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Fine-Tuning Metal Drum Sound Consistency

by Madonna

Bob Strakele, renowned FOH engineer for Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot, boasts an eclectic career spanning diverse acts like The War on Drugs and Erasure. Since joining Avenged Sevenfold in 2018 after the passing of Dave “Shirt” Nicholls, Strakele has immersed himself in the metal scene. Soon after, Slipknot, whom Nicholls had mixed for nearly 15 years, hit the road again and enlisted Strakele for their FOH duties, leading to his dual role in managing both bands’ live shows worldwide.

Detailing his approach to crafting the drum mix, Strakele emphasizes his reliance on overhead mics for capturing the overall drum sound, strategically positioned equidistant from the snare. He favors a moderate high-pass filter around 80-100 Hz on the overheads to eliminate stage rumble without compromising the snare’s characteristic tone. Avoiding excessive EQ adjustments, he prioritizes preserving the natural snare sound.

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In pursuit of consistent drum sound quality, Strakele integrated various models of Austrian Audio microphones into his setup over the past year, prominently featuring the OC818 pair. Utilizing two OC818s for overheads, OC8s for ride cymbals, and OC7s for floor toms, he appreciates the OC818s’ cardioid pattern for minimizing rear rejection. Additionally, he highlights the OC7s’ flexible swivel-mounted head design, allowing for versatile positioning options, particularly useful when space is limited.

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Mounted on LP brand claws attached to floor tom legs, the OC7s are strategically angled towards the drum’s center, optimizing sound capture while maintaining practicality. Strakele also acknowledges the OC18s’ fixed cardioid pattern as a valuable asset in his microphone arsenal, complementing the OC818s’ versatility.

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