Hi guys and girls, it's been a while... good to be back. So, after a long recording road I finally have the money to purchase gear to record drums. I'd like to ask you guys, as far as mics go if I can get a couple few sm57's for the toms and snare, use something like a Shure beta 52a for the kick and something samson or mxl that sorta price range for the overheads or, alternately just buy one of them cheap mic kits that come with the clampy thingys that you can clamp on the drums instead of using a bunhc of pedestals. Ok... the bottom line: are these mic kits any good or are they cheap imitations of the stuff the pros, semipros, and in my case aspiring amateurs (inspired, come on) do?
Love this forum guys,
I would recommend either an Audix DP5a pack that comes with an i5 for the snare, 2 rack tom mics and a floor tom mic (slightly larger diaphragm) and a D6 for the kick drum. I would only suggest this over the one with the overhead mics, because I think you could probly find a better pair of OH mics pretty cheap.
Another option is the Shure PGDMK6 pack. Comes with 3 tom mics, a kick mic and 2 overheads, just spend the $100 and get a 57 for the snare.
It's always cheaper to buy the kit, just get a quality kit and you'll be find. Then some of your mics can double was guitar, bass, etc. mics.
Kits of any kind of tool or cooking utensil are almost always a bad deal. (Never buy a set of kitchen knives.) After you've used a drum mic set for a short while, you'll be dissatisfied with a few pieces. Then you'll find that the only real "extra" was the carrying case that doesn't fit the mics you really use, and you can't sell the mics you don't like at top dollar because they came in the case rather than an individual box (which you kept in the back of the closet so you could get an extra $5 on the ebay sale.) Don't get me wrong. All of the mics in the Shure non-PG set and the Audix pro set are good - someone will like them. But in all probability, you won't like ALL of them.
My thought is to start with three mics of the best quality you can afford. Kick, snare and (single) overhead. (This is a function of the type of music I record most. If isolated toms are a big thing for you, this is probably bad advice...at least it's free.) There are really good inexpensive dynamic options for kick and snare, but if you have something that you really like - say an RE20 on kick - you can spend a little and use it forever. For overhead, make do with what you have until you can add something that really expands the mic locker (usually it can be an alternative for a vocal mic) Rode NT5? SM81? AKG C414?
Putting a lot of mics on a drum kit lets you do a lot of interesting effects that are expected in some genres, so big studios with a locker of great mics will put a million mics on a kit even if they use three or four in the mix. But unless your clients expect you to pan a tom roll across the stereo field you are better going for quality than quantity.
if you wanna start stereo, get a pair of sm 81's, or pair of the others bob mentioned and use them overhead or in the glyn johns position, and get a kick mic like the akg d112. overheads are probably 85% of the drum sound, and is the last place i'd skimp, even if i used just one, which i have quite a few times. the next mic i'd add would be a snare close from like a d-6 or my preference a 57.
for the price of a 600 mic kit you can afford a more custom tailored, completely pro starter set, especially if you go used. if there's a weak point to some of the kits i'm thinking of the weak point is usually the OH intended mics. usually they're small diaphragm and aren't something sold individually, like i don't think sure puts 81's or ksm's in their kits. you may want LDC's anyway, for their sound or versatility.