Recording Drums – What Method Are You?

When it comes to recording, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and without experimentation we wouldn’t have any of the amazingly crazy recording techniques we use today. But when it comes to recording drums, there are a few staple methods that everyone heads towards. In this post, we are going to pull up two popular techniques and explain them to you.

Close Mics

drummer playing

The method of closely-placed microphones on a drum kit does make perfect sense, as it allows the producer to have total control over every single piece of the drum kit.

To achieve this method, it’s very self explanatory. A suitable microphone is placed on each drum with a pair of stereo over heads to capture the cymbals. To achieve even more control, each cymbal could be mic’d up to capture them individually.

Directional microphones, such as the Shure SM57, are great for this situation because of their directional qualities and ability to stand high decibel levels.

Often, a room microphone is used to capture some ambience to add to the mix.

Glyn Johns Method

All drummers know and love that big John Bonham sound, the loud and punchy drums especially featured on the track ‘Fool in the Rain, and can you believe that his drums were mostly captured using only three microphones? The technique was pioneered by Glyn Johns himself; hence the name.

The three microphones are placed as follows. One microphone positioned facing down, 40 inches above the centre of the snare drum. The second is placed 40 inches away from the centre of the snare drum again, but about a foot above the floor tom. The third is then placed in front of the bass drum so that can also be heard in the mix.

Obviously, the quality of the drums, as well as tone and how good the drummer actually is, is much more important when using this method.

So, if you are looking for a recording studio in London to sort out your drum recordings, head over to Soho Sonic and we will be able to help you produce a masterpiece. Whether you’re John Bonham or an animal behind the kit, we will make you sound great. Contact us on 02071 934467 to get booked in with us.