Academy Dashboard Forum Production Recording Techniques Drums recording with constraints

  • This topic has 7 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by Dave Le Sange.
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    Raphaël Thebaud

      Hi Everyone,

      If you had to record a classic rock drum kit, with a 8 input audio interface, BUT in a completely untreated room.
      What would be your miking strategy ?

      I imagine :
      - #1 : kick
      - #2 : snare top
      - #3 : overhead L
      - #4 : overhead R
      - #5, #6, #7 : toms

      and then... for the 8th input ?
      - room ? (untreated, may be weird)
      - snare bottom ?
      - hi-hat ?
      - nothing ?

      Thanks !


      • This topic was modified 3 years ago by Raphaël Thebaud.
      • This topic was modified 3 years ago by Raphaël Thebaud.
      Guido tum Suden

        Hi Raphaël,
        It would depend on what kind of music you want to record and on how the room actually sounds.
        - A wurst would be a good idea:
        - Do you really need the tom mics? All three of them? It would depend on the song and if it is important to change the tom sound.
        - Do you need stereo drums?
        - What does the hi hat do in the song?
        - What kind of snare sound do you need?
        - Will you use samples later on (which means you will need single micros for the instruments you want to use samples on)
        - …


        Raphaël Thebaud

          Hi Guido,

          Thanks for this first answer. I'll try tu answer your questions as best as I can.
          I didn't knew the "wurst" technique, it sounds pretty interesting on the video !
          It could bring something "dirty" (in the good way) that may fit with the style (punk rock)

          - Do you really need the tom mics? All three of them?
          All three of them, I don't know. It will depend on the songs. I have to prepare my session for each song...
          Do I need tom mics ? I'm not sure... It's a part of my question. I'm not very confident with the acoustics of the room.
          My first idea was, if I'm not sure of the sound of the room, I should close mic most of the elements, but I may be wrong ???

          - Do I need stereo drums ? What kind of snare sound ? will I use samples ?
          We are talking about punk rock music.
          I like natural organic sounds.
          Do I "need" stereo ? I do like stereo drums. 🙂
          Will I use samples ? I don't plan to.

          Guido tum Suden

            I hope you have time to try out things. Especially if you don't plan to use samples.
            1. Kick: I think 1 mic is enough, but take your time to find the rights spot for a good mix of bass and click.
            2. Snare: I think 1 mic is enough if you want a good low, punchy snare sound without much sizzle. See that you don't get too much hi hat bleed so you can crank up the highs.
            3. Wurst: With a lot of compression and even some reverb this can bring the kit to live even without room mics. Downside: Surgical editing, especially bad timing will be much more complicated in the DAW.
            4.-6. Toms: With mics it will be easier to change the sound or to add gated reverb or similar. If the toms should sound like real toms, the overheads might be enough. If you need a lot of low end in your floor tom you will need a mic there.
            7.+8. Overheads: Depending on the sound of the room you could use ORTF. If the room sounds really bad you will want to use the overhead mics as cymbal mics. One for hi hat and one crash the other for another crash and ride. If there are more cymbals you will need to get away from them, which means you will get more of the room sound.
            The best way to get the best sound in that room is to take your time and do a lot of tests with different mic positions. If you have a good drummer and you don't need to edit the recorded drums, everything will be much easier. If you're not satisfied with the drum recording as is, do more tests 🙂

            • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Guido tum Suden.
            Paul Motion

              Hi Raphael, another technique you could try would be a kick mic, (my go to is a D112 or possibly the RE20), move it in and out from the beater to get a sound you like as Guido suggested.
              A top and bottom snare mic, I’m an SM57 man for both but watch phasing. On the latest video from Warren, Colin mentioned a 414 in a figure 8 pattern which could be really interesting to capture top & bottom with one mic. Might be worth a try if you can.
              Stereo o’heads using the Glyn Johns technique. Make sure you check for phasing issues.
              I would also set up a stereo room for ambience. At least then you have options.
              If you’re recording punk I’d go for a more punchy sound so you may not need the room. In which case you could have tom mics. I used to use 421’s, 414’s or occasionally SM58’s on toms but that was some time ago now.

              Hope that helps.


              Dave Le Sange

                Hey Ralph,

                Punk drums with limited inputs in an untreated room? This is my jam - I do this a lot when I record remotely, so here's my general setup:

                1. Kik in
                2. Kik out
                3. Snare top
                4. Snare bottom
                5. OH left
                6. OH right
                7. Room (mono)
                8. Spot mic where needed for song (hihat, toms etc)

                If you don't need a Spot mic on hats or a Tom, you could go Stereo room mics.

                If the room is too small or too bad sounding for stereo spaced room mics, you could use inputs 7 & 8 for the "butt mic" technique & the "mic next door" technique.

                The butt mic goes under the drum stool, pointed at the kit, compress heavily & blend in with the rest. It's a pretty balanced sound.

                The mic next door is exactly what it so nds like - throw a mic up in the adjoining room, doesn't super matter where. You will get big beefy snare & kik sounds on this mic with little to none cymbals.

                Take it easy now

                Raphaël Thebaud

                  Thank you !
                  I have a lot of things to try !!!

                  Dave Le Sange

                    How did the session go Raphael?

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