Honestly, no offense to Sam Pura or anyone who helped produce this record, as I've loved past releases from Panda Studios, but I actually felt the production was lacking a bit here, at least on the drums. the cymbals sound almost fuzzy and distorted sometimes, and the bass and snare are very weak in some areas. It's a fantastic record, and this is just my opinion (I am a drummer, I'm biased), but I was disappointed in a lot of the sounds from the drums. The guitars, bass, and vocals sound fantastic though.
Completely disagree. Sounds like you expected triggered drums. These are all real with pretty much nothing but room mics on the cymbals.
Actually, I was thinking of the work you did on Safe For Now, I love EVERY tone on that album, especially the drums. I actually really dislike triggered drums, I just thought that at some moments in the songs the snare and bass sounded a little flat. And maybe the sounds will grow on me (they have already a bit) but I hear a lot of crash from the cymbals and it just feels overwhelming at points. Again, no offense meant, this is just what I hear. Sometimes I think I'm overly critical. I still love the album, and I really respect the work you've done, you're pretty prolific.
I appreciate that. We originally planned to record drums separate from cymbals for weird tones but in Pre pro I had 1 super compressed and distorted room mic, 2 overheads and the snare, kick, and tom close mics. The dudes REALLY liked the sound (especially the cymbals which were our main focus) so we stuck with it. I think the cymbals are insanely detailed, but the distorted room mic is the main sound and the loudest mic in the mix. Kerry kills on drums. He for sure smashes and plays louder than any drummer I've ever recorded. His dynamics are astounding. I can hear what drum he's hitting and what cymbal. Doesn't sound like white noise. But he definately smashes crashes and replaces them all the time.
That's probably the major difference you hear when compared to The American Scene who plays really soft and has a lot of percussion and not a lot of cymbal action going on, and if any it is specifically played soft to allow the drums to sound huge. Also, the drum tones are the same mics and signal chain as The American Scene. Same for Basement. The only difference is drums, cymbals, drummer, and content.
Oh, well when you lay out all the details like that I can definitely see how both products ended up being the way they are. I guess it's just personal preference that I like Safe For Now's sound more. Thanks for sharing all of that, it's really cool learning what went on behind the scenes to create those sounds, considering that's what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. Being a drummer in a band, that is. I really appreciate how much you're devoted to getting the real sound from the drums, as my band (we're called Chaplin) recently went into a studio and came out with a nice product, but I was kinda sad because they sampled all of my snare and bass. Thanks again for all the info!