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Overhead Mics Ideas please?

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by nrgmusic, May 26, 2001.

  1. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Member

    I have been using a matched pair of AKG 451's with cardoid capsules for a number of years now. A few days ago one of them was damaged beyond repair. I am just about to replace them and would very much welcome your imput on what you think makes great overheads and why.

    Thanks

    Simon
     
  2. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Simon,

    For new mics Neumann KM-184's sound nice, especially for the price. I really like small diaphram condensers on overheads, particularly when using more than 3-4 mics on the kit (which I often do)...they are very focused with not a lot of off-axis coloration. Vintage KM84's can be had for not a lot of money (and sound better than the KM-184's IMO), but be careful of Ebay you never know what you are getting and its a crap shoot (no pun intended). Buy from a reputable vintage dealer who will back up the product if it doesn't work flawlessly. Ribbons can be nice on OH's also, but they aren't as general purpose for that application at least for my tastes.

    Best Regards,

    Nathan Eldred
    Atlas Pro Audio, Inc.
    http://www.atlasproaudio.com
    813.662.5028
     
  3. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    What kinda mic's are you using for the rest of your drum kit. Are they the same mics everytime you record drums?
    These other mics would effect the mics I would choose for OH's.
     
  4. user_gamesound

    user_gamesound Active Member

    Check out the Oktava MC012 multi-capsule condenser. I have a stereo matched pair from The Sound Room (http://www.oktava.com) -- they came with 3 capsules (cardioid, omni, hypercardioid) in a sweet cedar box! Sound great as overheads in omni mode plus they were VERY affordable.

    The guy who runs The Sound Room (Taylor Johnson) double checks & benches the mics when he gets them from Russia, so you're guaranteed a good sounding mic.

    If Oktava's not for you, he carries several other nice brands too...

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Member

    Originally posted by e-cue:
    What kinda mic's are you using for the rest of your drum kit. Are they the same mics everytime you record drums?
    These other mics would effect the mics I would choose for OH's.


    e-cue
    If i'm working at home I would normaly use the following setup:
    Kik: D112/u87/u47
    Snr: sm 57/414/pr37a
    Hat: pr 37a
    Toms: md421's / pr25's
    O/H: 451's with ck1 capsules
    Room: 414's / u87's

    These are the ones i usualy reach for a start... I don't have a massive collection so I do from time to time hire in other mics if the project warrants it.

    Thanks
    Simon
     
  6. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    I agree that the KM184's are hard to beat for utility and price. For me, they rate among the SM57's and MD421's as the basic building blocks of a mic collection. Like a 57 or a 421, you can always find new uses for the KM184; and no matter what you throw at them, they usually sound very good, often great. On the other hand, (back to drum OH) I have been trying something new in that application - one or two ribbon mics. A Coles 4038 or a pair of Royers can sound very nice - obviously not as bright (or anywhere near as LOUD) as the 184's, but very nice all the same. What I really liked about this method the last time that I tried it recently was that I was able to get a good overall drum balance from the overheads, not just a wash of cymbals. The Royers alone sounded like a complete drum kit, before I even brought up the kick mic. Probably an unrepeatable fluke, but it sure was impressive.
     
  7. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    I don't think it was "an unrepeatable fluke." In doing some very simple drum recording lately, I've gotten most of the tone from an overhead ribbon mic. As Steve says, it doesn't sound like a cymbal wash, but like a nice balanced picture of the drum kit. Mix in a little from the kick and snare mics, and maybe just a taste from the room, and you're there.

    SC
     
  8. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Member

    Thanks everyone for the replies.... some serious food for thought here. I had considered a pair of the Neumans and have a matched pair coming for trial in a week or so. I am also very interested in the ribbon mics..... I know a number of people who are really getting to like them. Do you still get a real good cymbal separation from them? and which is the better in oyur opinions the royer or the coles? How do you find the imaging on the stereo ribbons? A pal of mine reckons the stereo Royer is fab for all sorts of applications including micing guitar cabs... iis this true? And I heard that the ribbon mics don't handle spl that well certainly not the older ribbons, can I ask you whether that still holds true, and finaly what kinds of mic pres are you using with them?

    Thanks
    Simon :)
     
  9. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    What style of music do you typically record? That would make a big diference on what I would recommend.

    Mixerman
     
  10. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Member

    Originally posted by Mixerman:
    What style of music do you typically record? That would make a big diference on what I would recommend.

    Mixerman


    Mixerman
    Thanks for your reply, generally speaking the majority of my work these days is rock/indie rock, that is mostly pop based Album material for smaller record labels, based in Europe and Japan.

    Thanks
    Simon
     
  11. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Originally posted by nrgmusic:


    Mixerman
    Thanks for your reply, generally speaking the majority of my work these days is rock/indie rock, that is mostly pop based Album material for smaller record labels, based in Europe and Japan.

    Thanks
    Simon


    If that's the case, then you might want to check out a couple of AKG414's as overheads. For Alternative I prefer 87's, they have a beefy quality that I enjoy on rock drums. For straight pop, I like the 414's.

    If you can expand your mic collection, it's not bad to have a couple mic options for overheads.

    Mixerman
     
  12. GigaBoy

    GigaBoy Member

    Simon, I too used a pair of c451s for years but recently came across a pair of silver 414EBs with the old style capsules and was blown away. The 414s seem to still get the detail that you remember with the 451s, but they also get some of the meat and balls of the kit. They're also quite versatile with multiple patterns. I definitely agree with mixerman's recommendation on the 414s, and one further. If you can find old silver ones don't pass them up. Very nice, I love mine.

    Bill Watson
    GigaBoy A/V
     
  13. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by GigaBoy:
    The 414s seem to still get the detail that you remember with the 451s, but they also get some of the meat and balls of the kit. They're also quite versatile with multiple patterns. I definitely agree with mixerman's recommendation on the 414s, and one further. If you can find old silver ones don't pass them up.


    Or, if you don't want to get into the obvious possible pitfalls of "vintage" used gear (as Fletcher says..."fuggedaboudit") and you still want a large diaphram silky smooth world class multipattern mic (with a warranty) that is in the same school of high frequency accentuation, you could try a pair of BLUE Kiwi's (less than $4k for a pair). See them here:


    here

    But hey, with some things you get what you pay for, and with other you pay for what you get. YMMV

    Nathan Eldred
    Atlas Pro Audio, Inc.
    http://www.atlasproaudio.com
     
  14. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    For years now I have been digging 'fixed axis' stero mic's (2 capsules in one mic case)

    Neumann SM2 - vintage valve
    Neumann SM69 - vintage valve
    AKG C24 - vintage valve
    Royer SF-12

    A C24 fan, I found the Royer stereo mic even better. I use it in big rooms when I track 'out' and mounted from a ceiling mount in my tiny wood floor, concrete block, sheetrock ceiling drum booth - at my own place The Library.. it sounds excelent most places I find... IMHO it is great for getting cymbals to sound nice on a DAW or digital.

    My usual overhead chain

    Royer SF-12
    Earlybird (giant valve) mic pre
    Tube Tech PE1C's - boost at either 8/10/12 k
    SSL compressor
    Cranesong Hedd (for conversion and the tape/valve simulation)
    AES into Pro Tools

    :)

    Jules
     
  15. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Member

    Hey Jules
    Thanks for the info... Can I get a Royer here or would you recommend getting one from Fletcher at Mercenary?

    Simon
     
  16. wyee

    wyee Guest

    While on this subject, I would like to know your recommendations for micing jazz drums to get the "tick" of the stick hitting the ride cymbal.

    Low end solutions welcome. I have available to me:

    SM-57s
    Marshall 603s
    RE-20
    Marshall MXL-67
    AT-822 stereo
    Sennheiser E602
    Shure 829

    I am considering getting a pair of matched omnis for completeness, so if these would be a consideration, let me no.
     
  17. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by Dr. Willie:
    While on this subject, I would like to know your recommendations for micing jazz drums to get the "tick" of the stick hitting the ride cymbal. -chopchop- I am considering getting a pair of matched omnis for completeness, so if these would be a consideration, let me no.
    "Pencil" type mic's (small condensers such as Earthworks TC30/40k, shure sm81, km81, etc.) have served me well for this type of application.

    I have limited experience with Oktavas, but they sound like they would work well on overheads and are worth serious consideration. They're very reasonably priced, and with all the capsules you're not limited to omni pattern... more bang for the buck. Oops, I stole Harvey's line! Sorry, hehe.
     
  18. hargerst

    hargerst Distinguished Member

    If the drummer does a lot of intricate ride work, I'll sneak an Audix TR-40 omni in below the crashes, and actually aim it from just behind the bell toward the front of the cymbal, positioned about 4" above the ride.
     
  19. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    If you're looking for a really traditional jazz drum sound, I'd try a pair of Beyer M-260's. Sometimes you don't even need the kick mike. Very nice, and not too expensive.

    SC
     
  20. Starfields76

    Starfields76 Guest

    Simon,

    That sucks that your mic crapped out the other day - I really dig the 451 sound on overheads as well. It was rather nostalgic for me to read your post cause I haven't used those mics on OH in a while so I'm trying to dig up a pair for a session I'm doing next weekend that they will be perfect for. Thanks for the inspiration.

    As for recommendations on OH mics, I would also have to agree with Nathan on the Neumann KM-184's. You can also always play it safe with a pair of 414's or SM81's. I recently had a good experience with a pair of the Earthworks SR71 mics - another engineer brought them in with him and they sounded great. These suggestions are all of coarse standard and safe choices based upon the kind of music you record.

    Good luck finding some replacements. Let us know what you come up with.

    Kevin Bruchert
    Producer / Engineer
    Starfields Productions
     

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