Mic reccamendations for home recording?

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
I'm looking to spend around $500 on some drum mics. I need a good snare sound and bass sound 2 overheads and a few mics for toms. My price range is flexible a bit I already have all the other stuff. I just need mics. Let me know what you reccomend. Thanks!
P.S. I am going to mic a pdp x7 maple with many cymbals.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
For $500, your best option is to go with a minimal approach. I would go for a large-diaphragm condenser (like a Rode NT1000) for the overhead and a nice bass drum mic (like an AKG D112, Audix D-6, Shure Beta 52, etc...). That would put you right at $500, maybe a little over, and get you a great sound. If you buy used, your money can stretch farther, and maybe get a second overhead (a pair of AKG C1000s instead of a single Rode), or perhaps a good snare mic (like a Shure SM57 or an Audix i-5). If you HAVE to have tom mics, you'll be sacrificing quality to stick within your $500 budget, although I DID score a used Shure drum mic kit (3 SM57s and a Beta 52) for $200, so deals ARE out there. You get the main drum sound out of the overheads, though, with tom mics acting as merely "accent mics", so make sure your overhead(s) is/are good, and have a good bass drum mic. From there, everything else is nice, but unnecessary...

Good luck!
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
For $500, your best option is to go with a minimal approach.
Yeah, you won't get a lot of mic for $500. I'd go with something like caddywumpus said, and then rent whatever else you need for the actual tracking date. Later, as money allows, you can buy more mics.

As with cymbals, cheap price = cheap sound.
 

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
@Caddywumpus
-Thanks for the reccamendations. My guitarist is getting an sm57 so that will be good for the snare. We just need whats neccessary to get a good drum sound. Are Mic kits that you can find on sweetwater.com any good?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
As with cymbals, cheap price = cheap sound.
Yes, except for Rode microphones. I recommend the NT1000 ($300) because you can't distinguish it from an AKG 414 ($800) in a side-by-side comparison. Yes, the AKG has the option to change polar patterns and a pad, but that's not $500 worth of features, in my opinion...
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
@Anduin
- I have nice cymbals so that shouldn't be an issue...Hopefully :)
He was comparing mics to cymbals. They both fall under the realm of "you pay more for quality".

Mic kits? It depends...which ones are you talking about? STAY AWAY from CAD mics--they will make your X7 kit sound like a CB700! The Shure drum mic kit (3 57s and a Beta 52) and the Audix D-series kits (NOT the f-series) are nice, and a *decent* deal for the money. But, like it said before, it's not about the close mics. If you record properly, the close mics should be used very lightly and only to bring out the attack of the drums. DON'T use them for the tone of the drums. Leave that for the overheads...

Good-sounding kit + good-sounding room + decent mics w/good placement + a clean signal path + a good recording medium = a good recording
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
Yes, except for Rode microphones.
I have a couple or Rode mics too, and I’m quite happy with them. But to fully mic a kit not even Rode mics will come in under $500.

That’s why I suggest renting: better to rent and have reasonably good quality temporarily than to buy a bunch of cheap junk to have forever.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I have a couple or Rode mics too, and I’m quite happy with them. But to fully mic a kit not even Rode mics will come in under $500.

That’s why I suggest renting: better to rent and have reasonably good quality temporarily than to buy a bunch of cheap junk to have forever.
100% agree. Don't get cheap junk. Buying used will stretch your dollar, and renting is a good way to experiment to find out what works (or not) for your project.
 

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
Okay. Thanks for the help. I want a sound that is like Portnoy's but thats gonna cost a lot lol. I'm gonna see what I can come up with.
So Far:
Bass drum: AKG D112
Snare: sm 57
Overheads: AKG C1000's
Now, will the tom's have a good amount of cut and attack without individual mics?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Okay. Thanks for the help. I want a sound that is like Portnoy's but thats gonna cost a lot lol. I'm gonna see what I can come up with.
So Far:
Bass drum: AKG D112
Snare: sm 57
Overheads: AKG C1000's
Now, will the tom's have a good amount of cut and attack without individual mics?
Sounds great so far! You won't need any more than that.

If you know how to play your instrument, then yes, the toms will have plenty of cut and attack. There are plenty of people who just bash on their drums, and if you do that then the snare and cymbals will be much louder than your toms in the mix, obviously. If you know how to PLAY your instrument and balance your sound, then they should have PLENTY of presence in the final mix. You seem like a fellow who cares about his drum sound, so I'm assuming you are already a conscientious player...
 

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
Thanks so much for the advice. My drum instructor has been working with me a lot to play with a bit more dynamic, mainly with snare solo's and on the hi hats. I am very particular about my sound and equipment so this is important to me and your advice means a lot. Thanks
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Sounds great so far! You won't need any more than that.

If you know how to play your instrument, then yes, the toms will have plenty of cut and attack. There are plenty of people who just bash on their drums, and if you do that then the snare and cymbals will be much louder than your toms in the mix, obviously. If you know how to PLAY your instrument and balance your sound, then they should have PLENTY of presence in the final mix. You seem like a fellow who cares about his drum sound, so I'm assuming you are already a conscientious player...
Beg to differ on the tom sound, if you want a modern rock feel. You won't get a full, deep, and present tom sound without the close mics, no matter how hard you spank 'em (and/or how lightly you play everything else). Being a balanced player will take your recorded sound up a big notch, but it won't get you all the way up the mountain, at least in this case.

Of course, none of this matters if you don't have an 8-channel recording interface. If you've multi-track recorded everything well, you can learn about EQ, gating, compression, panning, and reverb when it's time to mix.

I would suggest buying a pair of large diaphragm condensers for overheads. You'll get more use out of them for other things down the road.
 

tard

Gold Member
I have been using 2 sets of the audio technica kit packs which gave me a total 6 of the snare/tom mics, 3 for my toms, 1 on each of my 2 snares and 1 on hats and the 2 kick mics I used 1 for my kick and 1 for the floor tom and have got really good results with them plus they now have a set that includes 2 overheads. I originally bought them with plans to upgrade later when I had more money but for live and home recording the quality and results have been good enough that I still havent bothered upgrading after 10 years. For a professional studio recording better mics will be needed but are usually supplied by the studio.

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/53a2a9876608b80f/index.html dk4 retail price $199
http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/aa1dae76db28f937/index.html dk6 retail price $459

dk4, $109 http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-AUDIO-TECHNICA-MB-DK4-DRUM-MICROPHONE-KIT-w-4-MIC-/300549887293?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45fa2b553d
dk6, $229 http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-AUDIO-TECHNICA-MB-DK6-DRUM-MICROPHONE-KIT-w-6-MIC-/390263912339?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5add8ab793
 
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A

audiotech

Guest
Re: Mic recommendations for home recording?

Yes, except for Rode microphones. I recommend the NT1000 ($300) because you can't distinguish it from an AKG 414 ($800) in a side-by-side comparison. Yes, the AKG has the option to change polar patterns and a pad, but that's not $500 worth of features, in my opinion...
Sorry, bit I beg to differ also. Just about anyone who is a tune to audio subtleties will be able to hear the difference between those two microphones. No way is the Rode 1000 as linear in response as the AKG 414 B ULS and what really handy with the 414 is that it has a three position low frequency roll off switch which is excellent to be able to roll of the lower frequencies of the kit, especially the bass drum. I usually always keep the 75 hz roll off in line and a lot of times use the 150 hz roll off if the room or venue has a lot of low energy nodal problems to contend with. The Akg 414 ULS also has almost 20 db of more head room before distortion compared to the Rode 1000. I still own my four AKG 414 ULS microphones and long since traded the only Rode 1000 I had towards another API microphone pre-amp. Don't get me wrong, some of the Rode microphone have their place in the studio, but I wouldn't compare the 1000 to any of the variety of 414 available, The only Rode that I still own is the Rode NT2000 and sonically I wouldn't compare it to a 414 because of its non linear frequency response.

The only other thing I disagree with is with the use of the overhead microphones. If you are close miking the kit, the tones of each drum will have much more influence on their close mic than with the overheads. Here again is the argument for low frequency roll off controls on the 414 microphones. At this point the main characteristics of the cymbals will be captured by the overhead microphone. Again this is where the knowledge of microphone placement is key. What will tie this altogether is a room microphone or microphones when mixed in a very small proportion with the other kit microphones.

I know were really not talking major studio quality on this thread, buy I just couldn't see lumping hear say with the facts.

Dennis
 

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
Re: Mic recommendations for home recording?

Sorry, bit I beg to differ also. Just about anyone who is a tune to audio subtleties will be able to hear the difference between those two microphones. No way is the Rode 1000 as linear in response as the AKG 414 B ULS and what really handy with the 414 is that it has a three position low frequency roll off switch which is excellent to be able to roll of the lower frequencies of the kit, especially the bass drum. I usually always keep the 75 hz roll off in line and a lot of times use the 150 hz roll off if the room or venue has a lot of low energy nodal problems to contend with. The Akg 414 ULS also has almost 20 db of more head room before distortion compared to the Rode 1000. I still own my four AKG 414 ULS microphones and long since traded the only Rode 1000 I had towards another API microphone pre-amp. Don't get me wrong, some of the Rode microphone have their place in the studio, but I wouldn't compare the 1000 to any of the variety of 414 available, The only Rode that I still own is the Rode NT2000 and sonically I wouldn't compare it to a 414 because of its non linear frequency response.

The only other thing I disagree with is with the use of the overhead microphones. If you are close miking the kit, the tones of each drum will have much more influence on their close mic than with the overheads. Here again is the argument for low frequency roll off controls on the 414 microphones. At this point the main characteristics of the cymbals will be captured by the overhead microphone. Again this is where the knowledge of microphone placement is key. What will tie this altogether is a room microphone or microphones when mixed in a very small proportion with the other kit microphones.

I know were really not talking major studio quality on this thread, buy I just couldn't see lumping hear say with the facts.

Dennis
Thanks Dennis,
I'll keep that in mind when getting the equipment.
 

Bretton

Silver Member
I've had good results with Apex 125s

http://www.apexelectronics.com/category/Discontinued_Products/Microphones/product/Apex125/

which are discontinued... but were cheap! They are a kick mic, but I also used them for toms. Recently recorded my band's EP with them, kicks have a triggered sound and the mic sound both mixed in, but I think the toms are just the mic sound. here: http://maelstrom.bandcamp.com/. They are pre-EQed to cut out low mids, which may limit you... but that's the first thing you do when you EQ anyway.

had 57s on the snares, top and bottom, but again, the snares are half-triggered, overheads were 2 apex 185 pencil condensers, an apex "medium" diaphragm condenser (forget the model #), and the engineer's large diaphragm condenser (never got the make/model).
 

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
I've had good results with Apex 125s

http://www.apexelectronics.com/category/Discontinued_Products/Microphones/product/Apex125/

which are discontinued... but were cheap! They are a kick mic, but I also used them for toms. Recently recorded my band's EP with them, kicks have a triggered sound and the mic sound both mixed in, but I think the toms are just the mic sound. here: http://maelstrom.bandcamp.com/. They are pre-EQed to cut out low mids, which may limit you... but that's the first thing you do when you EQ anyway.

had 57s on the snares, top and bottom, but again, the snares are half-triggered, overheads were 2 apex 185 pencil condensers, an apex "medium" diaphragm condenser (forget the model #), and the engineer's large diaphragm condenser (never got the make/model).
Dude that was some cool stuff and I thought your snare sounded like the one on Unfortunate Snort Pinkly Smooth album. Very cool stuff and I see what you mean about the bass drum. For the bass drum I'm looking for more a mike portnoy sound like on The Dark Eternal Night. Thanks so much and I enjoyed listening to your songs I might buy the EP :)
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Re: Mic recommendations for home recording?

Beg to differ on the tom sound, if you want a modern rock feel. You won't get a full, deep, and present tom sound without the close mics, no matter how hard you spank 'em (and/or how lightly you play everything else). Being a balanced player will take your recorded sound up a big notch, but it won't get you all the way up the mountain, at least in this case.
Placement and a good room sound gets you more of a full and deep tom sound than close mics. Close mics get a more "present" sound, yes, but sound waves need space to develop. Half of the time I record the engineers don't even close-mic the set.

No way is the Rode 1000 as linear in response as the AKG 414 B ULS
Except for, maybe, the fact that it is. Just look up the frequency response specs...you'll notice they're remarkably similar. But, that doesn't matter--only the fact that they do sound identical when you record them, side-by-side, without any processing/effects/coloring preamps does.

I just couldn't see lumping hear say with the facts.
My thoughts exactly...
 
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Yes, except for Rode microphones. I recommend the NT1000 ($300) because you can't distinguish it from an AKG 414 ($800) in a side-by-side comparison. Yes, the AKG has the option to change polar patterns and a pad, but that's not $500 worth of features, in my opinion...
Im sorry but im going to have to disagree with that one also. Having frequently used both these mics, the Rode just doesnt have the spearkle and transparency of the 414. Also, the 414 has much less self noise than the Rode. And it can handle higher SPL.
 
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