Membrane Harmonic structure.
by, 07-31-2012 at 01:36 PM (785 Views)
Soon.. I will write a big article about recording techniques I use on budgets over 500 bucks per song.
And I wanted to remind myself about this small but very important technique that will be also set in an example.
First and fore-most. When recording live instruments on a multi-track as opposed to 1 instrument at a time. Things happen.
Lets talk about the bass drum membrane.
If a mic is placed with-in it and the face is smashed. It will always resonate at the same frequency.
Now a song with a A G D progression has different harmonics in play.
The first step to procure a good recording is to tune the drum to well... maybe A.
After-wards record the song structure that contains A. Than Re-tune the drum and record the measures with G....and do the same thing for the song measures out of D.
Of course. The small little details such as the Bass guitar rumbling away through a 500 watt amp. May slightly affect the physical performance of the said membrane causing slight distortion from the root notes.
Couple that distortion with affliction caused by the Guitar rig of a 200 watt marshall. Add in a screaming singer and blast him through a 1000 watt p.a. and you just killed all that hard work put into tuning the dang-ong thang.
There is not a theory that can stand for calculating this as you would have to compensate varied faces and pin configurations and sizes and materials...lets not forget materials people put in the drums. Than youd have to compensate the room...and etc. It would be though a very complicated equation for any string-theory enthusiasts to discover.
A simple way to figure out where the bass drum will sit how-ever. Is using a good recording program such as Reaper (acid wont work).
Just record the session (as a scratch take) but run an emphasis on the kick drum being the pro-dominantly captured element for the scratch tracks. Afterwards study the EQ (in reaper setting an eq parameter with your mouse lets you know what note it is.. as it has a niftly little algorithm for calculating that). If A is 440 than 220 and 110 and 55 are your octaves. This calculation is alot easier than if you were to calculate things before youd record.
Consider the changes that need to be done. Lets say the bass drum goes to a B on a Riff that has a C progression and further-more goes to an F on a D progression. If the kick drum is tuned to A.
Getting a mathematical relation-ship would be hard.
But if you tune the kick drum to Asharp. You would end up getting different result. If you tune it to the Fifth of A (either lower or higher) there would be different result again. IE.
Even if this is just for the base harmonic... It still can help a mix sound better.
The easiest way to simulate the whole. Band messing with the kick drum affect is to just automate an eq notch to shift position during cord changes. Automating a pitch shift though might throw the whole mix off.
Using a complicated reverb bus with varied eq automations for the whole mix and keeping this as the kick drum track without any of the dry stuff might simulate the live version of this. But in the end.
Its one of those recording techniques that is more often than not wasteful to incorporate.
Having a studio that sounds great may help. But in the end... It wont do everything. It will be a few different kinds of bass drum sounds.
Than again. Everyone is already going bonkers for sampled drum kits. Who cares if the drum set loses dynamics ?