Originally Posted by joe_04_04
What about drum kits with 4 or more toms...how would you pan that LCR and not sound goofy?
Reminds me of a Mitch Hedberg quote:
"I like Kit-Kat, unless I'm with four or more people."
The rack toms are normally in the middle.
Stand in front of the drum kit dead center and they land about center.
I usually keep them in the middle and goofy pan the extremes.
Tom mics are normally accent mics for me and not the main body of the sound. Just like the snare. You normally hear toms (and snare) from a distance and so you need to take that into account when you balance the levels.
It may take 3 microphones to create a distinct snare sound, like top snare and a stereo pair of room mics. If you take away the rooms, then the attack of the drum is there but not the complete report so you get a very anemic result. Solo the rooms and you get a full picture but don't get the body. So you have to find a balance.
In regards to toms even when you are panning them only 2 degrees to the left, remember you determine the width of the kit image with the overheads and the rooms (if they are in stereo) by how you place them and by what technique you use. The spot mics for me are there to accentuate and focus.
If you pan toms LCR (you have to know where to put what) and then you still have a stereo overhead and a stereo room, the brain fills in the rest in my experience.