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SM57's and toms

Hello! I'm looking at getting a couple of sm57's to record my drums and guitar amp. My question is whether it is wise or not to use sm57's on Toms, and get a good full sound? I read it was great for "snares and guitar cabs". Any suggestions?


Markd102 Sun, 11/12/2006 - 17:57
We just ordered some e904's.
Been using 57's and deffinately haven't been unhappy with them, but I know I can get better.
Can't afford 421's at the moment, so I think the 904's will be a good compromise.
Plus I use an e901 in the kick, an e905 on the snare top and e914's on snare bottom and hats. So it kinda rounds out the set LOL.

moonbaby Mon, 11/13/2006 - 07:18
Definitely keep the 57's when you get the 421's. There are instances where the 421 MIGHT sound better, but the 57 will be a better choice because it will break your heart to see a 421 get the crap smacked out of it by an errant drumstick. They don't seem to take to that kind of brutality like a 57 can. But they do sound fat on toms as long as you're dealing with a pro drummer with good stick control....and who won't lie to you and SAY that mic isn't in the way, and then bashes it like he's in the World Series, and then leaves the studio with a sneer on his face because he's just stolen your girlfriend, drunk all your beer, broken that vintage Camco kick pedal beyond repair, and wrecked your Miata taking off with said girlfriend....NO, the Moon doesn't have issues...

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 11/13/2006 - 19:16
yayyy.. now on to the re-20's ! they have entered the race!!! woohoooo...


yea im definatly getting an re20 before i get a 421 . how could i have forgotten them.

or maybe ill buy two 421's first. THEN the re20 for grimey vocals and extra oomph on my open back 1x12 fender amp? ( i dont like just recording a 1/2 stack by itself.)

well i think the answer lies within the bottom of this merlot bottle. :0 )

RemyRAD Tue, 11/14/2006 - 02:03
I love 421's on all of the drums! Snare, Tom's and kick. Heck, I even have used them as overheads. Too bad I don't have enough of them. But, if I did..... OK, maybe not underneath the snare but that's all! Well... Maybe? RE20 not aggressive enough for me on drums, sometimes on kick. I almost puked when I saw an engineer once put a U47 FET inside a bass drum close to the batter! Of course it wasn't his.

Where's my diaphragm???
Ms. Remy Ann David

Davedog Wed, 11/22/2006 - 19:20
A U47 fet on kick is the shizitts...Just not INSIDE the drum.....!!! Its always been used as an enhancement kind thingy.. I like the Studio Projects B3 used in the same way...Down-low out in front of the kick with a mic inside that does all those spl's and gets that special clik of the impact. ATM25 sounds great for this as do several others.

Whatever you do....TUNE THAT THING RIGHT...k?

paulears Wed, 04/21/2021 - 23:18

Never feel stupid for using mics in new or interesting ways. If they work for you, that is totally fine. You can always recommend 57s, because you can be certain they wont do it poorly. Me personally, I don’t own any 421s, and if I were to buy any, because of their typical uses, I’d probably need three, and they’d not really earn their keep, as their primary jobs are done well enough by other mics. 

One thing I do know is that out of all the instruments I record, drums are the poorest in terms of sound. Of course some drummers really know their kits and agonise over the extra brightness from the Peruvian Rosewood quarter sawn solid shells over the laminated Venezuelan Poplar used by Pearl in the sunny month of June in 1963, but the majority of kits I hear are abused, rattle, boing, honk and boom. Agonising is all about the quantity of gaffer tape it needs to prevent the snare falling off! 

It never occurred to me to try ribbons as overheads until I saw Alan Parsons do it, in my head overheads were condensers for the top end. I started experimenting and now have Beyer M201 as my overhead mic of choice because I like the sound it captures. I’m using cheap clip on dynamics for Tom’s at the moment live, and they only have one job, capture a bong, and they do it fine. I can have a deep bong, a bright and cutting bong, or anything else. They don’t need stands and don’t get in the way as much as 57s. Sound wise, I don’t think a tom is a nice sound needing special treatment from wonderful mics unless maybe totally undimmed for effect. I’m sure drummers would angrily disagree, but swapping and tweaking on an acoustic guitar makes sense, but one mic on one drum that goes bong? 

EDIT bums. Just realised I replied to a long dead topic. I’m sure I tapped recent comments. Sorry.