Complete Guide about Drums recording (more than 100 pages)
Recording powerful and punchy drums is something I have been after since I started my audio engineering journey. I have read countless articles and books about drum recording, but most of them have failed to give me the results I am after. Most of the time, the biggest limiting factor of aggressive drum sound is the tempo. If you want the faster parts not to sound like a complete mess, you need to have total control over the sound.
I’m a drummer. I used to play drums in a death metal band called Dauntless (1993-2008) and in various other projects before focusing into recording and mixing. I have played drums for 20 years and have 10 years of professional recording experience. I run my little studio called Drop Hammer Studios and I have also worked in many other studios. I have had the honour of recording many different drummers, and many of them have been a lot better than me.
Today’s drum sound is not very acoustic. Most records have some sample replacement or augmenting going on to make the sound more powerful and consistent. I want to create a great drum sound right from the start and try to keep it acoustic in the mix. Get it right in the beginning and the mixing engineer will get 100 % out of your tracks. Even if he is going to use sample replacement.
I will go through every detail of drum recording from my own point of view. The approach is based on my experience on how to get a sound where the power, separation and definition is taken to it’s maximum level. After you have gone through the first part, you can find one chapter dedicated to “raw” drums. It features examples of what I do differently when the end result calls for more traditional, “organic” drum sound.