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4 tips for drummers - As a drummer in the recording studio

Again and again, when recording with bands, I experience that the drummer has most of the issues that need to be clarified, be it the tuning of the set or, above all, general preparations until the first recording even occurs.

That's why I would like to put together a few tips for you as a drummer so that you are well prepared for your next or maybe even your first stay in the recording studio and can be completely relaxed.


In any case, be well prepared, because that lets you relax and ultimately deliver a cool recording. So check the processes of the songs you want to record in advance. If it is not possible that you can record together with guitar or vocals, you should pre-produce a so-called "guide track" that will help you to record the song without additional help.

Furthermore, you should be able to play absolutely tight to the click. If you are not sure yet, take enough time to practice it beforehand. Because in the studio you will have to do this 99% of the time so that the technician has a chance to edit or arrange recordings afterwards.


I often see drummers hit the studio with their heads completely slacked off. This is not a good idea because it won't really help the sound. If you have recently put on new batter heads, everything is fine, otherwise I definitely recommend that you buy new ones for a longer studio stay that also have a sound that matches what you have in mind. In any case, put on the skins a few days before studio time so that they can sit down a bit and don't get out of tune again too quickly.

You should then take enough time to tune the set on site in the studio. If you're not very good at this yet, the technician on site in the studio will be happy to help you. Don't make the mistake and try to achieve a suitable sound in the rehearsal room by dampening the batter heads with gaffa tape or something similar. In the studio your drums sound much better and you don't let the rehearsal room sound fool you. So definitely don't "kill" the set before it hits the studio ;-)


Most studios are well equipped and are sure to help you out with one or the other tool. But don't take it for granted and pack a good set of tools. These should include:


There's nothing worse than having to use the studio sticks in the middle of a recording that you are not used to at all because yours are broken and you haven't planned enough replacements. So pack a sufficient amount.


In order to implement your sound concept together with the technician in the studio on site, you may want to mute your drums. You should have enough options at the start, such as moon gel, sky gel, damping rings, simple towels or blankets.

Bass drum resonance head

If you do not have an opening in your bass drum resonance head, please cut a hole of at least 10 to 12 cm in advance. This is super important, because for most genres it is important that microphones can also be positioned in your bass drum, so it is not enough to mike outside in front of the head.

Hardware check

For your hardware, nothing should squeak and everything should work perfectly. Also check again whether the felt on the cymbal stands is still thick enough so that no cymbal has contact with the metal! Otherwise, please replace the old felt with a new one.


Also pack a small tool case with a tuning key, matching Allen keys for your drums, oil, pliers and adhesive tape.


During the soundcheck you should definitely play louder than later within the songs. Because the classic is that the technician levels the level during the sound check and you then play much louder while recording and then maybe overdrive.

Then after the sound check, record a short part and listen to it together with the technician. Then you can think together about what else you can optimize the game, the mood, the positioning or the selection of the microphones.


So if you have invested enough time in the preparation, have your complete set tuned to the desired sound and also communicate relaxed with the sound engineer on site during the recording, your stay in the studio will definitely be a cool experience. Write if my tips have helped you. Would be glad.


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