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Drum Science - Part 3 | Podcast

Mic positions for recording By Rob Toulson
Published December 2023
Professor Rob Toulson

In the third and final part of this series, Rob Toulson focuses on mic techniques for recording drums and talks us through the issue of frequency cancellation in a multiple mic setup, details how to choose the recording sweet spot in a room and explains the various stereo mic options that are available including the famous Glyn Johns technique.

Show Notes


00:00 - Introduction
00:52 - Phase Coherence
03:00 - Time Delays
05:10 - Comb Filtering
07:53 - Flipping The Polarity
12:22 - Choosing A Recording Space
14:56 - Mic Choice And Placement
17:43 - Stereo Techniques
18:08 - Spaced Pair Technique
19:02 - Glyn Johns Mic Technique
20:12 - Coincident Pair Technique
21:16 - ORTF Technique
22:20 - Mid-Side Technique
24:30 - Comparing The Techniques
25:22 - Other Mic Techniques

Useful Diagrams

Figure 1. 03:00 - Time delays with multichannel microphone recordingFigure 1. 03:00 - Time delays with multichannel microphone recording Figure 2. 05:10 - Comb filtering shown on a spectrum analyserFigure 2. 05:10 - Comb filtering shown on a spectrum analyser Figure 3. 19:02 - Glyn Johns drum recording techniqueFigure 3. 19:02 - Glyn Johns drum recording technique

Presenter: Professor Rob Toulson - Biog

Rob is Director of RT60 Ltd, who develop mobile apps for musicians and sound engineers. RT60’s iDrumTune Pro app assists drummers with learning the skills of drum tuning and has been the number one music app in over 100 countries since its launch in 2012. More recently, Rob and RT60 developed Songzap, which simplifies the process of recording and capturing musical ideas, enabling songwriters to focus exclusively on their creativity.

Rob stared his career as a mechanical engineer with a doctorate in digital signal processing, before following his passion and moving into the field of music technology and specialising in percussion acoustics and audio software development. Rob has held a number of academic research roles in his career, including Professor of Creative Industries at University of Westminster and Director of the CoDE Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University. Rob’s also a successful musician, music producer and sound designer, having worked with many artists including Talvin Singh, Wilfy Williams and Mediaeval Baebes, who previously topped the UK Classical Music Chart.

Rob is author of a number of music-related books and articles, including Drum Sound and Drum Tuning, published by Routledge in 2021, and co-editor of the Innovation In Music book series, which is also published by Routledge. His sound design work has been included in films by BAFTA Winner Shreepali Patel and has been showcased at Glastonbury Festival, The V&A and The Natural History Museum.

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On this channel you’ll find shows packed with hints and tips about getting the most out of the recording, mixing and mastering process.

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