You're probably miking drums wrong, and how to fix it

Spaced Wrong
This is how most people do it, but there's hidden secrets...

Today I’ll be discussing how to place Drum Overheads, and specifically what I think many people are ‘doing wrong’. This is largely in the context of the Glyn Johns technique and the Recorderman Technique, but it also applies to various other drum overheads miking techniques.

Before you get your jimmies rustled, let me say that there’s not really a “wrong” way. Thousands of awesome sounding records have been made using a variety of wonky techniques. What’s really important is that you capture the sound of the drumkit in a way that best represents the instrument in the context of the mix.

What I’m offering you is a geometric explanation of how to establish a good starting point.

I’m also going to discuss how many people explaining this techniques do a somewhat poor job. I’ve gone through many videos and text descriptions and there seems to be common misconceptions that I wish to clear up.

I’m going to try to do my best to explain this mathematically, but also ‘intuitively’ (whatever that means). There’s going to be 3 different explanations of the same topic. I hope one of them makes sense to you.


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Repair an Ice Cream Scoop

Broken Ice Cream Scoop
Broken Ice Cream Scoop :(

My wife broke the ice cream scoop. It’s not a fancy one, but it’s the one we have.

So what’s my job? My job is to fix it of course… after being reminded about a dozen times. It’s basically ‘Husband Energy’. Each reminder slowly builds up sufficient energy so that I can complete the task, but the task can not be completed until that energy is sufficiently in store.

It’s go time!

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Blue Cat Axiom Plugin Review


Blue Cat is delivering their new product ‘Axiom’ soon and I’m here having a blast with it. This will be the first solo plugin review I’m doing, despite having reviewed 100s of plugins already (in DAW reviews).

Axiom is mainly targeted as a guitar system, however it’s also an great multi-effects solution for any sort of sound.

I was provided an early NFR (not for resale) review copy.

As of this writing… this is the first review I know of about Axiom. It’s currently not released yet (and I do have permission to release this).

Let’s get on with the review!

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Axiom Sound Samples

There’s going to be a plethora of amazing sound examples out in the coming weeks for Axiom, but I think I can provide you a unique experience with my comparator. That means that all of these sounds are LUFS normalized to -18dB LUFS for better comparison.

I’ll do a few styles of guitar, some bass, some drums and some synth processing. These samples don’t come remotely close to covering what Axiom is capable of, but it’s something to whet your appetite.

I’ve tried to keep the riffs simple. I also left in the finger noises, buzzing and other bits. There was no editing or corrective effects applied at all.

Each example will have notes about the guitar used, and a dry clip that you can reference against. I am not using presets here. I created most of these from scratch, so you’re hearing partially my tastes and Axiom’s capability.

Sound samples are recorded in to a Focusrite Clarett 8PreX using the instrument input or using a self-made DI box using a Lundahl 1935 transformer.

There is 187mb of audio here! It will be loaded as soon as you click-through. If you are on a limited data plan, please be careful.

  • If files don’t load, or don’t play, then refresh your browser.

  • If the last 2 sections don’t show, then you’re a victim of a bug I fixed. Hold control(Win)/command(Mac) and refresh to update your caches. (or empty caches).

  • I have no idea how my server is going to handle this. It could blow up. We’ll see.

Click ‘Read More’ to hear them (or you were linked here by the Review post

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Waveform 9: Conclusion

Waveform Conclusion
My first track in Tracktion, ~2002 with same later version messing around. How quaint!

I’m done with my Waveform Review. So now it’s time for me to publish my final thoughts about the product. I don’t want to spoil anything so you’ll have to click in to the post (this isn’t a ploy for ad views, I don’t have ads. It’s just easier for me to write the post this way).

I also updated the DAW Chart with Waveform. As of writing this post, I have no idea what the total score is. I input my ratings from my notes. When this post is published, I will be as surprised as you to find out how it fares on the chart.

Other parts in this series:

VERSION - This review is (hopefully) accurate as of Waveform 9.1.1. Further versions may obsolete these views.

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Waveform 9: Instruments and Effect Review

Plugin Review time
Plugin reviews

42 plugins I counted. I think that’s right… That’s what you get with the Waveform Ultimate bundle. 41 in Waveform+ and there’s 24 (I think) in the Basic version.

So it’s time for the part of the DAW review where I spend a ridiculous amount of time testing and doing reviews of every single plugin that’s included. Each plugin will have one of 3 labels on it that indicate my overall review of the plugin, along with my commentary. Here’s what the labels mean:

  • Fantastic - These are plugins that I think would be an excellent value to purchase if possible. Likewise, they compare favourably with third-party plugins on the market.
  • Sufficient - Sufficient get the job done without much hassle. There may be no fancy extra features like some third-party competitors, or maybe the DAW version is missing some common feature, but nevertheless it’s enough to get the job done.
  • Flawed or Replace - As the name implies, these plugins have some sort of flaw or they are so limited that they can be replaced by a better solution. I will only use the ‘Replace’ option if I explicitly know of a free multi-platform (mac/win, sorry Linux dudes) option that I think is better.

It’s important to recognize that Biotek and The DAW Essentials Collection come as VST/AU/AAX/Linux VST. Master Mix is available as an external plugin, but that does not appear to come with Waveform Ultimate.

Spoiler - Overall rating Waveform Basic: Spoiler - Overall rating Waveform+: Spoiler - Overall rating Waveform Ultimate:

Other parts in this series:

VERSION - This review is (hopefully) accurate as of Waveform 9.1.1. Further versions may obsolete these views.

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Search added

I’ve added a DuckDuckGo site search to this website.

If you see the search box in a seemingly weird place, then you need to clear your browser cache. Usually holding control (Win) or command (mac) then pressing Refresh (usually F5) will do that.

Please read about why I used DuckDuckgo. They also do not host ads for competing websites in my search results by default, where as google has no way to turn off ads in search results. I hate ads. Eww.

Thanks as always for reading!

Waveform 9: the good, the bad, the weird. Part 8: Clip Layer FX, Multisampler, Scripting, Project Management and more

Keyboard Macros

This is the cleanup post. Only 2 more posts left: Effects/Instruments review and the conclusion. So this post is where I try to cover the other things that I’ve missed so far that I find interesting.

There might be a surprise coming later anyway… ;)

  • Good
    • Clip Layer FX
    • Multisampler
    • Macros
    • Project Management
    • Faceplates
    • Clip Render
    • CPU Metering
    • Freezing
  • Bad
    • Scripting
    • Plugin Delay Compensation
  • Weird
    • Menu Shortcuts

Other parts in this series:

VERSION - This review is (hopefully) accurate as of Waveform 9.1.1. Further versions may obsolete these views.

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Waveform 9: the good, the bad, the weird. Part 7: Recording

Big Meters
Big Meters

Your favorite part of the week has arrived! Part 7 day!

As I’m slowly becoming more familiar with Waveform, you may notice that the review is also becoming more focused. Today I’m going to cover the good, the bad and the weird of recording in Waveform 9. Recording Audio and MIDI are the topics.

You may notice that this article is perhaps more substantive than others, and that’s because this is what I do day in and day out. I record. I still put in a lot of effort to other sections, but this topic comes more naturally to me due to how I’ve been using Waveform this last month and my general life experience.

This article has some of my favorite features in the software, and some things that other DAWs really should learn from, but like with all software there’s some small things that sour the experience a bit more than it seems like they should. Regardless, Waveform excels in this area… mostly.

  • Good
    • Retrospective Recording
    • Trigger Level
    • In Track Meters
    • Record to Flac
    • Multiple input assignments
      • Stacked Recording
    • Input Dragging
    • Abort and Restart
  • Bad
    • Recording Delay Compensation
      • Low Latency Monitoring
      • Latency Issues
    • Multiple Record Arming
  • Weird
    • Stereo Input

Other parts in this series:

VERSION - This review is (hopefully) accurate as of Waveform 9.1.1. Further versions may obsolete these views.

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Waveform 9: the good, the bad, the weird. Part 6: MIDI Editing

This isn't a good thing...

It’s MIDI Day! Today I’m covering MIDI workflows specifically, even though I did that partially in part 4 and part 5.

I know that it seems like there’s a lot of bad things today, and there is, but the core experience is decent. If you are a workflow-maven, a super MIDI nerd or you love exploring the depths of what can be done with MIDI, then you need to try the demo first.

  • Good
    • Basic MIDI Editing
  • Bad
    • MPE
    • Notation
    • Advanced MIDI Editing
    • Default Shortcuts
    • Per-Note Colouring
    • Step Recording
  • Weird
    • MIDI Multi-Editing

Other parts in this series:

VERSION - This review is (hopefully) accurate as of Waveform 9.1.1. Further versions may obsolete these views.

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