Recording drums is a complex process, and one that requires a great sounding kit, in an appropriate environment with decent microphones. So, an opportunity to watch drums being recorded by season pros in a world-class studio is the source of invaluable insight, with plenty to apply to capturing the sound of our own kits.
That’s exactly what microphone brand, Lauten Audio has just delivered with DRUMS, dropping a 75-minute YouTube video following Grammy-winning engineer, Darrell Thorp as he records drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, Roger Waters, R.E.M) in Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 live room.
Less of a presented ‘how-to’ and more a fly-on-the-wall video with candid conversation and explanation of his mic choices, placement decisions and challenges, DRUMS is full of easy-to-follow advice for getting a great drum sound.
First, we get an explanation of Waronker’s $150, five-concert tom Pearl kit - acquired by Joey via Scott Liken of Istanbul Agop Cymbals, and nicknamed the Chemtrail kit after the Beck song of the same name.
Next, Darrell begins selecting and placing microphones around the kit, talking through his selection while also explaining the common sonic considerations - minimising potential bleed between the mics, capturing specific elements of a drum’s sound and positioning overhead and room mics to create the overall image and weight of a kit.
When he’s done, the camera moves to the control room, home to the former Sound City Studios Neve mixing desk, which Dave Grohl famously purchased and documented in his Sound City movie.
Here we see Darrell’s process for squeezing additional colour out of the Neve 1084 preamps, blending microphones, checking phase coherency and more. Of course, the video was produced by Lauten Audio, and Darrell’s selection is based largely around Lauten’s mics.
• Lauten Audio LA-120 V2: Hi Hat & Snare Bottom
• Lauten Audio LA-220 V2: Stereo Overheads
• Lauten Audio LA-320 V2: Stereo Drum Room
• Lauten Audio LS-208: Kick in & Snare Top
• Lauten Audio LS-308: Toms
• Clarion FC-357: Kick Out
• Atlantis FC-387: Mono Room
• Eden LT-386: Mono Overhead
As a bonus, Lauten Audio is giving viewers who sign-up to its mailing list access to the Pro Tools session and associated audio tracks to experiment with too. Head on over to Lauten Audio to download it.