mic techniques for drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by hd99fatboy, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. hd99fatboy

    hd99fatboy Guest

    are there any?
    what are they?
    compression or no?

    any ideal settings for compression?
    kick snare toms hats cymbals...

    some opinions please?
  2. irushant

    irushant Guest

    what kind of music?
    what kind of room?
    what kind of mic/pre/track resources?
    what sort of aesthetic?

    Is there an ideal? Sure... at least one for every other engineer out there.

  3. miketholen

    miketholen Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    How long is a piece of string?
  4. kent powell

    kent powell Active Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    That's a pretty open-ended question, and any answers will be subjective so here's mine.

    Good player, well-tuned kit, nice-sounding room as few mics as possible and no close micing. The kit is an instrument, not a bundle of many. I go for a big natural picture.

    After hearing a sample of Fletcher's 3-mic technique on the recaudiopro cd, I read up on it over at mercenary.com. Tried it out tracking last weekend, and I'll never go back. Phasing? What's that?

    Take the time to set the mics up right and get the sounds you want before you hit record. The thing mixes itself; there's nothing to fix. No EQ, no reverb, no compression needed.

    I used omni's for the overhead and side/rear mics and a condensor for the front-of-kick. Fletcher makes several suggestions in his article though, so practically any bottom-feeder (like myself) can do this.

    That's my answer. There are many others, and none are wrong. YMMV.
  5. vagelis

    vagelis Guest

    Well, I'm recording without compression. I got the clean signals and I can change after everything like I want. I checked what Mr.Recorderman( or recordman?) said and I have now the best drum sound ever. Check http://www.prorec.com and Barry Rudolf shows the same with photos(!!!).
    With only 3 Mics you get your dream. For Music like Latin, soft rock,rock I don't think you need more. For hard music I think you need more. Check the overhead position and I'm sure that you love it.

    Peace-Vagelis the Greek ;)
  6. hd99fatboy

    hd99fatboy Guest

    well I appreciate the input the ideas and the info for research.
    and for the smart alicks, well not everyone can be as versatile and witty as some of you.
    open ended question...
    yea but I think it was the best i could come up with being that I'm not a pro engineer, or even close.

    just wanted some guidance is all, I think theres plenty of rooms available for joking and horsecrap, I see a new string every other day on these forums for mindles chatter and the like.

    if A person can't come to these forums and ask dumb questions without being ridiculed whats the point of having them.
  7. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Ok, ok, I've heard enough about this 3 mic on drums BS. YES it can sound great. Is it the only way to record a kit? NO. And as a matter of fact, if you don't have a pretty good drummer and a good sounding room, it won't work as good as lots of mics going to many tracks. I have gotten killer drum sounds with one Coles. I have gotten equally killer, but different sounds, double micing every piece and then some. My standard technique is kick, snare, stereo overheads placed front and behind looking at the floor tom, and a few compressed mics scattered around the kit. If that doesen't give me what I want, I have no problem adding tom mics, hi hat, whatever. Don't only live in the 3 mic box cause it's "cool". Allright, enough ranting.
  8. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    I read somewhere about a Gun's & Roses session where they used 24 mics on the drums. Top & bottom mic on every drum. Sounds like a phasing nightmare, but they sure sold a lot of records.
  9. crazy_guitar

    crazy_guitar Member

    Nov 28, 2001
    It really depends on the style of the song.
    even if I'm going for the 3 mic sound, I'll still record more tracks just in case.

  10. kent powell

    kent powell Active Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Yeah, it's not the way to go if there are problems with the room, kit or player. On my first 3-mic session, I was blessed with goodness in each area. I don't say it's the only way for everyone. It's just nice to hear the kit breathe for a change.
  11. droog

    droog Active Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    dave, i think the 3/4 mike drum schtick is very relevant to people (like me) who have to fit a three piece onto 8 tracks

    i'm sure that if i had 24 tracks to record the drums, i would
  12. jo

    jo Active Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Home Page:
    I mix often drums with only 3/4 mics. But I never record only 4 mics. It's good to have otions.
    The bigest problem I see with 4 mics on a drum set: you better have some rocking mics and preamps!
    When I started recording I had 8 tracks at max. I always submixed drums. So it didn't change a lot as I got more tracks. I only had to submix later (at mixing).
    I learned a lot doing "live-submixing" drums.
  13. sign

    sign Guest

    Many moons ago (Tascam 3440 4 tr)I once had a killer drumsound with one RS PZM and no phase problems :D
  14. RobinH

    RobinH Guest

    My philosophy is on recording is use as many mics as you have available ( track count obviously an issue ). Then on mixdown you have the choice. Often placing free mics/tracks in strange positions ( facing the top corners , or against a reflective screen ) can help add strange ambiences that bring the mix to life. Basically record to give yourself as many choices later as possible.
  15. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Are the minimalist micers in effect giving some masonic secret sign that they track to analog, or is it just an aesthetic decision? If I had a huge amount of tracks and time to sort through at mixdown, I suppose I might do more mics just so I could pick and chose at mixdown. But somehow I conceive it as being similar to putting 1000 monkeys with 1000 shot guns at the wheel of 1000 pickup trucks and waiting for Shakespeare to appear in Braile on a stop sign in Amarillo.

  16. kent powell

    kent powell Active Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    It's aesthetics in my case, Mr. Fission. And the windfall for me is not having to sort through a thousand options to find a good sound.

    Does Shakespeare look good in braille?
  17. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Just ask a blind person.

  18. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    I've gone the 3/4 mic route a few times but like McSnare said, it's not the be-all end-all of recording drums. For roots rock, mellower rock or jazz it's usually great. It ain't gonna work for hard rock or modern pop where you need impact.
  19. spp

    spp Guest

    I'm trying to get a mental picture of where they are... can you be more specific?

  20. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    This is tricky to describe cause it depends so much on how the kit is setup. Think of the front mic as kinda of if you were close micing the mounted tom but you backed it up and raised it a bit higher, maybe just above the plane of the crash cymbal usually to the right of the mounted tom as you look at the kit from the front side. The back mic should be at the same height as the front and looking at the floor tom and ride cymbal, placed to the right of the drummer as he sits at the kit. Hope this helps.
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