How do you rig up microphones to the drumkit - (a mic for bass,snare cymbals etc.) and get all the mics to go into the computer so you can get good SOUND LEVELS?

There’s no cheap way to do this, unfortunately. What you need (apart from a drum kit and a decent drummer) is a mixing desk, preferably with balanced XLR inputs and 48V phantom power, a couple of good microphones (for a start, one for the bass drum, one for the snare, and a couple of overheads for hi-hat, cymbals and toms - four mics in all) and a sensible room without too much reverberation to put it all in.

Connect the microphones to the mixer inputs and place them around the kit so as to get a good sound (use headphones for checking this), connect the mixer outputs to the computer soundcard inputs, check the levels, and you should be ready to rock’n’roll…

This is the rough principle, of course. It will probably take from a couple of days to a few years and a lot of experimenting to learn how to get that ‘good sound’…

regards, Nils

I have a drum kit, I have a drummer - ME - and I have n-track studio shareware. I get annoyed with not knowing how to work all the fiddley bits and I don’t want to read the whole help thing just to find out a couple of things. eg. in piano roll - I was accidently speeding up some parts and couldn’t change them back to go with the speed of the parts I hadn’t changed accidently.
So far I’ve strumed a little song out on guitar recording it with two audio tracks - one left and one right. I then brought my hi hats to the computer mic and next to an old snare drum I have in the computer room - and I plugged the mic into the headphone socket on the little volume controller from our computer speaker on the desk - this cuts out the “out loud” guitar playing and sends it through the headphones so I can hear it and play/record the mini drums(hats and snare). It sounds sick. Wish you could hear it.

Well, you really can’t avoid reading the manual for anything as complex as n-Track. That’s sort of like wanting to play drums but being unwilling to practice. :)


for some info.

And check this out :


Spend $15 and get a starter book on recording:

Home Recording for Dummies

Wish I’d had this when I started…

I got into home recording in like 1980 or so… (does this count as some kind of anniversary then?) ???

I had a copy of the first edition of Craig Anderton’s great Home Recording For Musicians - it served me as a kind of bible for almost 10 years. I made a lot of great recordings using the advice I got from that book… - it comes highly recommended, too.

regards, Nils

bore matey’’‘dont use gobsa mics fer drums’’‘blokes mak a big mistook doin this’’’‘if kit sounds like drek usin mor mics aint solushun’’’‘yer gotta fix up kit ta sound good wiv one mic n a cupla overhd mics’’‘believe moi’’’‘av done it billions o times’’’’‘
yer can also trygger drums from tha kit usin trigger piezo transducers’’‘lots werk gettin good drummy sounds mate’’’'focus on da sound of each drum n TUNING TUNING TUNING N TUNING N TUNING
:D :D

S’true - I’m just learning about drum micing, and it really is best to start with a couple, or even just one. Drum sounds are hard.

Speaking of drum mic’ing… I’m maybe going to record live drums with someone within the next few months, so I’m thinking ahead… I’ve got an sm58 & sm57 which I know are fine for drums… I’ve also got a Studio Projects C-1 & a B-3, which are fine for vocals and acoustic guitars, but would either of those have a place in on a drum kit? Would the high SPL (?) damage the mics?


You can try them as an overhead pair - do they sound pretty close to each other? You might try the Glyn Johns setup. Alternatively, try a 57 on snare and one of the LDC on kick, and the other LDC as a room mic - and mix to mono. You could even do 57 on snare, 58 on kick (or vice versa) and the LDC as overheads. :)

Here’s a bit about it…second hand…


Interesting article. It seems like the three mic technique would yield a more organic drum sound, but would also require an excellent room. If I trakc drums, it’ll probably be in this guys garage (lot’s of hard surfaces), so I, thinking the obvious – carpet on the floor hang some moving blankets on a couple of walls, etc… But the question still remains - will the high SPL of let’s say, a kick drum, damage a large condensor mic like a SP C-1? Or would the SM-58 be better in the kick?

The C-1 and the B-3 sound close enough like each other for my deaf ears. :D Maybe use those two as overheads, and use the 58 on the kick, and the 57 under the snare?

I dunno… might not even happen… I’m in the “thinking about it” stage.

your last post makes the most sense. the vox mics will pick up the high end of the cymbals better and give you a non-directional, balanced sound.

The room is the key though when micing like this.


John, I’d say they’ll be fine as overheads. Click on the -10db pad though.

Try the four mic arrangement first. That will be kick (58) and snare mic (57 - first suggestions), but the overheads are in a slightly different arrangement than simply overhead in a typical X-Y pattern.

Put one over the mounted toms, sport of like a single overhead, looking down at the toms and a bit out front of the set. The other goes down near the floor tom(s), but also slightly away from them and behind the set.

Pan them hard left and right and arrange them so they are equidistant from the kick and snare. Even with them hard panned the kick and snare will still be centered. Think of i as micing the whole set from front to back instead of left to right. Kick and snare mics are still centered, though can be panned slightly to compensate for any non-centering they have in the “overheads”.

The drums will be WAY wide panned – maybe too much. So experiment with panning on all the mics.

This is another Andy Johns micing technique, and yes it does take a good sounding room and good sounding kit because you will get what’s there. Don’t automatically write off the room without trying it.

By the way the drums on http://fartones.phootoons.com/music_panic_in_detroit.html were done this way. There’s two takes. One is the regular set and the other is the toms overdubs. The micing is the same on both, though the regular set isn’t panned as wide at the toms. The toms are the natural fully hard panned left and right (yes the toms are looped, but the set isn’t).

I might have some pics that I can upload of the mic locations. I know I have pictures, but I don’t remember if the mics are visible enough to be useful.

Your 57 and 58 will be able to handle the SPLs ok…but I would be concerned about your condensor…unless that MICs specs indicate the ability to hand high SPLs.

The specs for those mics at the links above say a max spl of 132 db or 142 db with the 10 pad on.


Found the drums pics ofthe four mic arrangment. They might help show the positioning I was talking about. (They are close to 700k each, so I didn’t link 'em directly in. And, yes, it was a mess in my room back then.)