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Room mics are used to glue the sound of the drum kit together by filling in the frequency holes to make the individual drums sound more like a single complete drum set. In this video, I'm going show you one of the ways to set up room mics. When you're using room mics what you're going for is a sound that sounds exactly the same as when you're standing in front of the kit. Some engineers just use a single room mic while others may use as many as three, left, right and center. Since you normally don't use that much of the room mic sound in the mix--unless the room sounds particularly good--we'll just use one mic aimed at the center of the drum kit for our example.
If you decide to use stereo room mics place some mic at each side of the kit about 10 feet away and looking directly at the outside edge of the furthest cymbal. To use a single room mic, place a directional mic about 6 feet away from the drum kit at a height about equal to the drummer's eyes. (music playing) The make or model of the mic really doesn't matter too much.
Point the mic down at the snare drum or the top edge of the bass drum. Have the drummer play the song you're about to record and listen in the control room. The sound of the kit should be evenly balanced. If you want more ambience to the sound, move the mic back to about 10 feet away from the drum kit. Move the mic backwards or forwards until you find the position where the kit is the most balanced against the room sound. When you add the room mics to the drum mix, it might sound great when listening with the rest of the drums, but might make the drums sound too big when the other instruments are added.
As with the sub-kick mic, a little goes a long way.
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