micing drums

Posted: April 03, 2012 11:02 PM

hilltopboss

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    Apr 03, 2012

I’ve always wondered this and it has never been explained to me, here goes, why do we mic drums such as toms from the top or batter side while we mic the bass from the bottom or resonate side.  This would also be less intrusive with the placement of the mics out of the way, unless you can afford those super cool tiny mics that don’t take up much room.  Someone please explain this to me…PLEASE !

     
Posted: April 06, 2012 01:55 PM

gongwoman

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    Apr 06, 2012
hilltopboss - 03 April 2012 11:02 PM

I’ve always wondered this and it has never been explained to me, here goes, why do we mic drums such as toms from the top or batter side while we mic the bass from the bottom or resonate side.  This would also be less intrusive with the placement of the mics out of the way, unless you can afford those super cool tiny mics that don’t take up much room.  Someone please explain this to me…PLEASE !

Greetings,

Typically toms and snare drums are miked from above to effectively capture the stick attack while still getting a decent representation of the resonance. Some engineers will mike both the batter and the resonant head for blend options in the studio, but if only one mike per drum is in order, then a mike on the top head captures the detail of the stick attack better while still getting the tone of the resonance.

The front bass drum head often has a port cut into it and a kick drum mike is placed just inside the hole, angled toward the beater to capture the attack while also getting the resonance inside the drum. If there is no port, then care must be taken in the placement of the mike to optimize attack. In short, miking from the batter side captures both attack and resonance well, while miking from the bottom will emphasize mainly tonality/resonance on toms and snare rattle on a snare drum. So if one had to choose, it makes more sense sonically to default to the top mike. Bass drums often have ports, so you can still get the mike inside to capture the attack while still getting the tonality of the drum.

There are internal miking systems that capture both the attack and tonality….a level of commitment is required to fit your kit with these miking systems, but they offer convenience and space-saving advantages.

Hope this helps!

Best,

Karen Stackpole