Tips and ideas For overhead drum micking

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by robrocker86, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. robrocker86

    robrocker86 Guest

    hello everyone I'm new to the site and somewhat to recording dabbled a little bit here an there anyway just wanted to get some input on overhead drum micing the thing is i dont have a matched stereo pair of condersers but i do have two there both medium budget mxl's a 603 and 2003 which is more a vocal mic
  2. Bisson820

    Bisson820 Guest

    im confused as to what you are asking...

    are you asking if those will suffice?
  3. Bisson820

    Bisson820 Guest

    it seems to me that the 603/2003 combo you have could potentially work out for you.

    i think you might have to fiddle around with the placement, but thats expected.

    each mic will pick up frequencies differently aswell. i believe the 603 is better at lower frequencies?? so perhaps having that over the ride - crash/ride would be better... whilst having the 2003 over the crash and high hat.

    i dont know, i've never used em personally, all i know is that placement always matters, and since you have 2 somewhat different mics.... you may need to fiddle with placement a little more.

    edit: what other mics do you use on your kit? or do you do the "just overheads" method? because lets say you use the common sm57 on snare perhaps. well you might want to htink about putting the 2003 on the snare and putting the sm 57 as an overhead?

    but if you dont have any more mics... your BEST bet would be to put one mic overhead... and one to mic your kick.

    perhaps the 2003 on the kick (just make sure you dont blast it out) because the 2003 works pretty well on vocals aswell, and the 603 will be fine for an acoustic guitar aswell...

    so its a pretty versitile set up.

    for electric instruments... bass/guitar.... i wouldnt mic a cabinet, i dont like it.... i'd take a line feed through a DI box into your interface or mixer... w/e you use.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Most of us folks don't bother with "matched pairs". We'll generally use a pair of the same manufacture & model however. Microphones are built consistently enough today that the minutia of difference isn't worth the added expense by the manufacturers willing to provide you with "matched pairs". And typically, most of us don't utilize so-called "stereo microphones" as overheads. Occasionally on a jazz gig I might utilize a stereo miking technique with a pair, such as MS (middle, side). But generally, a pair of spaced cardioid's. So, overhead miking really comes down to the acoustics of the space they're in. If you are in a Premium Room, you may run your overheads up to 8 feet above the drum kit. But like most of us in smaller rooms, you generally won't go more than 3 feet above your tallest cymbals.

    Recently, I did a rock-and-roll recording at a friend of mines studio for his band. I'm really a minimalist. Sort of like Rudy Van Gelder but without the fame, success & notoriety (one of the great jazz engineers) That is, I covered the entire drum kit with Kick, Snare & 2 over/unders (that's a pair of small capsule condensers, under the cymbals, above the toms & about 1 foot off the side of the toms). It sounds killer! One of the reasons why I screw around like this is because the more mics's you put on the drums, the more "phase" distortion you'll have. If you can balance things with microphone selection & placement, that's where it's at!

    I know, there is another technique that folks like, trademarked "The Recorderman Technique". That's great if you like measuring stuff. I don't. Never have. Never will. I look at the drums. I "see" the sound. I know where the microphones go. That's great if you can see sound? Not everybody can. In those cases, you have to listen. Best damn pair of instructors you'll ever have!

    What? Haven't you ever heard of optical soundtracks? (It's OK, I'm just saying that to confuse you)

    Easily confusing
    Ms. Remy Ann David Van Gelded
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Remy- More details on the over/under technique please! I assume this was on a five piece set. I'm imagining the mics one foot to the side and slightly in front of the mounted toms pointed in toward the toms - right? Bonus - no need for good boom stands.

    Back to the main question. The Glyn Johns setup would probably work well with two dissimilar mics as overheads. I think the basic idea here is not to think of them as a pair, but as two individual overheads that will complement each other when mixed. So something like one over the snare and one as a room mic in front of the set might work as well.
  6. robrocker86

    robrocker86 Guest

    forgot to mention that im basically gonna be using the condensers as cymbal mics bc im close micing the kit have sm57's and a beta 52 and was just trying to decifer which use of the condensers would be better i was gonna place one in the middle and one for the hi hat or the typical left right placement
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Unless the kit is ginormous, you really can do a great job of capturing cymbals with one overhead. Use the LDC and listen to it as you move it around while someone plays the kit. There is a sweet spot and even those MXL's will capture it.

    Less is more.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Yup Bob, that's just about exactly right. The microphones under the cymbals still had the quality. And I was using those Russian Oktava mk319, with the -20 DB pads. I was really quite delighted by these $50 each microphones. Great tonality on the toms nice clean zing on the cymbals, huge sound overall. Even the hat sounds like I've got a separate Mike on it and I don't. But in the mix, all are really need to do is tweak the bass drum just a little dropping a little low end. It's so huge and mastered sounding, it's goofy! No EQ. No dynamics. Just like the orange juice commercials, completely UNFOOLED around with. A certain amount of the overall kit was also picked up by the bass drum PZM, as it set directly in front of the front head, flat on the carpeted floor. One of the rare instances I didn't invert phase on the bass drum. Although I might in mix down?

    I chose to use a MD421 on the snare instead of my usual SM57. There is a harder smack tonality to that microphone which complemented the overall fatness. I love things that work well on a minimalist level. No I don't like Philip Glass. And I'm not jazzy enough to truly know the work of Rudy Van Gelder, intimately. It almost sounds like it was done mathematically because it's that kind of perfect. Things don't always work out this perfectly but when they do, you get that warm glow inside like you just had great sex! Sex? I guess I haven't had enough for quite some time if I think the drum tracks were as good as that? Maybe I have to spend less time on and more time in the bars???

    "Batteries not included"? Dammit!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Sex, drums 'n rock 'n roll.
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