I read with interest your thoughts on mixing drums and your experiences recording Matt Chamberlain.
Do you have any favourite drums, like Ludwig Black Beauty or Supraphonic snares for example? Do you dread certain drums perhaps, like over or undersized bass drums (26" or 18")? Or are you just happy to work with whatever is thrown at you?
Do you find yourself using the same mics a lot too, 421's, sm57's etc?
I'd like to know which mics you tend to enjoy using on drums.
I mostly willing to work with what is thrown at me. Having said that if the kit in question sounds awful, then I have no problem with hauling in a new set. Ideally one that is setup correctly with good heads and tonality and of course a good inventive drummer. Not all drummers are good drum tuners so it helps to be able to do that yourself or have access to somebody who can. Remember you are going to live with that sound for a long time and any insecurities associated with the sound will only become magnified over time.
Good drummers can overcome adversity. I once did a session with Elvis Costello down in Eddie Grant's Blue Wave Studios in the Bahamas. It was for the "kojak variety" album. We shipped a bunch of gear down there with all of the appropriate paperwork and bonds necessary. The customs crew impounded it all anyway so Jim Keltener had a snare and a cymabl and stick bag with him. The house kit had tears is all of the drum heads, kick, snare, and toms but with some tape, some careful tuning and some brilliant playing by JK himself, you would never know.