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Home Tech - Recording And Amplifying Drums Important Tips for Recording Drums
Important Tips for Recording Drums

A few recording tips from experienced heads
  • First, compressors and limiters, like gates, should usually be left until mixing. Yeah, famous engineers may do it, and you've read about it in a magazine, but remember they've been doing this for years. You've never heard their mistakes, just their hits. When starting out, go easy on this stuff. It's really easy to screw things up.
  • Second, many times the bass drum sounds better in the mix if you reverse its polarity. This is easy to do in computers and on higher end boards, but if you don't have one, you can make or buy an adapter cable that goes between the bass drum mic cable and your board. This only works for balanced XLR cables, though. To make one yourself, get a soldering iron (read and follow all the safety guidelines that come with the soldering iron) and reverse pins 2 and 3 on one end of a short XLR cable.
  • Third, if you're using digital recorders (ADATs, computers, etc), drums have a lot of transients. It's real easy to hit a digital over, which sounds like crap. Try setting drum levels so that the peaks hit -6 dB on your meters. This will sound fine, and gives you headroom to play with in the mix.


Paul Marshall -

Paul is the owner of Drumdojo and the Dojo Sites, He is responsible for writing and collating a lot of of the material that you see here on drumdojo.

Playing drumset since age 5, Paul has been a drummer on and off for most of his life. He plays every drum he can get his hands on. Paul works as an instrument designer, has designed many instruments for the Stomp orchestra and more recently in Holywood Movies. Paul is a prolific web designer and currently has a portfolio of around 40 business and hobby sites.



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