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Are there any studio-worthy clip-on tom mics?

I have been using Sennheiser 421's for tom mics since I started recording a few years ago. They're great mics for toms but they're sooooo big and sometimes hard to position depending on the drummer's setup.

My question is, are there any clip-on mics a la SHURE Beta 98 or Senn 904 that are good enough for studio recording? I would also be using them for live recordings, another reason why I'd like to find something a little less cumbersome than the 421.



BDFitz Sun, 07/16/2006 - 12:43
Even though I used the Senn E604's for over a year I can't agree with the assessment as a studio recording mic. I think they're fantastic for live use but if you A/B them against any nunmber of mics for Toms, frankly they suck. A Sennheiser 421 will kill them, A Neumann TLM 103 on a low tom may change your life but you'd better trust your drummer. I recorded several tracks with all tube mics on the toms and left the gates off. The snare never sounded better and the toms were deep, rich and warm. I know the question was about clip-ons and no, I don't have a suggestion. I'm sure someone makes a good one. The general rule is dynamic mics but I was very surprised to find an AT4041 to be very effective on toms. go figure. In the end, for studio work, separation, etc. it's hard to beat a set of 421's. A 421 on a snare will also give you a deeper, warmer sound, albeit less crack.

MadMax Sun, 07/16/2006 - 16:04
I'll second ryanformato's recommendation on the 418's and echo the SM98's as well.

I like the Senn's, but too agree they're not quite a studio level mic.

As Remy pointed out, "The Claw" is a killer good item. The only thing that I wish they had as an option is a longer post model. A couple of times I've needed to put the clamp on the lower rim, but when doing so you can't get the mic above the rim enough to put a mic there. Specifically a floor tom.

My solution was to buy a piece of metal rod stock and cut it to about 10". I bought another pice of steel pipe and drilled and tapped two 10-32 holes to make a coupler for the two pieces. To keep the two pieces from buzzing in the coupling, I put a piece of rubber from an old drum stand foot. A major PITA, but hey... it works.


stickers Thu, 06/15/2006 - 08:09
I use the sennheiser e604 for live sound. They sound very good. But my only beef is the lack of flexibility with the rack mount clips. The audix rack mounts are by far the most adjustable clips i have encountered. I mean even if you didnt want to use an Audix mic, you can mount a different mic clip on the audix rack mount clip. It also just saves time not having to deal with mic stands interfering with other drum hardware like cymbal stands.

RemyRAD Thu, 06/15/2006 - 11:03
Try the LP drum claw. Quite robust, heavy-duty with a greater degree of positionable capabilities. Then you can continue to use, my favorite tom-tom microphone the 421! Just nothing sounds like those on drums.

Those small capsule condenser microphones for drums are excellent like the Shure SM 98, particularly nice for television since they are so unobtrusive and speaking of television, since I've done a fair amount of television talk shows, I have quite a few Sony ECM 66 cardioid lavaliers. I made a pretty darn cool drum mounting for them out of some cheap kitchen stainless steel flatware forks that were gaff taped to the drums, since it was over 15 years ago and none of those groovy little clip on condenser microphones were yet available.

Thinking outside the drum
Ms. Remy Ann David

tallrd Tue, 07/11/2006 - 13:35
I am a Sennheiser E904/E604 guy as well, but they are dynamic and won't capture some of the attack that a condenser will. I do love my E604's live though :)

Audio Techica has the ATM35's which are killer clip on condensers that sound great in the studio:

We just purchased all the mic's used at this years Grammy's, so we have 25 of those $119/each (they list for $350 and normally sell for about $200).

Drop me a line or email if you are interested (we also have AT4050's for $280 among other mics used at the Grammy's, but that's off topic).