Resources for microphone techniques for live sound?


Not really sure where to post this, but can anyone point me toward some good references for how to properly mic up a drum kit for live shows? I'm trying to help my son (15) learn more about this. Many of the places his band plays has a sound guy that sets everything up, and they are usually to rushed to be able to explain what they are doing and why. At other shows we are kind of on our own with borrowed microphones, and as you might guess, the quality of the sound we get has been quite variable.


Sorry, but I don't really appreciate your response. Of course I googled "how to mic drums" and many variations on that basic question, and you know what you get--more references than anyone could ever wade through, and the references are suspect for several reasons:
1. they all seem to be about recording drums, and I don't know if that has any relation to what we are trying to do--live sound through a PA.
2. most of the references recommend using a huge number of microphones (two mics for the snare drum alone???) that would cost more than all the band's other equipment combined (and of course those references are often produced by microphone companies which are in the business of selling microphones)
3. Google queries about using fewer microphones all seem to be about recording (again, I don't know if that also applies to live sound).

The link you added is more helpful, but again, that seems to be about recording the drums.

So, l will rephrase my question a little more specifically: Can anyone point my son and I toward some good references for how to mic up drums for good live sound? Some further information:
1. google searches on the topic have proved less than helpful for reasons described above
2. we are interested in live sound--not recording
3. the music his band plays is blues, early rock (like Elvis), and classic rock (yes, it is a band of 15 year old kids that plays music that is often older than their parents)
4. the drum kit is 5 piece (sometimes 4)
5. we normally have access to a kick drum mic, and up to 4 shure 57 microphones
6.although we have access to these 5 mics, if there is a way to get by with fewer, I'm all ears (I like simplicity.)
7. I am willing to spend some money to by equipment, but at this point I'm not willing to drop a couple K on all different kinds of microphones, stands, clips, etc.
8. resources do not have to be from the web--I actually prefer a good reference book
Thank you.
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Platinum Member
There's no specific resource I know of for live sound for drums.

There's a lot of variables, and it depends on what you're working with. You can use any number of mics, but probably most important are one for the kick drum and one for the snare.

Also depends on what kind of amps you're using, if you're using a mixer, if you need reference monitors, if everyone's feeding into a larger PA, and so on.

Lots of people have more experience than myself, so hopefully they'll chime in. It would be great if there was a 'playing drums live' section or something like that here.


Pioneer Member
Here's a series of videos, there are a ton of different ways to mic a kit, here is one that these guys use, these techniques apply to live or recording, you don't need to double mic like they do. As for getting by with less mics you can get by with 2 overheads and a kick mic but if you have the mics to mic each drum you will achieve a better sound. The SM57 is a workhorse of a mic!

I will say I just tried their bass drum mic'ng technique tonight with our sound guy at church and the results were really good. Sound guy said he liked what he was getting at the board and the sound coming out of the speakers. The kit is a Yamaha Stage Custom with a PS3 batter and reso and a 2" wide felt strip between the head and shell on both the batter and reso.