I don't understand why people close mic

Frankly, I think it sounds like s***. The drum set is a single instrument and should be miked as such. For a tighter sound, simply use the right room. You have to give time for the sound waves to develop through the air. What a mic picks up 1/2 inch away from a drum is not what a drum sounds like.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Frankly, I think it sounds like s***. The drum set is a single instrument and should be miked as such. For a tighter sound, simply use the right room. You have to give time for the sound waves to develop through the air. What a mic picks up 1/2 inch away from a drum is not what a drum sounds like.
Have to respectfully disagree with your opening statement. A drum kit isn't a single instrument, it's a collection of separate instruments played by one person.

It's just thought of by most/some as a single instrument probably as one person is playing it/them.

With regards to recording technique whatever suits either the band, the recording equipment, the desk, the mics, the drummer, the style of music or the room (many more variables I've not even thought of typing this)

Way too many elements for a 'one size fits all' approach. Any technique is good as long as it gets the required results I guess though so it's all good.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Are you referring to the taped up to oblivion tone? Because close micing is not the culprit there, the taped up to oblivion part is.

I started close micing my 4 toms just recently (capsules about 3 inches away, in addition to overheads) with wide open, well tuned toms and it's glorious.

I'd like to think that there's room for all tones somewhere, even the taped up to oblivion tones.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The one word answer is OPTIONS.

If the only point of micing up a set of drums was to get only the sound of only the drums themselves you'd have a point, but it's usually not.

It can be anything from isolating from the environement, to separate processing, helping things cut, a bit more attack, hide crappy internal dynamics and lots more.

Why have several mics to schoose from?

Why have different patterns and placements?

It all depends on the music and what you're trying to do.

These days, when so many people record drum tracks at home it's even better to have as many options available to the ones doing the final mix as possible.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Millions and millions of people have voted on this and the consensus is clear. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Are you referring to the taped up to oblivion tone? Because close micing is not the culprit there, the taped up to oblivion part is.

I started close micing my 4 toms just recently (capsules about 3 inches away, in addition to overheads) with wide open, well tuned toms and it's glorious.

I'd like to think that there's room for all tones somewhere, even the taped up to oblivion tones.
I completely agree with this.

There should be allowances in our discretions for any type of drum tones if it puts you in the right direction you want to go.

Close mic'ing is a little bit more difficult because of the extra experience needed to make sure the mics are chosen wisely and placed to the best advantage for what you're trying to do.

Moving the mic too close can sound terrible.
Tuning the drums to behave better for the mics is important too.

There are a lot of people who don't take the time to figure the things out that would make for a good sound.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The same could be said of trumpets and saxophones et. al. But they put mics right on the bells for sound. I see no difference. Also the reason for calling it a drum set.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
You do not have to give time for the drum sound to develop through the air.
There is a resolved sound for a room at a certain distance, but that's just one sound and one mic placement.

There is also no mic and playback that sounds exactly like being in the room. It's contrived audiation, like color constancy.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I think he's just jerking our booties, but I'll bite.

Frankly, I think it sounds like s***. The drum set is a single instrument and should be miked as such. For a tighter sound, simply use the right room. You have to give time for the sound waves to develop through the air. What a mic picks up 1/2 inch away from a drum is not what a drum sounds like.
The next time you're called in for a session, I want you to tell that to the engineer and producer.

And the next time you're mic'd on a live gig, I want you tell that to the FOH engineer.

Yes, I like the sound of a (well-tuned) kit from in front, but it doesn't translate to a mic in the same position. It's thoroughly impractical and a detriment to the balance of a live band, not mention making it extremely difficult to get a good drum mix in the studio. Even if the kit sounds great by itself, the balance changes drastically when the other instruments and vocals are mixed in. Without close miking, a kick or snare or tom can't be boosted when inevitably needed.

Bermuda
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I can't believe how long it's taking me to get my perfect drum sound in my room. I'm pretty much there, but phew, what an effort it turned out to be. It's been about a year and a half now. By comparison, the first time I miced a guitar cab, it took me like 5 minutes. Same with bass guitar. Keys go direct in. Acoustic guitar is pretty easy, 2 mics. Drums are very involved, and have no comparison with any other instrument IMO.

I didn't add tom mics until just recently.

They really bring out the thunder of the toms. It sounds a bit hollow without them. They provide the creamy center.

I'm very envious of Bo's kick sound in his last playing post with the WMP Pearls. Very nice, and he probably got that sound in like 5 minutes.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Sometimes I close mic and sometimes I don't. Right now the kick is triple mic'ed, two on the snare, and the overheads catch the rest.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I can't believe how long it's taking me to get my perfect drum sound in my room. I'm pretty much there, but phew, what an effort it turned out to be. It's been about a year and a half now. By comparison, the first time I miced a guitar cab, it took me like 5 minutes. Same with bass guitar. Keys go direct in. Acoustic guitar is pretty easy, 2 mics. Drums are very involved, and have no comparison with any other instrument IMO.

I didn't add tom mics until just recently.

They really bring out the thunder of the toms. It sounds a bit hollow without them. They provide the creamy center.

I'm very envious of Bo's kick sound in his last playing post with the WMP Pearls. Very nice, and he probably got that sound in like 5 minutes.
Thanks! All that was was my Shure Beta 52 just inside the port. Mic went into my tiny Mackie 1202 and all I did was boost the low end eq a bit. The bass drum just sounds like that with a DW muffle pillow in it. I don’t really affect the drums in the recorder. I make the drums sound nice, and use the mics to pick that up.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Frankly, I think it sounds like s***. The drum set is a single instrument and should be miked as such. For a tighter sound, simply use the right room. You have to give time for the sound waves to develop through the air. What a mic picks up 1/2 inch away from a drum is not what a drum sounds like.
Frankly, I think you’ve never mixed a record, or run live sound, ever, in a way that anyone would want to hear.
 

makinao

Silver Member
You may not like the sound of close miking, but ....

1. There are a lot of recordings that use close miking that sound like s%&t, but there are also a lot that don't.

2. A drum set/kit is composed of several instruments, albeit played by one musician.

3. What a mic picks up 1/2 inches away sounds pretty much like a drum 1/2 inches away from your ears.

4. So why do people close mic? Because they can.

:)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Ultimately, it evolved because it could. 4 track, became 8 track, became 16 track, became 24 track. Analogue became digital.....and so on and so on.

Once upon a time placing a mic on each tom simply wasn't feasible. It just couldn't be done. With the evolution of multi tracking on a sound desk came the evolution of applying those tracks to various voices within the recording. Hence the evolution of close mic.

As others have stated, it purely provides options. Production has more control over the voices it mics. With that control comes the ability to tweak it. Hence why 4 or 5 drums moved from being captured by a room mic that was bounced down to one track........all the way through to an individual mic for each voice.......plus the liberty of a room mic or two for ultimate sound control.
 
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