Interview – Mike Major

by Omar on March 5, 2014

in Podcast

Mike Major - mixer, producer, recording engineer

Mike Major - mixer, producer, recording engineer

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Are you satisfied with how your drums sound?

If you want your drums to sound even half-way decent, there's no way around it: you need to become proficient at tuning them. It also helps to have a quality kit, but good tuning many times can mask a sub-par kit.

Recording your drums, however, is an entirely different animal. How many mics to use? Where do you put them? How much should be spent on mics? How do you mix the various channels to get a balanced mix? In the end, though, what really makes a good quality recording?

With the plethora of scattered information out there relating to recording, it is nothing less than overwhelming trying to figure it all out. Many do want to graduate from the webcam or camcorder audio, and are serious about wanting to make great sounding drum recordings. At the other extreme, it's possible that you have years of experience recording drums, but you may have reached a plateau and may need even more advanced guidance to really squeeze out every nuance of the performances, whether in the studio or live.

For a long time, there really hasn't been documented guidance, from setup to final mixing, that assisted the home studio user, all the way up to studio engineers, relating specifically to drum recording. Well that has recently changed...

The Paradiddler was pleased to have mixer, producer, and recording engineer Mike Major, author of the book "Recording Drums: The Complete Guide", have a chat with us. Mike is unique in that he has published a book that addresses scenarios that recording engineers and mixers will encounter with the goal of capturing that perfect drum sound. But the book is not only for engineers and professional studio buffs - the book is also aimed at the novice, who wants to get their feet wet recording their drumming (or someone else's), and obtain outstanding results.

Mike is extremely knowledgeable in the recording and mixing field, and coming from a drumming background he is sensitive to the complexities that is recording and mixing drum tracks. Some of the topics discussed in the interview were:

  • The most important factors that will determine a great mix
  • The ideal equipment you'll need when you're just starting off
  • Why paying a lot of attention to the drum sound will pay huge dividends when recording and mixing a band
  • The primary goal when recording and mixing
  • How to become proficient at recording and mixing
  • and so much more...

The above literally only scratches the surface. There are many gems that Mike gives up that will help both the novice and experienced make recordings that will make you proud.

In addition, Mike also has developed a YouTube series called "The Method to the Mix", where he details step by step his process that he follows when he's working on a mixing project. Very educational.

So get ready to start on the path of great drum sound, as Mike Major will explain it all.

Mike Major Mix - Mike Major's official web site, showcasing his discography, plus audio samples, how to contact him, and more
"Recording Drums: The Complete Guide" - buy the book
"The Method to the Mix" - Follow Mike along as he takes you from rough to final mix in an actual project

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe September 30, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Awesome interview! I’ve heard such awesome things about this book. Definitely going to grab a copy.



Drum Solo December 19, 2015 at 12:57 am

Good points!
It has been my experience recording with different producers, that most of them will make me sound great… But I am yet to find a producer that gives me the sound I want…
Somewhere out there, there is a producer that’ll help me become a better me, instead of me always conforming into what they think is best…
Whatever, I still learn a lot…


Gary November 29, 2015 at 4:01 pm

My band Soulshine is just starting a recording a new CD. I will check out the Guide to Recording Drums book.

I would like to quickly share a link of my new drum invention to stop bass drum creep. Let me know what you think.


Wei Lung June 16, 2015 at 10:49 pm

Hey I’ve been recording videos for my youtube channel and have been looking for better ways to record the drums, so thanks for sharing this!


Stagadish drums February 18, 2015 at 8:55 am

Great drums Interview with Mike Major! thanks Omar


Frank Matlock July 16, 2014 at 6:31 am

What a great interview!

I’ve already heard great things about the book and will probably be buying it next month.

Luckily recording is a lot easier for me, because I’m an electronic kit fanatic, hehe.


Quadrato Zito June 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm

My band is thinking of doing some real recording soon. So thanks for the tips!


Omar June 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

You’re welcome Quadrato!


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