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discussion about drum mics

Discussion in 'Drums' started by ty332, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. ty332

    ty332 Active Member

    Currently I am using akg c1000's as overheads, sm57s rim mounted to the snare and toms, akg d112 on the bass drum, and another 57 under the snare positioned to also get the front of the kick, with total of eight channels.

    When I record with the group I am playing with, I drop the tom mics, and play with just the overheads bass drum. We record live all at once, I only have a channels in my system.

    Now that I have explained my situation, I am looking for advice on upgrading/changing my system for better results. I am a seasoned musician, but a novice to recording. As overheads, I'm not very excited about the sound I get with the c1000's.

    So I've been researching which mics to get for overheads.

    The obvious choice for the price seams to be 2 sm81's.

    And then going up from there, c414's, and earthworks tc25/drum kit system.

    Looking at the earthworks drum kit 3 mic system, I'm thinking It might be the way to go. And now the thing is, I do a lot of live recording with full bands. Earthworks makes two versions, a live sound version and a recording version. Do you think the live sound version would be better to get?

    Anyone have any advice/ comments?

    If possible, if anyone has any experience with earthworks microphones, 3 mic systems, recording live with a band, etc, I would appreciate it.

    Mics I'm looking at, are sm81's, earthworks, akg 414, and blue baby bottles.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    For recording live, you need mics with tight patterns to minimise spill from the rest of the stage. Standard "go to" SDCs such as the Rode NT55 (cardioid capsules fitted) give a great sound from the kit, but you will likely pick up other things as well. For really tight pattern OH setups, I use a pair of MBHO MBNM440Cs (sold in N America by KEL Audio as the P1).

    As an additional point, I would normally try to get as much isolation as possible between the snare and the kick mics to avoid phase problems, so I am surprised by your comment about your positioning of an under-snare 57.
  3. jasonwagner

    jasonwagner Active Member

    Sounds like you have a decent set of mics to start with, what is your room like?

    Also are you checking your phase between mics and adjusting accordingly?
  4. ty332

    ty332 Active Member

    Like I said I am green when it comes to recording.
  5. ty332

    ty332 Active Member

    The room is about 20x30, concrete floor, open ceiling.

    I have not checked my phasing. I never really learned how to do this.
  6. jasonwagner

    jasonwagner Active Member

    Ok, I would google "getting drums mics in phase", its fairly easy but crucial. Your room sounds really big, how high is the ceiling? Check the studio room acoustics on this forum and others as it is quite a lot of information.

    I would focus on these things first before buying any more mics. Also be sure your drums are tuned properly, kinda redundant but I have met a lot of drummers who don't know how to tune their drums properly.
  7. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    To add to / sum up what jason said:

    A good drum sound comes about in this order -

    Start w/ the drums. Tune them right. Get good drums.
    Then get a good drummer behind those skins.
    Mic placement. You want to place each mic to get the best sound from each individual source,
    but you also have to be aware of phasing. Do the google search jason suggested.
    Here's a hint: when the same source (snare) reaches different mics at different times, these differing recordings can detract from one another.
    Then mic choice (yours are sufficient if you take care of the above).

    Then worry about your room. Assuming you don't have low ceilings, that place is plenty big enough to get a good drum sound.
    Again, placement is key. Move the kit around the room. Put a few carpets/rugs down and also move them around.
    What type of walls? You can also build bogos. There's some great threads on here concerning that.

    Welcome to RO and the world of recording.
    Always remember your signal chain:
    Player>Instrument>Mic Place>Mic Choice>Preamp, and so on.
    Or, get a good source, and then find the spot where that source sounds the best.

    Hope that helps!
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Soap said "bogos"......(its gobos!!!) I hadda laff.

    This is a situation exactly as has been described.

    Placement in the room. Mic placement. Drum tuning. Drum playing. death of drummer not paying attention to basic details......
  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Did you hear the one about the dyslexic blues musician who went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to Santa?
  10. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    That'd be a a rather fruitless search on bogos...

    Sometimes I do that stuff w/o ever realizing it, sorry.
  11. albatrocity

    albatrocity Guest

    I've always really liked the Audio Technica AT4041s for drum overheads. They have a great low end response, which is nice if you're not miking toms, and their fairly inexpensive.
    Here's an audio sample of a pair on drums.
    (admin edit) Dead link Removed - signalchains.com/chains/15-swing-drum-solo

    I dislike C414s as overheads, especially if it will be in a mix with other instruments. The transient response isn't great with large diaphragms and I end up missing the high end. Some people like them just fine, though. It's a matter of taste and musical style.

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