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Okay, here’s a bit of a puzzler for you…

First, a little background: I’ve set up our kit (a ‘67 Ludwig oyster pearl kit with a Black Beauty snare) with these mics:

Snare top: Electro-Voice N/D 468
Snare bottom: Audix D1
Rack and Floor Tom: Sennheiser 421MkII on each
Kick: D112 with Earthworks KickPad right after the mic
Overheads: two Beyer M201TGs
Room: either CAD VSM or AT 4047…or, Heaven help me, another, better mic

Now that you know the mic situation, I’ll tell you that I have a Focusrite ISA 428 and I’m most likely getting a Sebatron VMP 4000e, to fill out the eight channels.

My first question is: which drums should go into which preamp? I have a feeling it’ll sound great no matter what, but I’d like to hear what ya’ll think is best. I’m not a Tube Snob, either, just to let you know. I just want to use what’s best for this situation. I was thinking:

ISA 428: Toms and Overheads
Seb: Snare top and bottom, kick, and room

Is there a better scenario? What would you do? The music I’m recording is definitely rock, but very melodic and dynamic. I want the best result out of my drums. Do I have the right combination? Would you tweak the inputs, or the mic selection?

Annnnnnnnnnnnd…when the time comes to overdub guitars, will the Seb and the ISA do a good job? Same thing with bass, if I want to mic the cab and DI it as well, and I want a nice fat kickin’ sound…not to mention vocals, which need to be clean but not sterile…what I’m asking is, can I do all those things through the preamps I have or do I need to use those for drums and get a Grace or Great River or something else for dubbing? What would you recommend?

If it matters, my purchases over the next 6-12 months will most likely be an API Lunchbox (which I’ll start filling, of course, slowly but surely), a pair of U87s and a Lawson MP47 (which is first on my list). In the meantime, how do I get the most bang out of what I’ve already got, and is an “overdubbing only” preamp necessary?

I sincerely value your opinions. If you can help me out with this, I owe you a Coke. :)


KurtFoster Tue, 07/19/2005 - 11:03

Coca Cola is my favorite but a Safeway Select Cola will do just as well and is a lot more "affordable". Oh wait, this isn't the budget forum .... :roll:

You are going to love the U87 through the Sebatron. The vmp is the best sounding pre for the U87 I have personally come across. The first time I used a U87 with my vmp I thought to myself ... "Wow! this pre makes the mic sound like it looks!" A U87 through a vmp pre and a Manley EL OP (my favorite Manley piece) on acoustic guitar rules!

I would use the ISA on the kick, snare and overheads and the Seb on the toms. I have been using the vmp 4000e on toms for a long time and I like it a lot for that app. I do like the vmp with a 57 or a KEL HM-1 on guitars as well.

I recently got a JLM TMP 8 for recording drums ... kick / snare / toms .... It is a lot like the API pres ... agressive and hard midrange. More affordable (at $2200 for 8 channels) than a real API or the OCS stuff. The TMP8 has built in soft limiters (essentially defeatable) that prevent overs and alow you drive them harder for a Neve kind of thing.

anonymous Tue, 07/19/2005 - 11:23

Actually, I try to avoid colas altogether. I'm a water guy. My name is Fred and I'm an Aquaholic. :)

Anyway...Kurt, thanks so much for the input! That'll definitely help a lot, and I'll take your advice. My main thing is to make sure that the snare has enough snap and that the kick has The thing is, in using the ISA for the snare top, kick, and overheads, the Sebatron would be better for the snare bottom head and room mic? Sounds good to me. And I'd already heard about Sebs and toms...I'm excited.

It's good to hear that the VMP will do the trick on guitars...what about:

1. DI for bass
2. preamp for vocal mics

Will the ISA and/or the Seb be more than enough to cover all my dubbing needs, or do I need something different (ie: something very clean) for vocals and for bass (something meaty, beaty, big, and bouncy)? Any suggestions, thoughts, etc?

What did ya'll think of mic selection, drum-wise?

I will most definitely look into the JLM 8 channel, as well as the Kel Audio, which I had been curious about since Kurt recommended it a while back...can I get a pair in nickel...? ;)

Anyway, thanks again for the input, and please keep it coming with your opinions, people...!! If I get enough people's two cents, I'll be able to buy whatever gear I need.

Thanks again.

frob Tue, 07/19/2005 - 16:28

call me a redneck but i prefer RC.

the only thing i like on snare top or bottom is my sm57 or kelhm1 depending on the snair. and if he/she is a lefty i wont use a top snare mic and just put a ribbon about a foot or more away on level with the rim of the snare but pointed up a bit tward the ride. (caution watch the clap of the hi hat as this will rip your ribbon to shreds)

a great room mic though its cheap and has a low output. is an ev 636. put that trough a nice pre like the brick with a vca comp like the dbx 106x ste to 10:1. when i do projects and demos some time i use just this setup, so long as the drums and room sound good the recording will sound good.


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