The Guide To Setting Up A Drum Set With Mics

Are you looking for ways to set up your drum set with mics? Here’s the ultimate guide to setting up a drum set with mics. 

Drum recording and drum miking are complex tasks. The sound of a drum set may be recorded using a wide variety of pieces, each with a distinct sound of its own. So, to obtain the best result, you must mike up each drum in the set separately. 

Although it may seem challenging to start micing, this guide will help you make sure you have everything in place. And hopefully, it will help you produce a remarkable sound that will wow anybody who hears it. 

The ultimate guide to setting up a drum with mics

So, let’s start the guide to setting up a drum set with mics step by step. But first, let’s find all the important information and helpful tips to do it on your own. 

To record a drum kit, what do I need?

The following is a list of the materials required to record a drum kit:

  • A laptop

A computer is necessary for drum recording. The ideal PC should have a good CPU and at least 4GB of Memory. Unfortunately, low-end laptops and PCs frequently lack the power to handle audio.

  • A Daw

The term “DAW” refers to a piece of software that enables you to record, edit, and mix audio from your microphones.

Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and some of the free solutions like Garageband and Cakewalk.

  • Sound interface

A piece of hardware called an audio interface uses USB to link your microphones to your computer. It functions as a soundcard for your DAW to recognize the audio from your microphones.

You must have at least an 8-channel interface, such as the Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre, for recording drums. However, if needed, you may record with fewer channels (more on that later).

  • Microphones (Mics)

The sounds are captured by microphones at the source and sent to the audio interface. 

You’ll probably need at least eight microphones to capture drumming accurately. (Further details on the different types of microphones required are provided in the next section.)

You will need a cable to connect each microphone to the audio interface. Almost all microphones use the XLR (External Line Return) connection type as a standard.

What are the Drum miking techniques?

Snare drum

The snare drum can be miked in one of four ways.

1. The most common method is to position the mic to point directly at the center of the snare from one side. Because it is so near to the rim—about two fingers or a   few inches—it produces a particular closeness effect.

2. Back it off a little while maintaining the center for a brighter snare tone with less attack and more body sound.

3. In order to obtain even more assault, try lifting the mic a little bit while still aiming for the same sweet spot.

4. Aim the mic closer to the edge of the snare to lessen the attack.

Kick drum

You can record the kick drum in two different ways.

1. Position the microphone in front of the bass drum, as in the past, to lessen the assault. But, again, jazz is still where you can apply this method primarily.

2. Insert the microphone into the bass drum’s resonant head hole.

Together, these two methods are frequently employed. Some producers, however, like adding a third microphone in the heart of the bass drum.


Toms are often miked with a single mic that is positioned to record the whole sound of the drum. It is typically employed as a dynamic mic for this purpose.

At times, engineers may use two mics. One above the drums and the other in front of them to combine overhead and close-miking approaches. 

This produces a pleasant stereo picture without numerous phase issues.

How Should My Drums Be Mic’d? 

First step: The kick drum

  • Connect an XLR cable to your large-diaphragm dynamic microphone (such as the AKG D112 kick drum mic).
  • Your audio interface’s CHANNEL 1 should receive the microphone.
  • (For a punchy, tight sound)

Place the microphone halfway inside the bass drum on a towel if the resonant head of your bass drum has a hole in it. The grill side of the microphone should be towards the area where the bass drum beater hits the batter head.

  • (For a resonant, open sound)

Point the microphone at the spot where the batter head is struck by the beater, right beyond the resonant head porthole. If your bass drum isn’t with a porthole, place the microphone a few inches from the resonant head. The sound is more “open” the further it is from the microphone.

Second step: The snare drum

  • Put an XLR cable on your dynamic microphone (such as a Shure SM57).
  • Your audio interface’s CHANNEL 2 should receive the microphone.
  • Set up the microphone stand such that it is between the first rack tom and the hi-hat stand in the snare.
  • Focus the microphone on the drum’s center, with the grill of the microphone a few inches within the drum’s edge. And roughly two inches above the head. (NOTE: Try different mic placements to get the sound you desire. Tighter/focused = closer mic. Additional mic = open/ringing

Fourth step: The toms

  • The toms (tom-toms) will operate in a manner that is quite similar to the snare drums.
  • Affix an XLR cable to each microphone.
  • Your toms should be connected to channels 4,5 and 6 separately (Hi, Mid and Low toms)
  • Place the microphones near the middle of the drum head, right inside the rim of each tom. The majority of small tom microphones have a clip to fasten the microphone to the drum’s rim.
  • One at a time, adjust the mic gain for each tom.

Here’s the essential guide to mixing drums.


We hope our “Ultimate guide to setting up a drum set with mics” will help you micing. Now, you can set up a drum with mics at home in the studio anywhere you want, according to your taste. But practice in the room and be ready before your recording date!

So. set up a drum by taking the time to set up each microphone correctly. No matter how beautifully you play, it won’t sound amazing when played back if you skimp and don’t properly set up all the mics.

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Jr. Robert A. Plant

Hey there! I'm Jr. Robert A. Plant, an artist, blogger and reviewer who's absolutely in love with the world of music. I have a knack for reviewing music gear, sharing my thoughts and insights at Raisingsand FX. When I'm not exploring gear, you'll find me lost in the creative process of writing songs. Music is my passion, and I'm here to inspire and touch lives through my artistic journey.

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