Recording a Drum Kit
The drum kit is one of the loudest, most complicated sound sources to record. Although there are many different recording methods, some common techniques and principles have been outlined below.
A basic drum kit consists of a kick, snare, toms, hi-hat and cymbals - see figure 1 below.
A good drum sound should have a quality live feel to help them cut through the mix. This is usually achieved by keeping the drums in a large open space to allow the sound to fully develop and combine with the room’s acoustics.
If the drums are being recorded along with other instruments, they should ideally be placed in another room to prevent bleed through to other microphones.
It is important to make sure the drums are properly tuned and that there are no rattles or resonant frequencies present.
There are three primary considerations to remember when miking up drums:
1. Sound Pressure Levels (SPL)
Be aware that leakage between microphones can often be high. Try and avoid this problem by careful choosing microphones with a correct polar response and position.
3. Proximity Effect
Be aware of the proximity effect on the bassier drums, such as the kick and toms.