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Microphone Techniques And Drums

Jun 15, 2008
Recording drums can be a challenge both to the mics and record. So, we need to have a good idea about the techniques that can help us to get a better result. While recording one thing should be kept in mind: if the drums are good, then everything else would be perfectly all right. That means everything else can be fixed later and the take will be perfect.

Various microphone techniques actually affect how much bass, midrange, and treble that we hear in the monitored sound of a musical instrument. There are various points that one should keep in mind while deciding the microphone techniques. The mic choice and placement affect how distant the instruments sound in recording and how much background noise is picked up. But there are no hard and fast rules about where the mics should be placed. If the placement of the mic sounds good to the user then that should be the correct position to use them.

There are various techniques of microphones that can be used in various environments to record drums. Let us learn those in details. Like in the home studio environment the most common and the most successful way to get a perfect sound is to use the triangle miking style. This style involves three mics, hence called triangle. The first mic is placed on the kick drum, and the other one on the either side of the kit. This method will allow catching us a bit of the drum kit.

Before using the microphone technique we need to know what kind of sound output we prefer, such as whether it is big and boomy or round and subdued or tight or punchy? Then the technique will be different while capturing the sound.

If we want big and boomy sound the mic should be placed around two inches in the front head of the drum or away from the head pointed at the center of the drum. For getting a round and muffled sound the drum should be stuffed with a large piece of foam. If the position of the mic is placed in such a way where the halfback is striking out the tight and punchy sound will be recorded.

But this kind of method has one drawback. Some kind of weird lower mid unpleasantness will come, but that could be rectified during the post production stage. In any case the microphone should not be placed in any other direction inside the drum because sound bouncing all around the waves will end up canceling themselves out, thus resulting in loss of volume and tone.

But the microphone techniques will change when the type of drum changes. The above technique could only be used for kick drum only. Setting the microphone for snare drum will definitely be different. In order to record this kind of drum we need two microphones. But just placing the microphone on the front of the drum is not enough. So, planning is needed to decide where the mike should be placed. It would be a good idea to place the bottom mic exactly to the opposite of the top mic. Before the recording starts just turn over the mike on and off and then a decision has to be made about which setting is delivering the perfect sound.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for music gear, speakers, and microphones. You can find the best marketplace for music gear, speakers, and microphones at these 3 sites: music gear, DJ equipment, recording equipment , speakers, subwoofers, and microphone techniques.
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