I had an all-day tracking session on Monday.

My go-to drummer Tim Horsley and I arrived at the studio early to get drum sounds. We went through individual mics one at a time to make sure everything was sounding good. When we came to the top snare mic, it initially sounded like it had too much ring to it. My gut instinct was to have him dampen it to bring that ring down.

Tim, being an awesome dude, challenge me on it, saying it might make the snare sound lifeless and boring. I trust him on this stuff, so we left it alone.

Fast forward to later in the session. Tim turns to me as we’re listening back to a song we just recorded and says, “See? Once it’s in the mix with everything else, you don’t hear that ring at all.”

Don’t get me wrong, when you record with multiple microphones, it’s important to listen to the individual mics to make sure nothing has gone horribly wrong. (Remember the time I ruined a snare drum recording?)

But don’t spend too much time on any one microphone. What matters most is if it “plays nicely” with the other mics.

Had we dampened the snare to make it have less ring, the overall drum recording would have suffered.

Want to produce better music? Become skilled at leaving things alone.

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

P.S. Speaking of drums, did you know I created a course called Drum Mixing Guide? If you’re looking to improve your drum mixing game, this is a great way to do that. Also, if you’re a VIP member you can get it for 50% off. Sweet, right?