Recording Drums with One Microphone

Other Mischief

For  a while I’ve wanted to add ‘real’ drums to my music rather than using synthesisers however gathering together enough microphones to properly mic each drum would cost me more than the drum kit itself (that being said mine is a fairly low-end Sonor Force kit that has seen better days as you can see below).

There are numerous websites and YouTube videos showing people’s ingenious attempts at recording drums with one microphone – some more successful than others. I decided to make do with what I already have, which is just the one condenser microphone I use for recording SFX. Although other people suggested the best position for using one mic’ is just in front of the kick, slightly to the left; my drum kit is backed up right against the wall so instead I positioned the microphone directly above the drum kit pointing downwards.

The result? See what you think:

On the one hand it picks up all the different drums and their frequencies however as I’m sure you’ll agree the sound quality becomes slightly muddy when you are recording so far away from the drums and this was in quite an echoey room which didn’t help.

I think the moral of the story here is, the more the better when it comes to micing drums or at least using three: one for the bass drum, one for snare and one as an overhead mic to pick up everything else. I probably won’t be using this one mic setup for any of my music as yet due to its subpar quality, but with a few more microphones and some decent soundproofing of the recording space – maybe :)

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