Minimalist drum micing?



Anyone got any ideas on a minimal drum mic setup.
I'll be using a pair of C414's or TLM103's as the overheads anyway, but only have a D114 kick mic and a pair of Shure dynamics left.

Not so minimal really, I suppose. Standard kit: two toms and a floor tom.

More interested in the placing of the overheads to capture the toms. I'm thinking of covering the snare and hi-hat with the dynamics...

Thank in advance,


Over the years I have gone from 8 to 12 mics down to 4-6 for all types of Bands that have come in.
My drum room has a low ceiling, it is about 11 by 20 feet and sounds passable.
For songs that need strong toms I don't put any overheads. I would put your AKGs or TLMs one between the mounted toms about 6 to 8 inches off where the diaphram just peaks at the upper head but the body of the mic is near the shell and a similar set up on the floor tom. I then put a mic(condensor my choice)on the snare and one on the kick.
Generally there is sufficient cymbal and hat bleed to sound well balanced. If you need more then break out something for the particular deficiency. But 90% of the time I don't need anything else.
Some times when there are a lot of orchestral type cymbal swells and such I use the "Recordermans" set up with great success, but I find with my room the toms dont come out as strong as I like in comparison to the cymbols.
Jun 24, 2003
Framingham, Mass.
Hell, you've got very good mics for the job. I would use the 414's as a kind of wide X-Y near coincedent pair (the H-100 shock mounts interfere with putting the cabsules real close to each other). Bass cut them to decrease bleed from the toms a little. Put one SM57 under the snare, where it will pick up the rack toms also. Use the other 57 between the floor toms, D112 on kick, and you're in business!-Richie


Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2001
I just did a project (rock) with a single Sennheiser MD-441 on the snare, an AKG D12 on the kick, and a pair of NT5's on the overheads... turned out great with only 4 mics! I normally add Sennheiser MD-421s or Audix D2's to the toms, but in this case, we were getting such a good sound out of the OH's, that I just left well enough alone and went with the 4 mics.


Well-Known Member
May 12, 2003
With your setup, I would take either the 414's or the 103's as overheads, set to the left and right of the drummers head, each of them and equal distance to the snare and kick. With a 414, or a 103 whichever you aren't using as an over head, I would stick on the hats to blend in later for stereo placement. D112 in the kick, and dynamic some where on the snare. Best spot usually is underneath, a few inches off center, and a couple inces under. DO NOT try to pick up the toms with the snare mic, the overheads will do that quite nicely. If you take the time to tune them, and if you have a good room. If you don't have a good room try to kill it as much as possible with gobos, or blankets or anything.

With every thing you mic mono your mics so you can keep an eye on phase. If the sound changes in tone, or in volume you need to move a mic. If you have a real hard time with this use one overhead instead of two.

Just a thought.


Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2003
Put the kick mic in the kick obviously, Put on Shure dynamic on top of the snare and one under the snare. The two snare mics coupled with the over heads will give you a fair amount of options at mixdown. As for the overheads, experiment. There are a few good ideas alredy posted here and plenty more out there to try. Here is a link to an article on the subject. They used two overheads, a 58 and a 57 in the article.