Some randumb drum-recording notes

The idear with using 2 mic’s on one thing – other than stereo – is to use one for the main sound, the other to augment.  For example, on the kick I’d get the best kick sound I can with my main kick mic (in my case a E604 with the capsule in the hole, pointed slightly above the beater.  Then I’d use the fecund mic to augment; that might be a condensor out front for more thump, or a dynamic mebbe pointed at the beater.  On snare I’d get the main sound (I’m mostly using 57’s altho’ trying other small dynamics, I have a Beta 58 on the way) and then augment either with a mic on the snares, or a body mic pointed at the side of the drum.  One cool trick is to use a omni dynamic around mid-shin to get both the beater and the snares …

One discussion I have with my band’s drummer is that he likes the ride mic’d.  Now, that is cool, except it only makes sense if there’s a ride part.  Same for the floor tom, what I usually mic, but often for no reason.  I also like to use my OH’s for the rack toms; I like a roomy drum sound, not a dead ’70’s pan-it-all-across-toms-roll thing.  But I do like to emphasize the floor tom when the song (as many of ours do) uses it extensively.

Finally, I feel a room mic is essential.  Now, how I use it changes dependent on many factors; sometimes it’s smashed, sometimes it’s pass filtered to hell so only the snare comes thru or just the top (seldom do you want a lot of kick in yer room mic), I often do the Albini trick and add corrective delay, say.012ms to get a bigger room sound.  It kills for snare, sometimes.

And I often use two room mics, EQ’d and compressed to emphasize different parts of the kit and barely panned, or EQ’d and compressed and gain-adjusted to serve as distant OH’s.  I find, using them as distant OH’s, that the tracks need not be identical mic’s as panning and EQ can serve to allow the tracks to give nice, not necessarily symmetrical, depth.


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