We started with recording drums as we wanted to get the timing of the track perfect. This makes it easier for our other musicians to play/sing in time at a later stage.
The microphones we used were:
- Kick Drum – Neumann U87, AKG D112, Orpheus
- Snare Top – SM57
- Snare Bottom – SM57
- Rack Tom – Sennheiser 421
- Floor Tom – Sennheiser 421
- Snare Side Over head (Right)- AKG C414
- Floor Tom Overhead (Left) – AKG C414
- Ambient Drums – AKG C480B
- Tambourine – U87
We tried many techniques to get a clean kick drum sound; changing the distance between the kick and the microphones, moving them left and right and changing the polar pattern. We decided on the set up as shown below.
The kick tracks played together give a bright, but heavy sound. This is because the AKG D112 created a dull bassy sound, whereas the U87 and Orpheus picked up higher frequencies, they were also placed further away from the kick so they have more space.
We used the Glyn Johns Drum Recording method for the overhead microphones. We were both really pleased with the overhead tracks as they capture a clear hi hat and cymbal sound, as well as a more ambient sound of the room. We included an ambient microphone to add some natural reverberation to out drums.
Overall, I think recording the drums went well as we created an appropriate tone to start off our recording and we tested out many microphones before making our final decisions.
Improvements for next time: Use masking tape on the desk for labelling, experiment with microphone placement more.