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One or two room mics when recording drums???

Discussion in 'Drums' started by HMNP, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    How many room mics are you guys using when recording a drumset ? where do you usually place them ?

    I was thinking of buying a Soundelux as a room mic and use my AKG 414 b/uls as overheads. r do you guys believe its better to use two U195s as overheads and the AKG's as room ? Thanks for the imputs>
  2. WRX07

    WRX07 Guest

    I have a tiny square room with a bunch of acoustic treatment so I don't use any :D .

    It all depends on how good the room sounds. My friend has a really nice studio and he goes all out. I think I remember him using this setup on drums: fet 47 out of kick, md421 in kick, sm 57 top/bottom snare, a few 421's for toms, sm81 for hats, akg451's OH's, royer sf12 back of the room, coles 4038 x/y front low of the room, studio projects lsd2 x/y front high of the room, studio projects b4 sides of the room....and one other mic for the back wall.
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Wow! :shock:
    That would take me hours to get the placement right; unless I just spent a weekend getting it right one time and just left everything where it was all the time.
  4. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Thanks for the response. Well, my room sounds extremely nice. Its been acoustically treated by a pro. Dimensions are 24 x 25 ft. I think your friend is using a little too much room mics. Any other suggestions ?
  5. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    you'd just have to experiment and see what you like. I prefer 2 overheads and 2 rooms plus a condensor any where from 3" to 3 feet from the kick......but it depends on the drummer , the song the feel your goiong for. I've had really great success with 57's as room mics. (i often do...BUT....don't underestimate what a sm 57 can do) It just depends on what you want to hear. Are you going for Shania Twain drums, Al Green drums, Led Zeppelin drums?????? figure that out then keep dickin around with your set up till it sounds like that .

    Good luck, have fun.
  6. WRX07

    WRX07 Guest

    He either read about it or someone told him about it. I think it's an Ed Rose setup
  7. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    A stereo set of C414's would be perfect for room miking. The variable polar pattern settings allow a lot of flexibility - a close pair with cardiod, spaced pair with omni, or M-S (cardiod and fig8).

    Basically: large diaphram condenser, stereo set. There are some budget mics of this kind ...

    Anything more than a stereo pair is overkill (IMO) and a single mic is only useful if you don't use stereo overheads otherwise it will detract from the imaging of the room.

    Also, you might try saving the cash and audio I/O by getting your C414 overheads to pick up more room ambiance (in addition to cyms) by increasing their height and/or setting them to omni-directional.
  8. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    I don't know man, I've had pretty good luck using a R-121 with the Nuke settig on a distressor for a single room mic, mixed in with two cardioid spaced pair overheads. Nice big raunchy room sound but good imagine from the overs. Of course 2mics on kick, 2 on snare and each tom and hats were miced up as well.

    As far as "spot" mics that can be real cool too. There is something to be said about finding sweet spots in a room and putting a mic there. Maybe you use it, maybe you dont. As always you have to make shure your imaging dosn't collapse and you don't have wierd phaze funk going on. Damn.......I love recording drums.......
  9. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member


    Did I just count 19 mics to do a drum kit!?!?

    Hang on I'll be back in a minute...looking that one up...overhear...overjoy...overjoyed...AH HAH! There it is:OVERKILL- the capacity for destruction beyond what is necessary for victory...

    I hope they're all hot when the engineer's head explodes so it can be captured in perfect 19 mic clarity!


    George Martin. One on the kick and one in the air. Okay Ringo...GO!
  10. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    HAHAHA....I thought I was pushing it when I used 3 mics on a kick, two on a snare, closed mic'd the whole kit, and also triggered the kit just so I have room to play.

    I don't even have enough pres to use 19 mics!
  11. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    Hehe, I counted 17 mics ... thats got to be the highest mic count I've ever heard of for a drum kit.

    I was going to mention the 2 mic solution that we've all heard used with the Beatles. 1 overhead and 1 front facing mic for Ringo's kit.

    I think miking a kit really depends most on the type of music. 3 mics is great for classic rock, blues and the like. A few more for metal or fusion etc

    But really, 2 nice overheads, a kick drum mic, and a snare mic will go a long long way, no matter which kind of music!

    Just take the time to place the mics to get the sound you are after (record and listen before moving on)
  12. WRX07

    WRX07 Guest

    When Led Zeppelin recorded in a castle, didnt they only use two U87's
  13. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    I wuz counting the two x-y mics as two mics each.

    Okay I'll clarify: 17 mics. 19 diaphragms.

    I think the problem with the 17 mic setup is that there is no 'butt mic' to catch the frequencies as they are attenuated and 'warmed' by the drummer's butt cheeks. I think one ought to have a PZM there smack dab in the centre between his caboose and the stool.

    The PZM would be the most comfortable, IMO. The added benefit to a PZM is they are very difficult to overload and I've noticed they aren't subject to 'woofing' from great volumes of air, should the unthinkable happen...

    I know most of "Blood Sugar Sex Magic Semen Motor Oil Chicken Legs Paper Scissors Rock" by the Chili Peppers was done with a 57 on the kick, a 57 on the snare, and a pair of C414's in the air, in a big marble room in a rented house.

    I heard, 3rd hand, that the smokin' beat on "When the levy breaks" was done with one on the kick and two in the air, but I can't confirm that. Certainly seems possible.

    Maybe the lesson here is to get a killer room, and then you need less mics, because you can let the natural ambiance of the room do it's thing. Would that theory hold water?

  14. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    We once had to use an SM57 on a kick drum - not a pleasant sound, or rather, a lot of post work trying to EQ it into something believable as a kick. I guess we forgot to bring the big marble room... damn.

    Yeah, room acoustics is crucial. Hard and diffusive surfaces is the key. A lot of home studio's make the mistake of acoustically dampening (till waterlogged) their recording rooms which then just gives limp sound.
  15. Jimi_London

    Jimi_London Guest

    Amen to that :cool:

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