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jackies_eclaire
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:11 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Washington, DC, USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:49 am 
 

There's a specific sort of sound I've noticed from this era that I really enjoy, something about the sound feels just right for the fast-paced wall of sound style of metal that my band is going for. For reference I'm thinking of albums like RtL or Death's SBG with a fat snare and prominent toms. Any advice on how to achieve this sound?
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Belastbar
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:43 am
Posts: 55
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:15 pm 
 

This is how it's done in Scream Bloody Gore, but I think RtL more or less works the same way:

If you look for the kick in the mix, it is actually quite small and unaudible. It's more or less a high "dit" that cuts through the mix. So I think I would mic the kick, see that it has a nice attack sound, and not treat it much. I think in the mix, the kick isn't too loud, so I think when mixing, listen to SBG for reference, so that you can turn down the kick until it's at the same volume as in SBG.
The snare on the other hand is very loud and thick. I can imagine that the drummer plays the snare very loud, also I think the snare is tuned quite low. I would definitely invest the time to tune the snare until it sounds thick, and then just mic it and throw some tape saturation on it in post.
Cymbals: They all sound quite thin and distant, the only thing that has significant weight is the bell of the ride cymbal. So I think they record the cymbals with two overhead mics, I don't think it's a fancy way of recording.
Toms: The toms have a lot of reverb on them and sound quite distant. I think they are using the same overheads for the toms, or they recorded them with an extra mic, and then threw a lot of reverb on them
Guitars: Obviously not part of the drum kit, but I think very complementary. The guitar amp is cranked, and very mid heavy. That leaves a lot of room in the mix for the bass and the base drum in the lows and for the cymbals in the highs. Very important because now with digital recording you can squeeze a million fat sounds into one stereo recording, but oldschool bands didn't do that.
General recording process: SBG sounds very ferocious, and I think for this sound it's very important that you do a live recording of at least the drums and the guitars together. Oldschool metal fans often remark that the demo tapes of 90's albums sound great even though the recording quality is bad, while the albums sound great, but are sterile. This is because the tracks are recorded after each other, so they have no human interaction. So try recording the instruments together as you would play live, it makes such a difference (and is faster).

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jackies_eclaire
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:11 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Washington, DC, USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:17 am 
 

Belastbar wrote:
This is how it's done in Scream Bloody Gore, but I think RtL more or less works the same way:

If you look for the kick in the mix, it is actually quite small and unaudible. It's more or less a high "dit" that cuts through the mix. So I think I would mic the kick, see that it has a nice attack sound, and not treat it much. I think in the mix, the kick isn't too loud, so I think when mixing, listen to SBG for reference, so that you can turn down the kick until it's at the same volume as in SBG.
The snare on the other hand is very loud and thick. I can imagine that the drummer plays the snare very loud, also I think the snare is tuned quite low. I would definitely invest the time to tune the snare until it sounds thick, and then just mic it and throw some tape saturation on it in post.
Cymbals: They all sound quite thin and distant, the only thing that has significant weight is the bell of the ride cymbal. So I think they record the cymbals with two overhead mics, I don't think it's a fancy way of recording.
Toms: The toms have a lot of reverb on them and sound quite distant. I think they are using the same overheads for the toms, or they recorded them with an extra mic, and then threw a lot of reverb on them
Guitars: Obviously not part of the drum kit, but I think very complementary. The guitar amp is cranked, and very mid heavy. That leaves a lot of room in the mix for the bass and the base drum in the lows and for the cymbals in the highs. Very important because now with digital recording you can squeeze a million fat sounds into one stereo recording, but oldschool bands didn't do that.
General recording process: SBG sounds very ferocious, and I think for this sound it's very important that you do a live recording of at least the drums and the guitars together. Oldschool metal fans often remark that the demo tapes of 90's albums sound great even though the recording quality is bad, while the albums sound great, but are sterile. This is because the tracks are recorded after each other, so they have no human interaction. So try recording the instruments together as you would play live, it makes such a difference (and is faster).


Thanks! I'll try this out
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der_kaiser
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 127
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 12:57 am 
 

Roto toms, Low tuned snare and reverb!!

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thrashinbatman
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1313
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:26 pm 
 

der_kaiser wrote:
Roto toms, Low tuned snare and reverb!!

can't stress this enough. plate reverb on fuckin' EVERYTHING.

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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 616
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:59 am 
 

Take the reso heads off the toms, try taking it off the kick as well. Stick a mic inside the toms - 421s get a better tone of the drum, but for a more lo-fi vibe 57s get an awesome mid-focused sound. Make sure the skins are dampened as well, I usually have about three pieces of Moongel on them.

Also try a heavier snare head. I like the Remo CS series - the coated head is great. The clear one takes a bit of work to get sounding right, but can be amazing when you get it dialled in.
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jackies_eclaire
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:11 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Washington, DC, USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:50 am 
 

Awblaster wrote:
Take the reso heads off the toms, try taking it off the kick as well. Stick a mic inside the toms - 421s get a better tone of the drum, but for a more lo-fi vibe 57s get an awesome mid-focused sound. Make sure the skins are dampened as well, I usually have about three pieces of Moongel on them.

Also try a heavier snare head. I like the Remo CS series - the coated head is great. The clear one takes a bit of work to get sounding right, but can be amazing when you get it dialled in.


I have the reso head off the kick and some heavy coated heads and ring dampeners on the toms. Modifying or replacing the head of the snare itself is something I should definitely consider. Thanks!
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