Metal and hard-rock is notorious for having huge drum sounds (as well as everything else). It is very common for most drummers to have pretty large drum kits that will require a lot of mics to capture their full sound. Obviously you will have to deal with a lot of bleed from all those mics, bashing drummers, screaming loud monitors and amps on stage – making it a joy to mic it all up. Now everyone thinks I am outta my mind when they see my input list. Every drum having its own mic, often times several mics. Then comes show time and they are floored at how I am able to take all that and get a huge, in your face, deep, clear drum sound. I get asked the same question each and every time: “How do you do it?”
To continue our series on drum mics and recording drums, we’ll tackle setting up mics for the room. These are the mics that add depth and ambience to the overall sound of the drum kit. The added space these microphones provide can really bring the drums to life in the mix.
As you may have discovered, there are nearly as many subtle differences in techniques for recording drums as there are producers. You may encounter completely different opinions on topics like the distance of an overhead mic from the cymbals, where to place the mic for a snare drum, how many mics to use overall, and any number of miniscule variables.
The takeaway from any experience in a recording studio is usually the same; you have to get in there and mess with it until you find the sweet spots for your microphones. Audio-Technica can give you the broad strokes of the technique, though, and we’ll leave the finer points up to you. In a recent series of videos, we covered different microphone tactics and details of miking specific drum pieces. In this installment, we’ll give you two quick tips on how to mic a jazz drum kit for a simple yet effective method of recording drums.