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Tips On Drum Mics.

Discussion in 'Drums' started by dannymorreale, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. dannymorreale

    dannymorreale Active Member

    Im looking to buy new drum mics, but im new to buying them. Does anyone have any opinions on how i should buy, or what should i look for?
    i dont want to spend a lot of money on quality i couldve gotten for a cheaper price.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Cheap and quality don't belong in the same sentence.
    For kit overheads I use AT4051's. For kick I use AKG D12 and ATM25. For toms I use a combination of MD421's and EV PL10's and ATM25's. Snare gets AT4051 or SM57.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Hi welcome to RO,

    Audix sells a couple complete kits that are an excellent value.

    Sennheiser THREEPACK604P 3 E604 Microphones with 3 Carrying Pouches | Full Compass e604's come in a 3-pack which is a great value for a very useful tom mic ( but a little dark for my taste to use on a snare ).

    E-V has a decent drum pack.

    You can't go wrong with Shure SM57's if you can avoid hitting them and knocking the grill off. The beta series cures that problem with a metal windscreen, but doesn't quite have the same sonic character to me.

    I recently worked with a guy who wanted to use his CAD drum pack (I didn't care for it). So if you're looking at these see if you can try them first - it might suit your set-up just fine.

    None of these are exactly cheap, but they are a good value. There's a certain price-point that if you're below it, you're almost throwing your money away. And naturally that's all based on a well-tuned drum kit and a PA or recording system that can let good mics sound good.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    What kind of music do you record? Are you new to recording drums or just new to buying mics? How tight is the budget?

    I'm always wary of package deals of any kind - mics, kitchen knives, tools. It only takes one or two pieces of gear that you don't like to make it a bad deal.

    I'd start building your drum mic collection around four mics: a matched pair of condensers for overheads, snare top, kick. Those and the stands and clamps will set you back a pretty penny. If you don't have much experience I'd suggest stopping there and working to get the most out of those four mics.

    The choice of condensers depends on your room and the other application you have for the mics. My room is OK, but nothing to write home about - I use a pair of Shure SM81s. Cheaper version of that would be the Rode NT5s. But John's suggestion of a pair of LDCs would work perfectly well. [Edit: Oops, I didn't read John's post closely enough. I thought he said AT 4050s. Those, AKG 441s, etc would be great.] I hear a pair of U87s works OK.

    I use an SM57 for snare top. There are other options, but if you don't have an SM57 you probably should.

    There are several long threads on kick mics, so I won't comment further. Do a search.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Just to clarify, the AT4051b is Audio Technica top line SDC. I had 4051 and later/now 4051a. I just do that there pop-u-lar muzik these days. Color me Brahms.

    I would agree a novice should start with a minimum bag of mics and drum tuning.
  6. dannymorreale

    dannymorreale Active Member

    Price will not really be a problem unless its a 3000 drum mic kit. The people that have been coming to me to record are very different in genres. Genres- reggae, metal, indie-rock . basically what we have been doing, since im still a bit new at recording drums, i have two overheads. One overhead pretty much above center of the kit, and the other overhead is placed closer to where the hi hat is. We were using an AT4050, and a MXL condenser. and as for separate drum micing.. i have a samson drum mic kit. They are def not amazing quality, but they do for now.
    but thats pretty much what im working with, i just want a much more crisper sound.
    so , a shure kit is a pretty decent investment?
    or the audio technicas?
  7. dannymorreale

    dannymorreale Active Member

    Also, thank you guys for actually replying to this and helping me out!
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You still didnt specify things like number of channels you want to record at one time, what you're recording to........

    Side note: When Bob suggested that a pair of U87's were reputed to 'works OK' I almost spit out my coffee!! The ONLY set-up I've ever heard better than a pair of 87's as over heads is a pair of U67's..........!

    The 4050 is a GREAT drum mic. You need another one of these. Since the budget isnt a big problem heres what you should shoot for.

    1. DrumDial. Really.

    2. Well-treated drum area. (No, Really!)

    3. Beyer 201 for snare top.

    4. Beyer 201/422 for snare bottom.

    5. Second AT4050 for overheads.

    6.Sennheiser 421's for all toms.

    7. ATM25 for inside kick.

    8. Yamaha (or home built) Sub-kick

    9. Avantone CR-14 ribbon mic for room

    10. API 3124 mic pre for snare top, kick and overheads

    11. John Hardy mic pres for everything else.

    So this is WAY more than 3K....but its plug and play. AND, its THAT drum sound.

    All the mics are less than you'd think, so thats a good place to start.

    You can substitute Audix D series for the Sennheisers...or simply buy a bunch of Beyer 201's....OR, you can use SM57's on everything....

    The real value with great sound approach is going to be the Beyer on snare top, the second 4050 and the ATM25 inside the kick. If you combine these four mics with the API pre, you will find that special huge drum sound in a decent room with a well-tuned and played kit.
  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I knew you'd like that.
  10. dannymorreale

    dannymorreale Active Member

    My interface only has 2 inputs.
    until i get a bigger interface with more inputs, along with all new drum micing equipment, i was recording through a mixer to the interface. I know its not the best quality wise, but im working with what i have until i get better equipmet.
    Looks like i have some shopping to do.
  11. leopoldolopes

    leopoldolopes Active Member

    With 2 inputs only I would stay with what you have right now... maybe just buy a SM57 and that's it... try to invest first on more inputs... and then you think on your mic options! Buying mics without enough inputs to use them... is a no sense for me!
  12. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, a stereo pair of 4050s would probably do a nice job of capturing the kit. Since they are multi pattern you could try XY, Blumlein, AB, MS.
  13. dannymorreale

    dannymorreale Active Member

    yeah im looking at an 8 channel interface for my next buy.
    recording through those two inputs though actualy sounded pretty decent for what it was.
    i was impressed, but once i get the eight channel im sure the quality will get 10x times bettter. thanks for all of the opinions. :cool:

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