It really depends on how the drums were recorded in the first
place. and what sound you are going for.
One method is to use the overheads to
give the main body of the sound, and then fade in the kick, snare etc mics to support your
So working that way i would start by listening to the overheads,
panning each mic L or R, EQ as needed, maybe some compression.
then i think,
'what is missing?'
maybe the kick needs beefing, bring in a bit of kick mic,
again eq, compression, and possibly a gate.
maybe the snare needs a bit more
snap? bring in the snare mic, eq to make it 'snap', compress, gate etc.
there are no rules to it, and the actual settings for eq, compression etc will vary on
what the room you recorded in sounds like, what mics you use, how the kit was
its all just adjustments by ear, which can be frustrating and
long winded at first but the more you do it, the quicker you'll get at dialling in the
actually, i'll go one step back and say that the best way to mix drums
is to record them well in the first place!
If you get a good sounding room,
well placed mics and a drummer who can balance their own playing then you'll have to do a
lot less mixing to make them sound good!
But back to mixing....
basic knowledge of EQ and compressors/gates will help a lot,
combine that with
trail and error, small adjustments here and there, so you can see how changing one mics
sound can affect the whole drum sound.
And i've found a HPF to be my best
friend for mixing drums (you can get rid of a lot of spill from the kick on the other
Hope that hasn't confused you too much!