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If you have a limited amount of gear available or your aim is to re-create a vintage sound, it's possible to use a minimalist miking technique and achieve a completely different effect than with the tried and true basics described earlier. If you've ever recorder a band rehearsal, you've already, probably experimented with a single mic technique. However, there are some tricks to getting the best drum sound out of a single mic. If you place in mic about 3 feet in front of the drum kit, looking at the center of the kit, you'll find that it should pick up everything fairly evenly. (music playing) If you need to get more bass drum, move the mic down towards the bass drum.
If you need a little less, move it higher and away from of the bass drum. (music playing) You'll find that if you are using a multi-thousand dollar Neumann, you'll surely achieve a better sound than with a low-quality mic. (music playing) So once again, if you need more bass drum, move the mic down a bit, or point it more towards the bass drum. (music playing) With the single mic on the drums using a Limiter or Compressor may be something you might want to try to smooth out the dynamics of the kit.
Use the fairly light setting just to reign in the peaks, using only 1 or 2 dB of compression, with 2:1 Ratio and the fastest Attack and Release settings. Don't be afraid to experiment by increasing the compression, as you may like the wild effect that it sometimes achieves. Use what you have, make it sound the best you can by varying the placement, compression, and EQ. You'll be surprised that how well this can work. (music playing) In closing, a minimalist miking setup can get just as good a drum sound as with multiple mics, sometimes even better.
To get a great drum sound on the drum kit with just one mic, put the mic about 3 feet in front of the drum kit looking at the center of the kit, then experiment with moving the mic around until you find a position that gets an even balance of the entire kit. If you need to get more bass drum move the mic down towards the bass drum. If you need a little less, move it higher and away from the bass drum.
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