Recording 70s drums is a technique that I would like to spend time on researching & understand so that I can incorporate the techniques in our funk project as it is our inspiration.
70s drums were characterised with focus & tight sounding while sounding fat & full. The choice for the mic placement & EQ/ compression I would reference during our mic setup. The drum set that I have is a Tama Imperial kit 18×14.
The front resonant head of the drum will be removed to reduce overtones & it also allows for the microphones to be placed close to the batter head to have a focused & tight sound & a heavy blanket will be used to heavily dampen the drum
Tuning of the drum is very important so that we get the medium or high tuning rather than a low tuning. With the drum heavily muffled the medium/ high tuning gave the drum would give a nice thump in the low end as opposed to a low tuning which sounds dead. Inside the bass drum we will place an AKG D112 a few inches away from the batter head. The mic’s purpose is to capture the attack of the drum & the signal from the mic will have a hi-pass,EQ & compressed. A gate will also be used to isolate the signal.
The outer bass drum a Warm Audio wa-47jr Mic will be placed 14 inches away from the batter head. The purpose of the mic was to capture the low end of the drum as well as some air. The top frequency in the mic will sound good & will help thicken the attack sound of the inside mic. The signal will also have an EQ, compressor & gate.
The snare drum will have heavy muffling with a plastic muffle ring & tuned low instead of high with a Shure SM57 mic for both top & bottom.
The rack tom will have heavy muffling using a rag & tape, medium tuning is required with a Sennheiser e604 mic for choice.
The floor tom will have a heavy muffling using rag & tape with medium or low tuning & a Sennheiser e604 mic too.
The overhead mic choice would be two AKG C424XLii in an XY stereo pair. The mics will be in a cardioid pick up pattern & hi passed using the mics built in pass filter. Thmic placement will be above the snare & bass drum to pick up a strong snare & bass drum signal. The reason for the high pass is so that the low end would not conflict with the close drum mics.
A Shure SM58 will be placed underneath the floor tom & directed towards the snare drum. The purpose for the this mic is to capture some extra tone, character & texture to fill out the drum sound. The signal for this mic will have a heavy EQ & compressor.
We intend to use the analog console to try & get the 70s sound effect & a tape plugin for an extreme saturation effect is possibly will give the vintage vibe on the drums. The drums will be compressed & glued together with a bus compressor.
We hope to use these mic techniques for our funk project so that we can achieve a 1970s funk feel vibe on our EP recording. The research will help us have an understanding what to do & how to achieve the outcome.
Eargle, J. (2004). The microphone book (2nd ed.). Elsevier/Focal Press.
Huber, D. M. (2017). Modern recording techniques (Ninth, Ser. Audio engineering society presents). Routledge.
Elmosnino, S. (2018). Audio production principles : practical studio applications. Oxford University Press.