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Drum Microphones

Discussion in 'Drums' started by DKNUCKLES, Jun 3, 2007.



    First off, I'd like to state that I am completely new to this and I will be asking many stupid questions from here on in, but I look forward to learning all i can about recording.

    My buddy and I were looking into starting a studio somewhere down the road...we have very limited finances at the moment, and no place to convert to a studio just yet but we're gonna start saving and picking up some gear for the time being.

    The first investment I wanted to get were some mics for my drums...I was curious as to whether or not these drum mic packs are worth while, or if it was better for me to just buy all the mics separately. These mics will do my drums for the time being so I could get used to them, but they would primarily be used in the studio down the road.

    If these packages are worth getting, do you guys have any that you would recommend?

  2. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    Ok, never use the word investment and studio in the same sentence. You will never make money as a commercial budget studio if you are new and operating on a small budget. Even those with million dollar rooms are not making it easily these days.

    Now, if this is just for you guys, then buy what sounds best to you on your drums. There are several drum mic packages out there, and I have never heard any of them sound close. It really depends on your drums. Bad drums = bad sound no matter what mics you use, and great drums can still sound great on budget mics.

    I would buy used, and buy mics that can double as mics for other sources, rather than buying dedicated drum mics. You will get more bang for your buck.

    What is your drum kit looking like and what are your cymbals?


    Perhaps I should have mentioned that the studio is strictly a side project and a hobby if you will...It's something to keep us both busy, not anything we have intentions on making millions of dollars on.

    My drum kit is a custom OCDP kit made from keller maple shells. The drums are

    22x22 Kick
    5 1/2 x 14 Snare
    8 x 12 Rack Tom
    14 x 14 Floor Tom
    16 x 16 Floor Tom

    The cymbals are 14" Sabian AA Hats, 15" AA Sabian Bright Crash, 18" Sabian AA Medium Crash, 20" Sabian AAX Power Ride, 18" Zildjian Oriental China and a 6" Zildjian ZilBel
  4. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    maybe look into the Shure drum mic kits .. it comes with like 3 or 4 sm57's and a beta52a for kick.

    the 57's work great for other sources too! such as guitars, horns, vocals, and even a bass cab!

    the problem with sm57's is that they're a bit "big" for a drumkit. i've lost 2 of them due to drummers hitting the mic instead of the drum! d'oh!
  5. Bently

    Bently Guest

    The shure SM57 is always a winner for snair & im partial to the sennheiser e602 on kick and the e604's for toms... all of these are pretty easy on the wallet, i think you can get a combo deal on the sennheiser stuff.


    Thanks guys!

    What would you recommend for recording cymbals?
  7. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    I'm a big EV fan and recommend quite a few of their mics, which double for horns, guitars, bass as well as drums (look at the thread called "What's in your mic cabinet").

    Here's my short list:

    N/D468 (3) - toms, guitars, horns
    N/D478 - snare, guitars
    N/D868 - kick, bass
    RE200 - overheads, hats, percussion, acoustic guitar

    RE27 - kick, fl tom, bass, sax, vocals
    Sennheiser MD421 - toms, fl tom, guitars, bass vocals, horns

    The first 3 models are fairly inexpensive on fleabay and work really well. They could all be replaced by SM57s without really being missed (if you hadn't heard them already, that is).

    The last two being the most expensive, even used. But they cover a lot of ground, and are studio staples for a reason.

    I recorded drums with no name cheapies for years when I first started recording. It was the best I could do, but boy was THAT fun!

    It's supposed to be fun! So don't sweat the equipment too much. Try just ONE 57 as an overhead, and one for the kick, compress a little going in, and see if you can live with that. It should work for you for a while.

    That is my favorite way to record drums these days (only with slightly better dynamic mics). That is pretty close to The Beatles drum mic setup too. They didn't do too bad!! Most of the 60s Mowtown traps were also recorded that way!
  8. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    If your poor APEX has a drum kit that will work. I use thier tom mics quite a bit they work really well for the price point. But make sure to buy 2 good overhead mics.

    You can get by with 3 mics. 2 Overheads and one kick. I typically use AKG D12 on the kick and 2 Earthworks QTC50's on overheads.
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Sounds like you have a nice drum kit....And it also sounds like you have cymbals built to cut through a dense onstage volume.

    These are NOT easy to record with only a three mic setup. Its unfortunate, but true.

    So without replacing the whole set of cymbals just to make recording with, you have to consider micing the drums close and getting overheads that can handle loud cymbals.

    There are several small diameter condensers for this very task. Some ARE NOT CHEAP, but you get the benefit of having mics that will work on any source for any future recordings. Specially on acoustic guitars, mandolins, that sorta stuff. Neumann, Earthworks, AKG, ADK, AudioTechnica are few to look into

    As for micing the drums, the best sounding and most reliable mics come from companies such as Shure, EV, Audix, AKG, AudioTechnica and Sennheiser.

    A package from any of these will be something you keep for many years.
  10. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    ya for now i think for you itd be best to go with a few sm-57's and a beta-52. you could use those sm-57's for a lot of things.

    i prefer senheizer md421's on toms but thatll run you a bit more haha. and a lot of different other combos of mics for the drums

    but sm-57's arent a bad choice.
  11. dscott

    dscott Guest

    yeah i agree with the majority go for lots of general purpose mics

    57's are so diverse mics you can pretty much get a half decent sound on just about anythin with them audix is 5 is also good on snares as well as akg 451's but just watch u dont hit em haha

    Toms again u could use 57's/58's/ beta 98's Sennheiser e604's /904's/md421 audix d2/d4 akg stuff is great too people today are spoiled 4 choice

    overheads i like personally akg 451's or 414's if ya have the budget of coarse se electronics se3's are suprisingly amazingly cheap small/ medium diaphragm capacitor mics that can be used on piano, acoustic guitars etc

    kick drum recording mics can be multi purpose 2 . i love usin an ev re20 but i got lots like audix d6, akg d112, shenn e602, md421, shure beta 52, yamaha sub kick (works great with another mic inside kick) but all these mics are multi purpose

    so u might find u might save money on mics for guitar cabs, bass cabs, piano, vocals, alternative percusion: as all these mics can b used forsomethin else in your studio. :D
  12. False.
  13. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    patrick dont say that, r.tard.

    if you're going to offer a snide (and useless) comment like that, then say something else. what's your solution?

    sm57 is fine on snare. not my 1st choice, but the sm57 works on almost everything. i've been using an audix f90 mini-gooseneck clip-on mic for a while now. it's ok, a little too sensitive for me, but a little compression fixes that up
  14. Okay, maybe it wasn't an entirely useful comment. I just don't like the zeitgeist, especially with less experienced engineers (myself included), that the SM57 is the de facto mic for so many applications. It's as you said: it works for many things. But when was the last time an instrumentalist heard a recording and said, "Yeah, right on. That's a real typical blues tone right there."

    And specifically with drums it denotes that a snare should sound a certain way and be played in a certain manner, and that a certain mic is best for capturing the sound for every style of music. Maybe it's just that for tones that blow me away on guitar amps and drums, a '57 is rarely the essence.

    Microphones I typically prefer for snare: Audix D2, Audio Technica Pro35x, and yes, the occasional '57.
  15. dscott

    dscott Guest

    I think bare in mind mate that he was trying to offer a "Shure" solution for the gentlman's query :lol:
    soory for the pun

    no but serious it's good you experiment I encourage it but lets take the egos and opinions aside for the moment
    the main concern I think is to help find a solution to the query first, but
    aswell as that yeah audix D2 work great!
    sorry 4 rambling on mate :)

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