Tracking drums is an art form that takes time to develop. Choosing the right preamp to pair with your studio setup is never an easy task. There are so many options out there and it can seem a bit overwhelming. This article dives deeper into some of the options available and I give you some personal advice on the preamps that I like to use for drum recordings.
Our pursuit of bigger and better drum mixes is never-ending. There has been a lot of experimentation with acoustic sets, electronic sets, triggers, MIDI samplers, and loops. Though an eclectic combination of all the different sounds has been the best result, a pure acoustic set mic'd up is the ultimate goal. Aside from the obvious option of tracking on a Neve or SSL board, our experiments have led us to use different types of mics. Mics designed for tracking guitar amps have been very useful on toms. Using an AKG D112 on the bottom of the snare has given us some nice deep snare tones.