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Recording Tips (Part 2 of 3) for Drummers


In part 1 we discussed getting ready to go into a studio.

In this part we will discuss tips for the actual recording process. When you book a studio you normally have an engineer assigned to your project and maybe also a producer. The engineer is the most important person in the room so make sure you are comfortable with him or her. Hopefully they are a fan of the type of music you play and are easy to talk to. Their job includes mic placement, getting the best sound out of your drums, working directly with you during recording, EQing the tracks, mixing, etc. Have an understanding with the engineer that once you have the right take you will move on to the next item so you’re not wasting valuable time and $ and energy.

In order to get the best sound out of your drums hit them as hard as you can while maintaining tempo and the drum part. If you start to feel tired, take a short break. Splash some cold water on your face or step outside for some fresh air. Be open to suggestions. Sometimes a band mate or engineer or producer will suggest something you hadn’t thought of. At least try it as it might improve on what you had originally prepared.

Serve the song/enhance the song. Everything you record on drums should be to serve the song (make the song the best it can be). After you’ve recorded a song or section of a song listen to the playback and see if you can do anything to make the song better. Fresh ears is a very important idea. After you’ve finished recording something leave it for a few hours or even a few days and then listen to it with fresh ears. You may be surprised how good it is or you may decide to re-record it. During recording you will likely be focusing on 3 or 4 things at once: a click track, your drum part, hitting all 4 limbs as hard as you can and taking instruction over the headphones from the control room. It is unfamiliar to be doing this many things at the same time and you’re going to make mistakes. Relax and enjoy the ride. The finished product will be worth it.

Power Drumming Canada coaches beginner, intermediate and advanced drummers to be the best they can be.