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Well now...
This is one I've been meaning to get to for quite some time.
I've put it off long enough, so here goes.

The gear:

Again, the mixer: [=""]Yamaha 01V96v2[/]="http://www.zzounds…"]Yamaha 01V96v2[/]
Snare: [url=link removed Omar HakI'm Signature 13x5"
Recorder: Tascam CD-RW2000
The DAW (for normalizing): Sony Soundforge 7

All mics recorded at same basic angle - roughly 2-3 inches from top head, off to left side and aimed at the center.
75Hz HPF on mic channels. No other EQ. No Compression, gating, etc...

The mics:

1) Neumann KM84 (Switched to -10)
2) Audio-Technica 4050 (Cardioid, -10, Flat)
3) Shure Beta98
4) AKG C480B with CK61/ULS (Cardioid) capsule (-10, Flat)
5) AKG D125 (Because it was in my way)
6) Shure SM77
7) AKG C535EB (0dB, Flat)
8 ) Electro-Voice 468
9) Sennheiser e609 'Silver'
10) Sennheiser 409 (The real thing)
11) Shure SM57
12) Shure Beta57
13) Beyer M88
14) Sennheiser MD421 (M)
15) Audix D2 (For DaveDog)
16) Sennheiser MD441 (M, Flat)

http://www.soundcli…"]Click here to access the trax.[/]="http://www.soundcli…"]Click here to access the trax.[/]


Topic Tags


Davedog Sun, 01/20/2008 - 10:50

I would also say that the snare is a tad 'dark' but for this purpose suits just fine. A good test as there are a lot of dark sounding snares with the advent of the two-ply heads and the sometimes mad desire to get that calf-head sound. An under-snare mic will brighten this snares sound out a lot while retaining the 'thump' that this particular drum exhibits. Notice there is no 'ring' whatsoever.

Great job Ben.

So lets point out some of the aspects of the mics. Of course it goes without saying that each one would require a little tweek in placement and a touch up here and there on EQ to be perfect......and none would be the same.

I came up with three categories. These pertain to the mics themselves and nothing more.

I've got.....Natural, Accented, and Bens' bored and found yet another mic in the drawer.

Natural :

AT 4050. I would use this on a jazz player with no problem
C535EB. THIS is the perfect example of why we experiment. A predominately stage vocal mic that kicks serious ass on the snare.
SM77. I have always loved these . Most TV studios used them throughout the years.
Beta98. Almost as much as I like SM81's.....not quite...
KM84. Study this sound a bit before you dismiss it. It is very rich in tone and at first listen sounds a bit wonky. To me it sounds exactly like the drum and where its being struck.
C480. Another favorite. Its family includes the C451, and C460. All are great mics.

Accented: These all have an extended thud factor and would be great on many other sources as well. Guitar cabinets, kick drum percussion etc.

MD441. Love this mic.
Audix D2. See what I mean.........WHUMP galore!
MD421. No explanation needed. You can see why Remy has several.
SM57. Ditto.
Beta57. The SM with some upper mids.
MD409. While not a choice for snare per se, can you hear the mids just aching to get out? This is a guiat amp mic that cannot be beat.
E609. This is what they replaced the 409 with. A bit more highs but lacking in the guitar range. Still a good mic.

Ben's bored and found another mic in the drawer.

Well you get the picture.

Great job Hombre.

bent Sun, 01/20/2008 - 11:42

Gracias Señor!

Alrighty then...

My favorites of the bunch are the KM84, D2, and SM57.
The D125 was literally in my way when I grabbed the 535, so into the mix it went.

There were a few other mics that I wanted to slap up, but I felt 16 was ample - I feel I've captured a 50/50 mix of standard and atypical mics here.

The snare's top head is a Remo Coated Ambassador, and it did sound a bit dark in the room (4 wood panel walls, industrial carpet on the floor).

As I said earlier, there is nothing in the signal chain to color the sound, short of the 01V's pres (with 75Hz rolloff) and the CDRW2K's inputs - perhaps I should have run optical from the board to the CDR, but I chose the analog path instead...

I positioned the mics in such a manner to pick up a little room / a little strainer - my reasoning being that I feel this gives a better representation of the mics' frequency responses, which is ultimately the purpose behind the post.

I originally intended to follow this up with mics on toms, but after listening to this one I think that we can all hear the details of the mics (most of these would work on other percussion instruments in the same manner) and can correlate that to the response they would give, so it might be a moot point.

I'd much rather move on to either different mics / positioning on Overheads, or guitar - anyone object?

Anyway, I'm glad you guys enjoyed these. Sorry it took so long since the last post [[url=http://[/URL]="http://recording.or…"](Twelve Mics On Kik), [/]="http://recording.or…"](Twelve Mics On Kik), [/]and I'll try to get to the next round as soon as I am able!


bent Sun, 01/20/2008 - 17:53

Thanks, man!
What do think of this bit of my last post?

I originally intended to follow this up with mics on toms, but after listening to this one I think that we can all hear the details of the mics (most of these would work on other percussion instruments in the same manner) and can correlate that to the response they would give, so it might be a moot point.

I'd much rather move on to either different mics / positioning on Overheads, or guitar - anyone object?

BobRogers Sun, 01/20/2008 - 18:50

Ben- This has been really valuable. I'd love to hear an overhead test, but I think it's a much harder test to design. My alternative for overhead is a pair of Rode NT5s or a pair of 414s. I'm not completely committed to this judgment, but I feel that the 414s sound better on the "whole set" while the nt5s sound better when combined with a snare and kick mic. (Obviously, this depends on how good I am at mixing the four mics.)

bent Sun, 01/20/2008 - 20:25


I agree.
That being the case, it would probably be best to give you guys a list of the mics I have and let you pick and choose the pairs you’d like to hear.
Does that make sense?
I don’t have any R0DE mics at my disposal, so I couldn’t post a comparison to those which you own versus other mics that you do not, on the same kit, at the same time.
(I'm not sure that makes sense, even to me. I think it does, somehow. Stupid Heineken...)



I take it you’d like to hear some mics on an acoustic?
Thankfully I own a few.
I was originally thinking only (duh) of mics on amps (any excuse to bust out some Iron Maiden on the Ibanez is good with me!!!), but now that you mention it, mics on acoustic are equally intriguing, now I’ll have to do both! Damn the bad luck!
Any comments on my response to Bob above?

anonymous Thu, 01/31/2008 - 20:28

- All the snares sound reasonably good.. although I hate to say it but the good ol' Shure SM57 has that something extra; it jumped out at me right away.. a bit more bright and clarity and true to the sound of the snare.
- The 4050 was a cut above as well..

- The Senns didn't sound as good as I thought they would.
Again - great stuff!

anonymous Fri, 02/01/2008 - 17:08

I'm amused by how different the MD441 and MD421 sound!

SM57's the standard for sure and this test proves it.

There were a few I liked better than the 57 however. The AKG C535EB sounded great, it picked up dynamics well. The SM77 was good as well and pretty bright. The 4050 has a lot of depth to it that I liked. The Beyer was cool since it was so warm sounding. A few others had a nice deep bass response but I don't typically look for that in a snare mic.

Ultimately, I'd rather a drummer took out an SM57 than any of the others so I'll be sticking with that! It does the job almost as well as some of the others costing many times more.

anonymous Thu, 05/22/2008 - 18:04

I really like the sound of the AKG C535EB. It has a certain crispness to it but at the same time, a nice full low end.

Does anyone else think that the Senn 441 sounds like its the open fill from "Superstition"? It has a very nice analog sound. It doesn't have a crisp high end sound but its interesting.

Thanks again!

anonymous Fri, 06/13/2008 - 03:14

Very interesting, makes me want to try some by myself. I have done the same type of shoot-out for a french magazine 2 years ago. That's where I discovered the Audio Technica PRO37. I've never looked back!
Before it, I used SM57, Beyer M88, AT3525 or Gefell M294, with Gefell M300 on bottom. Now I use only the PRO37 on top and M300 on bottom.

anonymous Thu, 06/19/2008 - 03:43

You have done a good question, it’s really interesting. If you get any good reply, so please let me know. So I’ll also get some good idea.
Thanks for your
future help.


I sure am you are so pleased to thanx me to be editting your very informationalistic post with a spam. I am for to be going to hope you are satisfied with a result in the deleting of your superior link to others who may read this with all intent and being excited.

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anonymous Mon, 02/09/2009 - 22:49

441 - sounds great. I'm not as experienced an engineer as many in here, and have only used a 441 once. for electric/distorted guitar, but didn't end up liking it so much (stuck w/the 421 and 57). but sounds great on this snare. a LITTLE boxy, but that may be the SN.
421 - never used the 421 on SN either, sounds great. a LITTLE thin. but that might be because its positioned a little far for me.
57 - still holds as the best overall
D2 - great. a little dark and boomy, but that could work real well with some of the bright pingy snares i've been working w/lately.
m88 - surprisingly good for me. I'm usually disappointed by the 88 and don't tend to like it as much as others. here it sounds great. maybe good for the darker snares in darker rooms?
409 - ugh. but I love on guitars (like Dave said). often more than a 57.
535 - Love this one for grp vox in theatre. and sometimes lead. Suprisingly sounds great here. maybe like the m88. gr8 for dark perc in darker room. but even better and w/less mids.
SM77 - only one of these that seems to accentuate the ping in this SN (or maybe that's just my tinitus ringing now! :P )
D125 - umm...maybe not.
c480 - sounds like you were maybe hitting softer here? could that be? or is that all mic? just sounds soft to me.
98 - Like I like my women...Short and to the point...kinda thin too! but not too attractive...wait a minute... :D
4050 - great. especially if you weren't able to mic the bottom. Definitely has all the openness of the snare you would need I think. I wonder how difficult the HH bleed would be with this one though?
KM84 - I think I would totally again agree with Dave on this. I bet this is exactly how the drum sounds (which is why I think the m88 and 535 sounded better than I would've thought).

Those are my totally humble opinions...


anonymous Wed, 02/24/2010 - 16:31

The 421 has such a nice "snappy" boost. I just wish the thing was a little smaller so it's easier to place on a snare.

Awesome samples, thanks for sharing. I don't want to hijack the post, but I created a website for the sole purpose of sharing samples like this and documenting the gear involved: [[url=http://[/URL]="http://signalchains…"][/]="http://signalchains…"][/]. I would love it if you shared these type of comparisons on it! Always cool to hear this stuff.

anonymous Mon, 11/08/2010 - 04:35

SM57 - what a charm, too bad I couldn't have bought stock in Shure when they first released the SM57! What a mic. Nice presence and balanced freqs.

AKG 535 - pretty impressive, very bright, maybe too much so, but of course it's sold as a stage vocal mic, nice addition to the lineup!

Beyer M88 / Senn 409 / Beta57 - good balance and presence.

D2 - I can hear some of the appeal, but that mid freq belly makes it sound overfed or something! Might be good for some projects though

Senn 441 - decent freq balance for mid to lows but missing presence

MD421 - a bit disappointing, something about the freq balance just doesn't sit well with me

Ev 468 - Kinda scary. strange freq peak.

e609 - pretty bad! Sounds like it has a built in Q right around its high freq slope off. Yikes. It's marketed for guitar cabs and brass... but I can't see how its sound would do any instrument justice... unless there's an instrument or room that naturally has a nasty notch right around that mic's Q peak!

Bent - thanks again for this! Useful and good fun too.