Recording Drums like the Dap Kings

On the original drumtrack:

On the original track "You Know I'm no good" by Amy Winehouse the engineer Gabriel Roth used only a Shure 55 on drums.
(Sometimes a RCA DX77 at the same spot too. These Microphones were mixed together.)
On the Amy Winehouse track he used only the Shure 55 and in the mix were added some samples on the bassdrum and snare. 
A very big influence on the sound has the Tube-Tech PE 1C. With that Eq he added top end and reduced it at the same time.

On my drumtrack:

I used a Shure 55 too. And to try the trick with the RCA Ribbon mic, I was using a Royer R-121 because I couldn't get a RCA DX77.
But the first thing I tried is to get the drumsound as short/dry as possible. Because there will be a lot of compression going on in the mix.
And the Tom-ringing will be very loud when you are compressing the drums. So I was (as you can see) just using bassdrum, snare and hihat.
To muffle the snare I used the old "wallet trick". It means: Just lay your wallet on the Snare drum. How simple is that? =)
I recorded with a Universal Audio Apollo through the onboard preamps. 

In the mix is the most important device the Tube-Tech PE 1C. Instead of the hardware I used the Waves PuigTec EQP-1A and
boosted and cut at 10 khz. 

After that I compressed and distorted the drum-bus to get dynamic range as small as possible. For that I used mostly the Waves V-Comp. 

The overall sound is just from the Shure 55. From the Royer R-121 I just used the low frequencies to get some kind of a sub. But in my recording
I didn't used any samples like in the original. I wanted to try how close I can get with just an acoustic drumset and the (cheep) Shure 55. 

So the bottom line is:
1. acurate drumpreparation 
2. Shure 55
3. pulltec-eq with top-end boost and cut. 
4. A lot of compression. 

But its not that difficult as I thought before. But I really like the vibe of these drumsounds. 

So I hope I could help some of you with this tutorial. So Have Fun!

Greetings Helge

  • Default-avatarby

    Interesting stuff but I can't understand how you can boost and cut at 10k?! Please explain.

  • Default-avatarby

    you play this great and the sound is perfect.
    Is that a Ludwig Acrolite snare?
    and do you have the transcription for these drums?

    Thank you

  • By the way, if you have more information about the Ludwig kit used, snare + kick. Thank you

  • Hi Helge Preuß, I just found your supacool way to record drums, wow! pretty exciting, thanks for sharing :D. Do you have any idea about the second mic, I really cannot afford the RCA or the Royer, do you think a cheap ribbon mic will do the trick? Should I place the same place as the Shure (like on you video)?



  • Default-avatarby

    notaable, siempre me pregunte como consiguieron ese sonido de la batería en la canción "You Know I'm no good" de Amy Winehouse.. gracias colega!

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