A dedicated condenser microphone will help your ride cymbal cut through a dense drum mix, providing airy connecting beats that can really round out your drum sound nicely. It could be just the little detail needed to really shine on a track.
The Ride Cymbal
We’ll use an AT4041 small diaphragm condenser mic positioned about midway between the edge and the bell on the outside half of the cymbal. Keeping the mic close to the cymbal will minimize the bleed from the rest of the kit, but getting too close can cause excessive low-end to build up.
Remember, this mic just augments the overheads, so we need attack and definition more than body. Your overheads are picking up the low-end body already. Moving the mic closer to the bell will add more ping. Moving it to the edge will emphasize the overtones.
Listen to the overhead soloed in the mix, and pan the ride mic to bring it more to the front of the stereo image. If space is a concern, you can also mic the ride from underneath; just be sure to flip the phase.
A ride mic can really focus your ride sound, particularly the attack and definition, better than using only overhead mics. Play with the location of your mic and find your own sweet spot…happy recording!
Where do you position your ride mic when recording drums? Tell us your methods in the comments section below, and keep reading the blog for more info!