Marc Hornsby shares how he sets up mics for drums in the latest edition of Recording Magazine.
"We used DPA microphones—some of the best microphones in the world. DPA is transparent with high max SPL and superb off-axis sound quality—great for drums, since everything is bleeding into each other.
Here’s a breakdown of how we did it: inside the kick drum we used a DPA 2011 A cardioid (159dB SPL). Outside the kick drum, on the floor and pointed up at the exterior of the head was a DPA 4011 Cardioid (144dB SPL). On the snare top and bottom we used the 2011 F (140dB SPL). One of the coolest things we discovered is that DPA makes a podium boom arm which will also function as a preamp for the 2011. This gave us the flexibility to get the diaphragm of the microphone into the space between two toms, or in between the high hat and the rack tom, and right up to the snare—no bulky mic stand to deal with. For the toms, we used the 4099 D series; this is the extreme SPL version of the 4099, and the new core technology series from DPA.
One of the coolest things we did was with the overheads. Instead of just using the traditional two-mic approach, be it cardioid or figure-eight, we used three mics to paint one cohesive picture: a pair of spaced 4011 C cardioids, and a centered 4015 A Wide Cardioid placed over and behind Nick’s head. The 4015 polar pattern lies somewhere between cardioid and omni, so it has a wider spread in what it picks up. This three-mic setup provided a crystal-clear stereo picture.
Room mics: a pair of 4006 Omnidirectional Microphones with nose cones attached. The nose cones (included with the mic) create a more balanced frequency response for a cleaner, less ‘smeared’ omnidirectional capture.
For the majority of the songs on the album, we recorded an entire rhythm section and once we got the main band take that we were happy with, we opened up the doors to the iso rooms and added some additional microphones inside each for some extra depth, ambience and ultimately, a much larger sound. In two iso booths, tilted up at 45 degrees, we placed 4041 Omni Large Diaphragm mics; super sensitive, ultra-low self noise, and they sound incredible on the lows and highs—a lot of what you want from a pair of mics outside the main tracking room. I will explain how I used these ambience mics in the mix in next month’s column.
Finally, on the wall in the main tracking room, for some ear candy we used a 4061 Omni Miniature Mic, taped to one of the diffusers on the wall. This mic features a 5mm capsule with a Kevlar cable. This is DPA core tech, IP58 rated to withstand wind, rain, dirt, bears, and other distractions of the wild."
Read the full article here