Here’s a collection of web forum topics related to recording drums. Many of the tips apply to mixing, however, and you’ll find them useful even if you’re working with a drum machine or drum samples.
First, some drum recording suggestions from ProSound:
here are some of the few really useful things I can tell you:
Treat it like a drum kit. not like 6, or however many, individual sounds.
Use as few mics as you CAN.
Use only one type of mic pre on everything.
EQ when you have to, without hesitation. But don’t when you don’t have to.
Some tricks for recording hi hats quieter:
– Try different stick materials. Many find that maple sticks hit softer than hickory.
– Move the drum kit away from the walls.
– If the hats are mostly in the overheads, try a compressor with fast attack, rather than low-pass EQ, to reduce their level.
From Gearzlutz, thoughts on recording drums in a room with with low ceilings:
don’t put the mics over the drums… “overheads” are great when you have [minimum] twelve foot, ceilings… other than that I would suggest ‘underheads’… which are mics out in front of the kit roughly halfway between the ceiling and the floor in approximately an equilateral triangle to the snare… sometimes it works… other times the room sucks to bad to be used for any purpose what so ever… in which case, run a snake to another room and try that [or drop back and punt… whatever your instinct tells you to do is probably the right course of action].
And an older thread on capturing a bright, smooth cymbal sound:
I’ve had good results with slight compression (1:2 – 1:4) taking a 3-4db off. I filter out the low stuff and then add in some shelf (1-2 db) somewhere between 10-15k. The big thing, I think, is that the room has to have that sound.