Monday, December 17, 2012

Drum Mics - The Glyn Johns Technique

I've known about this little trick for micing up drums for a long time but rarely ever use it. I grew up in the era of big production and the idea of getting drum tracks or doing a show with fewer than ten inputs made me squeamish I guess. 

It's a simple setup. Take two condenser mics, preferably large diaphragm, and place one roughly over the rack tom, about head height, aimed at the snare. Place the other one, same height, roughly over the floor tom, also looking at the snare. Done.

You can mess with the panning to control stereo width. You can use a kick mic or not. You will always get a great drum sound with very little work. You get better separation of the cymbals because of the spacing of the mics, but a very tight image of the snare because they're equidistant from it and both aimed at it.

I tried it out on my drum overheads in a live setting and loved it there too. I used to be pretty happy with an X-Y or A-B setup, but the asymmetrical Glyn Johns technique trumps them all in my book. Here's a video of the man himself explaining things to a group of young Brethren of the Knob and Fader.

 

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