Percussion instruments are the oldest instruments known to man and they are played by being beaten, rubbed or shaken either by hand or another device or struck by another instrument. There are two categories of percussion instruments. The first is pitched instruments that are capable of producing an identifiable tone. Examples of pitched percussion instruments include hand bells and chimes. The second category for percussion instruments is unpitched and they produce no identifiable tone. Examples include bass drums and cymbals. In the world of music, the most popular percussion instruments include drums, rattles, metal plates and blockers. All of these instruments can generate a sound by being beaten or struck by the musician.
The percussion instruments in the form of drum kits gained in popularity with the music of the 20th Century and they were normally part of the rhythm section along with a piano, bass instrument, and guitar. This composite was evident in jazz as well as rock and roll. The most common types of drum kits include the bass drum, crash cymbal, color tom, Hi-Hat cymbals, snare drum and tom-tom drum. The items used to strike the drum generally include the hands, sticks and mallets.
Recording Drum Music
One of the most difficult things to do is to record a band that uses drums as a main focus of its music. The sound of the drummer may be a solid beat or a beat that is sporadic and hard to follow. Obviously, the solid beat is much easier to follow in the recording.
Recording Kick Drums
The first type of drum used in many band recordings is the kick drum. It normally establishes the beat for the recorded song. It is important to use a microphone that is large and has a low frequency range. Placement of the microphone for the song recording should be about 12 inches away for the beater and somewhat off center. There are specific types of microphones for kick drums with Shure Beta, Akg and Sennheiser being some of the more popular. As with most things, some experimentation should be done prior to the final recording.
Recording Snare Drums
Another prominent type of drum for recording is the snare drum. The microphone placement when recording with this type of drum is 1 inch in from the rim and 2 to 3 inches above the rim. The microphone should be facing toward the center of the drum and directly away from the hi-hat.
These techniques should allow for an excellent drum recorded sound for most bands.
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