Led Zeppelin – “When the Levee Breaks” – Stairwell Drum Sounds

An iconic drum sound to say the least, this drum sound came from just 2 microphones set up in a stairwell.
“Bonham set up his kit at the bottom of Headley Grange’s three-story stairwell. Engineer Andy Johns recalls placing two Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon microphones at the top of the stairwell in a stereo configuration. According to Johns, those were the only mics placed on the kit. The drums mics were amplified and compressed through a Helios console and run through a Binson Echorec echo unit, which is also known to impart its own compression to the signal.”

How you can do it:
This drum sound is a testament to the fact that sometimes less really is more. Experimenting with the use of room microphones on drums and compression can really create unique drum sounds without necessarily having to setup a microphone on every part of the drum set.

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