Tracking Drums

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Besides getting good sounds from the drums themselves, there are many technical things to take into account, such as mic and preamp choices, mic placement, room sound, dynamics processing, and so forth. Whether you use one, two, or a dozen mics to record a kit, you need to know the basics, and EM is here to help.

These four EM archive articles not only address the basics behind drum recording, but venture into some esoteric territories as well. No matter what kind of music you make, you will find these articles useful.

Capturing the Kit: Recording Drum Kits
A simple and practical approach to drum recording.
Jul 01, 2004, Electronic Musician, BY Brian Knave
Recording the drum kit can be a major challenge due to the kit's myriad sounds and wide dynamic range. To help make the recording process more manageable, we break it down into four component parts-the drummer, the drums, the recording room, and the recording gear-and present practical advice for getting the most from each.

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How to Record a Kick Drum
Tips and techniques for recording a wide variety of bass drums.
Jul 01, 2002, Electronic Musician, By Richard Alan Salz
A tutorial on how to record a kick drum, and how to get the best sound depending on the recording space, drum, heads, tuning, muffling, mics, preamps, and recording medium.

Underground Drum Sounds
Left-field ideas for recording drums.
Jul 01, 2001, Electronic Musician, By Myles Boisen
Myles Boisen discusses the techniques used by creative engineers to get unusual and extreme sounds on legendary underground recordings.

The Old Two and Four
How to re-create six classic snare drum sounds.
Aug 01, 2003, Electronic Musician, By Richard Alan Salz
This article examines some well-known snare-drum backbeats, detailing not only key ingredients that went into making them-particular drums, tunings, playing styles, miking, and processing-but also showing how you can get comparable results in your own personal studio. The point is to expand your bag of tricks, hopefully inspiring you to go the extra mile in your quest to create the perfect snare sound for a given production.