Help, let's talk Mic bleed

Help, let's talk Mic bleed
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#1

I’ve heard/read CLA and other mixers say mic bleed I love it. What I’m I missing every time I start compressing the snare the cymbals or hi hats start getting crazy.

I can’t for the life of me find a good way to deal with mic bleed. I tried a gate, compressor duplicating the track and cutting (dynamic splitting for reaper users) out the snare. What do you feel is an acceptable amount of bleed and how do you deal with it?

This is not about sample replacement, but is an option.

Here is a snare tracks what would you do to it if anything or is it ok? If you have the time please put in your DAW and let me hear also what it sounds like after being processed.Added other drum tracks.

Might be a little hot!!






#2

I don’t have as much experience tracking drums as some other guys on here do, but I’ve mixed plenty. The acceptable amount of bleed depends on whether the bleed is helpful or harmful to the track. There are ways to create bleed that compliments information that isn’t present in other mics. The best drum tracking engineers I’ve worked with have extremely good instincts on where and how to commit bleed. And its always awesome getting handed a session that was recorded in high end rooms.

This also has to do with the player, because session drummers with very different and distinct sounds and particular kit tuning will all be different. Here’s an in-depth drums only breakdown I wrote on another forum. http://homerecording.com/bbs/general-discussions/mixing-techniques/setting-up-drum-bus-391866/?highlight=drum+bus

Weed through the newbie questions a lot of those guys asked and go strait to the audio samples.

I also was handed some sessions back in 2011 with Josh Freese (7 dust, Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails). My job was to implement the non-quantized non-click track drum audio into an Ableton sequence that could be triggered on stage from behind the keyboard rig, and synchronized to other playback devices in the show. I never worked with him personally but the tracks that were provided from Oceanway in California had a lot of room and a lot of bleed. The band wanted whats called a mix minus, where the loops and mashed up processed drum effects were all preserved in the backing tracks without the raw samples. So that’s how I got to see the sessions broken down. The bleed that was allowed to pass from mic to mic is always distinct to the player, the room and the engineers. The artist is retired…I’ll reach out to him and see if its ok to post some excerpts from these.

I wouldn’t mind tossing those in the DAW and seeing what you have to work with. It would help though if I could get the stems from the other tracks as well. Kick, snare, overhead and rooms are enough. Don’t worry about direct rack and floor tom mics. They’re irrelevant to your original question.


#3

I am going to take the opposite point of view and say the term is offensive. I have never seen any bleeding mikes.
What I think happens is the various mikes pick up sounds from other drums than those they are aimed at. For some reason, engineers have decided that totally isolated mikes are nirvana. Unless you have an electronic kit or an octopus with half-mile long tentacles and the drums located in separate counties… you probably will not get away from this imagined problem.
If anybody who attends a show hears everything at once, with their crossover and distance variances, why should recordings be so clinically clean as to have no “bleeding mikes”?


#4

Yes, I would like to know what guys that track a lot are listening for once they are done setting everything up and listening back before they start tracking. I agree that you can benefit from the bleed.As for the good instincts on using the extra info in the mics still can’t figure that out yet.Hopefully this thread will shed some light on it tho.

Not too sure at this point what the player has to do with the amount of bleed or spill going on in the Mics ,but I’m all ears.I will also check the link you posted out.

If you have time or touch base with the guy I would like to hear those tracks.

I will post them in the OP. I’m hoping others will also post something.

Thanks @Jonathan


#5

No, How about we have a mic spill or spillage in aisle 5 then
.[quote=“Sven, post:3, topic:1703”]
What I think happens is the various mikes pick up sounds from other drums than those they are aimed at. For some reason, engineers have decided that totally isolated mikes are nirvana. Unless you have an electronic kit or an octopus with half-mile long tentacles and the drums located in separate counties… you probably will not get away from this imagined problem.
[/quote]

I don’t think I would want nirvana with the bleed just a better way to control it if possible. I think programmed drum programs have a place for writing or if you don’t have the ability to track drums, but I like to mix real drums if all possible.


#6

well, if it were me, I’d definitely use either Transgressor or Big beautiful Door. Either one will do the trick. They both let you adjust the EQ when the snare hits separately from when the snare is off, so you can turn down your high freqs when the snare isn’t being hit, filtering out the bleed from the cymbals. You can remove it just a little bit or you can completely filter them out, whichever sounds better for what you are going for.


#7

That’s not really the problem with mic bleed. If you’re going to leave the mic bleed as audible then simply eq-ing the snare at the moment of impact isn’t going to solve the problem, because the problem is the permamanent bleed. Conversely if you gate the bleed out, you get the sound of hats (amongst other things) every time the snare hits. Again, no amount of EQ is going to resolve that.

To the OP, if you have mic bleed, for example on the snare, then your best option is to work with it, instead of trying to fight it. Try to make the bleed, as well as the snare itself, sound good. If you have bleed, you just have to accept that a lot of your close-mic control is gone. Personally I’d record some one-shots and replace the snare every time. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t do that, especialy since it restores 100% control of the snare. Even if you haven’t recorded one-shots, you can listen to the snare track in solo and pick out some clean shots for samples. You don’t even need a sampler, you can simply paste in by hand.


#8

I don’t use close mics during most mixing. If your recording is good enough it’s amazing how good overheads mixed with room mics sound. Maybe mic the kick, but you won’t really have to worry about bleeding in that instance. If you track overheads and room right it should be a pretty good blend of cymbals, snare, and toms. When they tracked Bonham they used to move the overheads further back behind the kit. If you can afford ribbon microphones they only pick up signals from a certain direction which does a pretty good job of isolating each aspect of the kit. Michael Wagener has some instructional videos on how to use them. They’re jazz mics so they’re expensive as shit, but they sound like heaven.


#9

I agree with part of your assessment. The other part I’m not convinced of and I think you’ll understand why if you read on. Sorry for my endlessly long posts. I have an example track I’ve been fighting with a few hours a day these last couple days. The link is at the bottom. The track is overcooked in the 350hz region of the guitars, has too much snare volume, and is pretty metal. Hopefully you can get past the metal to hear the example. The 350hz and the snare volume are revisions I’m making tonight.

I’ve been using Boz’s Gatey Watey (which is a super simplified version of Big Beautiful Door if I remember correctly) to deal with the crazy amount of bleed into the snare and tom tracks on the song mentioned above. It allows for a really great thing: fast gating/expanding of a portion of the frequency range.

The drummer is a good, technical drummer who was playing fast and hard on a super cramped setup. I knew from the first downbeat cymbal bleed would be an issue.

What I’ve set GW up to do is this: reduce by 12db-ish everything over 500hz whenever the gate is closed. I set both the attack and release as fast as they’ll go. The gate is only open for 25ms-ish at a time. The result is a super fast bit of snare hit plus cymbal wash that is ALMOST passable as a snare drum without too much bleed. You’re right, you’ve still got the constant, continuous bleed that is present over the snare hit.

BUT, I can manage this a little better. I still get to keep the body of my snare, I still get to keep the dynamics of my snare. I still get to keep some nuance, I just have to work around that “psh” in the snare drum.

Enter the one-shot sample of that drummer’s snare.

I was able to use the sample for the brightness and an extra injection of thud but I was able to use plenty of the original snare track (with some eq cuts in the most offensive top end frequencies) so I could keep a lot of the feel and “dynamics” of the original playing to make sure the one-shot sample didn’t sound like a machine gun. There are a lot of snare hits in this song and I was never going to get it to sound natural without a little help from the real playing. “Dynamics” in quotes because it’s metal so I compressed the crap out of it removing most of the dynamics.

Here’s that track: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzugr8cD5X_Mdms2aGxzSTJNUEE

Sorry for assaulting your ears with that.


#10

That’s not really how sample replacement works. The idea is to take multiple one-shots (I usually take 10) and then use a replacement sampler. The sampler matches the trigger audio with your samples and uses the most appropriate one.

You can’t really tell it’s not the ‘real’ close mic. The hits are varied just like the real take. It’s the same snare, the same mic, the same drummer, the same variation in hits; the only difference is that there is no mic bleed.

As I say, other than some kind of baseless purist principle that nobody listening to the finished product cares about, I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t do that.


#11

Right. That’s not how sample replacement works.

I didn’t want to replace anything. I just needed to augment.

The range of hits was pretty wide so I just augmented with a one-shot to lift the snare - especially the top end of the snare - away from the bleed.

In my experience of using samplers with this many snare hits in close proximity; our ears start to pick up on it. I used the blend of sample and live track to be sure we didn’t notice. I guess if I had made 30 samples and gone that route, we’d have statistically been less likely to notice the repetition of the samples. My ears don’t care about statistics.

As it stands, I feel the process worked great for me.


#12

I use Drumagog. You can have any degree of ‘wet’ you like, from 0% to 100%. Of course, the more of the original snare you leave in, the less you have solved the bleed problem, so I almost always go for 100%, because the original snare is in the overheads anyway.


#13

Hey @schmalzy. This is a perfectly ok way of doing things. CLA does his with only one or two sample replacements. I’ve also seen Dave Pensado use a single sample. I only use about 2 or 3 round robins at the most myself. If I’m doing what you’re doing, I don’t need any more either.

Me ears don’t care either, and neither do those of the people I do this for. Especially when they’re blended low in the mix. 30 samples would indeed be overkill. There’s a big difference between what you’re doing and sample replacement. Some people call it sample substitution (or sample replacement) vs sample augmentation. In one approach you’re adding to the natural snare. The other, you’re ditching and replacing it all together.


#14

@Jerze, thanks for adding those…I’d love to take a listen to what you have. My studio is torn apart right now because I got my sound treatment in yesterday, and I had to unhook and re-wire everything…30 traps and diffusors is a pretty major install. I’ll try to respond again before the end of the week.


#15

if you duplicated the tracks so you have group a and group b and used a gate quite aggressively to filter out the unwanted bleed on b then parallel compress b against a until you get a nice punchy mix at low volume but keeping some of the pleasant bleed and transients?
would this work?


#16

That is only true if you’re replacing the original snare with a completely different one. If you’re replacing the original snare with single shots of itself, effectively all you are doing is eliminating the bleed, which is what this topic is about. In any case, as I said, you can’t “replace it all together” because it’s in the overheads.


#17

Yes, @ Aj113 I think you might be rt along with what jonathan mentioned. I 'm at the point of mixing drums where I need to have a better understanding on bleed and also getting more out of my overheads and rooms so this helps.

  1. @ jonathan The best drum tracking engineers I’ve worked with have extremely good instincts on where and how to commit bleed

  2. @ Aj113 your best option is to work with it, instead of trying to fight it. Try to make the bleed, as well as the snare itself, sound good. If you have bleed, you just have to accept that a lot of your close-mic control is gone. Personally I’d record some one-shots and replace the snare every time. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t do that, especially since it restores 100% control of the snare. Even if you haven’t recorded one-shots, you can listen to the snare track in solo and pick out some clean shots for samples. You don’t even need a sampler, you can simply paste in by hand.

I’ll give them a try do you have a demo version?

@ clownpenis.fart I can’t believe I just typed that LOL I don’t use close mics during most mixing. If you’re recording is good enough it’s amazing how good overheads mixed with room mics sound. Maybe mic the kick,

At this point metal, rock I might go closer mic and rooms the overhead mic would be more of a cymbal mic so I would hi-pass them a lot .Then other styles could go the other way. At this point it’s about experimenting.

Will try thanks.Cool song looking forward to the finished mix.

Thats cool if you have time or anybody else for that matter.Looking forward to hearing some mixes from you.

I’m still not sold on this way but still use it.

Yes not total replacement topic. thanks.

So, Are what you are all saying is the snare example that I posted is normal bleed?
And with either

  1. Use some aggressive gating along with duplicating the track and slide that up under the gated track
  2. Eq the best you can and add some samples in either through a sampler that has multiple single shots or 2 samples on separate tracks slide under the real snare and or kic track

And if anybody has time i posted a track at Btr Jet B Suit You mix to get and idea of where I’m at with my drum sounds.

Thanks again!