Thoughts on micing drums?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by dpaton, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    I know this has probably been beaten to death before, but I'd like some comments on my version...

    For a while now I've been experimenting with micing drums using only stereo overheads, a kick mic and a room mic. I had decent luck with 'standard' spot micing techniques (ugh...10 channels for drums?), but I recently started putting drums in the larger of my 2 spaces and trying something strip intensive. I know other folks are doing this, both with and without variations (1 mic, 2 mic, 3 mic, etc). To the guys who use it more often than not, are there any tricks you've picked up? Hints for someone just getting into it?

    My mic kit is kinda lean, since I'm still in the project studio phase. I've got Shure BG4.1s for OH in a (relatively) coincident XY pair, an EV RE27n/d on kick and an AT4033se as the far (8') mic.

    I know the BG4.1s are a weak point..they're instrument mics with a pretty ragged response, but they're also the only relatively flat mic I own two of, save 57s and 58s. Aside from the fact that they dont' sound too bad....well, yeah.

    The RE27 is my favorite kick mic yet. It's like the RE20, but more. Anyone else using this mic?

    The 4033 is my baby...It's not the LD condenser I hope to own someday, but it seems to be doing it's job.

    All of that said, I'm looking for feedback. I'm thinking that a pair of C1000s wouldn't be a bad idea for the OHs..maybe a set of SM81s or Earthworks omnis if I can scrape together the cash.


  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    If you are looking for an inexpensive upgrade for your OH mics, try the Oktava MC012's. I've found the C1000's are best used for hammering small nails and weighing down stray papers on your desk.
  3. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Funny, that's what my 57s are for....

    I'm actually leaning toward the Earthworks omnis a little more right now. I managed to borrow one about a month ago, and it sounded good on...well...pretty much everything. Specifically, it was an Earthworks SRO. It's billed as a sound reinforcement mic, but it seemed to put good sounds on the tape when I was using it. It's also a nice perk that a matched pair can be had in a carved cherry box for under $800....

  4. hargerst

    hargerst Distinguished Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    The "best" cheap drum overhead mics I've found so far are the:

    1. Behringer ECM8000 Omni mics at $30 each.
    2. Marshall MXL-603S Wide Cardioids at about $80 each.
    3. Oktava MC012 Cardioids at about $160 each from the Sound Room.
    4. Audix TR-40 Omnis at about $200 each.
  5. kent powell

    kent powell Active Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    dpaton, IMO welcome to the world of breathing drum sounds, where the kit is treated as a single instrument rather than a collection of many. Before anyone starts, I'm not picking a fight saying this way's better, but I've decided it's the sound I prefer.

    Actually, your selection sounds pretty good. Definitely check out any of the mics Harvey suggested, cause the man knows. I'm sure the Earthworks would serve you well if you decide to go that way.

    What I would suggest is experiment with different placements for your overheads. XY is cool, but sometimes it's a little tighter image than I want. You could try a spaced pair for a change, watching out for phase issues. Here's Fletcher's article on minimalist drum-micing approaches. I hope I'm not violating protocol putting a link here.

    Lots of good info and inspiration there. I stuck pretty closely to that recipe on my last session and the results practically mixed themselves.

    Another thread to check out that I haven't tried but is getting raves is:

    Happy recording!
  6. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Apr 11, 2002

    The Oktavas are close to the top of my "go listen" list, but not having heard them ever I'm a little hesitant to blow almost $450 on a pair. The only reason I'm keen on 2x that much for the Earthworks is that I have a line on a pair for much much less. :)

  7. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    If you're worried about cost, just go with a single mono overhead (omni or wide-cardioid are your best bets), or even do a non-matched pair with mics you already own if you feel daring. Avoid the C1000 and any other mic with so much high frequency hype. You want to grab your snare and toms with your overhead(s), so you want them to be pretty full spectrum.

    With what I hear about self-noise with lower end Earthworks mics, you might as well try the Behringers at $35, which have an overall accurate sound, but with a bit of self-noise.

  8. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    It looks like I'll be waiting for my tax refund before I try new mics.

    You see, there's no purchasing guy for my very small hardware group here at the office, so all the parts we need for prototypes are bought by employees, and then reimbursed.

    Unfortuantely there's a quick turnaround order for 30 of my latest proto boxes, and dammit, they need the parts by friday. <mastercard melts>


    Anyone in the Chicagoland area have a pair of MC012s, AT4051s or MXL-603S' they want to loan me for a week to demo?

    As an aside, what about the AT3032? It looks like a not so bad mic from the spec sheet, and the price is right for my budget...

    Thanks again

  9. Why not just pick-up another 4033 and use it along with your other 4033 for overheads. From what I hear, they make killer mics for that app.

    BTW, my wife and I were just up in the Lombard/Villa Park area last nite :) !
  10. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    ANother 4033 is on my list to buy, I'm just not sure when. I used it as the body mic on an acoustic guitar (borrowed SM81 on the frets) and ti was great, but it's also my 'first grab' vocal mic right now. It's not that I don't like my 58 or beta57 (I do :D ), it's just that the AT has that something they dont.

    Now if only I had the cash on hand to pick up a pair on my way home from work...

    Ah, the joys of a project studio :eek: I know) has a new-ish stereo parametric that appears to be nifty, judging from the glossy I have. Thoughts? Anyone touch it at NAMM? I'd use it as a dual mono or 10 band stereo. That dual stereo stuff is a little goofy for me.

    Finally, as a former live guy, all of my stuff lives in 6-12sp floater racks and is a mess of cables, racks and casters. I'm in the process of planning "real" studio furniture and I'm looking at the options...anyone have a favorite manufacturer? Raxxess, MA, Omnirax, Arrakis...

  11. You can put those hard-earned $$$ to better use than Alesis outboard. For example, check out the Speck EQ at Mercenary.
    Regarding furniture racks, seems a lot of people custom build for their needs. Sounds simple enough :p . I recently aquired a Raxxess and it's nice. If I don't get a 2nd matching one when I move from the guestroom to the basement, I'll just build my own as well.
  12. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    I actually looked at the Specks a while back, and they do indeed look very nice, What I was referring to was that Alesis makes one that has a pair of stereo units in one box for the less money than a single channel non-tranny Speck. I don't expect the Alesis to be anywhere as good, but they have been known to do cool things in the past. Raise your hand if you've ever owned a Midiverb or an ADAT. C'mon now, be honest....

    Maybe the tax refund will buy me a pair of Oktavas and a stereo Speck. Hopefully I won't buy anything too expensive until then. :p

    As for racks, as soon as the weather stays nice enough long enough I'm going to warm up the table saw for a new pair of monitors. Maybe I'll order some rack rail. I mean, it can't be that hard to build a normal studio rack, right?

  13. Dave,

    The Specks will simply make for a better investment in the long run. If necessary, then buy one now and the other down the road. 9 times out of 10 you'll only be using one channel anyway.
  14. Randy Yell

    Randy Yell Guest

    Hey T.I hope you will reconsider and keep posting at H.C.You can't let a troll get the better of you,there are alot of cool people at HC ya just gotta seperate the wheat from the chaff.Hey we've known that dude was a moron for a long time.Don't let him get to ya now.

    Stay cool and fight the good fight bro. :D
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    What and where is H.C.?
  16. Randy Yell

    Randy Yell Guest

    littledog,Harmony Central recording forum.We've been having some problems with trolls(well,one in particular)and some people have been getting fed up.
  17. Randy,

    Thanks for the support. I'm just on 'lurker mode' right now on the HC Recording forum. I still post on the HC Bass forum as usual, but I'll most likely be back sometime in the future.
  18. Randy Yell

    Randy Yell Guest

    :w: T.Alan,it is good to hear that you will most likely come back.I think you are an asset over there and you can't let one numbnuts get to ya.I gotta admit he really pissed me off with one of the things he directed at me but in the end what he says doesn't mean squat.
  20. Randy Yell

    Randy Yell Guest

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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