How To Record Drums with 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 Microphones with Brian Deck | Reverb Recording Tricks

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Mic’ing up a drum kit can be a challenge. But with the help of producer/engineer Brian Deck, we tackle the challenge and offer some quick tips to getting started.

Recording at home or in your practice space requires reconciling what is usually a small number of inputs on your recording interface, so Brian started by showing a great way to get a punchy, present drum sound with just one microphone—contrary to what you might think, it is possible.

With so many pieces to account for in the kit, adding microphones is a necessity to achieve a full, robust drum sound. As we added more mics to the setup, we always checked the phase relationship between any two microphones, something you’ll need to consider and dealt with to make the best sounding tracks possible.

As always, this is a launching point, a guide to getting started recording drums. Every song and player you work on will require you to approach things differently to serve the song and make it special. Always experiment, never settle for anything less than what your ears perceive is great, and always, always check phase.

How To Record Drums with 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 Microphones with Brian Deck | Reverb Recording Tricks

45 thoughts on “How To Record Drums with 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 Microphones with Brian Deck | Reverb Recording Tricks”

  1. "Check phase, check phase, keep checking phase…" problably the best line Ive heard in a while about recording…its not as informative as it is subtly pointing you at the direction where you could learn more things than you expect…

  2. Having been using drum machines for many years I was recently given the opportunity to work with a real – and very good – drummer. I was travelling quite a way to record in his house, so your video – and your video alone – stood between me and disaster. After consideration I went for the two-mic setup and it worked far better than I could have hoped. The only tip I should have had was to take ear-plugs or in-ear monitors, but then we had no control room and I was four feet from a drum kit at full chat! But thanks Brian – utterly brilliant vid!

  3. The "mono" sound ~3:20 is definitely, 100% not mixed in mono. Listen in headphones. You can hear the hat and floor clearly to the sides. Contrast it with the transition fill afterwards– thats def mono. Sounds great, just saying that isnt mixed in mono.

  4. Could have been a cool video, but left a lot to be desired. Jesus… The same drum pattern over & over. Talking about the floor tom mic, I think he hit it once. That really shows the difference.
    Come on!

  5. Hi sorry I'm new to all this, but how does one listen to the song their playing to? I've got my ipod into a line going into the interface. Garage band is recording it just fine…but can't figure out how to listen to it while playing drums. I'm using a Tascam US16X08 interface. "Phones" has no sound in it" No sound coming from phones while jacked into Imac. What am i doing wrong?

  6. A trick I like using for a single mic set up which I've never heard of anywhere else is having the mic above the kit pointed toward the snare/tom, and having the stand itself resting against the kick drum. I'm talking stand to shell contact, it picks up a lot of really cool Bass frequencies and definition. It also helps to record this in a very drum room with a good mic.

  7. So number 3 is like a modified Recorderman technique. Given that the mics are over the Toms as opposed to over the right shoulder & snare drum. Gonna try that. Toms get a little lost with the Recorderman Rechnique.

  8. The way I mic my drums is, a kick mic, an overhead, and a mic on the floor tom. A little bit of EQ and Compression, and it’s awesome. I do this for both studio, and live gigs. Saves a lot of time.

  9. What is the thought behind placement of the room mic? I'd hate to buy or rent a U87 and then have no clear thoughts on how to place it once I had it. Also for some reason I thought the two mic set up sounded awful in comparison to the others…does anyone agree or strongly disagree with that?

  10. lol my wierd ocd kicked in at the first stereo setup. i don't know why i'm so anal about this and why do i even care, but i would pan the drums according to the listeners point of view, not the drummers. ….maybe 'cuz i'm not a drummer 😀

    anyways, great video !! 🙂

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