Drum Recording Rundown

As of the moment that I'm writing this, I am working on an EP with Tweito that is due for release in March 2016. We finished tracking drums a few weeks ago and wanted to share the gear we used to do it. There a many ways to do this - this may not be the system or gear for your particular situation - but we have found a system that works for us. Three years from now, this will probably look totally different, and that’s okay. Find the system that works for you and run with it. While we are far from experts, we want to show you where we’re at.

THE GEAR

I want to preface this section by giving a huge thank you to Connor Hinson. He has been generous enough to let us borrow much of his personal gear for recording, both on this EP and The Great Story. We used the following gear for drum recording:

Drums and Cymbals
Early 90’s Yamaha Stage Custom Set: 12”, 16”, 20”
14”x7” Truth Custom Snare
17” Dream Bliss HiHats (Two thin crashes)
22” Dream Vintage Bliss Crash/Ride
22” Dream Bliss Crash/Ride
24” Dream Bliss Small Bell Flat Ride (Only used on Hound of Heaven)

Microphones
Sub Kick: Converted Alesis Monitor Woofer
Kick In: AKG C214
Kick Out: Audix D6
Snare Top: Sennheiser MD421-U5
Snare Bottom: Shure KSM109
Tom 1 Mic A: Sennheiser MD421-Mkii
Tom 1 Mic B: AKG C214
Tom 2 Mic A: Sennheiser MD421-Mkii
Tom 2 Mic B: AKG C214
HiHat: Shure SM94
Overheads: Neumann TLM103  (Spaced Pair)
Room: AKG C414 (XY Pair)

Preamps
We used a Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2 as our interface and AD converter. Unless otherwise noted, the microphone was tracked straight to the board preamps.

Sub Kick: A Designs Reddi
Kick In: API 512c
Snare Top: Golden Age Project Pre73 Mkii
Tom 1 A: A Designs P1
Tom 2 A: A Desgns P1
Overheads: Millenia HV-35
Everything was tracked at 48Khz with no outboard compression or EQ. Some outboard gear will be used at mixing, as well as in-the-box processing. Our DAW of choice is Logic, but this will be our last project before switching to ProTools. 
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Some of you are probably asking: “Do you really need so many mics?” While we don’t need so many mics, it surely is more fun. Every microphone serves a specific purpose. For instance, the AKG C214 that we used on the toms is a large diaphragm condenser that captures a neutral, clean tom tone, while the MD421 is a dynamic microphone that has much more character to it. Combined together, you get a tom sound that has clean, without sounding totally boring and vanilla. 

Here’s what it sounds like with no EQ or compression. All you are hearing is some basic levels and panning. 

WHY IT MATTERS

Could we have recorded perfectly suitable results with eight channels? Probably. The whole of The Great Story was recorded that way. With that experience under our belts, we’ve decided to take a more experimental approach with this EP. We may not be pushing the envelope of recording or breaking any new ground, but we are trying things that are pushing us, personally. This is evident in every aspect of this EP, from the writing to the production, and it is really indicative of where we are as a band. We are all at a point in our lives where we are learning a lot. We’re young and trying to find our place in the world. As a band, we are starting to find our stride. Many of our members have undergone major life changes this year: Daniel and Ben graduated high school and started college, I got engaged, and Justin got married since we last released music. We all come from very different backgrounds and we each bring something unique to the table. We put all of ourselves into our music, and we hope that it is evident in this EP.