Recording Drums with Omar Hakim - ProSoundNetwork.com

Recording Drums with Omar Hakim

Legendary drummer Omar Hakim has played with the likes of George Benson, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Bobby McFerrin, John Scofield, Urban Knights, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Jewel, Jennifer Lopez, D’Angelo, Mariah Carey, and Madonna to name a few. In recent times, he’s been working on a number of projects where he’s had Earthworks mics at the ready for his recording process.
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Milford, NH (May 6, 2016)–Legendary drummer Omar Hakim has played with the likes of George Benson, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Bobby McFerrin, John Scofield, Urban Knights, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Jewel, Jennifer Lopez, D’Angelo, Mariah Carey, and Madonna to name a few. In recent times, he’s been working on a number of projects where he’s had Earthworks mics at the ready for his recording process.

One of his go-tos, it turns out, is Earthworks’ DK50 Premium 3-microphone DrumKit to try out in his home studio, as well as the DP30/C tom and snare microphones. “I noticed that they are able to capture an incredible amount of detail, even with just a three-mic system on drums,” he said. “Using other conventional microphones, you typically use a couple of condenser mics on top and something on the kick drum, but it always feels like something is missing and you end up supplementing your drum kit with other mics to fill it out. In contrast, when you put the Earthworks 3-mic DrumKit on a set of drums and bring up those three mics on the console faders, you are hearing an incredibly balanced representation of your instrument, and that is amazing.”

“For certain sessions, I still supplement the 3-mic system with the DP30/Cs when I want to get some extra oomph from the toms and snare,” explains Hakim. “But most of the time, the natural tonality and balance of the drum set is already captured with the Earthworks 3-mic DrumKit microphones. When I am doing pop, rock or funky R&B session, then I need the extra presence from the close miking on toms and snare and use the DP30/Cs. But when I am doing acoustic jazz I lean toward just using the 3-mic system.”

On his latest solo album, We are One by the Omar Hakim Experience, Hakim brought out his Earthworks microphones for two tracks: ‘Forever Friend’ and ‘We are One,’ the title song of the album. “The clarity of the drums on these two tracks is amazing. Even listening to the record, on these two tracks you hear the clarity and pristine detail of my drums. On the title song, ‘We are One,’ which is a ballad, I used some special brush sticks and the Earthworks mics really brought out that detail.”

He regularly uses them away from the studio as well; in 2014, Hakim was asked to join British pop superstar Kate Bush for a 22-night residency called Before the Dawn at the Hammersmith Apollo in London after a 35-year hiatus from touring. “Her return to the stage and these shows were highly anticipated by her fans all over the world. The shows were sold out in less than an hour, nine months before we went on stage. Instead of doing a tour, she staged a really elaborate show production at the Hammersmith Apollo Theater in London. People flew from all over the world to see this. The good thing about this residency is that we were able to set up the equipment, the recording gear, the microphones and everything to a level of perfection normally only possible in fine recording studios! The very elaborate surround sound house system was tuned perfectly. The whole thing was amazing. For this event, we realized that we needed to have a “no compromise” drum sound. Everyone agreed, for this we needed to use Earthworks drum mics. We used SR25s as overheads and on hi-hat, DP30/Cs on toms, SR25 on snare and SR30 on kick drum with KickPad.”

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