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The first dynamic microphone is placed 6-to-12 inches from the resonance head of the kick drum. Whether using a 4 track or a computer interface you are generally limited to a maximum amount of inputs. Even with isolated monitoring headphones, the drummer is going to play in a way that responds to the natural sound and feel of the drums, and you have to know what that is in order to capture it. So that’s what we are going to work toward. As late as the 1950s, it wasn’t uncommon to record a group with no microphones specifically for the drums. When thinking about capturing drums, this would mean starting by turning off all the effects (compressors, limiters, EQ’s, etc.) Use a pair of subkicks 8 feet away from the kit on opposite sides, 2 ft from the floor. Finally, mic the snare a few inches above the head. ​Grab the FREE 2-page checklist ​for a massively more productive soundcheck. Also, we’re going to take the position that your preamps are set to deliver signals that are between 50% and 75% of your total channel bandwidth when a drum is played as loudly as possible – not quiet but nowhere close to loud enough to start clipping. ​Includes everything from stage work to mixing (and even important communications)! Think about the final mix as standing in the room, perhaps five feet in front of the drums, and then being able to move around and put your head anywhere to get a different sound – the sound  could not be more accurate but selecting the positioning could create a huge variance in the sound that is just as real and authentic. 2) The space you are using to record the drums plays a significant role in how big the sound is. Do you need 16 mics to record drums well? In this article, we are going to cover techniques used for recording drums with 1 mic, 2 mics, 3 mics, 4 mics, 7 mics, and what to do if you have more mics than drums and want to do something like 32 tracks of drum capture, as well as some gear options for gettin’ it done. As much as possible leave the effects for the mixing stage – or at the very least dial in the perfect sound with microphone placement, preamps, and channel volumes before starting to spin knobs. And patience is easier if you are happy and enjoying what you are doing. recording microphones. If you can’t hear, you won’t know – you are just guessing. ImproveRecording.com is dedicated to helping you level up your recording skills to get the kind of sound you've always wanted - whether you have a small or huge budget or if you are the kind who makes your own microphones from tweeters pulled from vintage home speakers. Recording tips, tricks, and tools for better sound. View Profile View Forum Posts View Articles Dedicated Member Join Date Jun 2006 Location Florida Age 30 Posts 365 Thanks 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts Rep Power 4608. The first dynamic microphone is placed 6-to-12 inches from the resonance head of the kick drum. Set up vocal mics in the positions where the other band members would stand (for example 8 ft away off at an angle) – these tracks can sound amazing. Obviously, a lot of popular music has no natural drums – and in many cases, there never were drums – it’s all electronically produced. Note: This Article is currently Under Edit. Gotta mic the kick! Any time you are recording drum tracks there are things that might be out of your control – the ability of the drummer, the sonic qualities of the room, the timbre and sustain of the drums. As noted above, some of the best drum recordings are because the engineer went way out of the box. Take extra care that the cymbal levels aren’t completely masking elements of the natural drums, and as always, go for a realistic playback. Every second that passes will increase ear fatigue and make it harder to discern sounds with clarity. Set up a pair of condensers pointing at the snare drum each the exact same distance from the snare, but 1 foot out from each of the drummers shoulders. Thanks to Soundtoys and Steinberg for sponsoring this episode. In the end, the mixer will probably choose only a few tracks to work with and just bring in other mics as needed for emphasis. However, you wouldn’t be on ImproveRecording if you didn’t actually care about capturing honest quality audio where the performance and skill of the drummer matter. Remember to […] It’s so important, it’s worth repeating: a great recording in the first place makes for a better mix, a hence a better master and final product. It’s clearly a test of the ears, but if you can pass a cleaner more simplistic audio set to the mixing engineer it could have a huge impact on the cleanliness of the final sound. have drummer play a single drum while recording. when recording. The same would hold with recording, with the right mindset you can expect better results. The first of these should be about 4 feet over the snare and it should capture the full sound of the drum kit. What is the minimum amount of mics needed for a great drum recording? Not living things though, like kittens. The best way to overcome these issues is to know your gear and your microphones inside out – so that you can quickly make the necessary modifications to get great sound, perhaps even with time to try some “out of the box” ideas. Don’t forget the emotions aspect. The goal we are seeking is a realistic playback that sounds and feels the same as the drums do when the drummer plays them – realistic and natural. If it takes 5 and two are pegged, one middle, and two almost inaudible but necessary, that’s great too. Thanks to Soundtoys and Steinberg for sponsoring this episode. Set up a vocal mic in a pillow under the snare. Your email address will not be published. If you had 8 mics to use, what would you record and what would you leave out? At an Audio Engineering Society seminar in 2001, legendary engineer Bruce Swedien talked about a session he ran with the Count Basie Orchestra (with vocalist Big Joe Williams) in 1959. move the microphone, adjust the channel volume and if necessary channel EQ to match the sound. So i want to have a friend come and play drums on our next album. That’s okay, because you still have the next step: It’s generally helpful at this point to write down the current settings for anything that has been dialed in, and pictures of general mic placement can come in very handy in the future. Sylvia Massy (Tool, Aerosmith, Prince) developed a technique recording drums using a Shure SM57 dynamic mic (probably because it fit) shoved into a 10 foot garden hose which circled the drums. note – with multiple microphones, balancing the volumes may have the desired effect.. repeat from number 2 until sound is perfect for that drum. Of course, we’re not all zen hippies here, but patience might very well be your strongest weapon against poor quality recording. Copyright © 2018 www.ImproveRecording.com. Also important: Make sure you limit the time between the performance and the playback to as short as possible. How many mic's do you record your drums with, and what drum mics do you own i figure this could be a little fun 10-05-2007 #2. buryher17. Put mics as low as you can. We aren’t going to cover those things here, and we are also not going to cover the mixing stages – though it’s worth saying that many of the top mixers in the world agree that a great recording in the first place makes for a better mix, a hence a better master and final product. And for good reason – sampled drums can be effectively triggered to match attack and volume, and quality can be awesome – samples can be used from some of the best drum kits in the best rooms with the best microphones through the best boards imaginable. Capture this, play back, fine tune mic positions and knobs. However, the most important tool for dialing in a good capture is the same as for every other instrument – your ears. Can you get away with 1, 2 or 4? Finally, the last two major factors that play a part in this approach to recording drums are 1) the quality of the drummer-since there are limited spot mics used, the drummer needs to be aware of his or her playing to ensure the kit is well balanced throughout the performance. We’ll be writing another article covering quality but minimal monitoring in the near future – at least from the perspective of people new to recording. So from that perspective, it’s a lot of work for the mixing engineer and a ton of processed sound, but in that case a realistic answer to the minimum amount of mics needed could be: one. The next two mic’s are used as overhead microphones. A clever engineer could take a drum take from a single microphone, copy it for each drum and EQ it aggressively to isolate each drum enough to give proper separation to adequately trigger samples for the entire kit. But i was wondering how many mics could be used to record drums for the album. Perhaps, perhaps not, but it’s reasonable to think it would produce a better you – and a better you could produce a better bicycle and at the same time: a better experience.

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