How Patrick Carney Records His Drum Set

If you ask a typical Black Keys fan what it is they love about the band's sound, chances are you're going to hear a thing or two about the raw, unmitigated tones of Patrick Carney's drum set. As one half of Ohio's favorite power duo, Carney's powerful shuffles claim a lot space in Black Keys' mixes. His prefered drum recording method has evolved a bit over the years, and on a recent visit to his studio in Nashville, Patrick gave us an overview of the latest iteration of his recording setup.

As he explains in the video above, Patrick's been into recording drums in mono ever since collaborating with engineer Mark Neill on Brothers. What started with a classic Glyn Johns technique evolved into a slightly more sophisticated array primed to accommodate his dual floor tom kit. He added a second outside overhead—a Coles 4038—along with a distant room mic and a few other ingredients to land at his most recent arrangement.

Engineer Marc Whitmore in the studio's control room.

Here are the mics, channel strips, compressors, and other processors Pat has set up for his drums:

Kick Drum

Snare Drum

Main Mono Overhead

Outside Overheads

Room Mic (In Other Room)

There's also an EMT 140 reverb plate set up next to the drums functioning essentially as another microphone to get some additional washy tones out of the bigger hits.

Watch the video above for Pat and engineer Marc Whitmore's step-by-step tour of their drum recording situation. You can hear each mic in isolation followed by the complete mix at the end of the video. For more on the basics of drum mic'ing, check out this article on some fundamental drum recording techniques.

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