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milqy



Joined: 02/11/04
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Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new
      #44539 - 02/11/04 11:25 PM
Howdy.

My main question is, are two mics workable for recording drums decently? Second question- what is more suitable for recording drums; a dynamic or a condenser mic?


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Escapee Planes
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #44546 - 02/11/04 11:36 PM
No way, To record drums properly you need at least 5 mics.

Two Overhead condensers to pick up cymbals and toms, panned hard left and hard right to create stereo image.

At least 1 dynamic on snare preferably 1 underneath to pick up snare rattle aswell.
1 large diaphragm Dynamic Mic for the Kick and
1 Condenser or dynamic for the hi hat.

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ben m
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #44554 - 02/11/04 11:48 PM
Depends what kind of sound you want.
I wouldn't recommend using less than 3 (1 for kick, 2x overheads) but after that it's down to the sound you want and the number of mics you have.
Sometimes 3 or 4 mics will sound better than 7+ mics depending on the genre, quality of mic and acoustics of room. Best thing is to experiment.
Personally, I'd recommend condensors for overheads, dynamic for kick. As for other drums I tend to use mainly dynamics (i.e. toms) although sometimes a condensor on the snare depending on the tone I want. If I'm mic-ing up the hat I tend to use condensors.
Again,it depends on the sound you want.


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milan



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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #44558 - 02/11/04 11:53 PM
Don't forget you need matched stereo pair as overheads.

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if it's here when we get back, it's ours


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The Mime
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: ben m]
      #44563 - 02/11/04 11:58 PM
I have gotten good results with two mics, but one of them was a stereo mic. A stereo pair in front of a kit can give you a nice natural sound, but you usually need a seperate mic for the kick.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #44572 - 03/11/04 12:09 AM
It's possible, but iffy. Two very good mics at long distance (at least 3 - 4 metres) in the right room will do the job, with obviously a lot of room ambience. You won't get much punch and you won't be able to re-mix the drums in any meaningful way. The "right room" in these circs would be a purpose-built studio live room. A refinement would be to at least add a kick mic (on a separate channel) to give you some punch and re-mix options.

This technique is usable (and is still used) for e.g. some jazz drummers and some folky/acoustic acts. I would not use it for anything with a pop/rock/dance kind of feel.

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Studio Support Gnome
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #44614 - 03/11/04 03:20 AM
They CAN be , if they're the right Mics, and you're in the right room, with the right drummer , on the right day, and with the right favourable following wind.

For example , fine results can be had from using an M/S pair

Max

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Doublehelix



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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milan]
      #44615 - 03/11/04 04:07 AM
Quote milan:

Don't forget you need matched stereo pair as overheads.




Actually, you don't need matched pairs for most types of OH drum miking (spaced pairs).

Also, a hi hat mic is probably one mic that can go if you are cutting numbers...the OHs usually do a fine job of picking up the hats, plus the additional bleed into the snare mic.

I like to think that 4 mics are minimum...2 OHs, kick and snare, but it is possible to get some decent results just with a well-placed pair of *good* overheads, although the kick will be lacking a bit.

A couple of good 3 mic techniques are to have 1 OH, kick and snare, or 2 OHs + kick.

--------------------
James
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" ~Napoleon Bonaparte~


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archdake mkII
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #44655 - 03/11/04 08:50 AM
intro: this is the millionth (sic) time I'm seeing this kind of question in the forum. Please, please do check older postings guys!

Using a condenser or (better) a ribbon somewhere around the drummers head and 6-12 inches higher pointing at the snare and a kick mic (or a mic put in front of the kit around a foot or so) can work miracles if the drummer's good and balanced. The point of the overhead is to capture a good balance of cymbals and rest-of-kit. Exact placement depends on the kit, player, room and song at hand!

Cheers

Edited by archdake mkII (03/11/04 08:55 AM)


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milan



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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: Doublehelix]
      #44668 - 03/11/04 09:11 AM
Quote Doublehelix:

Quote milan:

Don't forget you need matched stereo pair as overheads.




Actually, you don't need matched pairs for most types of OH drum miking (spaced pairs).




I meant that in case he's using only 2 mics. For anything else (like MS or similar), I think it's not essential.

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Med



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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: ben m]
      #44785 - 03/11/04 12:22 PM
I got some very good results over the summer recording rock/blues drums with only 3 mics. Pair of overheads, and a kick drum mic. For the record, I was using budget Ted Fletcher mics, and they were literaly hung by the leads from a beam over the kit, about a meter and a half above the kit. I got surprising seperation, and only needed a Shure mic on the kick to tighten up the low end.

Have a look here for extra tips http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Feb03/articles/drummiking.asp?

I found Hugh's comments about the panning of the overheads very helpful, and it's improved my sound no end.

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: Escapee Planes]
      #44845 - 03/11/04 01:40 PM
Quote Ocean:

No way, To record drums properly you need at least 5 mics.




I beg to differ. I have heard stunning drum sounds made with a simple stereo pair. In a lot of cases stereo overheads supplemented with a kick drum mic is more than sufficient.

It all depends onthe kind of sound you are after. If you want the very close, heavily processed sound of modern pop music, then multi-miking is a common technique. If you want a more natural sound, then a small number of mics carefully placed in a good sounding room will provide excellent results.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Guy Johnson



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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #45030 - 03/11/04 07:38 PM
Also has worked really well is kick, one overhead and a mic on the floortom. As Max says, Room, Drummer . . .

G

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Urthlupe
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #45058 - 03/11/04 08:27 PM
Hi you guys,

True to the spirit of pioneering musical creativity so evident on this forum I am about to go out on a location job and record the drums with one mic. Yes, I said ONE mic.

Don't ask me why.

AND (for John Willet) it won't be a Sennheiser

Am I mad, or simply a father of four showing the stress?

Five mics? pah

Loopy


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Chucho
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: Escapee Planes]
      #45108 - 03/11/04 11:32 PM
Quote Ocean:

No way, To record drums properly you need at least 5 mics.




ha bloody ha

3 is fine

--------------------
I've got rhythm, I ain't got pitch


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4TrackMadman
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #45149 - 04/11/04 07:11 AM
You can actually even do mono recording (single condenser mic - wow, how unorthodox!) on drums and get a decent sound if the drumkit is properly tuned and well balanced and your mic position / room sound is good.
I have done that sometimes with mic about 3 meters pointing towards the drumkit at tom level or a little below tom level, if you have two and are worried that the kick drum might not come out fine you can throw in a mic in there to capture the kick so that would make it 2 mics. Or you can do the stereo pair, either as overheads above drummer's shoulder (very little kick) or again at tom level facing the drummer. Don't be afraid to experiment!

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giles
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #45153 - 04/11/04 07:29 AM
I use two akg c3000 at the same hieght about 30cm apart and about one & a half metres from the kit. i'm recording jazz.
i get two mono tracks panned left & right. this gives a perfect natural sound for the whole kit, and reveals the detail of a sensitive drummer. i've had multiple miking tracks before & found that there were a lot of strange consequences from close miking mostly to do with excessive air pressure from high hats, distorting cymbals, mechanical sounds from pedals and unwanted percussion from the floor; the room is important.
Giles


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Mike Senior
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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? new [Re: milqy]
      #45314 - 04/11/04 02:23 PM
Quote milqy:

Are two microphones enough for recording drums?




No.

One is enough.

For the sounds I like, though, I prefer to go for at least four: main stereo pair, plus kick and snare close mics. I like quite an up-front snare sound, which may be why I differ from Hugh on this one. If I were to add any more mics, I'd add stereo ambience first, and perhaps place the main stereo pair a little closer at the same time. Only then would I really think of adding other spot mics if I really needed the focus on a particular instrument to match the kick and snare. But then I've never been a great fans of toms…

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Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio.


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Teos



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Re: Are two microphones enough for recording drums? [Re: milqy]
      #45357 - 04/11/04 03:53 PM
Yes you can get a good sound from two mics, i've gotten suprisingly good sound from just two Sm58's (very carefully placed mind you ) i run them through my aphex 204 and have had people ask me "how did you do that?!?" because it sounded better than alot drum recordings i've heard. a very open room/ambient sound. very beatles sounding. of course the room makes a huge differance. I'm lucky to have a very good drum room.

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There's only music so that there's new ringtones. -Arctic Monkeys


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