What mics do you use for tracking drums?

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

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  1. My first time miking a kit was a few months ago,
    but I was very happy with the dominant sound
    being a TLM103 out in front of the kit about 10 ft. I have a big room (@30x30 w 10 ft ceiling and carpet floors)

    In addition to that I had some mics from a
    budget AT mic kit that I used on
    kick and snare. Used 57s of all things as
    overheads, and surprisingly they worked OK, but
    with hindsight I'd recommend hotter mics like
    the condensors most are mentioning.

    I tracked through Symettrix 488 compressors to a Paris DAW.

    Overall, I'm happy with the sound. I like the control over the snare the snare mic gives. The weakest element of the micing I felt was the kick.

  2. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Bear, I tracked my band's demo about 2 months ago, and I used a RE-20 on the kick and 421s on the toms... I liked the sound of the RE-20 on the kick while on the studio, but when I'm mixing at home... it's not nat great... it does need a lot of 6K for some attack and a little 63 to fill the kick a little better... I would have one on my set, but... sometimes (like this time) we "forget" to spend the necessary time on placement (or maybe I didn't have all that time... :) ) and later we have some trouble to make things cut thru the mix... but thanks for the info... I'll check the M-201s and the RE-15s! Thanks
  3. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Maybe try an RE-27ND instead. Very similar, but a bit hotter and a bit more slanted towards an upper midrange peak. They basically tailored it to VO voices that the RE-20 was too woolly for. Try to find Ty Fords review of it on his web page for a better description, and from his description it sounds like it's even more flexible than the RE-20.

    Also, it could be a difference between the pre's, or maybe the kick wasn't sounding as good as the previous one. (If it was the same one, the tuning might have been different.)

  4. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    I think the ATM 25 is a pretty good all purpose mic. It sounds really cool mixed with a 57 on guitar cabs. For some reason 421's just sound a little too scooped for guitar cabs to my ear. By the way the beta 52 sucks, if you want one ill sell you mine in perfect condition for a hundred bucks.
  5. Mongoose

    Mongoose Guest

    I'm working on my band's cd currently. Most of the tracks were done with a d112, some with a 58 (which seems to work pretty well, actually).

    I brought a 2nd hand atm25 after most of the recording was done, and used it on the song I'm currently working on. The atm25 was used a touch off axis just inside a hole in the front skin. I've got an ok sound at the moment (cut at 400, roll off <50, very small boost at 125, small boost at 6k), but was wondering what setting others might be using... I would like to get more of a "snap" to it, or something... Still a bit "boomp"

    Other mics I use are a couple of peavey 480 condensors as overheads and a 57 on snare.

    I normally use an x-y on the overheads, but tried something I read in an audio magazine in australia (the column was "Stav's Word", don't know the issue). He said to find the place in the room where the floor tom was most resonant, and place the 1st overhead where its sounds loudest (by walking around the kit, moving head up and down). Then build the kit around the floor tom. Repeat procedure for the 2nd overhead. I've only tried this once, and the overheads ended up being a good 6 feet away from the kit on either side of the drummer.

    But, the drum sound on that track came up pretty good.

    An x-y setup is way less trouble though.
  6. FWIW: What microphones I use for drums vary greatly depending on a lot of variables (song/drummer/kit/room/available outboards). I prefer to use as few mikes as possible, most often I use some combinations of the following mikes:

    Kick: D12e/D112/AT-25/MD-421/C-3000 B
    Snare: SM-57/EV BK-1
    Toms: Milab D-37/SM-57
    Floor tom: D-37/MD-421
    OH/Ambience: Calrec 1050/SM-81/KSM-32/KM-84/Microtech Gefell UM-70
    (I seldom mike Hihat, but when I do I often try Calrec 1050 first)

  7. Deafen

    Deafen Active Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    I've had quite good luck with the following:

    Kick: Sennheiser e602 (amazing mic, I use it for bass too)
    Snare: SM57
    Rack tom: SM58
    Floor tom: SM57
    Hat: AKG D880 (with windscreen removed, out of the airflow path)
    OH: Pair of Marshall V57M, about 3 feet over the cymbals, spread by about 3 feet, set equidistant to the center of the snare head to avoid phasing issues.

    The V57M is a $99 large-diaphragm condensor that is a Mars Music exclusive. Not the most rugged mic in the world, but it sounds _very_ nice, especially considering the price. I think it's probably a relabeled 2001.
  8. sixpence

    sixpence Guest

    I own both a D112 and an e602, I've also owned a PV 520i (but we won't talk about that), also Live I've used an SM91 and Beta 52. all i can say is I'd buy a 91 right now (if they made them still.. the betas are a bit crap) or the 52. The 602 is a fab mic though (way better than the d112) fuller bottom end and great attack in the top end.. as mentioned before sounds good on Bass too.

    On a budget for condensers? the PV 480i sound good and have a really wide pickup. I've recorded violins, harps as well as hats/overheads with them and they sound good (obviously I'd buy a pair of KM184's instead but $$$ is the problem as usual)

    Sennheiser have a new evolution mic based on the cardiod version of the K6 mic... priced nicely too from what I can see

    Sixpence Studios
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I don't know if anyone else is using them, but I really like EV 408 or 408B (newer version) on toms. The way some drummers set up their cymbals, 451s are sometimes impossible to fit around the kit. The 408 series captures a very punchy sound, and with the small egg-shaped body mounted on a swivel yoke, it's really convenient for slipping into tight spaces. I'm not sure EV still makes them - maybe check the website. Otherwise, keep your eye out for used ones. On live gigs they also make a nice trombone mic. The 308 series is a little less expensive version, but I haven't tried it myself. I've read about a number of engineers liking some of the mini clip on mics (can't remember the model: ATM35 maybe?) for toms, but haven't tried those yet either.
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Oops! Sorry for the typo - obviously I meant 421s (Sennheisers) not 451s in the post above!
  11. cjogo

    cjogo Guest

    Still tracking using MIDI pads only---21 pads direct to a Kurzweil 2500 rack---10 separate outputs to the board --great drums everytime--easier punches and simple corrections---No leakage problems--can track directly along with an accoustic instrument or a vocalists in the same room ....

    cjogo http://fp2k.redshift.com/cjogo/crystalrecording.htm
  12. Originally posted by cjogo:
    Still tracking using MIDI pads only---21 pads direct to a Kurzweil 2500 rack---10 separate outputs to the board --great drums everytime--easier punches and simple corrections---No leakage problems--can track directly along with an accoustic instrument or a vocalists in the same room ....

    cjogo http://fp2k.redshift.com/cjogo/crystalrecording.htm

    Not disrespect, but, what about all the _millions_ of different sounds that a real drumkit literally can provide? Don't you limit your sonic options severely by using a midi-kit only? Same "real" kit & different players = very different sound.

    Leakage can be a problem if you track another source in the same room but if tracking drums only, leakage is not a problem - it's an asset IMNSHO! I consider the entire drumkit as ONE musical instrument. (You wouldn't say: "I have such problems with leakage when recording piano, I wish I could track each string with complete separation", would you?). The sound of any acoustical instrument is the sonical result of all parts contributing to the sounding output.

    Having said that, I need to clarify that I'm fully aware of the fact that we all face different situations and realities every day that we must cope with according to what's available and needs to be acomplished. Each to his/her own.

  13. Wayne Butler

    Wayne Butler Guest

    Have used all of the following in different configs.

    Kick: ATM25, AKG D112, "AT Pro25"
    Snare: "SM57", Audix D1 or D2, MXL 603
    Rack toms: Audix "D2's", ATM33's
    Floor tom: 421, ATM25, "D2"
    O/H: "ATM33's", AT4041's, MXL603's, AT4050's, AKG3000
    Room: TLM103, "MXL67", AT4050, AKG3000 :(

    I can't answer the budget issue but the one's in " " are the least $. If you've got a good drummer, kit and most of all arrangement, the mics ain't gonna matter that much.

    I've gotten some of the best snare sounds with the 603 on the side of the snare under the hi-hat.

    Wayne in LA (Lower Alabama) :D
  14. jscott

    jscott Guest

    The M-201 is a great snare mic as well. And I don't see many ever mention it, but you can get a great kick sound by micing the thing on the batter side as well, or in lieu of the inside or out front. I think the D112 sounds better in that position.
  15. gie

    gie Guest

    Originally posted by Bob:
    I often have to use close mics because of room acoustics. I use AKG C418's on toms.

    An Engineer-friend-of-mine recently playd back some recordings he had done with C418's on toms wich I really liked...
    I have to look into these little baby's.. ;)
    -Do you use them al the time?
    -Why did you choose this mic? (did you compare with others? Like the 604?)
    -What are the Pros & Cons?

  16. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Near Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    I use a D112 on Kick, SM57 on snare, C418's on three toms and a CAD CM17 for overhead. The CM17 turns out to be a really clean warm mic for hardly any money. I'm not sure they still make them but I bought five of them for $69 each and use them for acoustic guitars, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, sax and even vocals on occasion.

    I run the kick and snare through a compressor and since the kit is used mostly for rock and roll I'll track the drums to analog tape and mix down to two track digital. Slamming the levels on analog really makes the drums fat.
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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