Cymbal panned to the opposite side in the OH


I notice (new to BFD) that the Cymbal mic is panned to the opposite side as it show in the Overheads?
There’s a reason for that?
It happens on the majority to the presets and kits and it’s very confusing to someone new to BFD (previous Toontrack user).

Thank you

Panning of the direct microphones is a tricky one… most of the time they’ll line up just fine. But if you have a very big recording session where you’ve got a left and a overhead microphone at the same time as 5 or 6 different cymbals, then panning inconsistencies on the directs are going to happen.

As it currently stands, the BFDengine makes some assumptions about panning position and specific cymbal slot numbers. But it doesn’t always hold true to the nature of a recording session.

This isn’t a bug as such, more of a feature request or enhancement. Each drum should (in future) be able to specify a default pan position for its direct microphones.

In this case, the best thing to do is just use your ears, pan the direct cymbal where ever you would like it, and save a preset. For my personal tastes, I quite often completely turn off the direct microphones for all cymbals except the ride, because I don’t really like the close mic’d nature of a cymbal. But we capture it for completion sake.

However, if you ever notice that cymbals appear on the left in some stereo channels, and in the right in other stereo channels. then that is a bug in the content and should be fixed by us.

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Hi Drew,
Thanks for the anwser.
It happens in the core library a lot but it also happens in ALL mixes on the Dark Farm Expansion (just as an example).
The weird thing it’s like in exactly same position on the opposite side of the stereo spectrum.
I worked in studios 13 years ago for more than 8 years and now I am trying to get back to the technology after the hiatus.

Hi Drew,

Another thing to mention is that the cymbal image on the kit is also on the opposite side of the cymbal on the OH mic (which is also very weird).
The Room mics sound correct (opposite side of the OH).

So, investigating a little further I found something that looks like a bug.
If I audition the Cymbals with the OH soled, some cymbals change the position on the stereo (which I believe should not happen).
@BFD_Drew please let me know if it happens the same on your side.

I am doing pre production right now but I would like to use BFD on the mix.

I’m not too sure what you mean??? The same cymbal is switching from left to right, or different cymbals are in different positions in the stereo field?

If it is the latter, then that is intentional and a natural result of recording many cymbals at once in a big kit.

If I go to the mixer, solo the OH and then try to change the crash cymbal to a different one it moves on the stereo field.

Yes, that is perfectly normal. Each cymbal is recorded in a different position around the drumkit, not in the same position each time. Because then you’d completely lose the natural sound of a pair of overheads across a drumkit.

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Thanks for your reply.
As I was a previous toontrack user, it’s good to know (on superior drummer it keeps the stereo image).

The only thing that I still find strange is the stereo position on the OH doesn’t reflect on the kit view at all

This has always confused me a bit. So does the direct mic panning affect the OH panning when running BFD3 with a stereo output? What about when you route channels individually to the DAW? It’s my understanding that in that case, the direct mic panning has no effect when routing to the DAW. So what happens with the OH panning in that scenario?

The Direct panning doesn’t affect the position on the Overheads and room.
The strange thing is that on A LOT of presets (On the core library) the crash direct mic is panned to the opposite side as it leaves on the OH which is definitely wrong but I would really trying to understand it.
The Dark Farm expansion, which I own, has the same problem on every single preset.

Another extremely weird thing it the Kit graphical representation doesn’t reflect the OH at all.

So, I found a BUG.

ALL the kits presets have the Crash panned to the wrong side (using the Overheads as a reference).
Easy to listen…load a kit and drop the crash fader down …hear the position of the Crash cymbal on the Overheads and then bring the fader of the crash up and it will change the crash position to exactly the opposite side of the stereo field .
It’s not a feature at all and I would really like to know if it happens on all computers or just my version of it.
I did a pretty long investigation as it was driving me crazy.

@BFD_Drew, How can I open a ticket about it and is it possible to replicate the same issue with support?

I’ll emphasise the point.

You can see that every cymbal slot has its own presumed pan position on the direct channel. I’ve loaded the same cymbal into each slot, and in the overheads, every cymbal has exactly the same positioning in the stereo field. This is 100% expected.

Scenario 1:

  • Load a cymbal into ‘Cymbal 1’ and the direct channel microphone is panned differently to the overheads. Not a bug. Because each slot has its own presumed direct channel panning position. It doesn’t update based on what drum or cymbal is loaded.

Scenario 2:

  • Load a cymbal into any slot. Solo the overheads. And switch from cymbal A to cymbal B to cymbal C. Each cymbal has its own position in the stereo field and moves around in the overheads. Not a bug. This is totally by design. We don’t record cymbals in exactly the same position every time, because that just isn’t realistic to what a real drumkit gives you.

Scenario 3:

  • Load a cymbal and solo the overheads. Notice the cymbal leans left. Now only solo the room microphone. The cymbal leans right. This is a bug - the lean for a particular kitpiece should be consistent across all of the ambient microphones - even if the direct is panned in the other direction.

Thanks Drew, very good explanation.
I was expecting that the kits presets where done with the correct panning, but looks like they are not.
That would be a great fix/addition to a future release.
Another good one would be to have the reflected panning position on the kit view (it helps to visualize the mics position)
Last thing would be a normalized volume between the pieces to make it easier to swap during the mix (like all kicks with the same volume).

Thank you again!

Hi @BFD_Drew .

After your great explanation I went ahead a did some digging.
Just as an example that should be easy to recreate.
On the Dark Farm, the Crash Cymbal (for example) is on the left side of the “OH” and “OH 2” mics but is it on right side on the “Room”, “Room 2” and on the “Room 3” mics.
Looks like your Scenario 3.
What do you recommend?