Skip to main content

I like my KM184's but would someone suggest an alternative for a more aggressive sound(deep lows, pointed, snappy). I'm going for that NuMetal drum sound like Korn, Tool, Godsmack, etc.

The KM184's are bright enough, but have a warm, round, woody quality that boxes out my snare a bit on drum OH's.

I hear this same quality from them on guitar cabinets and I think it is what makes them nice on acoustic guitar.

I'm really trying to get as much sound from the overheads as possible with as little eq as possible.


anonymous Sat, 06/18/2005 - 20:54


My recording room is small, with a wood floor and double sloping wood wall behind the kit. I have a mixture of auralex foam, 703 fiberglass and slats on the remaining surfaces. Very dry and kind of bright.

My pres are made by me with tubes and big lundahl input and output transformers; they are pretty neutral, getting more aggressive in the mids and bigger in the lows as they are driven harder. Compared to a Neve 1084, they are a tad fatter in the bottom with more scooped mids an a more fluid treble.

I thougt the 414 might be a good one to give a try. Is the new xls still an acceptable standard?

Is the 4040 anything like the 4050 sound-wise(excluding the other patterns)?

I know nothing of the Josephsons. I ll have to look into that.

Randyman... Sun, 06/19/2005 - 00:27

Maybe try a brighter/quicker pre on those KM-184's? Might just do the trick, and a variety of pre's is NEVER a bad thing. I've used the KM-184's on my 1272 Neve clones (Seventh Circle N72's) in a crappy-poopy-stanky room, and I was fairly suprised at the OH sound (even in my crappy room) :) . I have also found X-Y techniques to excel in small rooms (and helps minimize any snare "funkiness" - as the snare is coherent in both mics).

Man, I need a room!


anonymous Sun, 06/19/2005 - 12:07


More lows than a km184? In my tests, they were too boomy, but very good otherwise compared to almost anything but the high end.

You'd be surprised how much low you can lose from phase cancellation. Try moving the drumset to the middle of the room, try the mics in xy in case you have not tried that.

You might want to consider a ribbon mic - the lows and mids are stellar, but "crisp" you won't get.

Also, one trick I use to get that rumble you seek is: put a full range ldc 12 feet back, 1/3 of the way between floor and ceiling.

try a mono ldc overhead, or, as I do occasionally, zone mics on the drumset, all ldc's. I usually put one between the sn and hh, omni, and one to cover the other side, cardioid or omni, like overheads, except much closer, in omni, and very carefully placed. You will need to use mics with Pads, most likely - but the results can be amazing.

The less mics you use, the more natural sounding lows you will get. Close micing imo gives a somewhat unnatural sound.

anonymous Mon, 06/27/2005 - 14:44

You may already know this, so I apologize in advanced...

You are trying to use mostly overheads, right? But the sound you are trying to emulate was more then likely mainly from the closed mic'ed instruments. I know on Aenima (and likely the album after that) they pumped the closed mic'ed stuff through a big, heavily EQ'ed PA system within the same room, and mic'ed the room and speakers as well. The toms were mic'ed top and bottom, with big Neumannn tubes. Also, drums were recorded to tape for that natural compression and beef. * Okay, I was not at the session, this is just what I read in articles * So, in this case, the final result was reached through lots of EQ and other mics and tricks. Not likley mainly overheads only. The engineer working on that stuff is a genius, I think.

Korn makes use of alot of layered samples, and editing tricks. They push and shove beats arounds slightly so it sounds more together and in time. Not a natural approach.

Don't know anything about godsmack, but it's likely to be the same as Korn. They are valid approaches but you can't expect ot get this with just upgrading the overheads - which may likely be the LEAST used tracks.

Also, big sounding drums in a small room is probably the most difficult thing to pull off ever. All of these engineers doing top albums would probably shoot themselves if they had this to work with. Sorry for the rant. :) Good luck and have fun with it, don't beat yourself down if you can't get that sound.

DeeDrive Mon, 06/27/2005 - 17:11

AudioGaff wrote: I like and prefer AKG 451's new or old. Or Even older 452's over 184's. Also have had real good results with a pair of TLM 103's.

I gotta second the 451's for drum OH's. They've got the most explosive, detailed cymbal sound I've ever heard. For everything else, they seem to colored and bright for me, but if you want a very exciting cybmal sound, these are the mics for you.

anonymous Mon, 06/27/2005 - 20:25

Agree but

The 451 rolls off at 200 - check it, and the person who asked the question wanted snap and deep lows. I don't think a mic that's down 10 db at 40 hz will do "deep lows" without some eq.

The km184 is scooped slightly (sizzle plus low), but that sounds too boxy (I kinda agree).

The akg c3000 was kind of scooped as I recall, and sounded good as overheads (maybe a little grainy).

Perhaps, however, what we need here is eq - controlled rather than muddy lows, which a "focused" pre will deliver, and careful eq can deliver too. The mics with the rolloffs do sound good as overheard exactly because they control the low end.

I just had an idea: The Dragonfly. Yes. I have not used it on overheads myself, but it sounds huge, and is scooped - and has "reach" - needed in an overhead to catch the rumble from a tom. ted

anonymous Mon, 06/27/2005 - 23:37

I just had an idea: The Dragonfly. Yes. I have not used it on overheads myself, but it sounds huge, and is scooped - and has "reach" - needed in an overhead to catch the rumble from a tom. ted

Based on the reviews I just read, this looks like one very tasty mic...i'd sure like to try a pair.

The 451 draws my interest as well.

This thread is very helpful. Thanks!

DAWPRO Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:35

Guess I'll weigh in with my mic set-up and some notes:

Most of my clients are interested Drum Track Replacement so I keep a large drum kit mic-ed up and ready to go.

Just to keep things consistent, 13 tracks of drums are recorded during each session:

  • Kick Inside - AKG D112 (inverted phase)
  • Kick Front - MXL 991 (inverted phase)
  • Snare Top - SHURE SM57
  • Snare Front - SENNHEISER E609
  • Snare Bottom - SENNHEISER E604 (inverted phase)
  • Tom 1 - SENNHEISER E604
  • Tom 2 - SENNHEISER E604
  • Tom 3 - SENNHEISER E604
  • Tom 4 - SENNHEISER E604
  • Left Overhead - AKG C 414 B-XL II/ST
  • Right Overhead - AKG C 414 B-XL II/ST
  • Left Ambient/Room - AT4050
  • Right Ambient/Room - AT4050

Each song dictates how many toms actually get used. Toms tracks are trimmed during mixing to prevent overtones and phase problems. I prefer this method over using gates on the toms.

I like to have lots of control over the stereo image, so I use a spaced mic placement.

The section in the [=""]SAE web site link[/]="http://www.saecolle…"]SAE web site link[/] on drum mic placement shows a diagram of an imaginary "center line" going diagonally through the snare and tom2. The overhead mic placement shown in that diagram is the one that works best for me. But I measure to ensure that the overhead mics are equidistant from the snare drum.

The top snare mic comes in from the side under the hi hat to keep the hi hat on the null side of the mic and is about an inch inside the rim pointing at the center of the drum. The front snare mic is an e609 (flat) and fits nicely between the mounted toms and the snare. The SM57 and e609 compliment each other nicely. I like using the two of them together.

The bottom snare mic is not usually used in the mix, but for some styles it comes in handy.

The tom and bottom snare mics are clip-on Sennheiser e604s and they are angled toward the center of the drum heads.

13 drum tracks may seem like a lot and a cause phase concerns, but the bottom snare mic level is minimal or it is discarded, and the tom mics are only present for the duration of the tom hits. The ambient mics add fullness and body and work great with reverb.

I use Class A preamps and cables through Apogee converters with the SoftLimit(tm) feature enabled. This captures the performance with transparent clarity with no worries of loosing a good take due to digital clipping from a wild snare drum transient.

Lastly, I can't say enough about the importance of drum tuning and frequent drum head replacement. A well tuned kit with fresh heads will insure that your job isn't any harder than it needs to be.