The first reply had it down close, but let me clue you in a little better.
Kick: get a kick mic like an AKG D-112 (lots of attack) or a Shure
52 (lots of body) and get it inside the kick if you can. The closer to the beater the more attack (smack or click) the closer to the front head, the fuller the sound. P.S. You can get away with a regular dynamic mic
like an SM-57 or 58 (actually the same capsule in a different case).
Snare: Just use a Shure
SM-57, it's the industry standard. If your finger was the mic it would be just over the rim (first knuckle
) and pointing roughly at the center of the drum. Try to aim it away from the floor toms if possible.
Toms: More 57s if you got em, Senheiser 421s are good. There's also lots of cool little clip on mics that get good sounds. Where you point
them depends on if you want more body or attack and depends even more on the tone of the drum itself. You can change it a lot just by moving the mic and leaving the EQ alone.
Overhead: You can actually skip the snare and tom mics if you have a properly positioned overhead. In the studio I've gotten a really good sound out of just a kick mic and an SM-57 overhead. To position it, think of your finger again, more or less directly over the toms (maybe a little toward the player) about 2 to 3 feet up and pointing right in between the rack toms (the small ones).
A lot of people will tell you that a condenser mic
is best for overheads and they'd be right if it was a rock show or studio. But in your case when you're just trying to fill out something from the pit, less is more... way
more. A condenser mic
will give you a truer sound, but will also tend to pick up
the brass and whatever else is close by. There's feedback
issues as well. A 57 in the air isn't going to be as sensitive, or give you big boomy toms, but it will pick up
the transients and help blanket the attack of the hits and the sizzle of the cymbals across the room.
And last but not least, for a theater application it wouldn't hurt to buss whatever drum mics you do come up with and insert a comp
on the subgroup. Try somewhere a little heavier than 2:1 with a fast attack and release
, hard knee and just roll
down till you're getting 3 to 6 dB reduction, compensate by turning up the output a little and you're there. You'll loose just a little bit
of punch but will have much more control over the group. Then gate
down as much as you can to keep the rest of the pit from bleeding in.