#1
Hey guys, so a friend asked me to hold onto a couple of mics and other things for him while he moves out and so I decided to try and see if I could somehow mic the drum set in my room with decent quality.

Although there were about 5 mics total, 3 dynamics and 1 condenser, and 1 kick drum mic, I could only use two at the same time cause I only had two stands and two mic cables. So, I simply mic'ed the kick drum and placed a single overhead mic about 1 and a half feet above the middle of the drum set. It was my first time doing this sort of thing so I was just doing a whole bunch of test runs and what not. You can see the set up pictured here:

So I recorded it and wanted to know whether you guys think these drums are workable for at least demo quality music recordings that me and my band could do if we ever feel like it. The uploaded file is just me testing out how they sound with random drum beats and then later I put a quick piano part. I know it's super sloppy but right now I'm just focusing on the raw sound and whether or not is workable or if this bare minimum approach is simply to bare haha. Nothing was done to the tracks. I simply recorded, exported, and uploaded.

Anyways, here's how it sounds. Please let me know if it's at least decent quality.
http://soundcloud.com/mr-potato-1/drum-mic-test-bass-and
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#2
Snare is too distant for such a sparse arangement, could do with a spot mic to add some snappiness and crack to it; kick sounds like you were playing 'half-arsed' (i.e too timid to hit it properly, or not allowed to because of neighbours etc.) so kick is a bit flabby and weak but for two mics on a kit it isn't bad so to speak.

BUT

This doesn't belong in this forum, and if I wasn't in such a cheerful mood for a change, I wouldn't have even given it a listen before writing this. Please try and post in the correct forum sections - as far as how a mix sounds, there's even a thread at the top of this forum section, which quite clearly says 'The ONLY "crit my mix" thread'!
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#3
Well, I'm not really a drummer to begin with haha. The drum set belongs to my band mate while he lives in an apartment and I just mess around with it from time to time. I put this on the recording forum cause it was basically just about how the drums sounded with just the two mics and not about how well in the mix they are.

Anyways, is a spot mic like a special snare mic or something? I do agree with the snare sounding a bit off but not much I can do about it. Also, is the kick drum decent quality? Aside from how weak my own kicking did, was the quality of the kick a good sound? Since no processing whatsoever occurred and it's just the raw recording, do you think the kick is decent enough?
Current/Main Gear
'06 MIA Fender Stratocaster
'97 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Lim. Ed.
'90s Peavey Classic 30
H&K Tubemeister 18
MXR 404 CAE Crybaby
Ibanez TS9
Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
Digitech Hardwire DL-8
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
#4
Quote by EncoreBlade
Well, I'm not really a drummer to begin with haha. The drum set belongs to my band mate while he lives in an apartment and I just mess around with it from time to time. I put this on the recording forum cause it was basically just about how the drums sounded with just the two mics and not about how well in the mix they are.

Anyways, is a spot mic like a special snare mic or something? I do agree with the snare sounding a bit off but not much I can do about it. Also, is the kick drum decent quality? Aside from how weak my own kicking did, was the quality of the kick a good sound? Since no processing whatsoever occurred and it's just the raw recording, do you think the kick is decent enough?

A spot mic is simply any mic (not a specific type, though on drums they tend to be dynamic mics as they can typically handle the highest SPL's without suffering any damage) that is used close-up (also known as close-miking) on an instrument to help bring it out in the mix, or to give more control over the volume and tone of a particular element.

In a typical rock or metal song, the kit is usually given a spot mic for every 'skin' (read: drum) so there will usually be the two overheads (it's rare to have mono OH's these days) and then a mic on kick, one on snare, three on toms (on a five piece kit), and then occasionally a room mic depending on the engineer's preferences. The kick, snare and tom mics are all 'spot mics'.

Sometimes there may be additional mics - I often add a 'snare bottom' mic, so I have the sound of the impact on the top snare mic, and the mic underneath the snare captures more of the rattle of the snares on the snare drum giving me control over how much 'crack' the snare has to it.

The big advantage in using spot mics, other than having more control over volume of the individual drums, is that you can mix and process each drum differently, which can't be done with just OH's.

Other than that, in metal it is becoming more and more common to mic the cymbals with spot mics too, so you can really emphasise the hits and the spatial awareness in the stereo field.


Edit: As for the kick - yeah, it's probably better than my first attempt to record a drum kit anyway (a computer mic on a stool placed in front of the kit at snare height way back in middle years of school!). Like I said though, in a more complicated mix (more instruments etc.) I think you'd get away with the sound of the kit more than in something with just drums and piano, but it's not a horrid sound... just doesn't sound as clean or polished as a commercial mix. Some of that is down to the miking, and the rest is mainly down to performance and the absence of post-production (compression, surgical EQ and reverb etc.)
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Feb 27, 2012,
#5
Yeah, a close mic on the snare, something like an SM57, would sound much better. You want to be able to control everything you can, especially the snare. I'd also give it some compression to give it more body and less of that "psssh" sound. Maybe also use a bit of transient design, something like Dominion, to emphasize the body of the snare. That'll get through the mix a lot better.

But really, this sounds GREAT to me. Fantastic recording, especially for a first time.
#6
Cool thanks for the feedback and advice guys! If you've got more please PM me or post it here.
Current/Main Gear
'06 MIA Fender Stratocaster
'97 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Lim. Ed.
'90s Peavey Classic 30
H&K Tubemeister 18
MXR 404 CAE Crybaby
Ibanez TS9
Ernie Ball Jr. Volume
Digitech Hardwire DL-8
TC Electronic Nova Repeater