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How To Record Drums feat. Greg D’Angelo

Hey, it’s Warren Huart. Hope you’re doing marvelously well today. We are going to be doing a drum recording session today with the great Greg D’Angelo, an amazing drummer, who was the original drummer in Anthrax and was the drummer in White Lion, and Pride and Glory, and of course, he’s done many rock sessions and many other sessions over the years. Great, great drummer.

The song we’re going to be recording on is a song that I wrote with an artist — a great artist called Alexx Calise. It’s a great heavy rock song with elements of keys, etcetera, and we’re still in the writing process, but we have the arrangement done, and we have a basic idea of what we’re going to be doing. It’s not even finished vocals, it’s all scratch ideas, etcetera, but I thought it would be a perfect song to use to give you an idea of — you know, what we do and how to record drums on a budget.

Now, the setup we’re using is going to be a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. It’s an eight input interface. It sounds great, it’s very straight forward. We’re using zero compression going in, so it’s just mics, interface, I/O, into Pro Tools. Really, really straight forward. Something you can do at home. We’re using a Lewitt mic pack, which I believe is about $1,200 or $1,300. That gives us the basic setup, however, there’s only two condenser mics. We’ve added a third Lewitt on the hi-hat mic, and also, I wanted to record the snare bottom as well, so I brought in an SM57, a relatively inexpensive mic, and we’re using that on the bottom.

Otherwise, that’s the basic Lewitt drum package. There are other people that make drum packages as well, this is just the one we have that is relatively inexpensive, and we’ve added two additional mics.

So let’s get started and get some level on all of our drums here. We’re going to go around the kit. We’ll do kick, snare, hi-hat, rack, floor, overheads. So let’s go around.


That’s some good level on the kick here.

I would bring it down just a notch as they say. Just because once the drummer starts playing, he’ll dig in a little harder. Now go to the snare.


It’s a little low at the moment, but let’s just see how he is when he starts playing. He’ll probably dig in a little harder and maybe give it some — Greg is a very dynamic, big, powerful rock drummer.

Snare bottom looks pretty good. There isn’t as much dynamics with the snare bottom as with the snare top, because you’re not getting the stick hitting at the same time, all you’re getting is the resonance and the reflection of those kind of sounds in the bottom.

Some hi-hat.


That again looks pretty good.

Let’s go to the rack.

[rack tom]

There it is! Rack tom! I’ve panned here about 20% or so. You know, I like it to — I want it to feel like he’s going around the drum kit, but at the same time, it’s got to be logical. You know, most drummers have their rack slightly offset from the snare. So you know, 20% is pretty good.


Let’s go to the floor.

[floor tom]

The floor I usually pan around 60%. Again, pretty good level. Great. Now overheads.


Printing pretty good level on the overheads there.


Big, big, massive fill. [laughs]

That’s the technical term. Big, big, massive, fill. And then I would go really tight back on the end.


That. [miming drums]

I mean, you could even follow that. You could be the, [miming rhythm].

This is a fun song to mirror the riffs on drums and just kind of — you know what I mean? Yeah. Rock and roll. Metal mania.

[mix, recording drums]

I hope you enjoyed the video there with Greg D’Angelo. Please hit me up with any questions you may have in the comments below, and also, I’m going to be doing a more expansive, exclusive video for those of you that want to sign up on my e-mail list below, and that will give us even more details about drum recording. We’ll have mic placement, we’ll have EQs, compression settings, and of course, we’ll get into drum editing and sound replacing, and placing samples, etcetera, etcetera.

But in the meantime, please hit me up with some comments below, subscribe to the e-mail list, and we’ll get this conversation going, and really get into recording drums. It’s a lot of fun. To be honest, it’s one of the most skilled parts of recording rock and roll, but one of the most fun, and I personally enjoy it. We can talk about drum editing, EQ and compression in future videos, and we’ll get more into that kind of stuff in exclusive videos.

So hit me up on the e-mail list. I would love to hear from you. Subscribe, leave comments, there you go! Thank you ever so much for watching, and I really appreciate it.


Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at

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