One technique I’m growing more and more fond of for recording drums is an over-the-shoulder position. Specifically for right handed drummers, putting the mic over the right shoulder at roughly ear height. Whether as a mono drum overhead, one of a pair of overheads, or even as your single microphone for recording a whole kit it’s a great option.
Drums The Way Drummers Hear Them
Probably one of the simplest reasons why an over-the-shoulder approach to miking drums sounds great is because that is how the drummer hears his kit. He doesn’t hear it from the front of the kit (although other people do), nor from floating 9 feet up in the air.
Placing a microphone at roughly his right ear position gives you a realistic view of the kit. And if you allow the drummer to only monitor this microphone in is headphones, he’ll naturally balance the drums because he’s hearing them the way he’s used to hearing them.
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