Overhead mic recommendations and setup suggestions for four-mic recording

Maleven

Member
Hi everyone,

I'm putting together a setup for producing good quality demos using Reaper and an Akai EIE Pro AI. I've already added a Sennheiser E602 II for the kick and SM57 for the snare and for recording guitar after, the only thing left to add is overheads (plus stands etc.). Obviously with only four preamps on the AI, the overheads will also need to capture the toms (of which there are four), plus in my case a fairly large cymbal setup (see images)

I've had Rode NT5s recommended to me, a matched pair of which would come in at about £230 new. First, are there any other mics anyone would recommend in the same sort of price range - say up to £250-275? Obviously the thing I have to bear in mind is the need to capture the toms effectively in addition to the cymbals.

Here's the kit I'll be looking to record (albeit in a different, larger room):

Overall view:




Left:




Right:




(P.S., rather snazzy pyjamas I know. :D )

What would people recommend in terms of mic setup and positioning? My tentative plan at this stage is to get one good boom stand, add a stereo bar and go for a standard X-Y stereo setup, but is there any reason why this wouldn't be effective in my case, or anything else people would recommend - ORTF as opposed to X-Y? The Glyn Johns setup?

Thanks for all suggestions and advice, much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Not knowing your budget, I would think any of the following would serve you well as overheads for demo work:

Audio-Technica ATM450
Audio-Technica AE3000
Audio-Technica AE5100
Lewitt LCT 340 C
Oktava MK-012
 

Maleven

Member
Not knowing your budget, I would think any of the following would serve you well as overheads for demo work:

Audio-Technica ATM450
Audio-Technica AE3000
Audio-Technica AE5100
Lewitt LCT 340 C
Oktava MK-012
Thanks, I shall look into those, though budget may be the constraint; basically anything good under £250-275, which is about $400-500 US (or 300 Euros), though it's worth noting that generally gear is a bit more expense here (UK/Europe) than in the US.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
If you are comfortable with it then maybe look second hand?

Can get more band for your buck. If it's 4 tracks then the OHs are important yo try and capture the toms, hats as well as the cymbals.

NT5s might be a little focused and not picking up everything you want. A large diaphram condensor might pick up a bit more.

NT5s are good though and a great price!

D
 

Maleven

Member
Cheers for the input guys. Anyone got any recommendations they'd offer in terms of mic setup and positioning? Obviously a lot to pick up with just the two mics there...
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Anyone got any recommendations they'd offer in terms of mic setup and positioning? Obviously a lot to pick up with just the two mics there...
My favourite method for recording with 4 mics is one on the Kick, one on the Snare, and two overheads using the the 'Recorderman' positioning method. This is: one overhead directly above the snare, and the other over the drummer's right shoulder. I like the stereo image this method produces, and it gives a surprisingly balanced mix of the whole kit. I suppose it's a variation on the Glyn Johns method (which is also good, but when I have used GJ I always seem to get a skewed stereo image - too far to the left).

You can Google 'Recorderman Technique' to find out more details and see examples.
Note that positioning is key for the overheads. They must both be positioned so that they are an equal distance from the centre of the snare (say 32"), and also an equal (but different) distance from the point where the kick beater hits the head. This is intended to avoid phase problems with the overheads. And they should both be pointed at the centre of the snare.
 

porter

Platinum Member
also an equal (but different) distance from the point where the kick beater hits the head.
By "equal (but different)" you mean equidistant from the bass drum, which is a different distance from being equidistant from the snare, right?
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Here's some info on Recorder Man mic placement. The string method for locking in phase is right on.

I also use a kick mic (EV N/D868) and snare mic (Shure SM57) with overheads and am so happy with it, I haven't used tom mics in a few years. By using this method it has taught me to balance my playing across all drum & cymbals. Highly recommended.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
By "equal (but different)" you mean equidistant from the bass drum, which is a different distance from being equidistant from the snare, right?
Yes. For example my two overheads are each 32" from the centre of the snare, and they are each 48" from the spot where the beater hits the kick head.

The string method mentioned by cbphoto makes it easier to find where you can position the second overhead to match the first.
 
Top