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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!