This is where we start to get to the point where there are microphone packages that you could buy for drums with this many microphones in them. 3 mics for a 4-piece kit still is too little, as you can tell, and it just doesn’t quite work well enough. This package was: 1 Microphone, 1 Kick-in, 1 Snare-top.
4 Mics on the other hand is, in my opinion, the bare minimum needed for a 4-piece kit. In this scenario the overheads are working in the “stereo image” sense for this to work. Because there are not microphones on any drums except the snare and the kick, the overheads have to pick up the slack and have to have some low-end to them. This package was: 1 Kick-in, 1 Snare-top, 2 Overheads.
5 Mics we have hit another mile stone, we are nearing the sweet spot in my mind for a 4-piece kit in this sized venue. This is a perfectly adequate amount of microphones. You can easily hear the snare, kick, rack tom, the cymbals have a bit more life to them, but the floor tom is still a bit hidden, but very easily manageable. This package was: 1 Kick-in, 1 Snare-top, 1 Rack Tom, 2 Overheads.