New drum mics.

Tony Carpenter

The Minstrel
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Aug 20, 2014
Location
Keighley, England
Hi gang,

I am about to splash out on a new Hendrix Bubinga drum kit and lots of other new toys for it. Mics for drums have gone by the by over the years all I really have left is a fusion f25 I think. I am considering a 4 mic set up. Bass drum Shure beta 52a, snare or Hi-hat a Shure SM-81-LC and finally overhead a pair of Rode NT5 matched mics. @pcrecord Marco and others, thoughts on this?. I'll be putting these through my Apollo Quad preamps. Room is treated and I have done drum mics before but usually 7 mics. Kit will be 6 piece, 22 Bass, 14 snare, 10 and 12 rack and 14 and 16 floors. 15inch hit-hat, 18 and 20 inch crash, 24 inch ride, 8 splash.

May add roto toms too, but, I'll see :)

Cheers,

Tony
 

bouldersound

Real guitars are for old people.
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Jan 23, 2010
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Boulder, Colorado
I really prefer a dynamic on the snare, and I find I keep going back to an SM57 after trying various other mics. I don't mic hi-hats much these days. My overheads seem to get them just fine, which might be because I do an XY pair to capture the kit rather than spaced overheads that probably get more of the other cymbals.
 

kmetal

Kyle P. Gushue
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Jul 21, 2009
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
We used xy almost exclusively at Traid, and almost never had the hat mic on in the mix. Or the ride mic if we used it. No issues with image, the mics are aimed apart. And the phase coherency leaves a solid image. Plus you can get them pretty low and grab alot of snare.

The 57/beta 57 is a tough mic to beat on snare. For gentle jazz an ldc like a 414 can work. If i were to use a sdc i would tape it to the 57 as is fairly common.

The nt5 are going to be ultra bright, really accentuating cymbals. And they have no pad. I didn't get much use from them on overheads. The are great on pop acoustic guitar. We used at3035 ultra cheap but beat out 87s quite often on the house kit. They lived in xy above it. I like 414s as well for overhead, they do a really good job. And an sm81 pair is good too. 414 would be my first choice, 3035 2nd.

I think the sennhiesser kick mic is more versatile than beta 52. The 52 has that one sound. Id opt for the senny or a d112. D112 is what i have most experience with.

Probably my favorite snare mic is the senny 441. Its so articulate. Its a dynamic with the sound of a sort. Like a condenser. Love that on snare.
 

Tony Carpenter

The Minstrel
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Aug 20, 2014
Location
Keighley, England
@kmetal Hiya Kyle :). I just had a listen to the NT5s with the NT45-O Capsules. Being OMNI that seems to really open the NT5 up?. I am trying to keep within a budget too. I used to have a D112 back in 1999, I can see MK2 versions out there now. With a SM57 the 2 NT5s and 2 OMNI replacement capsules, XY brace bar and a beta 52a I am getting around £1000 I think, including 3 beyer dynamic stands.

 

kmetal

Kyle P. Gushue
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Jul 21, 2009
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
Interesting i don't know if the pair i used was omni or not. I *think* they were cardiod. I dunno if the omni capsules are less bright or not. The lack of a pad is a concern on drums though. It might be something worth trying before buying.

I've seen the 3035's for like 70$. Sinfully cheap. We literally picked them over 414 and 87s on drums, and we already had all those mics, purely a sonic choice.

They have a pad, and low cut which can be useful if you want less kick in the OH. I used them flat. That's the other advantage of ldc on overhead, you can just cut the lows or use them.

If you end up with the NT5s and dont like them they will sell easy. For some reason every person looking for a first mic seems to want a rode. I traded my barely ever used nt1a in at GC and went back a few days later and it was sold.
 

bouldersound

Real guitars are for old people.
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Boulder, Colorado
One nice thing about coincident overheads, you can time align all the close mics to them. With a spaced pair you can really only time align mics that are the same distance to both overheads, so if you place them both at the same distance to the snare, that works, but you can't align the floor tom to both overheads. I orient the XY so the snare and kick are on the center line, which makes them look odd visually, but it works acoustically.

XY Drum Mics left.jpg


XY Drum Mics right.jpg
 

pcrecord

Quality recording seeker !
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Feb 21, 2013
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Quebec, Canada
The amount of mics and placement is very genre dependant.
I mostly do Pop and Rock, those ask for close mics on everything.

I should do a deconstruct video using 3 then 4 then more mics.
For overhead Spaced pairs will give you a larger stereo plane but if you think of it, many recording we hear aren't natural at all.. having the HH to the left and the ride to the right when done to the extreem would mean having a drummer with 10 feet arms and legs to replicate what the listener receive.. ;)

I do use the KSM 44 on overheads now.. a bit sweeter highs than many other mics. I never tried the Nt5 and by the comment from Kmetal.. I don't think I will..

I think the sennhiesser kick mic is more versatile than beta 52. The 52 has that one sound. Id opt for the senny or a d112. D112 is what i have most experience with.

The D112 is the flatest of the 3, the 52 has a bit of EQ and the Senheiser the more drastic eq... For jazz or classic music I'd go with the d112.. and rock the Sennheiser E602 or E902

I love the SM 81 on hh or ride..
 

Tony Carpenter

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Aug 20, 2014
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Keighley, England
Lots of food for thought. My ideal situation would be to get some nice second hand, but not knowing what that might bring.. worries me. I think I told some of you a long time ago I used the full AKG kit back in 1999 to record Eric Haydock's drummer, and I had that set up until I lost my house in the financial bust in 08. I was actually quite happy with the D112 and the then C1000s and the little gooseneck tom mics, and had the F25 too I think from memory. My room is almost zero reverb that I am using so the drums should behave quite nicely along with my usual skin choices.
 

pcrecord

Quality recording seeker !
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Feb 21, 2013
Location
Quebec, Canada
Funny that you write about the AKG Kit.. I've been doing live and studio recordings with it for years..
The C1000s aren't very good but the D112 and the C418 in the kit are very nice.
AKG always had a drum mic kit, but they changed what is included many times over the years, specially the tom mics..
None of the AKG actual kits have the c418 offered. Their kits range from 399 to 2K CAD... I think I paid mine around 1200$

As for the dead room, there are many tricks to simulate a drum room.. It is easier than to deal with a bad sounding room..
 

Tony Carpenter

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Aug 20, 2014
Location
Keighley, England
@pcrecord My room is treated to save me having to deal with it's dimensions :). I have plenty of ways to make a room sound how I want from UAD Oceanways to East West Spaces 2 etc etc.. I JUST sold my bike, and the money is now burning a considerable whole in my pocket LOL. So far I picked up a never used SM57 for a good price and a new a D112 Mk2 for a good price. Both of eBay saved about £60 so far.. not a lot, but it'll all count. Keeping my eye on a pair of NT5s I think they'll do nicely in my room. UAD Preamps will give me HPF etc :0). Waiting on Drum shop (VERY impatiently) to call me back LOL...
 

Boswell

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Apr 19, 2006
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UK
@pcrecord Keeping my eye on a pair of NT5s I think they'll do nicely in my room.
Tony - If you are considering the Rode NT5s as overheads, I would seriously keep an eye out for a pair of NT55s. They are the same mic as the NT5, but come with both the cardioid and omni capsules, and have mic body switches for 10dB/20dB pad and 75/150Hz HP filter.

Some years ago, before I got my NT55s, I happened to be present at a band recording where NT5s were set up as drum overheads. The drummer turned out to be what you might call aggressive, and the output from the NT5s overloaded the input of the Digidesign pre-amps. They had to be replaced with another SDC pair that had lower output. I made sure that I got NT55s with the pad switches after seeing that episode.
 

Boswell

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Apr 19, 2006
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UK
That was quick work!

It's usually quite a lot cheaper to get the 55s in a case with the extra capsules than to pick up a pair of 5s and then scratch around for the capsules. Plus you get the attenuations and the HPFs with the 55s.
 

Tony Carpenter

The Minstrel
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Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Location
Keighley, England
That was quick work!

It's usually quite a lot cheaper to get the 55s in a case with the extra capsules than to pick up a pair of 5s and then scratch around for the capsules. Plus you get the attenuations and the HPFs with the 55s.

I'm on a roll :D. I've just finished getting my new drums, cymbals and stand etc ordered too. By the weekend I should be ready to rock this house.
 

Davedog

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Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
The only other snare mic I use is a Beyer 201. Nice hat mic too. Kik in my room is usually an ATM25 inside and a Bock U195 outside. If you can find an EV N/D868 buy it. Overheads here lately have been AT4033's in spaced pair. For X/Y i like the AT4041's. And I like those NT55's ! Good capture there. They are twice the mic as the 5's
 
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