Glyn Johns Drum Mic Technique

Glyn Johns Drum Mic Technique


This uses 4 mics – kick, snare and 2 overheads that point directly at the snare centre 40-60 inches away, equally. The distance is subjective and experimentation encouraged.

The overheads are set the same distance from the snare centre, 90 degrees apart vertically and horizontally along stage left and right, above the snare and to the left or right of the drummer depending if he is a lefty player or not.

As our drummer is a lefty, the vertical overhead is hung directly above the centre of the snare drum, and the left mic was placed at the same height as snare centre, pointing directly at the snare centre. This should also pickup the hi hats overspill nicely which are on the other side. From above:

We did 2 setups to see the effect of small distance changes. A drum rim clip-on was used for the Shure SM57 mic, near the edge,s was used on the snare itself, and a mic stand used in the kick shell, with 1 pillow used as damping – 2 pillows was too woolly, and none was awful with the whole kick shell vibrating.

An AKG D112 was placed at the centre of the kick 23cm from the hammer contact point.

Setup 1 distances:


kick mic (AKG D112 )– 23cm inside drum centre

snare mic (Shure SM57– 3cm above snare edge

mic left (Rode NT5 condenser – Phantom powered) – 125cm

Ohead mic (Rode NT5 condenser -Phantom powered) – 125cm


This gave a very general usage rock + roll/blues sound, a good general purpose drum kit.

MP3 to go here.


Setup 2

kick mic – 20cm inside drum centre

snare mic – 3cm from snare edge

mic left – 100cm

Ohead mic – 100cm

This gave a very nice jazz fusion snare sound that I loved.

MP3 to go here.

NB: When breaking it all down ALWAYS remember to turn of the 48V Phantom power FIRST before unplugging!!

I will retrieve the recordings from the 2 set ups so you can hear the difference.

We were all really impressed with this technique as a minimal microphone setup, compared even to the previous 2 setups we have done already which I will document later. These comprised kick, snare, hi hat and 1 tom mics plus 2 stereo overheads.