seems a bit ‘muffled’ to me. Needs a bit of sizzle!
    Couldn't agree more, that's exactly what i was missing from the first mix. Here's the final mix we went with below, i think it sounds much better.

  12. #11

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    I like to mic a couple of corners of the room to pick up reflected sound. Close to the floor and/or ceiling panned hard left/right and mixed to taste to get a little air in the mix. The second mix sounds good as it is. Good stuff!

  13. #12
    Thanks all for the suggestions and the kind words! Here are the final mixes of the first one, plus one more tune we did!

    (plus me trying to be creative with making the videos myself being watchable )

  14. #13

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    Dig "The Sinner." Nice work all around!

  15. #14

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    Again, great playing, and the videos show how much fun you guys are having!!

  16. #15

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    Really good sound and performance. Based on your comment in the 1st post, I tried a bit of eq and stereo widening. EQ - I pulled down the lows a bit but mostly added highs where mostly cymbals live. Perhaps that took the cymbals closer to where you want. 1st bit is with the stereo widening and eq, followed by the sound of your recording as was.