Musical Instruments & Recording : How to Set Up Drum Mics


How do drum mics work? Well, first of all
there’s something that I have to emphasize here. Recording a drum set is one of the most
complicated things you can do when you’re actually recording music. It’s very hard.
You have to get the right mics, you have to be in the right room, you have to tune your
drum set the right way. So, I’m going to throw this out there, if you happen to know a studio
or perhaps someone who has a professional equipment, I’d recommend doing it there. But
if you have to do it in your home, and you have to do it yourself, here are some ways
you can do it. First of all, what you have to realize, is like a drum set, every mic
that you have is for a specific drum. Like, you have a specific mic that’s for the bass
drum. Usually the way it works is in the front of a bass drum there’s usually a hole about
this big. And what you do is you take that specific mic, and usually stick it inside
the bass drum. That way you get the full effect of the drum, you get the full attack of it.
Now, with cymbals, usually again, you need specific mics, and they’re usually mics that
go up over the cymbals. Now cymbals already sit pretty high, so you need pretty high stands
and specific mics that sit right over the cymbals, so again, they get the full attack
of the cymbals. And with anything else, you take basic mics, like a snare, or a high hat,
and you usually stick them right over the drum. Usually if the drum’s sitting here,
the mic’s sitting only a few inches from it, so again, it picks it up well. But like I
said, many different things go into recording it. If you’re in a different room, if you’re
using different mics, you going to get different sounds. So, you have to take that into consideration
when you’re actually recording. If you want to get a certain sound from your snare drum
or your bass drum, you’re going to use different mics, you gotta put ’em in different spots,
and that’s one thing you’re going to have to usually learn on your own, sometimes through
trial and error. But that’s pretty much just the way you set up drum mics.