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Better Mic or Better Pre?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by marknrox, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. marknrox

    marknrox Active Member

    Hi, I'm new here. I'm a drummer looking to mic my drums for recording.

    I've read that a rule of thumb is to spend at least $500 per channel.
    I currently have about $1000 to spend and figured it would be better spent on 1 or 2 good channels rather than a bunch of drum mics.

    With that in mind is it better to spend more on the mic or the pre?

    $99 mic w/$400 pre
    $400 mic w/ $99 pre

    or maybe $500 - $1000 mics and Yamaha mixer pre?

  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Hello Mark,
    I say go with the Shure SM57 as a mic (there about $99)
    And get the nicest 2 channel pre-amp you can afford. Or maybe a four channel pre-amp, would get you ALL the drums you would want to record...4 channel pre-amp's are good because of the price per pre-amp in a 4 channel unit---roughly $400
    I don't own one yet...but! The Sebatron 4000e would be perfect for you!
    Then just get 3 or 4 mic's and Wah-La. You will sound fantastic. Asuming you can play the drums any good! :lol: ---sorry just joking
  3. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    I believe a great preamp should be the cornerstone of any project studio because it will make even inexpensive mics sound good and good mics sound great. You only need one great preamp to service your entire mic collection.
  4. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    I agree with the premise but for a drumkit he will probably need a few more channels. There is a lot of good stuff out there. A lot depends on how you want to approach recording the kit. Is a kick mic and two overheads the plan or do you want to close mic everything?
  5. marknrox

    marknrox Active Member

    For now I'm thinking 1 or 2 good channels rather than a pack of drum mics. Eventually I want to close mic everything and have some signal proceesing to play with.
  6. BDFitz

    BDFitz Active Member

    I will only list the pre's and mics I use as a basis for my advice. Avalon M5 (mono solid state) DBX576, DBX386, Trident S20 (dual solid state)

    I think The Trident at a grand ($500 apiece is great, almost as good as the Avalon $1400 mono) but the DBX386 dual Tube is a great pre with wordclock, digital A/D conversion and a nice warm sound. probably down around $399 these days. You can get a great drum sound with only the 386 and a pair of Rode NTKs just as overheads. (believe me, these are great) The Rodes normally go for $499 each but as far as other serviceble Overhead mics, the Oktava C012 are cool and you could get a pair for as low as $99 (Guitar Center) at one time. The mic PREs are criictal and eventually you'll want high quality PREs where inexpensive dynamic mics like the Shure 57s, Sennheiser 421s and AKGD112 (kick) will sound great through quality front ends. For drums, dynamic mics are fine and the only need for large or small diaphragm condenser mics would be for room overheads or capturing quick transients like the Hi-Hat that requires an electronic signal and less of the room a dynamic mic picks up. Condensers and Tubes require phantom power so more gear is also required on those.

    A 57 on the snare, a D112 on the kick, a pair of Otkava's on the overheads and 1 DBX386 (2 total) would cost about $900 and another $100 mic pre could round out your set up, keeping within your budget of $1,000. If you plan to expand, you should buy the best, tested pieces out there and add as you go. When you look back, you won't have wasted money on quick fixes and will retain some value.
  7. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Spend the bulk of your money on great pre's.

    It's a realization you'll come to down the road anyway.

    Great pre's can make a cheap mic sound like gold but even the best of mic's can't do anything for a cheap pre.

    For drums, the Sytek 4Aii rocks and holds it's resale value, especially since you get 4 channels for under $1k. http://www.sytek-audio-systems.com/products/preamps/mpx4/
  8. marknrox

    marknrox Active Member


    Thanks for the advice!

    Also I've upped my budget to 5k for my home studio project. - I know it's probably not a lot around here, but it's all I could manage.

    I'm starting from scratch... all I have is drums and a Auralex treated room.

    Any other recommendations?
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    do you have a computer and a daw? if you don't that's gonna a good chunk out of your 5k- if you do have it then 5k should be a good place to start- please let us know-
  10. marknrox

    marknrox Active Member

    I plan on getting a Roland VS-2400 and use minimal miking on the drums to start. Any suggestions on good overheads? My music preference is modern funk/jazz and R&B.

    I'd would be good to have a multi-purpose mic to also capture male vocals and acoustic guitar. And maybe have some money left for a few more goodies after I figure it all out.

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