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drum overhead question

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by baerstev, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. baerstev

    baerstev Guest

    Hello-I was hoping some of you experts could help out a beginning beginner with this dilemma. I am looking to upgrade my drum overheads-right now I have C1000s, and even to my somewhat untrained ear they sound kind of harsh even though I have tried placing them in different spots. I have an at4033, and I like the sounds I have gotten from it better. However, I am not able to try out the other cheap mics used for overheads (mc012, sm81, ecm8000, etc.) so I don't know firsthand if they would sound better than the 4033 as overheads. For a stereo pair, do you think I should buy another at4033 (roughly $240 or less on ebay) or a different pair of overheads for roughly the same value? Should the fact that the 4033 is a large diaphragm condenser affect my decision one way or another?
    Any comments are greatly appreciated.
  2. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Let's get the misperception first. The 4033 isn't large diaphragm, I believe the diaphragm measures 1/2". It looks a lot like one and sounds enough like one to not disuade people from that belief, but it's capsule behaves like most other small diaphragm capsules.

    What does your current mic kit consist of? If your room and the drumkit are pretty good, and your current selection of mics works for it, you might want to look at for some alternate thoughts to stereo overheads. Saves the expense of new mics or another 4033.

    I like the ECM-8000, and they're probably best suited for overheads since their self-noise is least noticeable on high SPL sources. They aren't going to be nearly as colored as the 4033, but certainly nowhere close to the shrill sound of the c1000. They're pretty much accurate. The MXL-603s is a bit more colorful, with a full sound. Unless you can sort through every last mic in the store and pick which sound best and match up, I'd avoid the MC-012 from Guitar Center. There's
    the Soundroom, put there's a premium to be paid for quality control and matching. (Which reminds me, you can special order matched pairs of the MXL-603s, though most have been doing fine with unmatched pairs.)

    Your choice of overhead has a lot to do with your basic approach and taste, so if possible, get a loaner to try anything new before you buy. The Behringer is the only thing so cheap it can't hurt much to buy it.

  3. baerstev

    baerstev Guest

    Thanks for replying. I currently have the at4033, 2 c1000s, 4 sm57s, and a couple really cheap dynamics. My room actually isn't that good-it has a very low ceiling(I think it may be only seven and 1/2 feet or slightly higher?), which makes me wonder if the ecm8000's omni pattern might not be desirable. What do you think? It seems like everyone just comments on how cheap the ecm8000 is, but as far as sound quality-do they just plain not sound as good as mxl-603s, or is this another case of "depends on what kind of sound you want"?
    Thanks again for your comments.
  4. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    They sound different. The MXL's have lower noise, which is an edge on quiet sources and in less busy mixes. The Behringers are pretty tonally transparent, not really imparting any color or signature. The MXL has some warmth and some presence to it that the Behringer doesn't.

    About the pattern, if your room sounds bad, the Behringer isn't going to help much. The MXL is a wide cardioid, which means it's still going to get a good chunk of room sound, although you should still have pretty decent rear rejection. I think going hypercardioid or supercardioid can be to heavy handed for condensors. For budget, I just saw that you can get new AT Pro 37 cardioid condensors for $100 each, which seems a lot cheaper than they used to be. Haven't heard one in a long while, so I'm not sure if they hold up well among current offerings. They did seem bright and glassy then, but that was a while ago.

  5. spratz

    spratz Guest

    For what it is worth, I have a pair of AT 4050's that I have used for overheads with good results. However, I tend to like them as a stereo pair and then add a kick drum mic in the mix. It is a more open sound that works for some of the projects that I do. Your room has an impact on this, that is for sure. You might want to rent or borrow a second 4033 to try out in your situation. It might work well for you. Your ears should tell if it does.
  6. baerstev

    baerstev Guest

    Thank you both again for replying. Jason-I couldn't help but notice your address-I am currently attending Luther College, but I go home on weekends to record in my home studio in Lewiston. (My former band actually played the Acoustic Cafe and a couple other small gigs in Winona) Since you live in Winona, I was wondering where you would go to rent a microphone like an at4033. I guess I don't really know much as far as what music stores are in La Crosse and Rochester.
    Are you playing any gigs around the area any time soon?
  7. spratz

    spratz Guest

    Send me a message and we can talk more. I don't want get off the topic here. E-mail me at jspartz@smumn.edu

  8. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    I have low ceilings in my studio and I only use one overhead, usually a small CAD condenser. Do you all recommend using a stereo pair, and if so, what is the placement. Keep in mind I only have about four feet over the cymbals to work with. I have tried a large condenser as an overhead and like the small condensers better.
  9. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    Damn those low ceilings, I got'em too.

    After checking my room and gear, Eddie Ciletti suggested that I use a stereo pair of AKG 452s w. omni capsules and 10 db pads (as overheads) in addition to constructing a 4x8 foot foam ceiling reflection minimizer that I put directly over the drums as high as possible, supported by my big old Keith Monks boom stands.

    A big improvement in sound and imaging that has earned many compliments.
  10. hargerst

    hargerst Active Member

    Our drum room has 7'6" ceilings and the Behringer ECM8000s, the Audix TR-40s, the Oktava MC012s, and the Shure SM-81s all work fine as drum overheads.

    Good drums and mic placement are everything.
  11. Gr0und_Zer0

    Gr0und_Zer0 Guest

    I used C1000's for drum overheads, and the results are ok, but I have to EQ the 'harshness' out of it. I recently bought a Rode NT1000, mainly for vocals. Did anyone use them as drum overheads in here? If so, I'm thinking about buying a second one. Then I'll use the C1000's to mic the hihat and the ride.
  12. One thing I really like about the MC-012 mikes (cardiod caps) for overheads is their warmer character, especially when compared to the C-1000. Even the 4033 seems to emphasize the upper mids and highs. With the Oktavas, you can more easily get away with no tom mikes and the cymbals are very smooth sounding, IMO.
  13. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    I'm currently really happy with a stereo pair of MC-012's. I can't think of another mic in it's price range that performs nearly as well.
  14. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member


    By "stereo pair" do you mean a matched set from the Sound Room or did you grab two at Guitar Center?
  15. hargerst

    hargerst Active Member

    My "stereo pair" is a matched set from the Sound Room.
  16. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    Stereo pair from Guitar Center, factory matched by Octava. They sound great, maybe I'm just lucky, the Sound Room pairs get great press on the forums so... pay your money take your chances!
  17. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    I'm waiting to have a look at the new Rode NT5 which comes out in April and will only be sold in matched pairs. RRP in Australia will be $895 for the pair, so probobly about $400 in the States.

    The NT4 would be groovy too and take all the hassle out of XY placement.


    NT4 & 5 Info

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