Tom mics for a studio overhaul...

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Fooldog01, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    I currently run a small studio out of my house. I use Sonar 3 on a P4 PC. My mics include: Beta 58, SM57, KSM27, AT2020, PG81's, PG56's, Beta52. I use a Presonus firepod for interface.

    I am about to go into a HUGE studio overhaul. Just to give you an idea of what I will be purchasing... New computer, KRK V6 monitors, 2 SM81, KSM33, Senn 421, ART pre, Sonar 4 Producer, DSP cards... Anyway, my concern is my crappy PG56 mics I use on toms. I was wondering... I only have about $450 tops to spend on tom mics, and I was looking at Beta56 but would getting 3 SM57s work just as well? It would be cheaper, and I could use them for lots of other things. I already have 1 57. Honestly, I like the idea of 270 for the tom mics as opposed to 450 with betas, and I could use the extra money for extra gear. Anyone have any input or suggestions?
  2. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    57's on Toms will be fine. To be honest unless your going into $450 per mic you won't notice that much difference between the SM's and the Betas. Spend your $200 saving on something nice for yourself!
  3. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    Yep, 57's will work fine. I would rather have a less desirable tom mic and spend more on the overheads.

  4. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Audix D-2's? About the same price as new 57's - maybe a hair more. Better pattern, and fuller low-end IMO. A good modern Tom sound IMO. VERY durable, too!

    Any reason you are stuck on Sure - specifically the SM-81's? You could get into the Josephson C42's for not much more money. I went with KM-184's for "bright overheads", and GT-44's for "Dark Overheads". FWIW - I like my Beta 52 for Kick, and Beta 57 on Snare.

  5. Fooldog01

    Fooldog01 Guest

    I just cant think of anything better to be honest. Neumann is way outta price range, and anything less than the SM81 has gotten nothing but bad reviews on this site... with a couple of exceptions. It just seems that Shure is probably my best bet. I am open to suggestions though...
  6. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I've used the Neumanns on several occasions, and I own the Josephson's. $900. I like 'em a lot. Just try to find a bad review on them.
    SM-81's wouldn't be bad, but I can't say from experience.
    If you can find a Banjo Mart that is still doing those GT-44's real cheap, I hear they make a good overhead among other things. Like 4 or 5 hundred for a pair I think?
  7. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Audix D2 for rack toms and Audix D4 for floor toms.

    Trust me, you won't be disappointed... they are excellent mics and VERY good for the money. Way better than an SM57.
  8. SkidRowe

    SkidRowe Guest

    Drum Mics

    I'll tell you from my experience that SM57's are OK for reproducing that dry <splat> that seems to be all you really need when performing live. But IMHO, the best sounding, reasonably priced mic for toms is the trusty Sennheiser 421.

    You want proof of a great mix with these babies? Check out any of the records Steve Smith has recorded in the last few years. I currently use Beta SM98's on my toms but they're a bit too natural if you catch me. I need a bit more beef and you really get that with the 421's. If you can wait for another $100 to get two of them, you'd be way better off in the long run.

    And besides this, they double as an excellent internal kick mic if you ever need to overdub. They also sound spectacular on congas and djembes.

    happy micing!
  9. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Sennheiser e604's. They clip right onto the rims, sound great. I bought a 3 pack a few years ago for $275.
  10. SkidRowe

    SkidRowe Guest

    I agree that they (e604's) can produce a decent live sound. But I'm not as confident about what they give you in the studio.

    You can use the clip-ons true enough and perhaps they will save you in mic stands, etc. However, remember that they will also be absorbing all the sympathetic vibrations of the tom they're connected to from the surrounding drums which means that if you don't want a lot of bleed muddying up your individual tom tracks, you'll have to use a fair amount of gating.

    Add to this that if you're not using any room mics, then you'll have to add some reverb back into the track to give it a bit more tone/sustain than a short transient once the gate opens. But you have to be careful here because a little goes a long way!

    I suppose it could be argued that, really, if you want that Dave Weckl, super-isolated sound, you'll have to gate the toms anyway. But if you're interested in clean and beefy with a great attack (drum and head choice considered), the Sennheiser 421 or even a Shure KSM33 is hard to beat (pun intended).

    Again, iron sharpens iron. All this chatter is good. We'll all get better at this stuff by discussing what works and doesn't work in our situations. Chances are, there's someone out there just like you or I who are going through the exact same things.


    In case you care:
    OH - Shure BG 4.0 (I love these, low cost and better sound than the new PG8.1's)
    Snare - Shure SM57 (been wanting to try an Audix i5 though)
    Kick - AKG D112 inside, AT3035 outside
    Toms - Shure Beta 98
    Room - A single AT3035 after recording the initial kit and "re-amping" them into the room. I can print all kinds of different locations in the room this way and print them onto single tracks to play with later. I can also select which parts of the kit I want to send back out into the studio monitors for the room mix. Cool way to have flexible room sounds!
  11. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    I'm not experiencing any high levels of bleed with the 604's because they mount to the drum shell, no different than using stand mounted mics. Bleed's more about what happens at the diaphram than through the mic body, except for rumble. It's not always a bad thing either. I track drums in a fairly live room. If a client wants the isolated sound, I do gate the toms. Don't get me wrong, I think very highly of 421's, will undoubtedly pick up a couple myself this year, but the 604's do a fine job for the money in the studio. I get consistantly good feedback about drum sounds here. BTW, I'm a big fan of the 3035 too.
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