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RBH

Ok- so that didn't work

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I was mixing some drum tracks ( acoustic tracks ) I'm working with "other peoples tracking "  I had a pretty high blead from the snare into the hat mic. I thought I would try an experiment which comprised taking a copy of the snare track and inverting it and mixing back into the hat track to " hopefully " cancel out the snare bleed. Zip  nada - craptastic results.  I did make sure to sample align the snare hits. But It really didn't work!  -   Do you think it should?

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5 hours ago, RBH said:

I was mixing some drum tracks ( acoustic tracks ) I'm working with "other peoples tracking "  I had a pretty high blead from the snare into the hat mic. I thought I would try an experiment which comprised taking a copy of the snare track and inverting it and mixing back into the hat track to " hopefully " cancel out the snare bleed. Zip  nada - craptastic results.  I did make sure to sample align the snare hits. But It really didn't work!  -   Do you think it should?

Have you tried moving the hat mic a bit closer, and spacing the snare drum further away from the hat? Miking and drum placement is extremely important.

You will always get bleeding and live recording - whether on stage or in studio. The trick is also to EQ out the snare as much as you can. This shouldn't be a problem once your mic placing are in that sweetspot. Having a bit of the hat bleeding into the snare or Visa-Versa / for me: that's always tasty 😅 if I may say so. 

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The main question here would be how bad the bleed is. Before the introduction of gating techniques, engineers just were used to take bleed as part of the drum sound and make use of it, mixing the drum kit (as it should be) like an instrument instead of a collection of instruments.

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- these are fixed completed tracks, and I wasn't on hand to set-up the tracking session. Eq-ing snare out of the hat track proved far worse - as they share considerable frequency domains. I can reduce the  "crack " a bit but loosing the high frequency content does more than good. I guess the main question I have is - do you think the attempt to phase cancel the common elements between the snare track and the hat track is goofy idea ? I thought " conceptually " that it could work..... and maybe it can - but my process was wonky.  I gave it kind of a quick shot , and didn't see any appreciable effect.

 

 

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To answer your question, no I don't think it should. I understand what you were trying to do, but in order for it to "work," the track would have to be identical in timbre and also 180 deg. out of phase.

The closest thing to what you are trying to do with that, which is have the snare track cancel the snare sound out of your hat track, is to use a gate in inverse mode on the hi hat track with a sidechain coming from the snare so that each snare hit triggers the gate to close. You can fiddle with the gating amount and attack and release to get this to sound as natural as possible.

Now that I've answered your question, I'll offer other suggestions to help get you going. My first question is: how important is that hi hat track? In my experience there's plenty of hi hat in the overheads, perhaps it's that way with your intrepid recordists. I'm not a pro, but for perspective, I'm pretty happy with 4 mics on my drum kit. OH's in my adaptation of a Recorderman/Johns config, kick batter at an angle slightly below and aimed at the impact point, snare batter up and off the rim enough not to hit it with a stick, pointed at the center of the head .

(This is not entirely out of laziness; I have enough good mics and 16 inputs between the two 'pods. When I started out, I tried mic'ing the snare reso and the kick reso and the resulting tracks were superfluous. Sometimes with a tom-heavy song I'll point a couple of dynamics at the mounted tom toms to get that stereo roll effect, but not often. I was actually uncomfortable at first because this was the first configuration that I tried and it sounded great. But I thought "that was too easy, I must be missing something, I'll learn more about it eventually." Nope. 7 years later I'm still doing the same thing. Every so often I try a snare reso mic and end up not using the track. I finally just had to go with "if it sounds good, it is good." I have friends who come to my dining room to track drums, so I guess it's okay.)

Boz' Gatey Watey or another frequency-exclusive gating option would be another choice, or something really surgical like Unfiltered Audio's G8. Or simply automate them out, with gain and/or EQ. Since I got Gatey Watey, it's been on every mix, keeping hat out of snare and snare out of kick.

Unlike Bruno, I don't like bleed in my close-mic'd snare or kick tracks. I tried leaving it in, but I got phasing and imaging issues, and it made it harder to control how much of whatever I was getting. It becomes a snare/hat track, not a snare track, where I can't give it more snare without giving it more (already adequate in the OH's) hat.

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"  The closest thing to what you are trying to do with that, which is have the snare track cancel the snare sound out of your hat track, is to use a gate in inverse mode on the hi hat track with a sidechain coming from the snare so that each snare hit triggers the gate to close. You can fiddle with the gating amount and attack and release to get this to sound as natural as possible. "

 

This sounds like an interesting idea. Thanks for the input. The hat track isn't a substantive track - and I can get it mixed back enough that it sounds natural. It's not a make or break situation. The tracking is fairly consistent through out the whole of the project - which to date is about 16 songs.  Tracking has taken place for over a year.........This one particular song seems to have a far higher degree of bleed from the rest. It was a new tracking set-up and I think the fellow setting it up inadvertently had the hat mic dead on axis to the snare.  Just didn't catch it. Thanks for the tip. I'll let you know if it solves the issue.

 

 

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A couple of thoughts

 

How do the overheads sound?

If the overheads are well-placed yielding a good overall balance of the full kit, you can easily get away without using the spot mic on the HiHat.

 

If you feel the HiHat mic is absolutely necessary, first thing I'd do is run a high-pass filter on it.

You don't need a lot from the HiHat mic... just a little attack/articulation.

Run the high-pass filter frequency up where it's pulling out the body of the snare drum.

You'll still hear the attack... but less of the "shell/resonance".

Don't worry if you loose some of the "chunk" on the HiHat.  

 

I'm not a fan of close-mic'd cymbals.

As a test, put your ear close to a cymbal... and listen.  You'll hear nasty gong-like overtones.

Step back a couple feet and listen again.  Now you hear the shimmer/articulation... without harsh/brash overtones.

 

Since you're dealing with already recorded tracks, you probably don't have the luxury of re-recording.

In that case, you may also find that some "bleed" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

In reasonable amounts, it can actually make the drums sound more 3D/real.

With a high-pass filter... and for as little as you need that HiHat mic, I have no doubt you can make it work.

 

First thing I'd do is check phase across all the drum mics.

Once you're sure the drum tracks are all in-phase, then I'd start with the overheads.

Get the overheads sounding balanced... giving a good representation of the full kit.

Next, add Kick and Snare spot mics... to add some "beef" to those drums.

If you have close mics on the Toms, add those.

If the drums aren't well-tuned, you'll struggle more with close-mic Tom tracks (EQ can help).

Now, listen to the balance of the overall drum-kit.  

You may find you don't need any close-mic'd cymbals.

If you decide to use those close-mic'd cymbal tracks, you won't need much.

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