[Throwback] 2 Mic Drum Recording

You finally got some studio time with your band. Time is precious. Even if the studio lets you in early to set up your drumkit - you never know, just ask them, "hey, is it ok if we come in half an hour early to set up the drum kit." If you get a yes on that ka-ching!

set up drum microphones

Right, back to the topic. You've got your drum kit set up in the studio. You need a quick fix on getting a good drum track recorded. Maybe your band is doing the engineering themselves, maybe you don't have a lot of microphones to choose from, or maybe you don't have time to set up eight or more microphones for the drum kit. In fact, you've only got two microphones to choose from. Go with condenser mics. 

Here are your two best options.

  • Option 1: Place one microphone at the bass drum and the other in an overhead position above the center of the kit.
  • Option 2: Place each microphone on a stand slightly in front of the kit. One to the left and one right both slightly higher than the drummer's head. What you're aiming for here is to capture the sound the drummer is projecting, but also capture a little from the drummer's perspective.

If you have time experiment with the actual placement of the microphones for both scenarios.

A good studio engineer here might help out as you're setting up, either in the actual studio or he might give direction via your cans. Engineer (via headphones to the drummer), "give me some kick." Drummer starts beating his kick drum foot pedal while the other band members set up the other microphone. Drummer, "hey, guys, the engineer says you gotta just move the kick mic back a little." Band helps out. And, so on...

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