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Info on mics for a home studio on budget

I'm a drummer and I'm also planning to build my home studio. So, what you guys think about this set?
2 Marshall MXL 2001 (overheads, vocals...)
2 Marshall MXL 603S (hi-hats and snare)
and two opptions:
a CAD KitTrick with 4 mics (one for the bass drum)
or a Sennheiser E604 3 Pack and a AKG D112 or a Shure SM something-I-forgot :)?
If you guys have any other setup idea (remember... no 300bucksandup mics ;)).


thedmc Fri, 03/30/2001 - 21:42

hi-hats? i'd rather mic the throne in case the drummer had some gas at least the track would be useful.
I'd get
57- $75-snare
two421's-225ea toms
all prices are used. seriously you could probabl get away with an overhead a snare and a kick mic.. spend your money on a few good mics and build your collection over time instead of buying a lot of crap

hollywood_steve Fri, 03/30/2001 - 23:32

For my home studio I went with a pair of 57s, a pair of MD421s, a D112 and a pair of KM184s. The 184s are beyond your budget, so maybe the Oktava M012s? Personally, for a little over $1000 per pair, I think that everyone should own a pair of KM184's. I felt it was more important to have a good pair of general purpose mics than to have even one impressive vocal mic. So I splurged on the Neumanns and then waited six months before my next mic purchase - and that was for a Royer R121. My point with all of this is don't scrimp on mics. More than anywhere else, spend big on a few good mics. If I had to make a choice, I would purchase two KM184s and one MD421 and mic the set with only 3 mics. Three great mics will sound better than half a dozen mediocre ones. I have been doing a lot of "live to 2 track" recording with 4 drum mics. I stick a 57 on snare so I can add a little reverb while tracking; because I don't have a separate snare track to add reverb to during mix down. This minimal mic'ing shit really works.

jeronimo Sat, 03/31/2001 - 08:28

I see your point guys... but I forgot to tell one thing... I want to use those mics on stage too... so that's why I was thinking about those kits from AT and stuff... so I don't need to worry (a lot) about my mics falling around...
What about SM57s on toms? And I guess you guys don't like those Marshall condensers do you ;)? Also, where should I use those KM184s Steve? Ok, I'm a newbie in this area, so I think I should change my mind about recording drums with mics to each piece right??

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hargerst Sat, 03/31/2001 - 11:05

Ok, jeronimo,
Since I'm the leading bottom feeder on this board, I'll suggest some stuff to consider. I assume this is for a rock group.

Get two of the Marshall 603s for the overheads. They're cheap and they do the job as well as more expensive mics that are out there. Usually under about $80 each.

Get a 57 for the snare, or a Beyer M201, used, if you can find one.

The Sennheiser 604s work fine for the toms, but also try a Sennheiser 421 for the floor tom. SM-57s will also work for most toms as well. I suspect any of the "toms" kits will work fine.

The D112 is a good kick mic, but so is the AT25 or their Pro25. The ATs need less drastic eq to make them sound good.

For live cheap vocals, any decent dynamic will do fine, whatever the singer feels good about. In the studio, the Marshall V67G is pretty good for rock vocals, and dirt cheap, around $185 with shock mount and cable, plus it look very cool.

You'll need a popper stopper and a good compressor if your singer screams a lot. Go with the RNC from Fletcher for the best price.

Nate Tschetter Sat, 03/31/2001 - 11:20


I'd also suggest finding a Sennheiser MD441 on the used market. It has a bass rolloff selector, switchable hi-shelf, VERY tight pattern and a "condenser-like" sound.

If you look hard, you should be able to find one for around $200. YMMV.

Hack Sun, 04/01/2001 - 03:37

For live toms I like SM98's (right now). They have great rejection. You don't have to gate them, usually. You should be able to find some betas for around $175 each with drum mounting hardware. EV 408's might be good for you too. I like an M88 for the kick ($400). You can't beat a 57 on the snare. I've had very likeable results with the 98's in the studio as well, but I prefer 421's.

GZsound Mon, 04/02/2001 - 05:42

If your talking about mics you can use live and in the studio for cheap, it's hard to beat Shure 57/58's on all the drums. I bought the AKG drum pack which consists of a D112 and two C418 condensers and they work well but I only use it on my studio kit. For live drums we use Shure 58's on everything.

I have found a really inexpensive condenser mic, the CAD CM17 that sells for under a hundred dollars and it works well for overheads and high hat. I have used it for sax, vocals, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and acoustic guitar when running live sound for Bluegrass bands (not to imply there was a sax in the band) and they work pretty well for a really reasonable price.

I would also suggest a Rode NT1 for a great cheap drum overhead mic that also works well in the studio for vocals, acoustic instruments including upright bass as a general all purpose large diaphragm mic.

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hargerst Mon, 04/02/2001 - 08:28

Lemme add a few thoughts about mics in general. I try to avoid eq as much as possible when going for a particular sound or color. I'm too damn old to remember exactly what I did last week to be able to reliably repeat it if somebody comes back this week and wants to punch in one small part. Yeah, give me a little while, and I can probably fiddle and tweak shit till I get close enough for government work.

But I try to make things easier by using the right mic to start with and avoid all the tweaking in the first place. To me, there are good colors and bad colors for a particular application. The color devices I have to work with include: mics, compressors, eqs, effects, and preamps.

Since I can't afford a lot of fancy preamps, that narrows some of my choices, so I concentrate on the choice of mics first, placement, then compressors, then eqs, then outboards, till I get close to what I'm looking for. I have a big enough mic closet to choose from, so that it will often do the job with just the right mic selection and the right placement alone.

Cheap mics usually have a LOT of coloration, so it's usually better to have a lot of cheap mics available to get you close to the flavor your looking for. That's also why it's so hard to answer "what's the best ___ for $XXX?". It's all about colors and what color you want for a particulat task, when you get down to the low-cost stuff.

Try to load up your pallet with a lot of different colors and then figure out what each color can be used for. Just remember in "audio painting", the most expensive color is "Clear". Just as expensive are the very "rich colors" like Cobalt Blue, and Crimson. Those colors, in audio, you get from Neumanns and Neves, etc.

At least, that's how I look at different audio shit.

jeronimo Mon, 04/02/2001 - 10:15

I understand your last reply Hargest... and thanks for the knowledge... and everybody... I'll search all of those mics, and I hope I can make some paints with those :)

jeronimo Mon, 04/02/2001 - 10:28

I understand your last reply Hargest... and thanks for the knowledge... and everybody... I'll search all of those mics, and I hope I can make some paints with those :)