BACKSTORY: I'm working on an independent project right now to create a sample set from several extremely rare drum kits, such as Ringo Starr's kit verified to have been used on the Beatles' White Album and the Ed Sullivan Show. I have already recorded all the samples and I am now in the mixing phase. Basically, I had a microphone locker of 25+ mics, and selected 8 that I thought would be best for each drum (combined with API, Avalon, and other pres & Apogee AD/DA into Sequoia). I really need the help of the audio community to help me figure out how to best approach a couple of issues I have come up on, so please give your opinion. THE PROBLEM: PART 1 -- In your opinion, to get max. realism and usability, should different mic tracks for a single drum or cymbal be panned to taste, and then mixed down to a stereo .wav which will be triggered by the sampler, or, should there be a mono mixdown for each drum which could be panned after it's loaded into the sampler? If you do pan the channels differently and mixdown to a stereo track, you get more of a stereo separation, but you would seem to risk more frequency cancellation and possibly stepping on the user's mixes more by doing it that way. I was originally thinking about panning them according to how you would normally pan a drum set and mixing each drum and cymbal down to a mono track -- but just a little panning sounds so good. I have also considered leaving the toms, bass and snare as mostly mono tracks and doing a little more stereo panning on the cymbals to emulate the stereo micing of cymbals on a set. This is really an interesting issue to think about, with a lot of considerations. PART 2 -- 2 or 3 of the 8 recorded mic tracks are being used in the actual mixdown for each drum. Those 2 or 3 tracks are EQed to fit together, and there has usually been one dominant microphone, because that has seemed to sound best, as well as minimizing cancellation. In your opinion, is this approach best or should one mic out of the eight be selected and used to most accurately emulate the standard drum kit recording setup? PART 3 -- Are there any further special considerations you would take when doing this? If you have done an extensive sample set in the past, what learning experiences did you have with it? I have done one previous sample set which was featured on the cover of Keyboard Player Magazine and reviewed in Computer Music, but it was not nearly as extensive as this one.