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Miking Drums

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Drum Miking Techniques

Engineers and producers throughout the world of recording may have different styles and ideas that will differ from one another, when it comes to recording music. One thing that they do agree on is that recording drums is both a difficult and integral part of the recording process that needs careful planning for the end result to be called worthy.

It is an agreed concept that the recording of drums is only as good as the drums the drummer may bring to the session, as with those that the studio provides. Also, the space that one is recording the drums in must be that of good quality, or the recording will not reflect that of the natural sound that the instrument should produce. Aside from these factors, the way a drum set is miked is the most crucial ingredient to capturing its true sound as a whole.

A traditional way to record a drum set could be miking a snare, the kick, and throwing overheads to capture the remainder of the set, but what about a different, non-traditional method? In an article from Mix Magazine written by Kevin Becka and entitled "Percussive Perfection", engineer Gary Baldassari offers a new and interesting way of recording drums using a multi-channel technique. Though it is simple in idea and setting up, the results achieved from doing so are extremely worthwhile. This technique requires four DPA omni microphones placed in an "equidistant" box around the drummer. These mics should be either inches from the floor or up high in the studio, which is dependent on the room size which you are recording in, the style of music style you are going to record, the drum kit the drummer uses, and the style and techniques in which your drummer uses in his or her playing. This technique delivers a true, more accurate representation of the set and how you would hear it in the room you are recording in.

In another article in Mix Magazine, written by Michael Cooper, entitled "The Big Bang", three top engineers were interviewed to see how they go about recording drums. The engineers interviewed were David Bianco, Ed Seay, and David Thoener.

David Bianco states, "The key to the best drum sounds is great drums that are well-tuned and played by pros.", which was previously stated earlier. He continues on to discuss other techniques that he uses in order to record drum tracks effectively.



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