Forget about overhead mics on drums! The cymbals make enough racket as it is, just mic the room with a pair of large diaphragm condensers placed on either side of the kit near the front of the kit. Put them up as high as you can go and point the back of the mic toward the drummers head. This technique only works if you actually have ceiling height to work with. If you’re in a basement . . . move out!
Place a PZM on a 2x4-foot piece of 5 gauge steel and place at a 45 degree angle, about three feet away from a seated hand percussion player. Combine this mic with a close mic for an interesting definition mic. The player will enjoy the slap back and it gives you extra depth perception on the instrument.
Buy ANY $100 mic you see. It can’t be any worse than a SM57 and a SM57 is pretty damn good most of the time. You will eventually find at least a single application for that cheap mic and then you will start developing an esoteric mic cabinet and a sound that’s all your own.
Re-amping DI keyboards will do wonders for your keyboard sound. After recording, play the track back through an amp and mic it. Combine this source with your DI to add more depth. If an amp is not available just play the track back through your monitor speakers and mic that! Play with distance too. Try the mic in the mix position or in the middle of the control room.
Ever wonder how to get a killer tabla sound? Place a SM57 (yep!) in between the two drums with the diaphragm pointing down toward the floor but sitting at the midway point between the drum and the floor.
Don’t put the vocalist’s mic in their face! The Q of the human voice is amazingly wide, put it up and away about a foot at a 45 degree angle to the head and record natural sounding vocals that sit sonically in with the music you’re recording. You’re basically miking the third eye. Tell them what you’re doing though because they will tend to lift their head toward the mic. We’re not interested in getting them to sing like Lemmy, we’re just trying to naturalize the vocal sound and avoid using a pop filter.
Any speaker can be a microphone. Just connect alligator clips to the terminals, and then to an opened 1/4" plug straight into a DI. Voila! The ultimate low end kick drum mic (or interesting vocal texture).