Thursday, February 01, 2007

Drum Miking Part 1 - Why?

The topic of drum miking seems to me to be a mystery to so many people. Maybe it's seen as complex or only for professionals but I can tell you it's not as bad as you might think.

The key, is to first know why you're miking drums. Learning how to achieve it and collecting the equipment you need can then follow.

So, why make the loudest instrument (excluding pipe organs) that you're likely to find in a church any louder than it already is?

Well, not just for volume thats for sure! (Unless of course you're working in a large space where that could be your main concern.) So what benefits can you gain from miking drums when you can already hear them?

Well, how about...

  • Rebalancing the kit - no more will that snare dominate your mix again!

  • Achieving that deep tom sound that you've heard on your favourite record of that perfectly compressed snare sound?

  • Being creative with delay or reverb on the kit?

  • Simply making a more balanced recording

Beyond those sorts of things are some much more subltle ideas. For example, a little hihat added in to your mix can make it sound instantly more professional, providing drive to a mix without adding weight.

So that's the start. You have to decide whether you are trying to solve a problem or be creative and develope your mix. Once you know that, you can go to part 2.

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