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What mics do you use for tracking drums?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by jeronimo, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Since I'm on the beginners forum... please, watch the budget :)
    What kind of mics do you guys have and use to track drums?
  2. Coz

    Coz Guest

    I have using a 4 mic set-up to track drums. The mics I use are the following:

    Overheads: I was using a Rode NT-1 and an MXL 2001 (I have recently upgraded to a matched pair of Nuemann TLM 103)

    Snare: Shure SM57

    Kick: Audio Technica ATM25

  3. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Over the past couple of years, I have steadily decreased the number of mics I use on a drum set. I started out with the typical set up: 2 Neumann KM184s overhead, a 57 or 421 on snare and a D112 or KD421 on kick. The first change was to delete the snare mic; that change was barely noticeable. For the past year or so, I have been working almost exclusively on roots rock, blues or small jazz combo's and I have finally gotten rid of the kick mic. The two overheads alone provide a more realistic drum sound than any close mic'd set up that I have heard. It finally sounds like you are listening to a live drum kit. The final step is to remove one of the two overheads and record the drums in mono; for this I am still trying to decide between one KM184 versus one Royer R121. The KM184 sounds good almost anywhere I put it, the Royer isn't that forgiving, but it sounds REALLY good when I find that perfect spot.
  4. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    I've used a single 57 to track drums when times were tough. Is your budget anything like that?
  5. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    For budget, two condensers behind the kit, left/right of drumers head pointing toward the kit, and one dynamic kick mic. Even a 57 will work on the kick. I reverse phase (180) on the kick.
  6. gie

    gie Guest

    My (BUDGET) drum mics list would be:

    Kick: EV 868
    Snare: SM57
    Floor: MD421
    Rack: e604
    OH's: NT2

    I do guitar-rock most of the time...
  7. iluvansg

    iluvansg Guest

    I often have to use close mics because of room acoustics. I use AKG C418's on toms. '57 on snare top. Oktava MC012 snare bottom. AKG D112 for kick. AT 4041's for overheads and a TLM103 for a room mic (sometimes). If I have good room acoustics I just use either a pair of MC012's or the 4041's for overheads and '57 for snare and D112 for kick. It depends on what kind of sound I'm going for. I hope this helps.

  8. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Hey gie, your setup is pretty close of what I'm planning to have. How do you like it? Do you have anything recorded with it that you can share with us!? And thanks for all the posts yall...
  9. Southwind

    Southwind Guest

    I have found time and time again that if the drummer and room are right it doesn't really matter what mic(s) you put up or where they are.
    But as a general rule my budget setup is:

    Kick: D112

    Snare: 57, 421

    Overheads: hmmmm....hard to cut corners here. maybe those Octava small diaphragms. This is where I wouls spend my $ on good condensors.

    Room: 414, KSM 32/44 or whatever else is around and might sound good through a Disressor or RNC.

  10. rivers

    rivers Active Member

    Jun 11, 2001
    ive used a 4 mic setup as well
    Senn421 kick
    57 snare
    and oktavas for ohs

    a question how does is the "room"mic placed? i know i need to experiment but give some starting points(i.e 10ft,20ft back)i have new Royer and Distressor i want to use as a room mic setup...
  11. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Put it in a place that makes you :D .
  12. rivers

    rivers Active Member

    Jun 11, 2001
    Thanks Angelo
    thats what i figured :)
  13. tubedude

    tubedude Active Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    One overhead and thats IT? I can't go for that. An xy pair or something is totally necc if you want the kit to sound natural, IMO. I like the space a stereo pair gives them, and it wouldnt be the same without, to me. Thats a trip.
  14. gie

    gie Guest

    Originally posted by jeronimo:
    Hey gie, your setup is pretty close of what I'm planning to have. How do you like it? Do you have anything recorded with it that you can share with us!? And thanks for all the posts yall...

    Sorry can't share anything on that setup.
    Why not?
    -because I only used it 2 times (normally I don't use a "budget" setup...), and I'm not allowed to put MP3's of them on the internet.

    Sorry :(
  15. Solfatio

    Solfatio Guest

    I recorded a couple drum tracks the other day that sounded phenominal. I credit the room I record in for most of the sound. It's the first floor of my apartment, deeper than it is wide, with 12ft.+ ceilings and a basement (the basement is about 5ft. deep, and the only thing between the roof of the basement and the tracking room floor is the wood flooring). The accoustics of the room still need a little taming, but taht's ok for now.

    The drummer has an interesting set-up; most of the action happens in the snare-area (his floor tom, ride, china, splash, hi-hat, etc. are all there); he has one mid tom in the middle, a low-mid tom where the floor tom usually sits, and a crash between the two.

    Anyway, on to the point:
    I used an NT1 about 4ft. back, placed directly in front of the kit even with the cymbals and aimed at a downwards angle. I had an EV N/DYM 4XX (discontinued model, extra presence in the hi's) next to the low-mid tom, about 1.5 ft. away from the drummer's right arm, pointed at the snare; and a Shure BG-57a (I think) underneath the snare-side cymbals, about 6 inches off the ground pointing up and towards the high-hat. The bass drum wasn't quite there, but we all loved the rest of the kit sound, so we propped a cheap radio shack mic up with a shirt, next to the floor about 1in. from the bass drum, and turned the EQ bass & high all the way up. It was mixed directly to a stereo track, so I had the two side mics panned hard left & right and got the levels where the average peaks were even on either side; the room mic got mixed in centre at about half that volume, and the bass drum mic got mixed in...well, somewhere where it sounded nice, and in the centre.

    Maybe that's too much info, but I felt like typing to read my own post. =D Next time I do a kit, I want to see what sound I'll get from a pair of X-Y NT1's as overheads and a bass drum mic (probably an SM58 or the Shure Beta Green mic again, as opposed to the handy radio shack SM-57 knockoff). Hmm. =D
  16. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    I can't believe how many people still use D112's. The ATM 25 totally kills it. I love what the engineer I intern under says about the D112 "if you mic a kick with a d112 its going to sound like a d112 regardless as to what kick youre miking". My setup at home works like this.
    kick- atm25
    snare-57 or this crappy dynamic that distorts and makes the snare really crack (black mic, i have no idea what it is but sounds awesome)
    toms-421's, these are really low in the mix but just there in case i need them... can be replaced with anything, i lucked out on a pair for $300
    OH's-octava 012's cardiod capsule
    Room-rode ntk or a pair of 012's with the omni capsules.... only when my friend brings them over.
  17. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    I wish I could find two 421s for $300 bucks...
    I plan getting the following:
    Senns 904 for toms

    I already have 2 MLX 603, 1 SM57 and 1 MXL2001...
    What you guys think?
  18. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Anyone tried the Senns 602 on the kick?!
  19. hargerst

    hargerst Active Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    My general drum setup is:

    Kick - AT25, or D112
    Snare - Beyer M201 or Shure SM57
    High Toms - Sennheiser 504s (same as 604s) or SM57s
    Floor Toms Sennheiser 421
    O/H - Audix TR40s, Shure SM81s, MXL 603Ss, or Oktava MC012s.

    For the few times that I've miked the hihat, I'll use a Beyer M201 on the backside of the hat, pointed towards the snare.
  20. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Jeronimo, have you tried the 603's oh, 57 snare, and 2001 in front of the kick? With good placement this could probably be fine, though I wouldn't put the 2001 in the kick or all that close. The 603's can grab a good bit of lower frequencies, so while tom mics could help, you might not need them.

    Since you don't have many mics, I'd recomend something a bit more multi-purpose than specialty kick mics (and I'd say go with the ATM-25 or Sennheiser 602 if you go specialty). I'll say it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, MD-421, M-88 and RE-20 are each very versatile and shine on a variety of sources, and any of them makes a fine kick mic, though you do have to work it a bit more than the specialty mics.

    And for toms, check out used EV and Beyer mics, some are great steals on ebay. (M-201's and RE-15's can go cheap, either of which is great on toms. The real bargains are EV PL-5's which I think are identical to the 635a, except for color, and can be found for $25 or less readily. Not my pick for toms, but they can work well on snare sometimes, and I've gotten crazy stuff out of them as a room mic with the sansamp/heavy compression treatment.)

    Report back on how your mic kit is working for you in use, as individual results are interesting and we might be able to help maximize the investment you've already made.

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