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  • Writer's pictureMini Fairhurst

How to record your drums at home

So, you’ve decided to start recording yourself playing the drums. Nice!

Whether you’re just doing it for fun or you’re serious about making it a part of your career, recording your drumming skills is a great way to improve your playing and share it with others.

But before you hit the record button, there are a few things you’ll need to buy to get started.

What you need to record drums at home


First things first, you’ll need a drum kit. If you already have one, great!

If not, you’ll need to invest in one.

Now, you don’t need to go all out and buy the most expensive acoustic kit on the market, but you do want to make sure that the kit you choose is of decent quality.

After all, you want your drums to sound good in your recordings, right?


Next up, you’ll need some microphones.

This is where things can get a little bit tricky, but don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems.

You’ll need at least three microphones – one for the kick drum, one for the snare drum, and one for the overheads. You can also add more microphones if you want to capture more of the nuances of your drumming, but three is a good starting point.

There are several types of microphones that are commonly used to record drums, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Here are some of the best types of microphones to consider for recording drums:

Dynamic microphones

These are the most common type of microphone used for recording drums. They can handle high sound pressure levels and are durable, making them ideal for close-miking drums.

Some popular dynamic microphones for recording drums include the Shure SM57 and SM58, the Sennheiser e906 and e602, and the AKG D112.

My top snare microphone
Shure SM57

Condenser microphones

These are more sensitive than dynamic microphones and can capture more detail in the sound of the drums. They are often used as overhead or room microphones to capture the overall sound of the kit.

Some popular condenser microphones for recording drums include the Audio-Technica AT4050, the Neumann KM 184 and the AKG C414.

This is one of my overhead microphones
Lewitt LCT 140 Air

Ribbon microphones

These are known for their smooth and natural sound and are often used as room microphones to capture the ambience of the recording space. They are not as common as dynamic or condenser microphones for drum recording, but can be a great addition to the microphone setup.

Some popular ribbon microphones for recording drums include the Royer R-121 and the AEA R84.

Boundary microphones

These are sometimes used on the floor to capture the sound of the kick drum. They are designed to be placed on a hard surface, such as the floor, and capture sound through the vibrations of that surface.

Some popular boundary microphones for recording drums include the Audio-Technica PRO 42 and the Shure Beta 91A.

It's important to note that there is no one "best" type of microphone for recording drums, as different setups and recording environments may require different microphones.

Experimenting with different microphones and microphone placements can help you find the best setup for your specific needs.

My drum microphone setup

Snare microphone (top) - Shure SM57

Snare microphone (bottom) - Lewitt MTP 440 DM Dynamic

Tom microphones - Lewitt 340 TT Supercardioid

Overhead microphones - Lewitt LCT 140 Air

Bass drum microphone - Lewitt DTP 640 Rex

Hi-hat microphone - Lewitt LCT040 Matched

Audio Interface

Once you have your microphones, you’ll need a way to get them into your computer. This is where an audio interface comes in. An audio interface is a device that allows you to connect your microphones to your computer and record your drumming.

There are many different audio interfaces on the market, so do your research and find one that fits your budget and your needs.

I use the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (first generation)

This is the interface I use
Scarlett 18i20

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Now that you have your drum kit, your microphones, and your audio interface, it’s time to talk about software. You’ll need a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to record, edit, and mix your drumming.

There are many different DAWs to choose from, but some of the most popular ones are Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Garage Band and Ableton Live.


Last but not least, you’ll need some headphones. When you’re recording, you’ll want to make sure that you’re listening to the playback through headphones so that the sound from the drums doesn’t bleed into the microphones.

You don’t need anything fancy, just a decent pair of headphones will do.

I use Beyerdynamic DT 770 M Studio headphones to mix my covers


So there you have it, the basic equipment you’ll need to start recording yourself playing drums.

Of course, there are many other things you can add to your setup to enhance your recordings, but this will get you started.

And remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process of recording yourself playing drums.

So don’t stress too much about spending lots of money and getting the perfect setup right away.

Just start recording and see where it takes you!

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