I’ve recently been trying to improve my understanding of mic placement on the kit and I was amazed to find out how much small adjustments in mic placement (angle/distance from the drum) can dramatically affect your drum sound and the amount of equing etc you need to do when mixing afterwards. I particularly noticed it on the snare drum, as if you get the sweet spot of positioning you can stop the overtones getting too overwhelming, whilst also reducing the hi hat bleed significantly. Sometimes these things are a compromise, e.g. trying a steeper angle on the snare mic to get the hi hats more off axis could make the snare overtones more severe and vice versa, however this balancing act is also a big part of recording drums in general.
There’s always a temptation to look for new gear (mics/preamps) when you’re not getting the sound you’re after, but having a good understanding of placement and phase can save you a lot of stress and work when it comes to mixing. Here’s a clip of a jam I recorded using my cheaper gear (Zoom interface/Behringer overheads and Shure close Mics), as I wanted to really get the most out of the gear I had available at the time:
Please let me know if you have any questions, and head to my contact page if you would like any drum lessons in Manchester city centre and the surrounding area.