“Gain staging is the process of managing the relative levels in a series of gain stages to prevent introduction of noise and distortion. Ideal gain staging occurs when each component in an audio signal flow is receiving and transmitting signal in the optimum region of its dynamic range.” – http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep13/articles/level-headed.htm
We managed each individual instruments signal throughout the recording, as is evidenced by having clear and clean signals in all of our recordings as well as good levels in the mix.
Microphone placement was done based on the style of recording we did. For some we placed an SM57 close on the snare, condensers left and right above the kit, matching the distance they both were away. We also used the Glyn John method for some parts of it; “2 overhead mics (ideally large diaphragm condensers), one kick mic (dynamic or condenser), and one snare mic (usually a dynamic). The big picture is that the sound comes from the overheads while the kick and snare mics act as “spot” mics to fatten up those two huge elements of the kit and give you a bit more to mix with.” – http://therecordingrevolution.com/2011/01/10/the-glyn-johns-drum-recording-method/