The Recording Studio - Miloco Livingston 1 Studio, London, UK
Miloco’s Livingston Studio 1 is located in North London. The studio has been recently completely overhauled and has a great range of gear to complement it’s varied recording rooms. With a history spanning many decades the studio has welcomed artists such as The Clash, Buena Vista Social Club, Bjork, Depeche Mode and Jesus and Mary Chain.
The control room is based around an SSL G-Series console but there is plenty of great outboard equipment. The mic pre’s consist of API, Neve’s and a lot of other great brands. The room has a great collection of microphones and recording is usually done on the Pro Tools HDX rig with HD I/O convertors.
The Recording Equipment
The equipment used was minimal. Phill used five microphones on this kit to get a great vintage earthy sound.
“Most of the drum sound is achieved from the two U87’s and the Sony C48. The U87’s are positioned left-front of kit and right-rear of kit, at equal distance from the Snare drum. The Sony C48 is directly overhead, center of the kit, at the same distance – forming an equilateral triangle.
The bass drum mic was positioned dead center, about 4 inches from the skin and angled at 45 degrees. The bass drum and snare mic’s are there for ‘fine- tuning’ levels – especially as the bass drum can get a little lost with just the main three mic’s.
My idea was to create a 1960’s drum sound with a modern twist. Instead of positioning microphones close to the kit I wanted to capture a natural drum sound and record the space of the ‘dead’ room at Livingston Studio 1. You get a surprisingly good stereo picture of the kit with the front and back U87’s and the Sony C48 gives added control over ‘top-end’.“Phill Brown
Kick Microphone – AKG D12
An AKG D12 Microphone was placed 1-2 inches away from the front skin, angled towards the centre of the drum. The D12 ran through an API 3124 mic pre and a Cartec EQP-1A.
“A dynamic microphone from the 1960’s. In my opinion still the best bass drum mic. Has punch but also openness.” - PB
Snare Microphone – Shure SM57
Phill used one Shure SM57 microphone on the snare. This mic was placed 2 inches above the snare at the side, angled towards the centre. This mic ran though an API 3124.
“Although I have tried other microphones on the snare, I always come back to the 57. Mainly because it is tight and directional.” - PB
Kit Microphone 1 – Neumann U87
This mic was placed behind and to the left of the kit, aiming towards the snare. This mic is measured so that it is equidistant to the centre of the snare with the kick drum mic. This mic also went through an API 3124.
Kit Microphone 2 – Neumann U87
This mic was placed in front and to the right of the kit, aiming towards the centre of the snare. This mic is measured so that it is equidistant to the centre of the snare with the kick drum mic.
“I watched Glyn Johns and Eddie Kramer use Neumann U67’s on drums back in the 1960’s. I used U87’s on drums throughout most of the 1970’s. Very natural sound, good for detail and ‘warm’.” - PB
Mono Overhead – Sony C48
This mic was placed 4-5 feet above the kit aiming towards the centre of the snare. The mic went through an API 3124 Mic Pre.
“I originally bought this microphone as a vocal mic, but use it extensively now on drum overheads, percussion, and acoustic guitars. It’s bright and ‘airy’.” - PB
The Spec Breakdown
Position Microphone Mic Pre / Outboard Kick Mic AKG D12 API 3124 + Cartec EQP-1A Snare Mic Shure SM57 API 3124 Kit Mic 1 Neumann U87 API 3124 Kit Mic 2 Neumann U87 API 3124 Mono Overhead Mic Sony C48 API 3124