As always we have a few great questions in this week’s FAQ Friday
Today’s featured question is “What is an acceptable amount of bleed in drum mics and what is the best way to get the least bleed?”
The rather wonderful Dave Jerden who is obviously a well-known producer started as an engineer and engineered some of the best records of all time.
He told me the role he learned was when a drummer plays the rack tom that no other mic should pick up more than 9db worth of signal. It doesn’t make as much sense in our digital world, at least not like it used to.
What he would do is look at the VU meters and if they went up more than 9 DB then he would move the microphones.
When finding a place where they are picking up less DB there was always a compromise between picking up the drum itself (whether it be a rack tom, snare, floor, cymbals,) whatever it is and picking up too much bleed from other things.
I believe in this wonderful world of digital we can get away with a lot more. The most important thing you should be doing is getting the instrument to sound the best.
With a snare drum it’s quite often pulling the mic back a bit, the more you pull it back the more overall sound and body you get of the snare. However, if you pull it back too far and the drummer has the high hat super low you’ll get a lot of high hat bleed.
So the first thing you do is encourage the drummer to move the high hat up. When you’re working with seasoned drummers the high hat will be a lot higher compared to a newer drummer where they usually prefer to keep the drums close.
So the best way to reduce the bleed it to encourage the cymbals to go a little higher. If you can get those cymbals an extra few inches away from the tom, minimum a foot above, if you can get it 18” above then great.
you’ll get better separation, a lot more control with that in the mix and you won’t be facing as many bleed problems.
Watch the full episode of FAQ Friday and hear the rest of this answer below!
We cover the following questions during this episode of FAQ Friday!
• What is an acceptable amount of bleed in drum mics and what is the best way to get the least bleed? (0:58)
• Is a matched pair of U-87’s so different from two separately bought ones or could I just use two of them? (13:10)
• When miking overheads and you want to do the equilateral triangle, how precisely do you measure the distance between the mic’s and the snare From one mic to another? Is it a ballpark or do you go down to the millimeter? (20:24)