how many mics do you use?

keep it simple

Platinum Member
If you mean for recording, that depends on the needs in the studio on the day. I try to get as far away from close mic'ing as I can without resorting to compression to pull focus.

Live, & even for some medium size gigs, I use two overheads & bass drum. For bigger stuff, I'll close mic the toms too, but never the snare & hats, I just don't need them. I like the balance that majoring on the overheads affords. Even when I close mic the toms, it's the overheads that are carrying 90% of the weight.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
Live I close mic the toms, bass and snare. I have overheads too, but never really use them as the size of the venues doesn't require it. I have a little behringer mixer that distils the drums into a stereo feed for the PA, so I have control of my EQ etc. Recording, I leave that up to the engineer generally, but usually it will be as above plus hihats, 2x overheads, a futher mic on the bottom snare head and some amdients in the room, usually 2 or 4 depending on what we are trying to achieve.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
As to overheads - use the absolute best mics you can afford. Those make a great difference.
I was once joining a band rehearsal and they had set up mics from a drum mic kit (5-6 mics) and weren't happy with the sound via the mixing board. I had 2 (of some 15 mics I have) with me, it was Oktava MK-319 large condensers (matched stereo pair, modified by Michael Joly/USA) and we mounted those as alternative overhead mics. Those 2 overheads _alone_ made everything clear up so much, the sound was transparent and everything from the drumkit was represented. Sure some additional mics couldn't hurt but the improvement was stunning.

Good overheads doesn't mean you need a fortune to buy them. As for those MK-319's - I bought them for about 330 Euros & about the same price for modification and shipping to/from the USA. They sound crystal clear and since having them I've stopped dreaming of Neumann or other prestige brands. (But good preamps don't hurt - I have a couple of them.)

If you can afford it, Audix has great drum mic packs. (I have the DP-7)
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
Fortunately with the gigs I play, there's no need for mics about 99% of the time. When there is, a sound person and system are already provided.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
It really depends on the situation and room. Early in my career I used very little close miking techniques. When working as a field engineer for a major record company in the late sixties, I would be equipped with four Neumann U67 microphones, a small mixer and a Magnecord 1022 tape machine. I would sometimes use just two or three microphones to cover the entire musical ensemble that was later edited and pressed to vinyl. Here in my personal studio I'll use anything from three to fourteen, mostly depending on the size of the kit and number of room microphones. When I'm working in a commercial studio anything goes, because now I'm not the only person that has to be satisfied with the quality of the sound being tracked. I treat every session as a new and individual entity. Again depending on the kit, it is sometimes not too unusual to use anything from five microphones to twenty something on the drum kit. There is a certain band I work with where the director/producer absolutely needs the batter And resonant heads of the toms miked. I obliged, although most of these mics never make it to post production, lol.

Miking drums at a gig is not much different than setting up microphones in a studio. The main difference for me is the quality of the microphones that are used. For instance, instead of using Neumann u87s or AKG 414 microphones as overheads, on location I'll probably use Shure Sm81s or Shure KSM 141s with maybe a short shotgun microphone if need be. The reason for this is when on location it's not a completely controlled environment and equipment mishaps are more likely to happen.

In most cases it's not the quantity of microphones that are used, but the type and their exact placement that makes the difference. I use very little EQ, basically no gates and very little compression, only where needed, but in every case I do pick the correct microphone for the job. I'm talking pro or semi pro circumstances here, but very good results are very often achieved with good quality microphones and a lot of experimentation.



Dennis
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Pro tools, with a Digi Rack 003+; expanded by a pre-sonus something or other for a total of 16 inputs. For drums, ideally it's two overheads, HH, kick, two toms, and snare. then perhaps a room mic or two.

I'd like to put another mic on the bottom of the snare. Also about to build a "sub-kick" deal for a second bass drum mic.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
If you mean for recording, that depends on the needs in the studio on the day. I try to get as far away from close mic'ing as I can without resorting to compression to pull focus.

Live, & even for some medium size gigs, I use two overheads & bass drum. For bigger stuff, I'll close mic the toms too, but never the snare & hats, I just don't need them. I like the balance that majoring on the overheads affords. Even when I close mic the toms, it's the overheads that are carrying 90% of the weight.
Bam.


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I've done some recent recordings (somebody else engineering) combining a traditional close-mic arrangement on kick, snare and hi-hat with a ribbon mic placed slightly above (but below usual overhead height) and a few feet in front of the kit. In the mix, most of the sound was just the ribbon and the kick mic, and it sounded fantastic (although this is quite a warm, retro sound, not a clinical contemporary one, so it depends on your preferences).
 

tard

Gold Member
Live I close mic the toms, kick, both snares and my hats, I get enough bleed thru all the mics on stage for the cymbals.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Live: one (bass drum, SM57)
Studio: two or three (bass drum, overhead, maybe snare)

For me it is less is more concerning mics. Peace and goodwill.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I use SM57s on my toms (which I want to mod to make transformerless) except a C 1000 on my lowest floor tom. Right now, I have an i5 on top snare, some random E/V on bottom snare (it's nothing but sibilance but I'm just testing it) AT3525 on hats, Electrovoice RE27N/D on kick and Rode NT1As for overheads. I want to swap out the NT1As for some AKG 214s and I need one more 57 to make my toms uniform; I'm going to mod them all, I think - taking out the transformer drops the output quite a bit but is supposed to smooth out the high end.
 
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