Two Quick Tips on Recording a Jazz Drum Kit

microphoneAs 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.

Recording a Jazz Drum Kit

microphones1.  Use only three microphones to cover the whole kit. To begin, we have a pair of AE5100 small condenser microphones in an X-Y configuration focused on the snare.

The X-Y pair offers the most focused center and a balanced stereo image. Positioning them this way will keep the snare at the center of the image. The height of your X-Y configured mics will vary slightly from kit to kit and room to room.

2.  Make certain the kick drum is strong in the mix. Position an AT4047/SV cardioid condenser in front of the kick drum and that’s all we need for this particular jazz drum kit setup!

Watch our full video on recording jazz drums, and stay tuned for more:

What is your ideal setup for recording a jazz kit? Tell us about it on Facebook and Twitter, or in the comments section below! And keep checking the blog for more pro audio tips!



  1. Hey! This is really an awesome post that taught me a lot about recording a Jazz drum kit. What would you recommend as a good pair of jazz drumsticks and do you think that sticks affect the recording of the drum kit?

    Thanks so much 🙂

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