Mo’ Recording Pedantry

In answer to a query about recording drums:

If money were a concern but not a objection, I’d start buying drum mic’s with the overheads.

Seems to me you can take (in shorthand) two basic approaches; first, where the OH’s are the main drum sound; second, where they fill in the sound. If they are the main sound, then you want your close mic’s to fill in.

For me, generally, in spaced pair, etc., small diaphragm condensers serve better to fill in where you are looking for cymbal work, snare and tom crack on top of the mic’d snare and kick.

For me, generally, in spaced pair, etc., large diaphragm condensers are the main sound, and the close mic’s give more location, mebbe “beef”.

Unless you do Glyn Johns and/or Recorderman, where the SDC’s are fine for main kit mic’s. Or even dynamics, if that’s what you like (I did, to control a low-ceiling, live basement).

That is really shorthand – I’ve done it many ways in the last year (when I started on recording live drums), including using all dynamics, using many and using few mic’s.

A cheap, flexible way for you now is to use your dyn. on snare, and either buy a kick mic (and a ’57 can actually work there) and use the LDC for room, or use your LDC on kick and get a room mic.

Or you could just use the LDC, by itself, or with, say, the kick mic’d.

Me, I started with an MXL 1006 on kick, a Samson C02 (variable pattern) on room, and two Digital Reference dynamics in Recorderman, mebbe US$250 in mic’s.

Then I went to M/S for some sessions – a whole other story! (not really, the C02 and or a ribbon works fine …)

FWIW, I’ve never found a unusable mic, just mic’s that are better for some things than others.


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