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are 57s good for recording drums??

Discussion in 'Drums' started by malamusik, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. malamusik

    malamusik Guest

    hey all --

    i want to record drums for my project. not sure if 57s work well for that or not. not looking to spend tons of money. so far i have 3 condensers - 2 for overhead and 1 for the high-hat. i need 5 more mics: 1 for snare, 3 for toms and 1 for bass drum. if not 57s, any suggestions?


  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    No recording project or studio is complete until there are at least seven SM57's on hand.

    Its a silly question dude. Sorry. Use the search engine here and find out a LOT about SM57's.

    Unless your condensers are really good ones you might want to use ALL 57's on everything.
  3. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    Dave is right. Do a search on drum mics or micing drums.

    However, I think you would be fine with all 57's. If you could swing it, I might choose to do either a Shure Beta 52 or AKG112 in the kick.

    Good luck. Make some good music!
  4. malamusik

    malamusik Guest

    [ Its a silly question dude. Sorry. Use the search engine here and find out a LOT about SM57's.]

    Dave -- i didnt mean to offend you with the question. i'll try not to do it again. in the mean time i'll check out that search engine.

    thanks both for the advice!
  5. 57's are a studio workhorse, good for so many things, they are constantly suprising how good they are

    I would use it for every drum except the bass drum
  6. grant

    grant Active Member

    I've never been excited about sm57s on snare drum. They sound hollow and muffled to me. But I've been thinking of challenging myself to mic my snare and all toms with 57s and make it work--to see what all the fuss is about.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    grant, the only reason why your snare drum sounds bad with an SM57, is because you have a bad sounding snare drum. It's a lousy drum. You don't know how to tune it. Your heads are crap and are obviously not appropriate for the sound you want.

    So knowing that, you should purchase some Sennheiser MD421's for snare drum, bass drum, toms. Once you have done that, purchase yourself a new drum set and take some lessons.

    After all, if these big-time hit making engineers and producers knew what you know, they'd probably never have used all those SM57's on all of their drum sets? They could have made their recording so much better if they had used all Samson condenser microphones made in China! And they could have bypassed those lousy analog consoles like those API and Neve's, if they had used USB microphones.

    Still looking for used USB microphones.
    Ms. Remy Ann David

    Dammit! I can't seem to find any of those on my bathroom floor.
  8. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    damn the hostility in here! YIKES! Grant a 57 can sometimes sound good out of the box but you're going to have to juice it with some eq, put a small curve around 200hz for some meat, and take out some of the mids to kill the hollow sound and bring up the high end (around 6k) for that bite and snap....and for the original question, condensors are sexy microphones yes, but without a 57 in your studio people will wonder if you really know what you're doing!
    Good luck
  9. grant

    grant Active Member


    I've been reading this forum for two years and I've never seen you behave so rudely. Thanks for directing your worst at me.
  10. I'm with you, Grant. A '57 on snare is rarely super pleasing to my ears; I sort of see it as the "safe choice" and mainstay of a time before mics better suited for specific drums (a la the ubiquitious AKG D112 versus today's Audix D6). This is not to say I don't use '57s for this purpose, but I usually prefer an Audix D1 or Audio-Technica Pro 35/x for capturing the bark, snap, and personality of the whole instrument rather than that tenored-snare woof.

    But I'll state openly that I've never made a hit record, so...
  11. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    err, i think our mic opinions are getting the best of us. because it's just mostly opinion.
    some mics have that instant "sweet" and others your need to work more for that great sound (mic placement people).
    Finally, a good engineer can make just about anything usable and sound good.

    Grant I don't think what Remy said was meant to be an attack. but, she does have like 150 years in real world experience so i think we can learn alot from her.

    Remy you can attack me with your wisdom any day of the week :)

  12. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    I don't care what your credentials are. yes, you have a ton of experience. This does not give you the right to denigrate someone else the way I have seen you do not only in this thread, but many others. I've been taking part in this forum for the past few years, sometimes posting, sometimes just watching and learning. I've seen some reactionary responses on plenty of occasions, but you make a habit of it. I will be requesting that you be removed as a moderator due to your rudeness and superior attitude. Let me mention I feel that mods such as Davedog and David French, and past mod Cucco may have their opinions, but they never resort to the naked belittleing of posters which you engage in on a regular basis. I am reporting you. Have fun flaming me now! ANDY
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    drumist69, terribly sorry old boy, that you have found me so offensive. No real offense meant.

    I admit at times I become a little flippant, with some of my responses. Sometimes I'm just reaching beyond the comedy zone. Some people like blond jokes. Some people are offended by them. Some people like ethnic jokes. Other people are offended by them. Some people like Bush. Most people don't. Some people with 3 months of experience try to bring their knowledge to Recording.org. Some of the professional engineers here just LOL. It's almost like a silly girls club. I know, sometimes it seems cruel. But above all, what is most obvious, IS THE PASSION FOR WHAT WE DO. And the myriad of different ways we all do it.

    I'm really just trying to make people think about what they are doing or saying, what they think they're going to do. Most people try to find some kind of logic to the audio equation. And I admire those peoples Mr. Spock like approach. Especially when they raise only a single eyebrow. But audio isn't logical. It's black magic. It's voodoo. It's who you do when you do if you do.

    Live long and prosper \\ //
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  14. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Ok, let's keep on topic.

    In the old days, there was little choice for good afordable mics. There were may times when I recorded and did live sound gigs where everything was pretty much SM57's and a few SM58's. I would not hesitate to use all SM57's today if I didn't have other choices. A lot the newer popular stuff that has been released with that lo-fi grabage lid trashy sounding drums are done with SM57's. Most of the time I have found that if a SM57 on snare is not working, it is because the snare sounds like crap on it's own. There are times when a snare needs to be tuned to work with a specifc mic. Like all mic's, you use eq if you need or want to. The SM57 can really be a different mic and something special when used with the right high end mic pre.
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Theres not mic in the world that WONT work on a snare. NONE.

    Will it sound 'right' is another question alltogether.

    Heres something else to consider.All 57's are not the same. Granted, the consistancy of Shure mics is one of the greatest parts of this company, there are still subtle differences in each mic. Live, this may not be apparent, but in a studio environment it can mean a lot, just as moving a mic an inch one way or another can mean great changes in sound of the source.

    I agree with the notion that if your snare sounds like crap with a 57 on it, no mic change is going to make it golden until the drum itself is fleshed out. At that time, the mic choice will be a matter of taste and a matter of familiarity on the part of the engineer.

    Heres a story to illustrate this.

    A studio I recorded in for several years had a nice desk and a great mic collection. The engineer ( a friend of mine) was very competent and carefull in his techniques. He ALWAYS used an old beaten to death looking SM57 on the snare, and ALWAYS in the same hole on the console with the same processing and EQ. It always sounded great. One time when I was in the control room I asked him why he always used this like this. He said, the EQ on that track was frozen in that position, the mic was one he had owned for years, and as long as it wasnt broke he didnt want to fix it.

    Familiarity is a very big part of an engineers' tool kit.

    If you're not there with a piece of gear yet, give it time and someday you'll have a strong opinion about something you know will work without fail everytime the red light goes on.
  16. Ataraxia

    Ataraxia Guest

    I have two 57's and an akg d112, and i want to add three more mics to add into my drum mic collection. Although im not sure what i should do. I was thinking maybe buying two 57s, and an akg c1000. Then I could use the c1000 on snare, the 57s for two toms and tow over heads, and the akg d112 for the kick. This way I could use the c1000 my acoustic recordings as well. Any thoughts?? Or maybe i should have two c1000s as overheads, i dont know which should be a larger priority.
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    ....AKG C1000's should never be considered a priority.

    For the price there are several other mics that sound a lot better.
  18. Ataraxia

    Ataraxia Guest

    Interesting, explain more please?
  19. ABozung

    ABozung Guest

    Micing Drums

    The easiest way to know for sure that you are getting the right mics for the job (FOR ANYONE UNSURE ABOUT THIS) is to purchase a drum micing kit that predetermines the right mic for the job (ie snare, kick etc...) I use Sampson Q-mics. I have no problem with them at all. I get killer tones. But I have to tell anyone reading this, the mics are about 40% of the sound you'll get. Mixing is the other 60%. If you can't mix you won't get what your looking for. That is 60/40 between mixing and micing. There are many more variables (mic placement etc...) Which brings up another point. Some of these drum mic systems take alot of the guess work out of placement issues as well.
  20. Now why hasn't anyone thought about this idea for vocals? You could package them by gender, body size, age, or range: "let's use the 25-to-35-year-old male baritone for this application."

    I've yet to hear a drum mic package that does a lot for me. Earthworks' DK25/R maybe comes closest, but I'd still like to hear it used it in tandem with personality-tailored mics.

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