Blog#7 Studio Roles – Karma Police, Sound-A-Like Project

radiohead-karmapolice-5Drum Recording Session & Studio Roles.

Our aim for this session is to record the drum track for the song Karma Police by Radiohead and my assigned role of the day is Pro Tools Operator.

The main task is to recreate the drum recording as close as possible to the original track using research, teamwork and combined group skills. We did a good job with this task and the bonus of having a great session drummer helped.

Although we had specific roles in this group session we all put in the necessary work as a team to set up the microphones and microphone placement on the drum kit.

I have been active as a drummer for many years but prior to starting the course I have had very little knowledge of correct drum microphone choice and placement. It is also the second time I have had opportunity to record a drum kit in the studio and I am very keen to get more experience in both these areas as I feel I gained a lot out of these tasks.

Microphone choice:

Drums 2
Drum Mic Placement
  • Kick (AKG D112)
  • Snare Top & Bottom (SM57)
  • Toms (AKG 414)
  • Overheads (Royer TLM03)
  • Room Mono (Rhode K2)
  • Room Stereo (AT4050)
Drum Miking 1
Drum Mic Placement 2
Room Mic 1
Room Mic 1







Pro Tools Operator

Pro Tools Drum Session
Pro Tools Operator, Drum Session

My main role for the day was Pro Tools Operator which involves certain tasks such as, correct set up of the Pro Tools session, receive levels from the sound source in to Pro Tools via the Audient and Outboard gear, focus on tracking the signal flow alongside the Engineer, recording and monitoring, punch in’s, drum editing and session management.

Audient Drum Channels
Audient Drum Channels

During this role I was really confident in my Pro Tools knowledge and my ability to work with and assist the Engineer, we were both aiming to get good levels coming through which was very successful, the teamwork and communication was flowing.

In this session we checked the phase between various drum mics and it was the first time I could really hear what phasing sounds like. Another tip I thought was very valuable was that Pro Tools has the capability to cache the signals coming through while in punch mode, this is extremely handy for catching what could have been a “spot on run through” or “potential take”

Drum Patching 1
Drum Patching

I managed to get a photo of the patch bay during the session but I missed out on writing down some quick points for our patching, It was one of those things that happens really quickly while your preoccupied with a task which was assisting in bringing the patched effects back into Pro Tools. Even though my main role was Pro Tools Operator I like to be able to take notes in areas where I hear valuable information and there was definitely some given in the areas of Outboard gear and Patch Bay that I wanted to write down.

Patch Bay and Outboard gear are areas I would like to become very efficient in.


Skills I gained during the session:

  • Drum Tuning for a different genre
  • Valuable Pro Tools tips
  • Extra knowledge gained for Engineering skills
  • Drum Mic placement
  • Room Mic experience
  • Knowledge of specific microphones
  • Checking and listening for phase
  • Mono – Stereo test

Some notes for future roles:

  • In my Patch Bay role be sure to note down how my chains are working and take photos of both outboard rigs
  • Familiarize with the correct naming of microphones also taking more photos and writing them down during the session


References (2016). Karma Police. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Radiohead – Karma Police. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016].