How to Mic Drums for Live Performances

Every drummer can understand and realize the importance of setting up a proper mic on their kit.  Sometimes during a live performance, it might become difficult for you to record your drumming if you have not set up your mic properly. 

Setting up your mic for live performance is extremely different than setting for your studio recordings. With time, you will be able to customize your mic setting according to your preferences. 

Why do you need to Mic your drums? 

One must wonder, why is it so important to set your mic drums, although this process can be skipped if you run your kit through an amplifier. This technique is much easier and can help you. But still, a lot of professionals want to play on a real drum set. 

As a beginner drummer you might not pay much heed towards miking your drum set. If you do not do so, you risk the quality of the sound being recorded. It can have a huge difference in number of ways like in the bass, cymbals, the way you play the snare drum even. This means that such a small factor can control your whole performance.

As a drummer, others’ performance depends a lot on how well you play. This means you need to align yourself properly. Even the placement of the mic on different areas of drum kit will produce different sounds. 

How to Set Mic Drums for a Live or Studio Performance

The basic idea behind setting your drum for both types of performance is quite same. Basically, you need to place your mic on your drum, on your snare and even a microphone should be on top. 

In studio, you will have more grip on your sounds rather than live. Since it is an enclosed space, you will not have a lot of background distortion also. You can use different mics for all the different areas in your drum kit. 

In a live performance, you need to ensure you have a stronger mic so you can use as much sound as you can, without recording the noise. 

For performing live, you may use a kick drum mic like the Audix D6, or the Shure SM57 for your snare drum. You can place the mic close or far to change the sound. Hi-hat mic should be like snare drum mic. For overhead mic, you might want to use something like Rode Nt-5. 

The Ideal Way to Set your Drum Mic

There are two important factors that you need to consider when setting your mic – where you want to place your mic and how many do you want to. Generally, you can use mics for kick and snare drum and a microphone as well. Depending on your level of sound, you may add as many as you like. They may increase the number up to 5 mics. At the end, some sound mixing band balance will be done to ensure that no disturbance is recorded.

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