How To Record Toms With the R92

Audio Samples and Techniques Using the AEA R92

The R92 is an ideal mic to capture the sound of your toms because of its detailed and pronounced mid-range, balanced low end, heavy protection, and near-field nature. It’s thick lows and balanced sound from up close are what make it great for capturing toms. With a different sound for each side of the mic, the R92 gives you tons of options.

Due to the R92s near-field nature, it can be positioned similarly to how you would position a standard dynamic microphone, right up against a tom. This is because the R92 mechanically rolls off the low end before it hits the ribbon giving it a balanced sound from 2 – 16 inches away from the source. The R92 is very well protected and loudness will not hurt it though direct blasts of air will. Before miking your toms, do what we call the hand test.

The Hand Test

To ensure that the R92’s ribbon will not be damaged by strong blasts of air from your instrument, place your hand near the source and move it away until you can’t feel moving air, then place the R92 in that position. As an additional precaution, you can tilt the R92 slightly upward, thereby relieving the ribbon of some tension and allowing it to accept slightly greater air impact. A pop screen between the mic and the source is another method for preventing potential ribbon damage.

Ribbon Mics
Close Miking

When recording a tom, a good starting point is to position the R92 at 2 – 16 inches away. The closer you move towards the tom, the more bass you will get due to its proximity effect. If you find that there is too much low-end build-up, pull the mic back further.

The R92 is a figure-of-8 mic and picks up sound on both sides. When positioning the R92, use the nulls to your advantage to block out the sound of the cymbals on the drum kit. On floor tom, try slightly angling the R92 down so that the top of the mic points directly towards the ride cymbal.

If positioned properly, this will cancel out the direct sound of the ride cymbal. Otherwise, too much ride cymbal will be captured by the back side of the R92. Use this same technique when positioning an R92 on your rack tom. Try to avoid hi-hat by pointing the null of the R92 directly at the hi-hat.

Listen to the R92 on tom

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