Recording Drums? How many mics do you use?

Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Tim Smith / Comeback City
Date Posted:
August 2015
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

PC with Digi 002 interface running Digidesign Pro Tools 8. Mics: RĂ˜DE NT5 stereo pair (overheads), Audix DP5A drum mic pack (D6 kick, 2x D2 toms, D4 floor tom, i5 snare), Shure SM57 and Audix i5 (Crate V Series half-stack guitar amp), Sterling Audio ST69 (vocals). PreSonus Studio Channel, BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer. Yamaha HS80 monitors, Sennheiser HD380 PRO headphones.

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Production Notes & Credits:

P.N.R." is a male vocal rock tune. Tim handled the recording end of things in his home studio, as well as the guitars and lead vocals. The drums, bass guitar, and background vocals were supplied by Matt Kerr.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
No shortage of energy here from Tim and Matt, who are making a triumphant return to Readers' Tapes after a men's league hockey theme (of all things) that wowed us a few years back! We found this new track to be pretty successful overall, so let's take a quick look at what works and then talk about a few "problem" areas as well.

First off, kudos to Matt for his lockstep drum/bass performance. You loyal readers certainly know how often we preach of a unified rhythm section here at Readers' Tapes, so how cool is it that the drummer and bassist happen to be the same guy! Tonewise, both the bass and drums fit the punk genre: perhaps a little strident, but this isn't adult contemporary, folks! Moving on, we really dug Matt's guitar "wall" throughout the track, along with the nicely panned backing vocals.

As for quibbles, to our ears there was too much tonal disparity between the bulk of the sound sources and the lead vocal. While the music bed had a bass-heavy, bulky sound, the lead vocal came across as thin through our monitors. Speaking of bulky sound, we found that the powerful bass performance was placed too hot in the mix, driving the vocals to the background.

Suggestions: Mic choice (especially by genre) is a common topic in the pages of Recording. Suffice to say that this is not a one size fits all proposition, friends! While the Sterling Audio ST69 is a fine condenser mic, we encourage Tim to have another go at his vocal using his Audix i5 dynamic, paying close attention to the differences between it and his condenser. This is an ideal way to study the sonics of both, and could provide valuable insight for future recordings. As for the mix imbalance, exchanging the volume of the lead vocal and bass should correct that in short order.

Summary: Good stuff, and easily made better.

Contact: Tim Smith / Comeback City,,
About: Marty Peters

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