How To Record Drums With the N8

Audio Samples and Techniques Using the AEA N8
The N8’s extended low-end and natural tonality make it a widely popular choice for drum overheads. Whether perched over a kit, in front, or capturing from afar, the versatile N8 yields a massive, balanced drum sound that blends the direct of drums with expansive, dimensional room sound.
Ribbon Mics

Overheads

Spaced Overheads
When recording drums overhead, try positioning two N8s 6 to 8 feet from the ground, above the kit. This placement delivers a balanced blend of direct sound and room ambience, with high-frequency roll-off to smooth potentially harsh cymbals. Take care to ensure the two overhead N8s are in phase with one another by maintaining an equal distance between the mics and the snare or kick.
Blumlein Overheads

An alternative technique to spaced overhead N8s implements the NUVO Stereo Kit, which comprises two N8s in Blumlein configuration. Place this array 6 to 8 feet from the ground and above the kit, with the center of the array pointing towards the kick drum. This method produces an expansive stereo spread with astonishing detail and presence. To capture more room sound, lift the array farther above the kit.

Ribbon Mics
Listen to the N8 on overheads in Blumlein configuration:

Mono Overhead

A single ribbon mic above a drum set is the classic way to record a natural and focused sound of your instrument. The N8 is well known for its ability to capture the detail and full low end of a drum kit while maintaining the natural sound of your source. A single N8 above a drummer is often all that is needed to reproduce a full sounding drum set. Blending a mono N8 overhead with a kick mic and a room mic can add more depth and clarity, especially when tracking in a room with a nice and natural reverb.

Ribbon Mics
Listen to a mono N8 overhead:

Front of Kit

Front of Kit Mono

For different results position an N8 at 3 to 6 feet in front of the kit, roughly at the drummer’s eye level or below. This signal can be blended with drum overheads, or can serve as a single, mono mic signal. When blended with overheads this front signal fills the center of the stereo spread, adding depth and detail to a mix.

Ribbon Mics
Listen to a mono N8 in front of kit:

Front of Kit Stereo

Two N8s can also be setup in Blumlein Configuration in the same position as the mono N8 in front of a drum kit. This setup will act as another stereo perspective to the overheads and will provide added depth and dimension to your drum tracks.

In many instances, this pair of N8s is all you will need to capture the sound and image of your drums. This configuration is easy to setup when using the NUVO Stereo Kit and NUVO Blumlein Coupler.

Ribbon Mics
Listen to the N8s in Blumlein configuration in front of kit:

Room Miking

Room Reflections

Yet another method for recording drums takes advantage of the N8’s nulls, capturing only the reflections of the drum kit in a room. Use the same placement you would in front of a kit, but face the mic’s null side towards the kit. This method creates a multi-dimensional, hulking drum sound that highlights the interaction between an instrument and the room.

Ribbon Mics
Listen to an N8 side mic in front of the drum kit:

Ambient Room Miking

The truthful detail and extended low-end inherent in the N8 make it an outstanding tool for capturing the comprehensive sound of a room without much direct sound lending to a realistic and natural reverb. Its far-field design lends well to recording sources from as far as 20 feet away while still retaining low-end response. Effectively positioning the N8 in a room simply requires exploring the space and actively listening for the most balanced sound.

Positioning two N8s in Blumlein at a distance from the drums will capture a true stereo image of the honest reverb in your space. This configuration is a professional secret weapon that has been used for years to add depth and detail to countless recordings. This configuration is easy to setup when using the NUVO Stereo Kit and NUVO Blumlein Coupler.

Ribbon Mics
Listen to N8s in Blumlein configuration miking a room from 20 feet away:

Learn How The N8 Can Improve Your Recordings

Tricks of the Trade
Blumlein vs Spaced Pairs on Drum Overheads: How to Choose
video
AEA Sessions: Zach Harmon – Drum Solo
How-To
How To Record Cello With the N8