A couple recording questions...

Hey guys… my band recently lost our ability to use a members Dad’s studio… (kinda sucks). Anyway, we’ve just started recording in the church where we practice as there’s lots of really good equipment there anyway. I just have a few questions for us, and for me as I plan on going into this business.

Rceording Drums…

As a drummer, I feel it would be good to know this, and it’s good knowledge. We are using just normal singing mics for this… two overheads in and XY pattern… and a mic for the kick. It sounds really good for what we’re working with… but the snare is kind of quiet. We can put another mic at the snare, but i’m worried about the phasing (i’m not entirely sure what it is, but I have an alright idea), and I don’t know how to stop that.

Recording Vocals/Bass/Guitar…

All the instruments have some white noise in the back, and I found myself using Noise Removal for an hour last night… any suggestions on that?

Also, if you guys could just offer some tips on the recording of the different instruments, mics to use for vocals and drums and all that… I plan on setting up a little stupid type thing in my basement for the band in the future, and just learning how to do it all.


A noise gate plug-in, ( like Steve’s ), can squelch background hiss to proper silence during times when there is no input,
i.e. it won’t remove hiss from a vocal or instrument, but it can totally silence any hiss on that track when it should be silent.

When you are mixing several tracks the background hiss can increase with each additional track unless you use a noise gate on each track to make “silent” sections properly flat-line silent.

One of the classic ways to mic up a drum kit for an “acoustic” sound is to use just three mics. A pair of overheads (as a spaced pair) and one on the kick drum. Experiment with the positioning of the overheads and have them point toward the snare so as to get a little extra from the snare. The distance from each overhead to the snare should be the same.

If you still don’t get enough snare, add a mic really close to the top skin, toward the edge of the skin away from the drummer and a bit to the right (assuming that the high-hat is on the left and that you don’t want extra high hat in the mix.

Small diaphragm condensers with a cardioid (semi-directional) pick-up pattern are often chosen for use as the overheads.
Close mic’ing the kick and snare both require microphones that can handle extremely high sound pressure levels (SPL) and are usually dynamic microphones. Specialist kick drum mics are often preferred for the kick drum as they can handle both the bass and the extreme level without overloading the microphone pre-amp.
This is an example of an inexpensive kick drum mic: http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_bd300.htm
This is another (rather more expensive) favourite: http://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_d112_mikrofon.htm