6th Form - Recording Drums

                                                                                             Stuff to think about


You MUST use your EARS and listen. Listen to the sound of the drums in the room. Do any drums ring? When you hit one does another one ring? Do you need to fix it or not? If you are close micing it, yes probably you will need to damp that ringing with Gaffa / tea towels / wallets /paper towels / someone's face.

Listen to the drummer. Everyone is different. An inexperienced / not very good drummer is almost impossible to get a good sound from because they hit sometimes loudly and sometimes without conviction; sometimes towards the centre, sometimes at the edge; play the ride cymbal like a crash, play the crash like a ride.

You can record the drums with just one mic  - usually large diaphragm condenser (capacitor). Move further away for quieter, roomy sound; closer for more immediate sound; higher for more cymbals, lower for more bass drum/toms.

Two Mics - like the first, but add a bass drum Mic - INTERESTING ALTERNATIVE  try a  capacitor over the drummer's right shoulder

Three Mics - like the first, but add bass drum and snare OR 2 overheads and bass drum  or INTERSTING ALTERNATIVE

Four Mics - two overheads, bass, snare

Five mics - two overheads, bass, snare top, snare bottom *

More than five - most people would mic the toms individually. Some people like a "Room Mic". This would probably be a large diaphragm capacitor in the middle of the room, picking up the whole kit.

*this is the one is the one for your assessment.

Some people have used a PZM on the bass drum. You can have a PZM on the wall acting as a room mic.

You MUST listen though. The more microphones, the better the separation, BUT also the more each mic  will be picking up a rubbish version of everything else you spent so long setting up.



Drum kits are ringy things. Ringing is BAAAD because it sounds poor, if it rings at a note it will be clashing with guitars/bass/Japanese noseflute. Damp it.

Think about what sticks, beaters, drum heads etc. If the cymbals are naff there's nothing you can do. If the heads are all mashup....if it needs a good tuning...ESPECIALLY the toms where one head can interfere with the other in a no good sense.





When it happens... it happens at Holly Lodge

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