In this free technique video for Pro Tools Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey joins recording and mix engineer Jack Ruston at The Old Chapel Studio in Sussex, UK to try out some stereo recording techniques for drum overheads using a pair of Sontronics Mercury microphones. James & Jack try 5 different configurations:
- Spaced Cardioids
- Spaced Omnis
- Coincident Cardioids
- Blumlein pair
- Mid-Side pair
You can hear these recordings in the video and in the accompanying audio files. The only other mic that was added was an AKG D12 just outside the kick drum to give it some weight at the bottom end. This is as much an experiment as it is technique video, as it is a chance to just try something new. We very rarely get the chance to experiment in the studio due to time and money constraints. Hopeful you can head the difference in these recordings and are able to draw some conclusions about which of these you prefer. For my money the spaced omni pair sounds the most natural but if you were recording in a room that was not as suited to drums as the main space at the Old Chapel I might go for the spaced cardioid pair.
Massive thanks to Jack for all his recording expertise and help pulling this project together. Also, thank go to Paul Burton at The Old Chapel for giving up his time (on his birthday) to help out and give us somewhere to record and for the loan of those fantastic drums.
Please let us know which of these recordings you prefer and if you have found this tutorial useful.