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Microphone Month

Compressed Mono Drum Mic for Effect

Here’s a drum tracking trick that can give you great options for your drum sound: Place a single microphone 5-10 feet in front of the kit at 3-6 feet in height. The idea is to capture a solid mono picture of the overall drum kit.

Then, when it comes time for mixdown, run that mic’s track through a compressor and squash that baby down! We’re after a heavily compressed track that pumps and breathes. We know, normally our advice is to set your compressor properly to avoid pumping and breathing, but in this case, that “trashiness” will play to our advantage.

Now, mix that track in underneath your dry drum sound, balancing to taste. You’ll find that the compressed front mic adds a thick punch and the pumping and breathing gives life to the drums. For a “trashy” drum sound, run the compressed mic hot in level compared to the dry drums. For a subtle enhancement, bring it up underneath in a supporting role.

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