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Recording Drums Part 6 - Bringing It All Together

Part six in our series about how to record drums. To finish our drum recording tuition, Jay walks trough the process of bringing an entire kit together.
May, 14 2015 |
an overhead drum mic

Welcome to the final part in our series. To finish our drum recording tuition, Jay walks trough the process of bringing an entire kit together.

The First Step Toward a More Harmonious Final Result Is Reverb.

Reverb is important because we expect to hear music in some kind of space; if the final result is too dry, it will sound unnatural. In fact, our ears and minds are so adept at sensing space and distance, we can even perceive it accurately with our eyes closed (Jay Stapley explains this further in the video below). Because reverberation is so fundamental to our perception of sound, we need to recreate the sense of space and reflections that are so often missing from studio recording environments; this is where reverb comes in.

Getting a credible result with reverb is actually pretty easy; there are plenty of presets included with most plugins that will get you started. You will, however, need to tweak those presets a little further if you want a more polished result. Jay walks through the key parameters, including pre-delay and the creative use of side-chain to transform an acceptable, average reverb into an outstanding, professionally polished drum sound. Because this process requires a lot of detailed explanations, we'll let Jay do the talking in our video below....

The Final Mix

Finally, Jay walks through all the aspects of mixing a drum kit including EQ, PAN, phase, levels, and compression - all in context with the entire kit to produce a coherent final result. Jay even experiments with an interesting special effect technique known as the 'slam, or trash mic' - well worth checking out for some interesting results.

So there you have it, our drum recording education series is concluded - we hope you found it beneficial. If you're joining us at the end of this series, head on over to part 1 on recording drums to catch up on what you've missed. Alternatively, consider subscribing to our mailing list in the box below to receive your free recording technique e-books, plus the latest tips and techniques from Shure.

Marc Henshall
Marc forms part of our Pro Audio team at Shure UK and specialises in Digital Marketing. He also holds a BSc First Class Hons Degree in Music Technology. When not at work he enjoys playing the guitar, producing music, and dabbling in DIY (preferably with a good craft beer or two).