Minimalist Miking

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Many legendary drum recordings were made with few mics on the kit, capturing full kit sound and minimizing phase issues due to interaction between many close microphones. Legendary Beatles recordings had a Coles 4038 ribbon mic overhead, an AKG D19 on the snare and an AKG D20 in front of the kit – the classic Ringo sound. Old Motown records employed similar minimal miking techniques; since many of the sessions were done live with the musicians in one large room, minimal miking was necessary and it helped reduce leakage. Eddie Kramer used three or four mics on John Bonham’s kit on some of the biggest sounding Led Zeppelin’s tracks. There’s no arguing with sound that good! Minimal miking is a great place to start. Simple Setups: MONO – Place one R-series mic 5 feet in front of the kit (closer or further depending on the size of the room), waist high. Add compression – maybe an 1176 or Distressor. Done. electric guitar miking R-122 in front of kit in home studio   STEREO – An overhead stereo ribbon mic gives an extremely realistic picture of any drum kit. Point the logo at the snare to center the snare in the stereo field. The L-R imaging is excellent and the drums record very much like what the drummer is hearing. Due to the realistic sound pickup, cymbals won’t be as bright as with condensers. Opening up the higher frequencies with EQ will give the cymbals more sparkle and cut without affecting the pickup of the rest of the kit. Place an SF-12 or SF-24 over the kit and an R-121 or R-122 about 1 foot off the front kick drum head, angled 45 degrees toward the drum (this protects the ribbon elementand reduces kit bleed into the kick drum mic). Adjust positions of the two mics for desired ratio of kit to room sound. electric guitar miking electric guitar miking electric guitar miking If the ceiling is low and you have too much ceiling reflection getting into the back side of the mic, move the mic toward the front or the back of the kit and angle it at 45 degrees. This picture of an angled SF-12 is from a session Al Schmitt recorded. The low ceiling of the isolation booth was dealt with by angling the mic. electric guitar miking

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