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Microphone Month

Unusual Mic Placements

Super-engineer Ross Hogarth was just here doing an excellent recording session with legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff, vocalist/guitarist Lukas Rossi (from CBS’s Rockstar SuperNova), and bassist German Briseno. (You can see video from the session at our Facebook page.)

In addition to exemplary close and overhead miking for Aronoff’s drums, Ross was using unusual mic placements as well, including:

  • In addition to the “standard” wide-spread stereo pair of Mojave Audio MA-200 condenser mics overhead, a Royer SF-24 stereo ribbon mic was placed directly over Aronoff.
  • Two Mojave MA-200 mics were placed at very wide left/right extremes, about chest height, 10 feet in front of the drums.
  • Two Royer Labs R-122 mics were placed very high in the room, in two opposite corners.
  • A Royer R-122 was centered in front of the drums, at chest height, about 10 feet back.
  • A stereo Royer SF-24 was aligned directly above the R-122 centered in front of the drums.

The amazing thing? When Ross soloed anyone of these “extra” mics, the overall drum kit sound was phenomenal — nearly good enough to stand as the drum track on its own. Then, when the various “extra” mics were combined with the close mics (an array of Royer R-121, R122, and R-122V ribbons and Mojave Audio MA-201 fet, MA-100, and MA-101 fet condensers), the drums simply exploded with huge, natural, dynamic sound.

The key to making all this work? Very careful control of the phase relationships between all the mics.

In this article

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