Currently I have been recording drums on a Yamaha DD-65 and it plugs into my Line 6 Toneport and then I record through reaper. Piece of cake really...

But I am going to buy an acoustic kit soon and I have no idea how I am going to do this...

Im thinking about getting this


Would 7 mics be over kill though? Or would I be fine with just 1 kick mic, 1 snare, maybe 1 or 2 tom mics and an overhead for the cymbals?

This leads me to the next question, how the heck do I hook it all up? My tone port only has a single 1/4 input. DO all of those mics require phantom power? Are they all XLR? What do I need to plug them into?

After figuring out what to plug them into, how do I get it onto my computer and into reaper?

it would save you a whole lot of time and money to keep recording your drums how you are.

here's a few options for recording drums if you chose to go acoustic. all of them will require a bigger interface (which will supply all the phantom power you'll need)

1. probably the cheapest. 1 (or 2) overheads, and a kick and maybe snare mic. this obviously wont be the greatest sound, but if you dont have much to spend and just HAVE to have acoustic drums, it's doable.

2. mic the kick, snare, hi hat, and 2 overheads. you're already up to 5 mics. 6 if you're micing the bottom of the snare too.

3. mic every drum, 2 overheads, and a hi hat mic (and maybe ride). this will probably get you the best sound(#4 will if you have a good sounding room). it will require (with a 3 tom kit) a minimum of 8 mics. however, people often use a ride mic and double mic the snare and kick putting you up to 11 mics.

4. just like #3 but if you have a good sounding room, you also put up 2 room mics to get a more natural feel.

7 mics would never be overkill. that is, if they are the right mics. 7 sm57s is overkill since you can only effectively use those on a few pieces.

overheads would probably be best with small diaphragm condensers, but i've seen them done with large ones too.
sm57s are good snare mics, but small d condensers work well too, depending on the tone you want and the drum. using both is another option.
there are mics made specifically for kicks (you'd want to use one). they're about the only ones that pick up enough low end to sound decent
hi and ride would use small d condensers
toms could use dynamics or large d condensers.
room mics would be any decent condenser.

as far as phantom power goes, only condensers require it. dynamics and line inputs dont even see it if it's turned on. and yes, they'll all be XLR.

miking a drum kit is never cheap, even if you're going with #1 or less. you would need to upgrade your interface, and purchase a few mics, stands, and cables.

as far as those kits go, it will be the cheapest way to get everything all miced up. however, seeing as how just about every real good quality drum mic costs about that much or more on their own, you cant expect an amazing sound. it would get you by though, until you wanted to upgrade.

let us know what your thoughts are and we'll recommend a few mics.
I think I'd rather just go with the 7 mic kit then get a whole bunch of seperate mics. It has good reviews and its cheap, i can accept the fact that it wont be the best, so long as it does what it needs to

So what interface do I need?
Id reccomend going for a simpler set up rather than a full 7 mic outfit as it may actually benefit your sound to have less variables in the mix and youll avoid things like phasing a lot easier.

Personally I would go for :

An SM57 on the snare, your standard kick drum mic, I use an AKG D112 and two Rode NT 5s for a stereo image on the overheads (give it a bit more life) and maybe a room mic to capture the natural reverb of the room - if youre room sounds good.

That should get you some pretty decent sounds without destroying your bank balance but seeing that youve already got that drum machine - Do you know about MIDI recording?

Finding some decent samples on the internet and tweaking them through EQ could be a much easier option and still get some brilliant results.
I do have FireWire inputs. I've thought about using midi, but at the same I still want an acoustic kit and if I can do a farely cheap recording setup for it that would be great. There's just so much more that you can do with an acoustic kit
mics and an interface to support 8 tracks at once won't be that cheap (or maybe you got a wicked job and cheap isn't too bad for you xD)

also, if you're not very experienced in miking stuff and just want to get some songs done, be prepared for a month or so of torturing yourself with perfect setups and mixing.

if you can muck thru it tho it'll be quite rewarding and sound better (perhaps..) than most DI or MIDI methods.

anyway.. i'll loosely list off some economic gear..

used cheapo drum kit - $300-$500
mics for drums (maybe 5 or 6 different ones at 80$ each) - $480
Cables for the mics - $10-$20 each
stands for mics - $20-$40 each
an 8 xlr input firewire interface - $400 -$600

subtracting anything you might already have and perhaps any gear your buds will bring or lend you, you're lookin at $1700 to start? it gets astronomically higher if you're buying nicer kits obviously..

i didn't calculate shipping, taxes, or other "spiffs" you might want either.. also these are just loose street prices local to my own area.. you might have better luck with pricing.

i would honestly consider getting a 1 input midi interface (20-40$) and spend $199 on addictive drums or something similar since you already have a yamaha drum module.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
Last edited by Kivarenn82 at Sep 17, 2009,

man I really want to mic the kit, which I am definately getting.

Would I be able to capture the drums well with maybe 4 mics? 2 overhead, 1 snare and the kick?

How much are 4 input interfaces?

Would this work?


Id be down for that...that and then $200 for the mics :/
Last edited by bboyjon at Sep 17, 2009,
Quote by bboyjon

man I really want to mic the kit, which I am definately getting.

Would I be able to capture the drums well with maybe 4 mics? 2 overhead, 1 snare and the kick?

How much are 4 input interfaces?

its been done. i really only quoted a standard mic setup for a 5 piece kit with added brass..

musicians friend (or any other website that you can order from locally) will have listings for any gear you need to research.

There's no real wrong way to do this, the smaller your setup, the more you will need to experiment with what will sound good to you. the music i do is mainly metal so for myself its important to have a drum sound where each piece of the kit is EQ'd and mic'd perfectly. but perhaps for other genres of music, you can be happy with a simpler, more natural setup.

But then again, I'm using an electric kit for my own projects too, and have recently started fiddling with midi and Drum VSTi's with great success. (and ease!)

phew.. sorry for big walls of text, but a setup that you want, you'd probably be looking at maybe $500 less than the first quote. so it'd still be pretty high up there, in the end it'll all come down to what you want and if it'll be a set up that can expand easily and you won't outgrow when time comes to expand your setup later on. (for instance needing to upgrade to an 8 XLR interface from a 4 XLR interface after buying more mics)
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
hm! i should add, that those CAD setups while cheap, are also really not that bad either. i used to work at a place that rented them out on a regular basis and people were usually quite happy with the results. its a tough call if they'll last as long as the other suggestions (shure, AKG, etc..) and in the long run.. when you get better at miking your kit, you might feel silly having to upgrade from your CADS to the "standards"

that particular audio interface looks like it should do the trick. but a point of concern is some of the reviews its getting on the site itself (check the reviews tab). also please be sure that your computer meets the minimum specs!
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
If your new to recording, 7 mics on a kit is insanity.
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On the alesis interface and on the presonus ones that I have looked at, they have 2 firewire outputs, do both of those need to be plugged into the computer? or is there just 2 outputs for connecting to 2 different things?

I am very new to mic recording. I have been recording guitar, bass, and my edrums only via my Line 6 toneport. Should I just try 4 mics? 1 kick, snare and 2 overheads? What are some good 4 input interfaces?

Edit: also, is it necessary to port the kick drum head? Or can I just place a mic infront of it?
Last edited by bboyjon at Sep 17, 2009,
I'm not sure about interfaces (i'm no good with technology), but I think you should spend your money on good kick snare and overhead mics, tune your kit up to perfection, choose a nice room and spend time on mic placement. Unless your toms are a main feature in the song they are only going to be hit in the odd fill and if they are not coming through too well in the overheads you can always sample each one a few times at different levels using your snare mic (sm57) and add them in manually later.