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How to Record Drums and Acoustic guitar with a variety of Microphones!

1 - Recording Drums with up to 5 mics!

Recording with 1 Microphone - It's best if we have an omnidirectional condenser microphone which can positioned just like in this photo.

The mic should be placed in the middle of the drums with as little as possible distance to the drums.

Recording Drums with 2 Microphones

One of our mics will be a condenser again, but this time it is not an omnidirectional. Rather, we will go with the "Cardioid" polar pattern. You can see how it differentiates from the omnidirectional by taking a look at the diagram below.

Our cardioid mic will be set above the drums in a similar fashion to the one in this picture.

And now we introduce the second mic to the mix - the kick drum microphone.

Here you can see that the kick drum mic is set up right in front of the drum, but I suggest that you experiment a little with different positions (e.g - putting it in the drum itself, half in, closer or further away, depending on what kind of sound you want to get out of the kick drum.)

The two things to look out for ! 1 - If you can, use a dynamic mic to record the Kick drum since condensers are really sensitive. 2 - When using more than 1 microphone to record, always check phase! Usually, when a mic is out of phase, the easiest way you'll know is by reversing the phase on one of the mics and if the low frequencies drop, then you are out of phase. Correcting the phase is easy, you just have to reposition the mics, until there is almost no difference in sound when you phase invert one of the two or more mics.

Recording Drums with 3 Microphones

Here we have the same setup as the 2 mic setup, but now our 3rd mic can be placed either on the Floor Tom or it can be an overhead mic. Always check phase!

Recording with 4 Microphones

After we place our overhead mic, we usually need to cover the snare drum. That's why your 4th mic would be best placed at the snare drum! It's best if you could place a dynamic on it. Always check phase!

Recording with 5 Microphones

The last but not least of all the mic's is the so-called "room mic". You use it to catch the atmosphere and feel of the room you are recording in so that the recording feels more natural.

2.Recording Acoustic Guitar with 3 Microphones!

Recording with 1 Microphone

Recording an acoustic guitar with 1 microphone is a fairly easy task. If you can, use a Cardioid type, condenser mic, but even if you don't have one like that, any microphone would do a better job than the one that your phone has. You have to place it 10 cm (there or thereabouts) from the guitar, facing somewhere around the 17th fret.

We measure the distance from the guitar to the mic with our fingers, if you don't have any rulers or any kind of measurement tool around.

You may ask - "Why can't we position the microphone directly to the sound hole?"

Well, the reason for that, especially condenser mics, is that they are extremely sensitive and they can capture a great deal of frequencies and the sound hole gives out lots of low frequencies which will make the recording sound "boomy". This is why we place the microphone adjacent to the neck of the guitar, rather next to the sound hole.

Recording with 2 Microphones

This time we will use the XY setup where we crisscross two mics in the following way;

Things to look out;

1 - Phase

2 - Distance from the guitar.

Thanks for reading this! If it was helpful and you learnt something, be sure to like the post and share it!

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