May 1, 2008

Recording drums... trust the pros

Today I'm here to convince you not to record drums yourself (at least not until you have a substantial amount of experience). I'll tell you now: I will eventually cover how to record drums using the b-rig setup, so if you're really set on not paying a studio/recording engineer I guess you can stop reading now. However, I think you should really hear me out on this one.

The drum sound - I'm talking tone, reverb, and overall recording quality - can really make or break a recording. It's also one of the only (if not the only) thing you'll hear on a rock recording that really, really, benefits from the use of lots of microphones.

That being said, if you're using the b-rig (or similar) setup, I strongly suggest you record your drums at a studio with a pro. Make sure to listen to their past recordings and see that the drum sounds they produce are good first though.

Also, Make sure you can either get the project files (so you can just open the project on your setup) or get the engineer to give you the seperate tracks. Do not, under any circumstances, allow the engineer to hand you a stereo mixdown of the tracks (give you one stereo file/cd of all the drum tracks together).

Then you lose all the flexibility in mixing the drums yourself (which you want, believe me).

Recording your drums at a professional studio really makes a difference in the end. The combination of a good sounding room, expensive high fidelity microphones, and lots of tracks for seperatly miking each drum really improve the quality of drum recordings.

Then once the drums are done, and you should usually record them first, you can do everything else at home. You get the biggest benefit of using a pro studio without the outrageous costs. It's a win/win for you!

© 2008 Jim Robert