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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Sacramento, CA

    Recording A Drumset?

    I have recorded a few drum kits and I continue to have the same issue occur. When I place a microphone to record the snare, the crash cymbal over powers the snare mic. Even when I turn down the snare mic at the mixer, all that happens is that the snare is too low. I',m using an Audio Tech Cardioid Dynamic mic. In fact in some cases the crash cymbal over powers every mic that I have placed on the drum kit, even the kick drum mic. Is there a solution for this issue, besides telling the drummer to lose the crash cymbal?

  2. #2
    You really need to use an Unidirectional microphone so that it will only pick up the cymbol

  3. #3
    What mics are you using?
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs) Chat at:
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  4. #4
    Use a combination of techniques.

    1. Distance is magic. Put each mic close to the drum it's supposed to be picking up. Every time you halve the distance you gain 6dB drum-to-cymbal ratio. This should be especially effective on the kick drum, which is a long way from the cymbal. Many people put the mike inside the kick drum.

    2. Put each mic as far away from the cymbal as you can while still picking up the drum.

    3. Use directional mics, the more directional the better.

    4. Once you've got directional mics, do a close-up "testing, testing" while turning the mic around - or take a look at the published specs. Find out what the off-axis angle is where the mic is most dead. This is an extremely important thing for a sound tech to know about the mics he/she's using, and few bother to find out. It's part of the "bag of tricks" that separates an ace from an amateur.

    5. Aim the mic so this maximum-deadness angle is toward the cymbal. Note that this means you do not necessarily aim the mic to pick up the most sound from the drum - you aim it to pick up the least sound from the cymbal. The mic's acceptance arc is comfortably broad, but its rejection arc is very narrow.

    In extreme cases, it's worth trying bi-directional (figure 8) mics. Their angle of maximum deadness is 90 degrees off axis, and can be as much as 50 dB down.

    If all else fails, consider miking the drums from below.


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