Academy Dashboard Forum Production Recording Techniques X-Y Drum Overheads Reply To: X-Y Drum Overheads

Jeff Macdonald

    XY is a good technique, you will pretty much guarantee good phase, but you will do this at the cost of stereo image width. At least that's been my experience. You will want to make sure the capsules are as close together as possible, and as far as placement goes I tend to point them at the snare, but try to dissect the kit in 1/2 using the kick and snare as your centre line, so you get an even amount of each side in its respective mic. Trial an error works well here as well, a lot of this is going to depend on the drum setup and how the drummer plays. I got good results from using the 'XY-Together' technique shown above. You'd be wise to get an XY bar so you can put this on a single stand.

    What I have found is SDCs are going to result in a more 'cymbal focused' capture, as they just don't pickup the bass as well as the LDCs do. I guess you need to find the sound you are after, do you want your OH to drive your drum sound? If so, you'll want lots of shell in there an maybe an LDC is the way to go. If you are looking rely on close mics for that, then give SDC a shot. I have also gotten good results with ribbons as Overheads with a ORTF pair of LDCs right in front of the kit. That's a phase nightmare if you need to work fast, but with enough patience gives you a super cool stereo image of the kit.

    I honestly haven't had an XY pair up in many years, I find spaced pairs work best with LDC for my sound - it's fast, wide and works. I'll switch it up and some point and go back to XY or ORTF just for fun at some point.

    Hope this helps a bit.