Setting up drum mics... the process

Discussion in 'Drums' started by AllInRuins, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. AllInRuins

    AllInRuins Guest

    What is the best way to set up drum mics during pre production?
    Mainly, what order to set them up in?

    I am thinking that it would be good to get the overhead mics and kick drum set up first to sound good. Or perhaps even the room mics. My thinking is if the stero image is poor from the overheads, and the room mics sound poor, the entire recording will not sound as good. Basically work from the outer layers to the inward layers. Once there is the best possible overhead/room sound, begin to add in the close mics. Toms, Snare, Hi-Hat. Top snare head before bottom.

    What do you think? Does it matter? How do YOU do it?
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Home Page:
    #1 - Overheads and other room mics!!!
    #2 - Kik
    #3 - Snare (mix top and bottom, not one -vs- the other)
    #4 - Hat
    #5 - Tom (hi, mid, low, floor, Roto, et al.)
    #6 - Cowbells and whistles...

    On the board, live and Memorex, I've always routed them in this manner:

    #1 Kik
    #2 Snr top
    #3 Snr bottom
    #4 Hat
    #5 - #? Toms
    Next - OH L
    Finally - OH R

    Followed by Bass - Gtr1 - Gtr2 - Keys - Vox - etc...

    In fact, it won't sound poor, it will sound like a**...
  3. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    If Bruce Dickinson wants more cowbell, then we'll give Bruce Dickinson more cowbell!

    Oh that never gets old to me.

    But in all seriousness, if the cowbell is part of the kit, do you mic it individually, or get the best sound from the overheads/room mic(s)? I've never had the privilege of recording this awesome instrument.
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Home Page:
    Hey, I'm Bruce Dickinson. I'm just like you guys. I put my pants on one leg at a time, the difference is that when I'm done I make hit records...


    Yeah, I mic them.
    Usually with a Beyer M88 or a 57.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I'm gonna tweek Ben's take on this just a sliver........

    BEFORE I ever start blending the mics together to get that cohesive kit sound, I work each one individually. Then I take particular segments and work those together and THEN go for everything.

    Goes something like this.

    Kik.....I will put up a room mic as far away as I can get it and listen to the kick through this. It gives me the idea of the dimension of the drum in its space as well as fairly accurately giving a picture of the tuning and any flaws it may have. Then I will work on the close micing of the kick. For me this usually consists of an ATM25 inside a few inches from the beater pad angled slightly away, and a Studio Projects B3 on a low stand a foot out from the front head. Both of these mics will be run through a gate, usually a DBX 363x and will be married(keyed) together. I dont always use the gate but it does a certain something just being in the path that I like. BTW, the SP mic is one of the best for this purpose. Its not in the league of the Soundelux or an FET U47 but it does the job surprisingly well. If you use a tunnel for your kick, get one of these (They're really cheap....get two) and stick it in there. LOTS of low end boom and tight response. Its a nice quick mic. I will then add the DBX 902 overeasy comp on the ATM25. Again, I like the circuit but if its needed its there.

    When I have the kick where I want it, I add back in the room mic (usually an AT4033). At this point I'll check the image with the overheads but only for a moment.

    Then it on to the snare.

    I repeat this for every drum until I like it and then the sections start.

    To me, a drum kit is the kick, snare, and the hihat. When all of these elements are in place and sounding good as a kit, the rest will fall in with little or no manipulation.

    I will EQ the crap out of something if its horendous, but usually I have an equipment solution to such problems.

    Having a couple of 'prepared snares' is invaluable when your doing a lot of recording of clients. The same applies for guitar amps, bass amps, instruments of all sorts.
  6. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    Live and Memorex lol classic!

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