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Tom mics on a budget?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by DrummerDan, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    Hello, everyone, Im very new here, and I have a question.

    For certain brands, i understand they all have their "go-to's" for tom micing. I am on a budget. My LIMIT is 1500$

    The mics I already have planned out for are

    1 Shure SM57
    2 Audio Technica AT2035
    1 Audix D6

    For toms mics, i can sway either way. Just the way it all works out is that those 4 mics, plus cables and stands and interface goes to about 1050$

    The rest of the money, i will be devoting toward tom mics. I will require 4 of them.

    I was think about either 3 Sm57's, 3 e604's, or 3 e609's?

    I have heard good things and bad thing about all of them, but the way my budget goes, I cant really afford the "standard" tom mic.

    one thing i like about going with the e609's is that the cables and stands come with the mic. The rest other two options would need stands and cables separately.

    If any help can be given to me, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You.
  2. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    the 604s come with clips that go on the rims or floating brackets. They are good tom mics. Also the Audix D1 is a good tom mic (maybe a D4 for floor tom). The D series also (I believe) come with their D-vice clip that goes on the rim.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Hi Dan, welcome to RO.

    All three of those mics are good for toms. If you can try them before you buy them, that will be the best way to make sure they give you the sound you're looking for. I own all three and wouldn't have any reservations about recommending any of them for live use or general recording. There are many here who have a long list of high-end mics in the mic closet and would still prefer a good ol' SM57 for toms.

    You didn't specify if these are for live use or recording, or what style of music.

    And to clear up a couple things -

    1) you may have a retailer bundling the e609 with cables and stands, but you are in fact paying a little something for them. And you can bet they are probably very low-grade cables and stands so light they can barely stand up with the boom extended. MF sells 10 x 20ft. cables for $50 - read the reviews.

    2) the e604 the clamp that comes with them allows you to clip it right onto the rim of a standard tom eliminating the clutter, weight, and need for the extra mic stands. (the only drummer I've worked with that couldn't clip them right to the drum was using thicker maple hoops). Or you can remove the drum mount and use it on a conventional mic stand.

    Good luck!
  4. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    Hello, thanks for the warm welcome. This will be for just recording, but I also want the mics to versatile, because i will be having friends coming over and recording.

    Also, I own TWO of each of those cables and stands, and I must say.... They really aren't that bad. The stands are extremely sturdy! I have one going to my kick and one for my mono overhead high above my kit, and its strudy, and it holds the mic without a budge. I even got the overhead one doing double duty as it is holding my extended stickbag. The cables, from the reviews say they are awful, but from my experience they have been reliable and fully functioning. Maybe i just got the golden apples of the pick.

    Thats one of the reasons i was a little wary of the e604's, because they dont have stands, which is expensive to add later, and im not too sure of the clamp. I have heard it rattles, and isnt very good. I could be mislead, as i have never personally used them.

    I will have to look at the reviews and dig a littler deeper. Thank you!

    EDIT: I continued to look on MF, and if i wanted to use all 57's on toms and a Beta 52 on kick with an e604 on snare, I would get HQ cables separate and HQ stands separate. and the total came out to about 75$ less than using 609s or 604s on toms!!
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The SM57 will work well. The 604 or D6 would work well too. I'm a Sennheiser 421 guy for toms as well as the sadly out of production ATM25.

    Regarding cheap cables. Generally they have poor rejection of RFI and tend to break easily especially if you bend them sharply or tie knots in them. When you wrap them up make sure they are wide loops and use cable clamps or velcro strips or just hang them on hooks without any knots. Gingerly plug them in and pull them out and don't roll heavy gear or rolling chairs over the cables. And don't buy any more cheap cables!
  6. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    yea, im thinking more like LiveWire EXM series, they are cheaper but their reviews are outstanding.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Honestly, you didn't ask but I'll tell you anyway. Go buy a reel of good sturdy wire and buy the XLR and/or TRS connectors and solder your own. It will cost you a bit in materials and a few burnt spots of flesh and a few moments at confession for bad language, but you will have better quality than you can buy for the same price and you will learn some valuable things. And you will be able to repair those cheap cables when they break.
  8. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    must say the moments at confession part made me lol.

    but idk to much on soldering, and i really dont trust myself for things like that lol
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Get the 57's. Learn to record really well with them. Everything else past that point will be a snap. SM57= best recording training tool ever invented. And you'll keep em forever.
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    This is the safest way to go if you can't try before you buy. They sound good on Toms. Probably the most versatile mic in the group. Very good resale value. (Too good to buy used if you don't know the seller IMHO. I wouldn't buy one on eBay.) On the other hand, the others are all good mics (I'd throw in the Audix D2 as well) and if you can try then you might find one you like better on Toms than the 57.

    I like the Audix Dvice clamps, which are fine for holding a 57.
  11. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    thanks for the replies everyone! I do not think i am going to use clamps, im just not a fan of the look, especially with a 57, never looks exactly right. i would use all stands... just like the normal ones. surprisingly the Musicians Gear ones, i have two of, and they are literally rock solid. no problems. ever. i highly recommend them.
  12. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    EDIT: MF has them on sale right meow for 10$!
  13. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    Any other input on the 57's? for toms?
  14. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I think that's a typo, but if you're buying 57's @ $10 I'll take a dozen.

    The only thing I don't like about using 57's on toms is how often I've had to search for the grill that a wayward stick knocked off.
  15. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    yea i meant the stands, bc i trust them and they havent failed me yet, they are on sale,

    btw, how often/easy is it to destroy a 57 when micing toms?
  16. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Never happened to me, but I don't do the volume of work, live or recording that Mr. Hawk does.

    If it's in the budget, I'd second the 421s. They're great on kick, tom, amp, voice, etc. Much like the 57 but I prefer the 421 - wish I had many more.
    Of course, the price tag is triple - but even one for floor tom, kick, etc would be a worthwhile investment. A mic I use pretty much every session.
  17. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    One errant hit with a drumstick and the plastic/metal grill comes off and the metal spring-clip inside launches to who knows where. If you find the spring-clip and take your time to line up the notches just right you can reassemble it. It will be a challenge and don't break the thinner notch out or you're SOL. If the spring-clip gets lost or breaks in half, as they can do, you are SOL. That circular screen that wraps around between the grill and the mic body needs to be open. So although it's tempting to wrap black electrical tape around it and forget about it, it completely changes the tone and pattern of the mic (and not in a good way). Then a couple well placed drops of super-glue are your only option to hold the grill on - which works quite well.

    And while the grill is laying under the floor-tom, the diaphragm is completely exposed - so if you're lucky they won't have another wild stick that destroys the diaphragm. So far, I haven't had that happen ever. But I gave up on 57's for toms years ago for that reason alone. Snare is a different story. A beta57 (with a sturdy metal grill) just isn't quite the same to my ear.

    I've been lucky enough to work with some excellent drummers, and had the challenge of working with really green kids. Now, you may have enough stick control to be confident you won't hit your own mics - that's great and as it should be. If you've got other drummers coming in, it's a factor. When I can, I watch them drum prior to the job if I hear rims and sticks during a tom roll forget it. You can also look at the stick marks on their heads to see if they are a well controlled pro-caliber drummer or a flailing wildman.

    If the rim mounts put the mic where I want it that's all that matters to me. Sound would trump appearance.
  18. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    i would call myself semi-controlled. i have never ever ever hit the top rim during a fill or a beat or anything,( i have hit the bottom rim, but thats bc i had someone other than myself set my drums up)

    the e604s are really alot more expensive than the 57 route i would take, i understand they are smaller, but couldnt i just put a dab of superglue on the 57 if i felt it would be in danger?

  19. DrummerDan

    DrummerDan Active Member

    also, there is another solution i was refered to, is using GREAT overheads, instead of micing the entire kit individually.

    so what would be your opinion?

    (3) sm57
    (2) at2035


    Audix D6
    (2) AT4040

    which is more preferable?
  20. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    This is true, but may be misleading. The hit has to be at just the right place. 57s are notoriously tough. So tough that people exaggerate and call them indestructible and some drummers take that as a challenge. If you are worried about the mic getting hit, that's an argument in favor of the 57, not an argument against. Hitting mics with sticks is pretty much always a bad thing.

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