Glyn Johns Technique
Glyn Johns is a famous recording engineer. Born in England in 1942, Mr. Johns has recorded many well-known musicians including Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Steve Miller, and The Eagles.
This technique involves four microphones – two overhead microphones,a kick mic, and a snare mic. For this tutorial we suggest these microphones. Note: it only sounds good if you have a good sounding room and a good drummer.
Kick: AKG D112
Overheads: 2 Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon microphones
Position Your Overheads
Note: you’ll need a tape measure for this exercise
Position the first overhead mic 40-60 inches from dead-center of the focal point of the kit (e.g snare drum), facing directly downward to the kick drum pedal.
Position the second overhead mic’s diaphragm towards the high-hat, over the tops of the floor tom and snare drum. The microphone will be positioned facing the drummer on his right side. Take the tape measure, and position the microphone’s diaphragm exactly the same distance of the overhead microphone (e.g 40″-60″) inches from the center of the snare. Below is a picture representing how this should roughly look from the front of the drum kit.
Position Your Spot Mics
Position your snare and Kick mics. These positions are a matter of personal preference.
Panning In The Mix
Panning the microphones in your mix once you’ve recorded is what makes the Glyn Johns Method work.
Pan your kick and snare mics to the center. Then, take your overhead mics, and pan the one above the snare halfway to the right. Next, pan your other overhead mic — the one near the floor tom — to the far left. This gives a depth and stereo image to the overall kit.
Greg Brown says
And what if we cannot afford 2 Beyerdynamic M160. Are there other good choices?
MXL 990 works great for overheads and a couple of pencil condensers work great for stereo room mics
I have a couple Royer 121s, would those work well for the overhead and side?
I’m new to this technique. I have limited inputs, and I can’t seem to get enough toms in my mix.
Paul Poppleton says
I just used two condensers I had for the overheads and a couple other mics for the kick and snare that I have from a drum mic kit I purchased from shure. Recording came out great!