Ask a Producer: Room and Overhead Microphones for Drums

Last week, we sat down for a chat with legendary underground music producer/engineer Martin Bisi (Helmet, Swans, Sonic Youth, etc etc), who has been making records in Brooklyn since the 80’s, starting out under the tutelage of Brian Eno. We talked about, among other things, how to approach capturing a drum take while keeping the entire mix in mind.

So for this episode, we decided to go in a little deeper to the nitty-gritty of drum recording: specifically, of overhead and room/ambient microphones. Where should you place them? How do those placement choices affect what you’ll be able to work with? How can you eliminate problems early on? What sorts of microphone arrays provide you with more control over individual elements of the drum sound? Martin addresses all those questions, and more. Check it out below:

Martin’s heading out on a short US jaunt before going to Europe, so catch him at one of these shows, starting tonight in Philly! If you’re lucky maybe you can pick his brain about some of these topics.

US – Martin Bisi w/ Tidal Channel
Apr 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Apr 8 – Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade
Apr 9 – Durham, NC @ Duke University, Brickside Festival (matinee)
Apr 9 – Asheville, NC @ Static Age Records
Apr 10 – Nashville, TN @ Drkmttr
Apr 11 – Arlington, VA @ Galaxy Hut

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Max is a senior editor and producer of Gear Gods.