Live Mics for Drums on a $500 Budget

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Axeman32, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. Axeman32

    Axeman32 Guest

    Hey there everyone. I am looking to find a set of mics for drums that will be used mostly in live performances. If possible I would like to be able to use some or all of the gear for studio work to achieve studio quality results. All this on a $500 budget.
  2. ctrl-z

    ctrl-z Guest

    You didn't mention whether you need overheads... thAt'll impact the budget rather a lot..

    Scenario 1: You've already got something to use for stereo overheads (not that you'd necessarily need stEreo OH's live, but you'd certainly want that option while recording, and live it's handy to have two condensers available to cover both sides of the kit, even in mono...).
    -With a $500 budget for drum mics alone, I'd figure to do the toms with a set of those 'packaged deal' mics, whether the Audio Technicas or whatever. Affordable and pretty decent-sounding for a 3-pack of 'snare-tom' mics, or better, 2 'snare-tom' and 1 'floor-bassdrum' models. You've seen these for sale, I assume.
    With the remainder of your budget, shoot for a professional quality kick mic (try out a bunch; Shure B52, AKG D112, etc.. try some of the alternatives too, like the Sennheiser Evolution 602(?) and whavever else is available... just don't go with a cheapo 'package set' mic on the kick) and something like a '57 for the snare. If you've got kick/snare covered with industry standards and the toms done with something half-decent, you should't ever have any trouble. If a rEAlly demanding project requires more, all you'll have to do is rent a couple of fancier tom mics for awhile.

    Scenario 2 sees you trying to do 4 or 5 drums + overheads for $500. The only solutions there are either used mics or a combination of used mics and the affordable 'mic pack' sets. A couple of the sets come with a pair of condensers for OH's... I dunno if they'd be decent enough to record with though... Perhaps a 4 mic 'pack' new or used (that'd be a 2x tom/snare, 2x floor/kick set), plus a pair of used name-brand condensers... AKG C1000's, those Oktava jobs... whatever might be available within the budget

    Maybe this Shure set for drums... (kick mic's probably better than in the cheaper packs..)

    Or if you want to go super cheap for the tom mics...
  3. diatomano44

    diatomano44 Guest

    I would recommend the Shure package with 3 SM57s and a B52. the 57s are great for both snare and toms and its always great to have a few more of them around anyway. it goes for about $450 and includes 3 rim mounting clips.
  4. Axeman32

    Axeman32 Guest

    I aggree with the kick mic and the SM57 on the snare.

    My concern is are these little tom mic's in these packages any good. Would I be better off buying 6 SM57's and a D112 or B52?
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have six of the Audio Technica Pro 35's and I can say they are mah-va-lous! I use them all the time when recording and I think they sound as good or better than a 421 and are much easier to place. The only thing is they require phantom power, so be sure your mixer can provide that. Another point is they are very hot, so you're going to need to get some pads for them. The AT pads were $35 each so be sure to add that to your budget. I think $500 is a little tough to get under for what you are asking for. $750 is a more realistic budget. For kick I recommend a D112, for the snare and toms the ATM Pro 35's and at least 2 small diaphragm condensers for overheads. A third condenser for the hat would be nice. With that you would be all set up for stage and studio. I would avoid the Oktava’s like the plague. Look at the Studio Projects condensers. For a budged pencil condenser they are by far the best value and the quality control at SP is much better that at Oktiva.
    .... Kurt
  6. ctrl-z

    ctrl-z Guest

    I maintain that you should try out a few of the good kick mics; you might dig one more than the others for any number of reasons, and it's a cheap rental to audition 3 or 4 of 'em.

    Tom-mics-wise, again, y'oughta try out your options. Maybe those AT mic set jobs suck in your estimation. Maybe those At35 condensers'll be exactly what you're looking for on toms and maybe not- they're going to do really transparent attack and decay, but I bet they're not going to do big-warm-'doooom' like the comparably priced Sennheiser 604's will... 57's will probably fall somewhere between those two (and er.. why were you figuring to pick up SIX 57's again?) It depends what you're looking for.
  7. Axeman32

    Axeman32 Guest

    Thanks CTRL-Z - I will be trying out the kick mics. This is a very important part of the set. I've had good luck with the SM57 on the snare.

    I was thinking my drummer had 3 hi toms but he only has 2 and 2 floor toms. That's the math on the six SM57's. My other reasoning is that I know what I'm getting with the SM57.

    I think my biggest concern is the quality of some of these drum mic pacs. There's so much crap out there and clever marketing. I'm looking for the voice of experience

    Thanks Again
  8. TheSoundman

    TheSoundman Active Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Home Page:
    I've gotten very good results with SM-57's on drums for live sound. If you know they are always going to be used on drums, I'd try to find those little cages for them. It doesn't take much to knock off those little plastic caps.
    I also liked the way the 421's sounded. Except when they were no longer aimed at the instrument you were trying to mic due to falling off that stupid mounting system.

    I usually try to take a minimalistic approach to miking as well. I would split the floors with one mic, the racks with another. With kick, snare, hat and stereo overheads, that's 7 mics on the whole kit. Half the time, I wouldn't even use the overheads because of the bleed from the cymbals on the tom and hat mics.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    ctrl-z said
    Not so my friend... they are very fat. Don't let the size fool you. They are hyper cardioid so the proximity effect really fattens them up. The only thing they suck on is kick drums .... No Good! Give them a try, you will be surprised! Kurt
  10. bear

    bear Member

    Feb 12, 2003
    does anybody know of some place that i could get a package deal on like three AT 35's. they sound like great little mics to have for toms and i think i've heard of people using them for live sax reinforcement, so that way i wouldn't be "wasting" mics and only be able to use them on drums. If there is no such package available for the AT 35's, has anybody heard anything about the Sennheiser 604's being used for brass/woodwinds? sorry if this is a bit off topic, feel free to yell....


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