This week we continue the same theme from last week, recording drums. I've explained in depth some reasons for wanting to use live drums in electronic music in the previous article I wrote, so i'm not going to repeat myself here. Instead we're going to be talking about the method only, in this case the recorderman technique. Again this is a simple technique that can be used with as little as two microphones. Similarly, the technique's most important aspect is getting the distances between the microphones and the snare or kick drum right. so what follows is an easy guide...
Step 1: Set Up Overhead Microphones
Start by placing a microhpne over the drummer's microphone, and another directly over the snare drum. Start with a rough distance of two drum sticks from the snare drum as a measurement.
Step 2: Measure the Distances and Make Adjustments
Get the drummer to pin an XLR cable between the kick drum beater and the kick drum skin. Run the cable up to the overhead microphone that's over the snare drum. Loop the cable back down the the centre of the snare drum to create a triangle. Now the part of the cable closest to the overhead microphone, move this over to the other microphone, the one set up above the drummer's right sholder. Do this wil holding the ends of the cable on the kick drum skin and in the centre of the snare drum. You may find that the other microphone is to close or too far from where the cable extends to. Make adjustments to get the microphone fairly close to where it neds to be.
Step 3: Add More Microphones (Optional)
Finally, you can now add an extra microphone on the kick and / or the snare drum if you like. All the microphones should be reasonably phase coherent due to the measurements that you've made. The measurements don't have to be exact to the nearest millimeter, a rough distance is fine. Just make sure that you check the phase relationship between the various microphones when you're at the mixing stage, do this by reversing the phase plarity on the close microphones first.
Below is a video that explains exactly what i've just run thorugh and gives some audio examples. I've also taken the liberty of including some free acoustic drum loops for you recorded using this and the Glyn John's method, as discussed last week.
Find the samples here.