Capture that space with room mics

Using room microphones on a drum kit is probably the best way to get a big drum sound. We don’t always get to record in big live rooms. But when you do, there’s no reason not to set up a few room microphones.

Room mics filter

There are probably as many ways to set up room microphones as there are major league engineers, but what you decide to use will depend entirely on the space you’re in, taking time to listen to the room and inspecting the studios mic locker.

Essentially, you could use any mic in a room. I’ve even seen engineers using SM57’s.
But typically a pair of condenser microphones is most common. A switchable polar pattern would be preferable because you may want to use these in Omni.

Sometimes tried and tested mic placement may not work. Here’s a video of a session in which the space outside the studio made for a more appropriate room sound in the context of that particular song. This is from a session I did with Bangalore based band Thermal and a Quarter on their album No wall too high.

 

I’d also like to take a moment to mention  Al Schmitt. He’s one of those legendary engineers known world over for his incredible microphone technique and extensive work on some of the best records ever made. He’s worked with Elvis, Sinatra, Ray Charles, Steely Dan and many more. If you’re interested in making records and you haven’t heard of him before I’d recommend watching the interview of him on Pensado’s place.

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