Mono Drums with 2 Microphones.
2 overheads, kick in and out, snare top and bottom, a few tom and room mic's and your ready to go right?
Well in some situations that works fine, but for a lot of music that is being produced nowadays you might consider a different approach to recording drums.
Im working with a great singer-songwriter at the moment and like a lot of music in that genre, it's really based around acoustic guitar and vocals, those two things should steal the show and be front and centre in the mix. So we double tracked the guitars, panned left and right, to get a nice stereo spread and they really drive the whole song. Anything else really needs to be supporting them, not taking over. Because of this we decided the drum sound need to be mono and based it around 2 mics in a set up that worked a treat.
I used a Neumann km84 (above) pointing directly over the snare and a AKG D12 over the kick pointing at the snare (below). But any SDC and dynamic with good low end extension will do the trick, a beyer M88 is also great for that application.
These two microphones together captured the entire kit sound. The D12 is used just like a close mic for both kick and snare together and you can boost the low end from 50-70hz to add some more weight to the kick if needed.
Depending on th drum pattern you can add some tom mic's if you need them or a kick out mic as well but those two mic's really cover all the bases and sit the drums in just the right space.
So before you go reaching for you classic drum mic setup, think about how you want your drums to function in the mix first and this mono set up might just do the trick in a lot of applications. You have next to no phase issue using so few mic's, its very quick to set up and so much room in the rest of your mix for other elements to shine. So give it a go.
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