#1
I really want to start recording drums but I haven't the slightest idea where to begin.


Any recommended interfaces?

Mics?

I'm looking to spend around 400-500 for this so used is fine with me.
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#2
You could buy a shitload of small mics for every piece of the kit you have, or just place 1 mic in a "sweet" spot where it would sound good on it's own.
#3
Depends on quality.

Cheap way
-Throw a mic near the set and hope you get a good sound

Better way (Really the only other way)
-Buy at least two track audio interface buy a mixer that can house enough tracks for the mics that you'll need, I'd say at LEAST 4 tracks (two over heads, drum and snare.) The mics go to the mixer then the mixer will have a stereo out that you can plug into the audio interface which will lead to a computer.
#4
Cheapest way to get enough inputs, that will allow you to actually mix each mic in your DAW, is going to be with a used Presonus Firepod, which can be found for ~$200. You'll need firewire on your computer to use it, but assuming you're using a desktop PC, you can pickup a firewire PCI card for ~$20, which isn't too shabby.

For mics, if you want high quality close-miced sounds, you'll need one for every drum (it's possible to use 1 for 2 toms that are close together, though), plus 2 overheads - This is going to be very expensive, unless you're using cheapo mics. However, depending on the music and your micing technique, you can get away with as little as 3 mics (2 overheads, 1 kick mic). If it's just for demos, you could probably even get away with 2 overheads using the Recorderman Technique. Drum mics are pretty expensive for quality pieces (especially overheads), and on that budget, I wouldn't expect anything professional, unless your mixing skills are very good.

If you own a drum program such as SSD, Superior 2.0, Addictive Drums, BFD, etc. you could buy a set of triggers for your drums, which will allow you to get very high quality sounds, at a fraction of the cost. You'll still need overhead mics for this, but you can save a lot of money by buying a set of Drumdial triggers for $80, plugging them directly into your interface and then converting their audio signal to MIDI with KTDrumTrigger to use on your drum program.

Alternatively, you could use something like DrumReaplacer or ReaSamplOmatic5000, which are free inside Reaper, to replace the audio "click" from the trigger with a sample you found on the internet (which would be free, so you don't need a drum program). Or, if you have 1 or 2 good mics, you could actually sample all the drums on your kit yourself, and use your samples the same way, this way you have the actual sound of your own drums on the recording.


If you're not concerned with super high quality (which you shouldn't be at that price range), but still want a decent sound, these are supposedly very good for the price:

http://www.12gaugemicrophones.com/green12.html


Using the things I listed, with the cheapest options, here's a quick breakdown:

Presonus Firepod - $200
PCI Firewire Card - $20
Drumdial Triggers w/ guards & cables - $80
(2) Green12 mics - $90
(2) Mic cables - $40
___________________
Total: $435, give or take a little for shipping and depending on used prices.

You could go for the Red12 mics instead and save $20, as well, but the Green12s are supposedly better. You could also go with a pair of Behringer C2s for $60, which are pretty decent overheads for the price, and will bring your total to just around $400.
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Last edited by MatrixClaw at Sep 18, 2011,