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Old 02-09-2012, 04:29 AM
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Drummertist Drummertist is offline
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Default Record a drumset with 1 mic?

I play live accoustically (so I neither need nor can afford a bunch of mics) but want to be able to record my playing so I can ask for pointers from you guys. Is it even possible to record a whole drumset with ONE mic? What would you buy?
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: Record a drumset with 1 mic?

For that purpose I would seriously consider a Zoom H4n recorder. It will give you nice stereo recordings in mp3 or WAV format and its on-board microphones are surprisingly good.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Record a drum set with 1 mic?

I was just experimenting with this, this evening. I wanted to hear what my Ludwig Classic Maple kit sounded like in my studio with with minimal microphones, more or less as if someone was standing in the room with me just listening to the kit. I started with just an overhead and a bass drum reso microphone. I used a Neumann TLM 170 on cardioid and then hypercardioid, placed on a boom looking down at my snare drum at a height of about 4 1/2 feet above the snare drum with just a little tilt towards my rack tom. The 20" bass drum's microphone was an Electro Voice RE20 placed near the edge of the hoop, seeing the entire surface of the head. It was about 4 or 5 inches at it's closest distance from the head. The head had no port, but did have a 3" felt strip on the resonant side.

After all this, I decided to get rid of the bass drum's microphone and use a single condenser. I experimented with the Neumann TLM 170, a Neumann TLM 102, an Audio Technica 4033 and last but not least, an AKG 414 ULS. I positioned one microphone at a time 5 feet in front of the kit and about 6 1/2 feet in the air.With the way the acoustics are in that part of the room, this gave me a fairly decent mix of the entire kit, although I would have liked to hear more of the hi hats and the cross sticking. The best one mic show of the evening was with the Neumann TLM 170 and the AKG 414 ULS, both with their hyper-cardioid pick-up pattern, although cardioid also worked fine but not quite as much "in your face" type of ambience.

The microphones I used probably won't be of much help to you, but maybe their placements will. When using a minimal amount of microphones, the room's acoustics play a vital roll as does the placement of the microphone. When mixing with just one microphone, if a certain part of the kit is too loud or too soft, the only way to correct for this is by moving the microphone. This system works pretty well as long as you have the patients to experiment for the best results.

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Old 02-10-2012, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Record a drumset with 1 mic?

Originally Posted by Drummertist View Post
I play live accoustically (so I neither need nor can afford a bunch of mics) but want to be able to record my playing so I can ask for pointers from you guys. Is it even possible to record a whole drumset with ONE mic? What would you buy?
probably a usb condenser mic
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:34 AM
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JesusMySavior JesusMySavior is offline
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Default Re: Record a drumset with 1 mic?

I have done this before with passable results.

I have a CAD vocal condenser microphone, one that is durable and shock resistant, but I'm sure any other large diaphragm condenser will work.

You stick the microphone about 6 inches away, usually to the right, of the beater side of your kick drum, and about 3 or 4 inches in towards you. and 3 or 4 inches above the ground. You point the mic upwards, and it will absorb the best overall "picture" of the kit that IMO, one mic can capture. You are getting the click of the kick, the snap of the snare drum, and the stick sounds of the toms, as well as just enough cymbal wash to sound almost pre-mixed.

This is the best results I have achieved with a one mic set up. I know others have done better, and you may find better ways as I am not the first guy to try this.

Good luck!
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