Drum recording can be complex. There are many different philosophies about recording a drum kit. I am a believer of the “simplicity is best” school of thought. After all, most of my all-time favorite recordings were done with very minimalistic drum mic set ups. When I record drums at Tangled Wire Studio, I end up using anywhere from one to three microphones, with a room mic added for an extra sparkle. Because my room is small and the style of music I record is suited for a minimalist setup, I am content.
One of the most famous drum mic techniques is the Glyn Johns, 3 mic technique. Here’s a video with the man himself explaining how it works:
Here’s another interesting video with legendary recordist Bob Clearmountain using a 4 microphone technique. (The Glyn Johns method, plus an extra mic for the snare.
Tape Op Magazine recently added their extensive 2004 interview with Rudy Van Gelder to their web archives. I highly recommend this interview for recording enthusiasts. Mr. Van Gelder was the man who recorded so many of the greatest jazz records of all time, including John Coltrane and his classic quartet recordings for Impulse Records.
Introduction to the Tape Op Interview:
Rudy Van Gelder’s legend looms large, yet he has avoided most interviews throughout his 50-plus years in the recording biz. He has never discussed his techniques, and even in the following interview he didn’t divulge details. Van Gelder is best known for the LPs he recorded in the ’50s and ’60s for the Blue Note and Prestige jazz labels. In his youth he built a recording studio in his parent’s house where he recorded Miles Davis and many others. Having outgrown the first home studio, he built his own recording studio/complex/home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, which remains. The scope of Van Gelder’s work is unknown, but it’s a foundation for the maps, legends and history of the music of John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others. Van Gelder’s work is both intimate and mind blowing, and he might be the greatest recording engineer in jazz history.
Here’s a fascinating video showing the genius of Brian Wilson during the Pet Sounds sessions. Wouldn’t Be Nice was the first song recorded for this classic album and this video gives us a glimpse into the complexity and brilliance of Wilson’s musical arrangement skills.
This is something to behold! This clip is entertaining and educational on so many levels. Note how the songs and the harmonies are constructed. This is how singing should be – from the heart without autotune. This video clip is a must watch for anyone who writes and arranges song!
Here’s a clip with Simon Wood going through the original tracks from David Bowie’s classic song, “Space Oddity.” I always find it useful to hear the individual elements of the mix in order to gain a better understanding of the song as a whole. I am especially fascinated the supporting musical elements that make the song, what it is. Note the really excellent bass and drum interplay near the end of the song. H/T Drew Dundon.
Hello. My name is Marwood W. And I am a Thrift Store Addict….
Thrift Stores can be a great resource for the self-recording musician. I have found some wonderful treasures rummaging through thrift stores in the Seattle area. Aside from finding useful cables and patch cords for dirt cheap, (For example, Monster Cable products for under a buck.) I have found some other gems that have helped me in my music creating process.
Here’s a breakdown of some of my favorite Thrift Store Scores:
I found this 1960’s or 1970’s “Granada” Japanese made Classical Guitar for under $25.00 at a local Goodwill Store. After replacing the old and mismatched tuning pegs and strings, I ended up with a very playable and good sounding gut string guitar for under $50.00.
Next on my score list is this basic mountain dulcimer I picked up for about $20.00. When I bought it, the thrift store clerk asked, “You want to buy that musical thingy?” While he didn’t know what the instrument was, I knew I found a gem. This dulcimer is not much to look at – in fact, I suspect it was a kit that someone put together. The inside label reads, “Hughes Dulcimer Co. Denver Colorado” with a date stamp of March 20th, 1981. I really enjoy the “droning” sound this produces. Keep a look out for Check out my song, “D-Day,” (which I hope to release very soon) to hear it in action.