Join Bobby Owsinski for an in-depth discussion in this video Miking the toms, part of Audio Recording Techniques.
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Mic placement on both the rack and floor toms are pretty standard, with most engineers using more or less the same technique. In this video we'll take a look at the best place to start. Once again, the key to a big powerful tom sound is the sound of the toms themselves. Do what you need to do to make them sound great acoustically first. You can use a little masking tape or moon gel to take out the ringing, if you think that sounds better, but remember, the ring is part of the sound too. As with the all padding, use it sparingly and don't deaden them up too much unless that's the effect you're looking for.
(music playing) The one thing that does change between engineers is the mic choice. While many engineers use a dynamic mic like a Sennheiser MD 421, a condenser mic like an AKG 414, AKG 451, or a Shure KSM44 provides a nice full sound with a lot of attack.
Be sure to switch on the -10 dB pad and select the cardioid position. Check with the drummer before you mount anything on his kit and make sure that the mics are out of his way. (music playing) Place the mic about six inches above the drum head just over the rim, pointing towards the center of the drum to get the most attack. If you point it towards the edge of the head, you'll hear more ring, and less of the attack of the stick hitting the head. (music playing) The floor tom is handled just like rack toms, although you might want to place the mic at the far edge of the drum to cut down on the spill from the other drums and cymbals.
(music playing) That's how we mic the toms. Place the mic about six inches above the drum head just over the rim, pointing towards the center of the head to get the most attack. Move the mic closer or point it towards the rim to change the tone or capture more or less ring.
- Optimizing your listening environment
- Listening to how different microphone types affect recording
- Choosing the right microphone for the right recording application
- Positioning microphones for a wide variety of recording scenarios
- Utilizing proper gain staging, preamps, and direct boxes
- Avoiding phase cancellation
- Using a compressor, equalizer, and high-pass filter during recording
- Setting up a headphone mix
- Adding the right amount of compression or equalization
- Capturing great sounds from drums, guitars, basses, keyboards, pianos, strings, and vocals
- Creating a great drum set sound
- Getting the best out of any singer
- Dealing with microphone leakage
- Utilizing a variety of stereo miking techniques
- Setting up and producing a recording session
- Creating a rough mix in any digital audio workstation (DAW)