Using the Room to Benefit Your Drum Miking

The room influences the drums’ sound more than it influences that of other instruments. If you’re looking for a big drum sound, you need a fairly live room (one with lots of reflection).

So you’re thinking, “But I just have a bedroom for a studio, and it’s carpeted.” No worries, you can work with that. Remember, you have a home studio, so you potentially have your whole home to work with. Here are a couple of ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Buy three or four 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood and lean them against the walls of your room. Also, place one sheet on the floor just in front of the kick drum. The plywood adds reflective surfaces to the room.

  • Put the drums in your garage (or living room, or any other room with a reverberating sound) and run long mic cords to your mixer. If you have a studio-in-a-box or laptop-computer–based system, you can just throw it under your arm and move everything into your garage or, better yet, take all this stuff to a really great-sounding room and record.

  • Set up your drums in a nice-sounding room and place an additional mic just outside the door to catch an additional ambient sound. You can then mix this with the other drum tracks to add a different quality of reverberation to the drums.

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