In recent years, ASMR has become very popular on YouTube. Millions of views have accumulated on ASMR channels and they are increasing each passing day.
This certainly supports the fact that people are relaxed and mesmerized by the tingles and sensations they experience while watching and listening to ASMR.
What is ASMR?
So what does ASMR mean and how does it work?
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
In layman’s terms, it’s the pleasurable, calming and tingling sensation a user experiences while watching and listening to their surrounding environment. In our case, YouTube videos (headphones are recommended).
This tingling sensation originates from a viewer’s head and passes down to the spine area in response to the tingly triggers.
A few of the popular triggers include tapping, scratching and whispering. That being said, ASMR artists are always looking for new sounds to make their viewers relaxed.
Since drumming contains a wide palate of sonic possibility, it’s no wonder why ASMR shouldn’t be able to be applied here.
With drums, the ASMR artist produces rhythmic drum sounds using drums, percussion, cymbals and other random objects that can produce percussive sounds.
Is ASMR drumming relaxing?
As I mentioned above, ASMR artists are always on the search for new and exciting sounds to keep their audience engaged.
With all the competition on YouTube, it’s important to stay ahead of the trend to not bore viewers with the same old sounds.
Drumming contains very unique and diverse sound triggers and is liked by most ASMR fans.
When I first came to know about it, I thought it would be a weird experience. It turned out to be pretty relaxing. I enjoyed it all the way as I love the drums and combining it with ASMR is one hell of a tingle ride.
Types of ASMR drumming
Drums, unlike most instruments, have a variety of ways to articulate sounds. For example, you can hit a snare drum with a stick, mallet, brushes, or even your hands.
Not every ASMR video creator is a percussionist, so here are some of the ways they are producing content with drums.
1) Binaural drumming with sticks or hands
Binaural drumming is achieved by using one microphone for the right ear and one for the left ear respectively.
The ASMR artist uses sticks or bare hands to beat the drum so gently that creates a tingling sensation on one’s body and specifically ears. This is quite soothing to hear too as the artist creates a melody.
Here is a video of an ASMR artist softly playing the drums.
2) Tapping or brushing bongo drums
In this technique, the artist taps or uses drum brushes on the top of bongo drums gently. Using a two-way binaural mic setup this technique is also quite soothing.
ASMR is not limited to only bongo drums either. Djembes, singing bowls, kalimbas, congas, hang drums, and other percussion instruments all make great choices for ASMR.
Watch the following video below to get an idea.
3) Percussive tapping
This one is my favorite
If you are an avid lover of drumming or are a drummer yourself, you know the feeling and excitement of rapidly tapping the drums. ASMR takes this one step further.
Not only does it sound so melodious to ears, it also gives those tingling sensations to the body which helps one to relax.
Watch this video of percussive tapping.
What is the recording setup for recording ASMR drums?
The recording setup usually depends upon the type of video you are recording.
If you are using a proper drum kit, then I’d highly recommend using the binaural recording setup so that a close to real drumming experience is achieved.
If you’re someone who already has a drum mic kit complete with an interface, you can record ASMR just how you are comfortable recording drums already.
However, it’s not completely necessary to use this setup as you can do just fine with a single mic.
Popular ASMR artists like Gibi ASMR and ASMR Darling use some of the best ASMR microphones to record their voices.
Recording drums is a bit of a different process, but similar microphone techniques can easily be applied to both.
The following are the two approaches most commonly used to record ASMR drumming.
1) Binaural Recording Setup – 2 Mics Approach
As explained above, if you are utilizing a complete drum kit, a binaural recording setup is recommended, though not necessary for beginners.
You can use a single mic setup and it will be equally good. As long as there is no noise in the audio you will be fine.
2) Use of one binaural mic
If you are short on budget and cannot afford multiple microphones, a single microphone will be fine and is highly recommended for recording percussion for ASMR.
The only drawback to using one mic is the lack of a stereoscopic field (the ability to distinguish a space between the left and right speakers). In other words, sounds will not be perceived between the left and right ears.
Microphone suggestions for recording ASMR drumming
1) Blue Yeti Microphone
Blue Yeti is one of the most popular microphones among the ASMR community. It is popular due to its crisp audio quality and an extremely affordable price.
You can record in multiple directions using this microphone such as cardioid, omnidirectional, and bi-directional.
2) RODE NT1-A
RODE is a very well-known company for its microphones and the NT1-A is a microphone used by ASMR artists to record binaural audio.
Two of these microphones are required for this, but the quality they produce is amazing. It is one of the best budget options and can come par with many high-end $1000 range microphones.
3) Sennheiser MKH416
The Sennheiser MKH416 is priced at the higher-end because of its extremely great quality.
Sennheiser is well known for its professional-grade headphones and microphones. The Sennheiser MKH416 is for people who are experienced in the world of microphones.
It is a high-grade microphone that has even been used in the production of movies. The MKH416 is very sensitive, meaning it can record quiet sounds, so you’ll need to be careful while recording and be aware of input levels on your audio interface.
Have you heard of ASMR drumming? We’d love to hear from you down below in the comments! Thanks for reading.