Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s TTOTD, which was based on the Ross Hogarth session recently held in Sweetwater’s studios (see video on our Facebook page), here’s a handy method for making sure that pairs of microphones, such as overheads, are the same distance from a source: use a microphone cable.
Here’s the idea: Place your first overhead microphone (typically the one over the hi-hat side of a standard drum kit). Use a microphone or other cable, a piece of string, or a tape measure to mark the distance from the center of the top snare head to the mic. Now, place the second overhead mic (typically over the ride cymbal/floor tom side of a standard kit). With your measuring device, set the mic so that it is the same distance from the center of the top snare head as the first overhead is. This may mean that the second overhead is slightly lower than the first, in order to get it placed far enough over for sufficient stereo spread.
Ensuring the two overhead mics are the same distance from the snare will be a big help in achieving good phase relationships between the various mics on the kit.