You can work with either by adjusting the EQ. Point the diaphragm directly at the head. How Do I Mic My Drums? A very simple way to record a drum kit with two mics is to place one on the kick drum and the other as a mono overhead mic. Before I go on to talk about the individual set up methods for each mic, there is one process that will be the same for each microphone: Once you have plugged your microphone into a channel in your audio interface, you will need to adjust the amount of ‘gain’ on that mic. XLR (External Line Return) is the standard connection type for almost all microphones. They will often be larger in size and are used for instruments such as acoustic guitars and vocals. Depending on what you’re looking to record there are different types of mics that are better suited for certain jobs. The key to recording a drum kit with one microphone is this: experiment, experiment, experiment. They have the most amount of individual components of any instrument, all requiring different microphones and miking techniques. Another MASSIVELY important factor that will affect the sound of your drum recordings, is the room your recording in. Because the drums bleeding into the overhead mics is inevitable and the overhead mics are responsible for providing much of the drums’ presence in a mix, playing the cymbals softly allows you to get more of the drums in these mics. Hold one end on the center of the snare drum head and stretch the other end of the cable until you meet the grill of the first mic. This helps the drums sound bigger. Phantom power is usually represented as +48V and there should be a switch on your audio interface that turns it on. The close mics on the drums to achieve more stereo control when the drum setup, mic placement, or room are problematic. No this is not some kind of Bond villain. Hold one end on the center of the snare drum head and stretch the other end of the cable until you meet the grill of the first mic. You may be thinking, “But I just have a bedroom for a studio and it’s carpeted.” No worries, you can work with that. In fact, you can find some large diaphragm dynamic mics specifically designed to record kick drums. These (assuming you use two mics) are called overhead mics and, as the name implies, they are placed above the drumset. You can use either a dynamic mic or, better yet, a small diaphragm condenser mic for the hi-hats. Some of the most famous drum recordings have been made using a very modest mic set up. There is no wrong answer, just use your ears, and if it sounds good...IT IS GOOD! Miking the Drumset in Your Home Recording Studio. Dynamic mics 1. This counters any phase problems. It’s harder to polish an erratic and disjointed performance with studio magic—wimpy snare cracks and pussyfooting tom rolls combined with overbearing trashy cymbals can be the death of the backbeat, and a minimalist setup can’t resuscitate that kind of issue. Place a single mic a couple of inches away from the head near the rim. The bass guitar can cover the kick drum’s rhythm, and the rest of the drums aren’t part of the main groove. So there you have it, a definitive guide to help get started in the world of recording drums. Meaning that your ears will also improve as you go. He has worked extensively in the music industry in London UK, and from his own dedicated recording studio has tracked drums for a huge range of artists worldwide. Dynamic mics are predominantly used for capturing loud, strong sounds. Also place one on the floor just in front of the kick drum. Here I’m going to outline a pretty common one that I use a lot, it’s called a ‘spaced pair’. For the most part, you can get by with settings that allow the initial attack to get through and that tame the boom a little. Try adding just a little bit (4dB or so) of a shelf EQ set at 10 kHz to add just a little sheen to the hi-hats. Especially when it comes to the cymbals. If you use two mics, place one above each drum about 1 to 3 inches above the head. Confused? For drums you probably want at least an 8 channel interface such as the Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre...but you can record with fewer channels if necessary (more on that later). Either way, it’ll need to be on if you’re using a large diaphragm condenser mic. If you mic hi-hats, make sure that the snare drum mic is picking up as little of the hi-hats as possible by placing it properly and/or using a noise gate (a dynamic processor use to filter unwanted noise). You want to know one secret to the huge drum sound of Led Zeppelin’s drummer, John Bonham? Russell is the Lead Drums insider here at YourMusicInsider. If you want to add a little more depth and ‘space’ to your drum recordings, you might want to consider adding a room mic. The exact placement of the mic is less important than the placement of the other instrument mics because of the hi-hats’ tone. Set up your drums in a nice-sounding room and place an additional mic just outside the door to catch an additional ambient sound. A great affordable option for a condenser microphone for drums is the sE Electronics X1. Read More >> The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Drums. This is a great place to start as it’ll cover a good general mix of the drum kit. Point the mic down toward the drums and you’re ready to record. (More info on the types of mics needed in the next section). You don’t need much added gain. No matter where you place the mic, you can reduce the amount of boominess that you get from the drum by placing a pillow or blanket inside the drum. Absolutely brilliant. If your drum kit is held together with duct tape and all the heads are pitted from years of animal-like abuse, no studio trickery is going to help you. Have a question about music? Home » Instruments » Drums » How To Mic Drums (Step-by-Step Guide). But choosing a drum microphone isn’t as simple as buying a matching pair and wiring them up to your set. Try adding some acoustic tiles and soft furnishings to tighten up an overly ‘lively’ sounding room. Once you have the mic setup. Overheads are probably the main determining factor of getting a great drum sound. Conclusion. With all the different information online showing you the 8 different ways you can mic the hi-hat alone, no wonder people find it hard! Similarly, if your room if very ‘dead’ and dull sounding, try removing some of the acoustic tiles or soft furnishings to get a little more liveliness and ‘bite’ to your sound. Hence the typical drum microphone setup requires a variety of different microphones. Absolutely! From there, make a mark on the floor where the mic stand is (or take a picture) and record a little bit of the drummer playing. The drum set is a collection many percussion instruments played by one person. Floor toms are miked the same way as the mounted tom-toms: If you want to apply compression to the tom-toms, you can start with the settings that for the snare drum in the preceding section. YMI provides you with expert musicians to answer your questions and reveal their insider secrets. You should see some signal coming into your audio interface on that channel, usually it will show up as an ascending green LED bar. Both the distance and the surrounding instruments that may bleed into the target source will often impact the success of these microphones. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. First is the dynamic mic, which will often be used on the snare, bass drum and sometimes on the toms.A dynamic mic functions just like a speaker, only in reverse, with the movement of the diaphragm in turn moving a … Another variation is adding a 4th mic as a close mic on the snare to give it a bit more presence in the drum mix, just like with the bass drum. This way you’re getting an overall balanced mix of the kit with the overhead, alongside the kick mic which you can blend in to give you more lower-frequency punch when needed. Basically, the microphone will be positioned facing the drummer on his right side. The snare drum is probably the most important drum in popular music. Got a question? Finesse. They should be the same. Adding compression to the snare drum is crucial if you want a tight, punchy sound. If you’re like most musicians, getting great-sounding drum recordings seems like one of the world’s great mysteries. The room influences the drums’ sound more than it influences other instruments’. Doing these things creates a better balance between the drums and cymbals and makes the drums stand out more in comparison. Place them 1 to 2 feet above the cymbals, just forward of the drummer’s head. What Are The Different Microphones Used To Record Drums? Read More >> How Do You Read Drumming Sheet Music? The main thing I would suggest is to have fun experimenting with recording. Search below to see expert answers from our music insiders! However, some time down the line, you’ll probably find a need to mic your drums for live performance, and if you didn’t know, miking drums at a live setup is different from the studio. In this essential guide, I will take you through some tried and tested techniques to make micing and recording a drum kit feel like a breeze. When we think of professional drums being recorded in a studio our mind usually draws up images of complex mic techniques utilizing anywhere from 8 to 12 (or more) microphones.

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