Recording Drums – Mic Pre / Mixer / Sound Card

Recording Drums – Mic Pre / Mixer / Sound Card

I’ve been looking into the best way to record drums and there seems to be a few options. Generally speaking they are (when I say recording drums I mean to close mic the kit so that at least 6 mic inputs are needed and you want them on seperate tracks within the DAW; Cubase etc):

1) A sound card with 8 powered inputs (these are quite rare. Most soundcards have 8 inputs but they are not powered at all so aren’t suitable for Mic inputs). If you do buy on with 8 powered inputs it is likely to be fairly expensive! This is a good example: http://www.thomann.de/gb/presonus_firestudio.htm.

When buying a soundcard for recording drums it’s worth looking out for the type of inputs. You need Mic level inputs rather than line level. Preferably with a gain control and amp on each input.

2) A usb/firewire mixer. This seems to be a popular option for people recording at home on a budget. The mixers come with a converter and software so they are easily plugged straight into the PC and *voila* (or viola if you’re into string instruments) you have separate audio channels within the DAW to record on. An example is: http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=usb+mixer&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=14926173574006257262&sa=X&ei=biPhTtqpO4u5hAfP06mIAg&ved=0CIwBEPMCMAQ. 

This is a great option. 6 inputs – powered and its a Mackie so the mic preamps will be decent. The thing to look out for with this option is the quality of the Mic Pres.

3) Using separate preamps for each Mic. The advantage of this is that you can purchased separate better quality preamps for say, Mic OverHeads and customise your sound. You also usually get better quality preamps. This is the option I’ll be going for. The reason is that I have a fairly standard soundcard – 2 Mic Inputs with 6 more line inputs.

You could choose to buy a small analogue mixer to use as extra Mic Pres or individual MicPres; depending on your budget.

Here are some good quality mid ranged Mic Pres:






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