Tom Mics Overheads Best??

Discussion in 'Drums' started by J-3, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Hey guys just wondering what tom mics are getting good results. I've been using cheap little CAD mics for racks and a CAD LD kick drum mic for the floor. I found that my CADs sounded a little nicer than my SM57's. I'm still not super happy though. Was thing of using my TLM 103 on the floor and getting some MD 421's for racks. Any other suggestions????

    Also was considering upgrading my overheads (MK-012's) to something nicer. I actually think they sound real nice but havn't had the luxury of using Earthworks, Josephson or Neumann SD condensors. Any comments??


  2. Clayphish

    Clayphish Active Member

    Nov 14, 2004
    Yea, I've used sm-57's on toms before, but can't say I liked it much. For me, 421's usually do the trick.
  3. machina

    machina Active Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    I used a pair of MK012's as overheads for a couple sessions, and I found them to have too much low end. I could almost get away with not miking the toms because the Oktavas picked them up so well. But, thats not what I was looking for. If I were you, I'd look for a mic that has a little more mids/highs and a low rolloff. I've heard good things about Elations...can't remember what model #'s off the bat.
    Hope this helps.
  4. nandoph8

    nandoph8 Active Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    I love the 421's for rack AND floor
  5. fetzir

    fetzir Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    I use 421's for tom's and a matched set of Josephson C42's as overheads...I like the combination.
  6. st10ss

    st10ss Active Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Nuremberg Germany
    Home Page:
    There is some new Sennheiser stuff around that's really nice. Tried the e903 on snare, it really rocks. That could be a mic for toms as well.

    Mostly I use some Audio Technika Pro-35X clip mics, they sound really clear and well balanced. Godd for most situations but sometimes....

    C-414 on the big tom are really nice too... :lol:
  7. Nathan_Eldred

    Nathan_Eldred Active Member

    Nov 19, 2004
    IMO, TLM103's, or most any quality large diaphragm condenser sounds quite a bit better than 421 for toms. Watch the output on the TLM103's though, you'll probably need a 20db inline pad between the output of the mic and the input of the preamp.
  8. Fede

    Fede Active Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    My personal conviction, after trying out just about every mic there is (of the regular drum-close-mic options) is that the best mics for toms are the Audix D-series (D2 & D4). That's what I'm using now. Ofcourse it depends on what sound you're aiming for, but for upfront, deep, tight, punchy, rock'n roll toms the Audixs beat MD421, SM57, e604, AKG C408/418 and all others of the sort I've tried...
  9. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    check out the sennheiser 609's, they're good if you're trying to keep cymbals out of your toms, they are one sided, cool design.

  10. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I really like the Audix D2's on toms as well (although I am not a fan of the D4), but I interchange with my MD421's also. The all have their uses. I find that the D2's sound best on the rack toms, and not as good on the floor tom, there are others that sound better down there. This is probably where Fede is using his D4. I prefer the MD421, an AKGD112, or even a Sounddeluxe PRA-281B on the floor tom.

    OHs...Neumann KM184s or AKG414's...depending on the style/kit/player.
  11. dudge

    dudge Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Studio Projects B1 for a clear jazzy sound on higher tuned toms.
    Sennheiser e604 on rack MD421 on floor for rock sound.
    I tried Audix d2. I don't like it. In comparison to others it seems to suck out too much mids. All there is left is the smack and the bottom. I like to hear more of the whole drum.
    Just my ears YMMV
  12. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Hey thanks for the info. I may just pickup one of each and do a taste test and take the others back. Always see the 421's but I'm shure the Audix etc sound subjective. I mostly do rock and mostly record DW kits. I may try my NT2 on the toms and get another one if it sounds good. I'm worried about bleed with it though.

    Can someone explain the sonic difference b/t a LD dynamic and LD condensor on toms? Sems like snares sound more "rock -n-roll" with dynamics but more clean and articulate with condensors. I'm using a 57 and a TLM 103 on snare top and a 57 on bottom. I and my drummer s luv it! I use the TLM to get a little more of the shell.

    Also, I think my MK-012's (hand picked by me out of about 30 at guitar center) sound good to me as overheads. I've never used any others. I've thought about getting another TLM or NT2 for over heads OR stepping up to Neuman 184's but it better dramaticly improve my tones for the amount of $$ 's I'd have to spend. They are a little bass heavy but I always roll the lows out of them any way. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks guys..
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    All good posts on this...I too like the Audix mics...I have several at my disposal and think the D2's really work well on the toms(racks) they have tremendous rejection and one other quality that others fail at...they are dent-proof and unbreakable by drummers. I use the D4 on the floor toms which gives a nice controlled whoomp.As I said....controlled.there are other mics with a better tonality for sure but very few with the control of the bleed and overtones that these mics exhibit.Back in the day, I used 5 SM81's for close mics on toms.The kits in those days were gigantic and the drummers tended to overplay...Hell, it was 80's bighair rock!and while it was ALWAYS a struggle to get everthing tuned properly and get the angles on the 81's just right to keep the interplay and bleed to minimum, they were really really accurate and the drums always came off with a very musical quality as well as sounding huge.
  14. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    hey dave i've just bought the d2 for racks and a d4 for floor...
    what pres you use with them?
    i hear great things about the d2 on amp too... can't wait to try them!
  15. richard.conrad

    richard.conrad Active Member

    Nov 28, 2004
    Toms / Overheads / Room Mics

    I may sound like a broken record, but 421's on tom's are solid. I tend to prefer using AT4041's as overheads, and a pair of AT4050s as room mics ( XY or MS, take your pick depending on the room, song, etc).. those together with your favourite kick/snare combination and you should have more than enough to play with in the mix.


    Richard Conrad
    NFA Productions
    Toronto, Canada
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Excellent choices Richard.There is no doubt that this setup will sound great on any quality drunkit and drummer! I also like the 4033's on toms and my friend Kurt (RO Moderator) also uses these in his kit. I've had a lot of luck with an Octava 319 LD as a room mic as well as a pair of U87's as overheads. I've also spent a lot of hours listening to Sennhieser MD409's on various drums including kick. A great mic IMHO!.I love 421's on everything and cant argue one bit with their usefullness on toms. An industry standard if you will....I've had occasion to use a 441 on a snare and that worked well especially through a high-gain pre...a 512 API i think...InLoco, I usually wind up using the console pres for most drum things other than kick and snare.My worst pres tend to be the Ghosts' but I run mine a bit hot on the voltage and they smooth out really nic and have a ton more gain without a clip...For kick and snare we recently used a TLAudio English tube channel which worked fine...I also like the Red Focusrite for this and unbelievably, an ART Pro MPA sounds pretty rockin for kick and snare...
  17. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Well it's clear that it's a matter of taste.
    I don't PERSONALLY llike moving-coil dynamic mics on drums (or anything much else really <g>) except the bass drum.

    The speed and immediacy of a condenser sounds MORE "rock and roll" to me.

    I tend to swing back and forth between two basic set-ups... one in a more minimalist "English studio" (where I learned, IF I learned...) style with 2 mics doing the basic overall pickup.... or the second approach with more mics and dedicated Tom mics (although I still often will use one mic for two hanger Toms and another over two floors, for example).
    In EITHER case I use large diaphragm condensers.

    For the minimalist thing I might use U47's or Gefell UM900's or other full range tube mics. I recently did it with Brauners and really liked that as well.

    But in closer on Toms, I used U87's for years... either one per two or one per drum... with the 10dB pads on (naturally) and they work great.
    In recent years, starting on the Joan Osborne Relish record, I've been using Microtech-Gefell UM70's the same way and they also work great. Perhaps a bit less middle crack and a bit more 'natural' than the 87's. But after EQ, I can't say I strongly perfer one over the other for this.

    I've never liked 421's on Toms. Tend to sound boxy, to ME.

    My basic set-up :
    BD - SM-7 or RE20 (same mic used on the bass amp for compatibility)
    Snare - KM-84 (sometimes another one under)
    Toms - U87's or UM70's
    High Hat - KM-86 or KM-84 (often i don't mic it)
    Overheads (if used) - STC/Coles 4038
    Room Mics - STC/Coles 4038
  18. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    FWIW... the setup I've been using lately has been a 421 inside the kick [when there is a hole in the kick head] with either a Microtech Gefell 92.1 on the outside or a Royer R-122... with a MT Gefell M-295 on snare... and the Josephson "e22S" on the top and bottom of each tom. The cool thing about mic'ing the toms from the top and the bottom is that by raising and lowering the bottom mic you can use the phase relationship of the two mics as an equalizer... bringing up the parts of the drum you like vs. the part you'd rather not have included in the recording. Takes some dicking around but it's been working great.

    The e22S's have also been used as overheads on some sessions, as room mics on other sessions on acoustic instruments like guitars, mandolins, fiddle, bazouki (sp?), etc.

    Wonderful little tools with a ton of applications.

    Best of luck with it.
  19. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    I have the Audix mics (d1, d2, d4), and for toms the d2's are amazing. I have used the Sennheisers (e604) and found them to be a great mic, but the Audix in my opinion is a better more natural sound. I'd love to try some 421's, but I'm very happy with my D2's so maybe I'll get to some day, but I'm not rushing it.
  20. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Hey thanks guys. I'm going to do some experimenting with my condensors on toms. Could someone take a stab at describing the difference b/t sd and ld condensors as overheads? I'm supprised to see some of you using Audio Technica LD's as overheads. I much prefer my TLM 103 to my AT 4050. I even use my NT2 more than the AT. When using LD's do you guys also mic tom and roll the lows out of the overheads? I wonder how a set of 103's or NT2's would sound as overheads compared to say Josephson or 184's for rock and country.

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