recording live drums in garage band

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by funkdrums, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. funkdrums macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2005
    Does anyone have any tips for recording live drums? I'm using an iMic with one room mic, but the signal is distorted no matter the mic level or recording level.

    I'm using a 17" Powerbook, btw, with an external firewire HD.
  2. rtdgoldfish macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    Before my brother's band got drum mics, they would put the mic inside a box or a drawer filled with papers. It worked alright, muffles the sound a little so you don't get as much distortion. I don't really know too much about this stuff, I will ask him when I talk to him next for some more tips.
  3. Laslo Panaflex macrumors 65816

    Laslo Panaflex

    May 1, 2003
    Go to a studio, you are not going to get any decent type of sound with a single mic on a drum set. Either that, or go out and buy a mixer with 5 mic imputs and 5 good mics to adequtely mic your set.

    Mic bass drum
    Mic snare
    Mic symbol 1(crash)
    Mic symbol 2 (ride)
    Mic tom
    Mic tom 2 (if existing)

    The problem with the single mic is that there is no seperation of each drum component, so they are all getting recorded together in a big mushpot of sound. That and the iMic is not designed to handle the massive sound of the drums, they are loud.

    Save you money and invest in a electric drum set, because that would be less than buying mics for your setup . . .
  4. funkdrums thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2005

    I'm only recording practices, not an album or even a demo.
    if I wanted to do that I wouldn't be using garageband.

  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Problem #1 is you are overloading your mic or your iMic with the input. Back off from the drums, engage the pad on the microphone if it has one, and/or get a better mic... however also realize that the iMic is built for line level sources and consumer (that is, taperecorder condenser) microphones.
    A mixer or preamplifier that would handle the mic and send a line level signal to the iMic, which you could control the level, might help. Problem #2 as other people have stated, is that it's going to be very difficult to get a realistic recording of the drum kit with your present rig. Put a small mixer onto your shopping list. You can then start using more than one mic or input.

    Using Garageband is not necessarily an indication that you are doing non-quality recording -- it is quite capable, especially v2

    I suggest that you start reading some magazines like Recording, Sound on Sound, Electronic Musician, Keyboard, Future Music and Computer Music. They often have articles on microphone technique, recording acoustic instruments, and such. See if you can find Home Recording for Musicians by Craig Anderton.

  6. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
  7. firewizard macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2003
    Los Angeles
    hey buddy, you can use one mic to mic your drums....put it above the drummers head pointing towards the drums set. if your drummer is a loud hitter(i.e. louder drums) the SPL level goin into the mic is distorting the mic so later on down the road it will already be distorted no matter how low you put the levels later. recomend a better mic. you can get cheap mics(you will get cheap sound) jsut make sure that the mic will be able to handle any SPL's youll be putting in there. you want more info, i can answer any questions you might have.
  8. doumbek macrumors member

    You can record the overall sound of the kit with one mic, but to get a decent sound is going to take a lot of patience.

    The placement of the mic is going to depend on the size of the room, and what materials the room is made of. (ie. carpet on floors vs, tile or concrete). The more soft stuff in the room (sofas, rugs, stuffed pets) the more "dead" the room will be.

    If you're playing in a small bare room you're going to get a lot of sound bouncing around and it will screw up the sound as well. Ease off on how loud you are playing and move the mic in different positions around room.

    I guess the main tip I can give you is that you're going to have to balance the sound the old fashioned way, by moving the mic.

    Start by moving the mic as far away as possible, record a little bit, and then bring it in from there until you have a sound you can live with.

    I also totally agree with CanadaRam's tip on looking up info from the magazines, it will help out a lot.
  9. kanker macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2003
    Not to quibble, but to get a killer drum sound, all you need is 2 omnis and a Jecklins disk. One thing I will never understand is the obsession with close micing drums. It's just about the most unnatural sound there is. When you hear drums, are your ears next to each individual drum head and cymbal? Do the drums only resonate in one plane? Drums are an instrument that physically take up space, and project from ALL of that space into 3 spatial dimensions and of course 1 time dimension. Close micing drums captures NONE of that. Even a single omni placed correctly will give a better drum sound than close micing, IMHO.
  10. Invizzible macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2003
    I once got an amazingly good drum sound using all Shure SM57's and SM 58's, going into a mixer and then into my Digi 001. I had about 7 of those mics I think, most of them used for close up mic'ing. They are relatively inexpensive mics and they didn't distort at all.
  11. benbrignell macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2005
    I get the impression that some of these results are for a higher standard than you require. If this is for only demo or practice stuff - I would try putting a couple of mikes inside the drum travel cases. Sounds bizarre but I have done this with a couple of SM57's inside the drum travel cases in the past and it worked fine. Also with Audio Technica MB3000's I think.

    It would give a good result for demo stuff, obviously you wouldn't be using garage band for a pro recording with drum mikes etc

    Garage Band Forum

Share This Page