Home Recording Tips for Drums and Percussion

In the following article published on the TuneCore website, Rob Mayzes identifies “3 Hacks to Improve Your Home Recordings.”  The third home recording tip is particularly applicable to drums and percussion.



This last tip can be used for any sound source but works best on instruments and percussion.

Rooms with square corners (90 degrees) create a lot of issues. Bass frequencies build up in them, oftentimes skewing the sound.

This can wreck the sound of your instrument or throw off the balance of your mix. With that said, you can use it to your advantage.

Sometimes you’ll mic up an instrument and no matter what mic position you choose or how many adjustments you make, it just sounds thin and lifeless.

If this happens to you, try moving the instrument to the corner of your room!

Finding the Best Location In a Room to Record Drums and Percussion – The Real Way

The room has a huge impact on the sound of any acoustic instrument.  I feel this is particularly true for drums and percussion.  Where you place the drums inside of your room can make a huge difference in the final product.

What is the best location in a room to place your drums?  I know this is a tremendous amount of work, but the only true solution is to try things out.  Set up your drums in various parts of your studio, and record.  Repeat this process until you find the best spot.

Again, this is going to be a tremendous amount of work.  It involves a ton of breaking down and setting up.  If you want to try out different mics, it could easily multiply the workload.

Finding the Best Location In a Room to Record Drums and Percussion – The Practical Way

Now, the practical way – or what I would actually do in real life.  From a practical perspective, the aforementioned “real way” is probably not worth it.  Are you really going to move everything out of your studio, and try out all the different positions?  Also, keep in mind that the perfect sound for one song may not work for the next.

It’s far more likely that there are a handful of possible positions in your room.  If you’re lucky, you can set up in 2-3 possible locations of the room.  It might make sense to try out these locations and pick the “best” or most neutral sounding one.