Tag Archives: Recording tips

Simple Drum Recording Techniques

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.

How to record drums with four microphones from Apogee Electronics on Vimeo.

Hat tip to the always excellent Bobby Owswinski blog. If you’re not reading it, your missing out on a lot of great information.

Rudy Van Gelder Interview

Rudy Van Gelder and Wes Montgomery

Rudy Van Gelder and Wes Montgomery

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.

Got to the Tape Op Site to read the rest of the interview.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Tape Op! In the U.S. there are free subscriptions for the print edition.

Breaking down David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”

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.

Recording Spotlight: Thrift Store Scores

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.

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