Three Creative Microphone Techniques
With Manny Nieto
Today we’re back with our incredible friend, Manny Nieto at his studio to learn more about creative microphone techniques no matter how many microphones you have got.
Drum engineering is one of the most interesting and creative processes in audio engineering. It’s filled with problem-solving through creativity as different drummers, rooms, styles of playing and the drums themselves have massive implications on the recording.
In this video, Manny dives into three accessible creative drum mic techniques that you can use at home.
The first is a method seen in a lot of The Beatles’ work and this was also shown by our great friend, Clay Blair. [Watch this video to find out more]
A lot of the time, engineers will put cloths on top of the drum skin to get that “Beatles sound” but there is one step further that is often overlooked – putting the microphones under the drums themselves. Record
The next method is the infamous Glynn Johns Method of recording. This is a great technique if you’ve only three microphones and you’re looking to engineer with little issues.
[see also] Eliminate Mic Bleed On Snare Mics
The majority of the drum sound actually comes from the overheads, while the kick and snare close mics can beef up those two pieces of the kit. This is such a great, fairly simple technique if you don’t have a ton of mics at your disposal!
For overheads, you can use ribbon microphones if you’ve got them. The Beyerdynamic M160 works very nicely. If you don’t have ribbons, though, your favorite large-diaphragm condensers work great as well, and can typically be had much more affordably if you don’t have a pair already. For the kick mic you can go for either a dynamic or a condenser. Most of us don’t have a 47, so going for a standard dynamic like the AKG D112 or Shure 52 is no problem. For the snare, you can always count on the SM57 to do the job.
[see also] Learn The Art Of Capturing A Live Band
Many will use a tape measure to measure the distance between the mics but Manny suggests just using 2.5 or 3 drum stick lengths from the centre of your snare.
When it comes to the mix, keep your snare and kick in the center. Pan the first overhead mic far right, and the second overhead all the way left. If everything is set up properly, it should sound fairly well balanced and is ready for your to make some creative tweaks.
The last technique is great for a soft rock style similar to Tom Waits.
Using an Ribbon Mic, Kick Mic and the Bottom Snare, you’re able to blend in a real nice colour to the tone of the drums.
In theory, you could just use two mics – The Overhead and the Kick and still get a great feel from the kit.
All of these are just some of the creative ways to record drums. You’ll get the most out of the practice when you understand the kit, the room and of course, the drummer.
[see also] Learn Manny’s Mixing Trick for a HUGE Kick Sound
Watch the video to learn more about “Three Creative Drum Mic Techniques”!