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57's vs cheap condensers for overheads

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by llatht, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Hello everyone. I'm going to be recording live drums for the first time in a couple of weeks and from the reading I've been doing on this forum I'm thinking 1 mic for the kick and 2 overheads to start out with. Right now all I have in my mic locker are 57's and 58's, 1 AT PRO 25, 1 AT PRO 37 and 1 AKG c3000b.
    My question is (and this may be a stupid one), would I be better off using the 57's for overheads or do I have to use condensers? As you can see the 2 I have are nothing alike. The AKG is very bright and I don't know if I want to invest in another one. The PRO 37 is over 10 years old and I wonder if a new one would even sound the same.
    I do have $200-$300 I could put toward a cheap pair of condensers (maybe AT 2020's) but would this be an improvement over the 57's?
    If anyone has any advice for me I would be very thankful.
  2. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    you should buy condensors you can buy a pair of cheap MXL 550s for under $150 and they're well worth it they take a lot of $*^t and they sound great=) use you're 57's for your snare and toms
  3. natural

    natural Active Member

    another approach using just what you have.
    Use the one condensor as an overhead to capture the cymbals. There's no law that says you need stereo overheads. You can use a pair of 57's as room mics. (not too far away, less than 5 or 6 feet should be fine to give you a good sound on the drums and also provide a little stereo action.) roll off all the low end- maybe from about 500 or 1K on down.
    The AT25 on the kick and 57 on the snare, any whatever you have left on the toms should get you into the ball park. I'm assuming this is strictly a demo or practice recording right?
  4. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. It's for a free demo I'm doing for some high school kids. They play on the praise and worship team with me at church, and they also have thier own screamo band. In a way it's practice for me too but I'm really serious about getting a good sound. I know I'll have to experiment alot and I've read alot of people have had success with the tri-mic system so I was curious.
    Are 57's not hot enough to be overheads or not good enough at high frequency stuff like cymbals?
  5. natural

    natural Active Member

    Yeah, basically it's a Hi Freq thing with the 57's.
    The condensor should give more clarity.
    The 57's are smoother in the mids.
    But in the grand scheme of things, it's only one small part of the picture. At this stage you probably have more important details to attend to. What you have sounds like a decent setup for doing demos and the like. Perfect the rest of the drum sound and the rest of the band first. You can revisit the overhead setup down the road.
  6. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Thanks alot.
  7. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    Cheap condensors anyday. I Recorded with my Behringer B-1 and my friends MXL 990 or whatever as overheads. I would defnitely recommend a pair of the Behringer B-1's. $100 a piece new. Amazing mics. Really really smooth on vocals and acoustic guitar also. When I a/bed the Behringer and MXL there is no comparison.
  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    No cheap condensers anyday! They hype the top end too much (just like your AKG C1000 ), and are MUCH more susceptible to breakage. If the 57 doesn't have enough top end extension to your liking ( I agree with that), for $100 a pop, the Audix i5 may well suit your needs. That is one tough dynamic that DOES have the top end for OH's, and is versatile enough for many other applications.
  9. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Get an APEX condenser. Even if you can only afford one, I think that would work better as an overhead than an SM57. Keep those for the toms and snare, or even kick.
  10. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Are the Audix's really that good? I have a friend who just bought some for his PA. Thanks for all the replies guys.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Here's the thing. First, you dont want to simply throw money at a problem you dont have.

    Use the 57's on the toms and the snare....or a 58 on the snare...either will work. Use the C3000 AKG as your overhead. Use the AT Pro25 on the kick. Problem solved.

    IF you want to spend some money on a couple of budget condensers, get something you wont outgrow after the first session. Your idea of the AT2020's is sound thinking. Those little mics eat up and spit out most of the mics in their price range. Including the MXL and B*****ger stuff.

    Or, borrow your friends' Audix mics he got for his PA. If they are any of the OM series they'll sound great on anything, including drum overheads.

    And in answer to your question about Audix mics.....YES they're really good. All of em.
  12. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    I think I'll try borrowing the Audix's and comparing them to the AKG. I really wanted my next mic purchace to be on an AT 40 series. Thanks Dave.
  13. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member

    Moonbaby and Dave give great advise on the i5's.
    I bought one because all the praise around here.
    They do live up to all the hipe.

    But for overheads............Just my opion. If you can swing alittle more money. A pair of Studio Projects C4's are around 360.00. They are a very good bang-for-the-buck small diaphragm condenser
    that comes with interchangeable capsules.

    I use them for OH's sometime in a live recording.
    They pick up the whole kit verywell. They would work fine in a 3 mic set-up. Alot of other use's also.


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