My Best Advice For Recording Drums
Today I want to share an excerpt from my e-book ‘Drum Recording Made Easy’, which is one of three e-books about recording and mixing drums that are available here on my website. I want to share what I would argue is the number one most important thing for getting great results when recording and mixing drums: HAVING A VISION FOR YOUR SOUND.
Here's the excerpt from ‘Drum Recording Made Easy’. Hope you enjoy!
"Throughout every step of the recording and mixing process, one of the most important things you need in order to achieve great results is a vision for your sound. What type of drum sound are you going for? Something genre-specific? Something rich? Something dry? Something experimental, or something modern and all-around?
There are SO many variables throughout the entire process of recording and mixing drums - the drums, the tuning, the mics, the room, the microphone setup, how you play, and later when mixing you have essentially infinite options of plug-ins and settings. In order to navigate that jungle and not end up with a mismatch of different approaches all in one, you need a clear path and a vision to follow. At every step of the recording and mixing process, you should be asking yourself this: "Is what I'm doing right now getting me closer to the sound I want?". If the answer is no, or even just maybe, then rethink your decision and get it right.
Here are just a few examples of when having a vision for your sound will help you make the right decisions, in order to to ensure the best possible results:
- When tuning. Tight and snappy or low and fat snare? Wide open or dampened toms? Clicky or boomy kick?
- When choosing a mic setup. Want a vintage vibe with fewer mics? Or a modern sound with a mic on every drum?
- When positioning the microphones. Should you set your overheads higher up for a roomier sound? Or closer to the cymbals for a brighter and cleaner sound? Should your bass drum mic be inside the kick for more attack, or outside for more low end resonance?
At every stage of the recording process, all the way from setting up your kit to sitting down and recording the drum parts, you NEED to have a vision for the end result. Once you learn to always approach things this way, it's just a matter of practicing by doing it over and over, until you're really good at nailing your desired sound, every time."
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt!
If you want to learn everything you need to know about recording drums, mixing drums, or just getting started with the right gear, make sure to pick up my e-books available here.
All the best,
- Siros Vaziri