MUSICRADAR RECOMMENDS (Picture credit score: Future) The ten greatest drum mic kits

The mics deployed and their exact placement in and across the drum package can have an enormous influence upon the ensuing recordings.

So, whereas there aren’t any arduous and quick guidelines, right here we’ll have a look at among the hottest choices for getting fast and simple outcomes.

1. Select the fitting mic: dynamic

(Picture credit score: Future)

First is the dynamic mic, which can usually be used on the snare, bass drum and typically on the toms. A dynamic mic features identical to a speaker, solely in reverse, with the motion of the diaphragm in flip shifting a coil in relation to a magnet, creating {an electrical} sign.

This mic is sweet for selecting up mid-range and is sturdy sufficient to take the occasional miss-hit. Most dynamic mics use a cardioid sample, which suggests they reject sounds coming from behind them whereas additionally boosting bottom-end when positioned near the topic.

2. Select the fitting mic: condenser

The opposite sort of mic that’s ceaselessly used is a condenser mic which, in contrast to the dynamic mic, wants energy despatched to it from the desk or pre-amp. This ‘phantom energy’ is typically accessible on particular person channels of a desk, although it may be despatched globally to all mics with out affecting different dynamic mics.

This energy provides a small amplifier contained in the mic that will increase the sign picked up by the motion of a diaphragm, this time a capacitor. Condenser mics additionally are usually extra delicate than dynamic mics due to the low mass of their shifting elements however normally have built-in pad switches (10 and 20 decibel increments) to allow them to deal with the degrees us drummers are able to delivering.

3. Bass drum miked inside: miking the bass drum from the within has the benefit of isolation, weight and definition

One downside usually encountered when miking the bass drum comes if the drum is fitted with a full entrance head. On this case, inserting a mic in entrance of the drum will work, however it will possibly lack the definition and isolation of inserting a mic contained in the drum (as above).

However, there are a few choices…

Mic positioning

4. Bass drum miked outdoors: utilizing two out-of-phase mics in entrance of the bass drum will seize the ambient sound of the entrance head

Firstly, miking the batter facet of the drum may have extra definition, whereas including a second mic in entrance of the drum ‘out of part’ (extra on this shortly) will seize the ambient sound of the entrance head. Nonetheless, the repay for having the mic outdoors of the drum is extra bleed from the remainder of the package and fewer assault than if it have been positioned inside.

Mic positioning

5. X/Y overhead miking: two mics positioned instantly above the package captures the stereo picture with no phasing issues

There are actually two foremost choices right here, an X/Y (or coincident) pair or a spaced pair. The X/Y configuration entails inserting the 2 overheads instantly above the package with their capsules subsequent to one another. This can be a great way of capturing a stereo picture of the package with no phasing issues, because the sound of the package reaches each mics concurrently.

Mic positioning

6. Spaced pair overhead miking: spreading the overhead mics additional aside captures a wider stereo picture of the package

For a wider stereo picture, spreading the mics aside as a spaced pair is simpler. Nonetheless there’s now a threat of part cancellation – the place the sign from the supply reaches every mic at totally different occasions, thereby cancelling itself out. We are able to examine for part cancellation by taking two channels and utilizing the pan management to sum them to mono. With one fader up as the opposite is mixed in, the sound ought to stay full

with good bottom-end. If out of part, the 2 channels will sound hole when heard collectively. The answer is to both transfer one of many mics till this improves, or reverse the polarity of 1 mic. Within the digital area the waveform might be inverted after it’s recorded for a similar impact.

Mic positioning

7. Snare miking place #1: a snare is miked from the highest, with the mic pointed to the centre

If given one other mic and channel, the subsequent drum we’d need management over can be the snare. The snare would normally be miked just like the toms, from the highest, three fingers away and on the fringe of the drum and pointing on the centre. The three-finger rule may help maintain the mic away from undesirable harmonics from the sting of the pinnacle and hoop, whereas aiming it on the middle helps seize the stick sound at its level of influence.

Transferring the mic away from this level will introduce extra ‘air’ or atmosphere into the sound and shifting it nearer, if utilizing a dynamic mic, will introduce low-end because of what’s referred to as the ‘proximity impact’. This may be helpful to some extent, nevertheless in case you get too shut, the proximity impact will render sound unnatural or unusable.

A dynamic mic is normally the mic of alternative right here and, surprisingly, the comparatively low-cost Shure SM57 wins over dearer alternate options because of its capacity to seize the mid-range and deal with the excessive SPLs (sound stress ranges) a loud ‘two and 4’ backbeat is able to delivering. With regards to miking the snare, in case you are taking part in a cross-stick half, in addition to turning the stick round to play with the butt finish, pointing the mic on the level the place the stick hits the rim may help seize a stronger sound.

Mic positioning

8. Tom miking: you will get a extra outlined tom sound by bringing the mics decrease

With a four-mic set-up, neither of our overhead choices, though giving a pure illustration of the package and clear cymbal sound, will give a lot definition from the toms. So one closing overhead choice is to carry the mics down low. This strategy is simpler on smaller set-ups equivalent to four- or five-piece kits which, with a mic

trying on the package between the hi-hats and first tom and one other trying over flooring tom in direction of the trip cymbal, each set equidistant from the snare and bass drum, will give a fuller sound than with the mics above the package.

Within the case of the toms, you may additionally hear their sympathetic overtones ringing away as different drums are hit. When miking the toms, the alternatives are different – the most well-liked being dynamic mics or small condensers. Nonetheless, relying upon the finances, giant diaphragm condensers can typically be used.

Mic positioning

9. Hello-hat miking: hi-hats ought to be miked utilizing a small condenser mic positioned 2″-3″ away

If now we have channels left, the subsequent a part of the package we’d mic would in all probability be the hi-hats. These would normally be miked utilizing a small condenser mic from above, 2″-3″ away and typically pointing away from the package. The proximity impact needs to be considered right here – get too near the cymbals and they’re going to tackle a gong-like high quality. This may be EQed out however is greatest averted. One other factor to keep away from is inserting the mic in order that it faces the purpose the place the air escapes from the hi-hats (additionally a superb motive to not have a fan pointing proper on the package on sizzling gigs).

Mic positioning

10. Snare miking place #2: A second mic under the snare will seize the sizzle of snare wires

Some individuals prefer to additionally mic the underside of the snare. This could work nicely when blended in with the highest snare mic, because it helps to seize among the sizzle and pop of the snare wires. To do that, one of many mics ought to have its part reversed.

Mic positioning

11. Room miking behind the package: the four-mic set-up

If recording in a nice-sounding room and you’ve got the posh of spare mics and channels, placing up room mics can present some helpful pure atmosphere, which might actually carry the sound of the package to life when dialled into the combination.

Mic positioning

12. Room miking entrance: a big condenser mic in entrance of your package is a logical place to begin

If you’re recording in a smaller, not so good sounding room, a single ambient or room mic set a number of toes away from the package may also be used to create synthetic atmosphere utilizing reverb, however extra of that later.

Mic positioning

13. Strive a sub mic for the bass drum

One extra mic that may make an infinite distinction to the drum’s sound is a sub mic for the bass drum, and though there are prepared made merchandise on the market for this function such because the Yamaha sub-kick, a driver from an NS10 speaker (although any mediumsized speaker ought to work), will obtain a really comparable impact for lots much less cash.

Mounted on some type of stand and with a microphone cable related with no floor and plugged into a daily channel with the part reversed (merely re solder the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ the opposite means round if you cannot ‘flip’ the part in your desk), this speaker will work as an enormous dynamic mic and add severe low finish to your bass drum sound.