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Tips on recording live drums on the cheap?
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Default Tips on recording live drums on the cheap? - 02-12-2009, 08:30 PM

Hey guys, my band are going to be playing live soon and I want to be able to record us for a live EP sort of thing, being the most technically minded member I have been assigned recording duty.

Recording guitars and such is easy with the right mic. but Drums are much harder to capture, has anybody got any tips?

Someone told me that putting the microphone inside a pillow or cushion helps dampen some of the crushing volume but I havnt tried it yet.

Thanks


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Default Re: Tips on recording live drums on the cheap? - 02-12-2009, 08:41 PM

cubis would be the best to talk to here but i have heard about people dsoing the pillow thing


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Default Re: Tips on recording live drums on the cheap? - 02-13-2009, 02:46 PM

the biggest problem with live music is bleeding...


how many mics do you have?


a great snare mic is the sm57

you at least need a snare and a kick drum mic, but a pair of mics pointed down over the entire set would be another essential


is the gig this weekend? i wish i could help you out more but I may not be able to post a more extensive guide until sunday or early next week
  
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Default Re: Tips on recording live drums on the cheap? - 02-13-2009, 03:45 PM

a good way to find out if you mic'd correctly is setting up some mics and recording and seeing if the drums are adequately represented, changing them around until they are
  
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Default Re: Tips on recording live drums on the cheap? - 02-13-2009, 03:46 PM

Bleeding will be the main problem. You could try a Tascam DR1 and if you don't like it, send it back for a refund. I've heard some samples from it and thought it does a good job for the price. I'm going to get a pocket recorder for myself, just because they're so useful for many applications.

Another option would be something like the D888 (which can be found for a reasonable price). Just input all the mics in that and record.

Mic placement for the drums:
Use a couple condenser mics above the drum set, angle them just a tad. You'll want the proper mix, so keep the volume down. (you'll want to sample different mic placements -trial and error)
The kick mic: If the bass drum doesn't have a hole in the outside skin, take the back skin off. Place the mic inside the bass drum. You'll probably want to sample a couple different placements for best results. We always used a pillow too.


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Default Re: Tips on recording live drums on the cheap? - 02-13-2009, 09:27 PM

Our next gig is on the 20th, its a friends birthday. but were only playing two/three songs at it, so I'll wait until out next gig which is TBA

Thanks for the info everyone, I'll suggest the purchases to the band


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Default 05-08-2010, 03:09 PM

One of the biggest challenges of recording drums is usually trying to figure out how to record multiple channels, because ideally, you want an audio interface with several different channels so you can mix each individual microphone afterwards in the software of your choice.

If you are limited to just recording four channels, assuming your recording a four-piece drum set, you can put a SM57 on the snare, something like a Beta 52A, D112, or even another SM57 on the kick, then a matched pair of pencil condensors like the Samson CO2's as overheads. In this case, the toms or the hi-hats wouldn't be mic'd but usually the overheads can do a somewhat decent job of capturing them.

Ideally, you want as many as eight channels or more to record a full set of drums: snare, kick, hi-hat, hi tom, mid tom, floor tom, overhead left, overhead right. However, it's quite possible your audio interface wouldn't have that many preamps or inputs unless you have something like a Presonus Firestudio Project interface or something that has 8 individual preamps and channels.

The other options is to run all your mics into the preamps on a mixer and run the output to your interface. The downside of this though is you can't mix the individual drums afterwards since you've mixed it down to a left and right channel out of the mixer.

As for micing the kick, generally you'll want to put one pillow in the drum to eliminate the drum over resonating. Generally, you don't want to bury the microphone in the pillows because you'll just get a really muffled sound. Assuming the head on your kick drum has hole in the front, point the mic a couple inches into the whole. The closer you point the mic to the beater the more smack you'll get. The farther you place the mic away from the drum the more boom you'll get. Sometimes guys will put a mic on the inside of the drums and then a condenser outside of the drum to pick up more of the boom and then mix the two mics together.

SM57's will work great on pretty much any drum if you are on a budget. You probably wouldn't want to use them as overheads but for snare, toms, and even the kick it's a great versatile mic.

Last edited by guitarfriendly; 05-08-2010 at 03:14 PM..
  
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Default 05-08-2010, 03:12 PM

Whoops! I didn't realize I just revived a thread older than a year. Oh well, maybe someone else can benefit from the information. Did you ever get this project figured out?
  
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