Singing Drummers

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I'm the occasional lead singer (different leads on different songs) and drummer of my band. I currently use a mic on a boom stand higher than my head angling downwards towards me with the microphone facing downwards towards me. This comes in from the left (right handed drummer) and is almost the full length of the boom.
I don't use a side on mic, because some songs it's near constant singing and visibility of the kit is useful for me; especially in a gig environment with an unusual kit.
My main problem is over time the mic droops down. OK for practice, annoying for gigs, and if i don't take my own mic stand to gigs, nearly impossible. I've had two catastrophic gigs with microphones falling all over the place.

I was wondering what other singing drummers use, do you particularly stable mic stands, a positioning which doesn't need full extension, or do you use a headset? If you do use a headset, what works well for you? Brand / wired or wireless?
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Hi there.

I use the Shure SM35XLR headset microphone for my lead vocals.

It's light, robust and is very clear, crisp and projects well.

I sing lead vocals on our cover of James' song LAID. It captures the falsetto well.

I absolutely, totally and utterly despise vocal mics on boom stands. My headset microphone fits well, and I use an XLR which clips onto my loop on my jeans and supports the thicker XLR cable that runs to the PA.

I don't use wireless as it's just more tech that can go wrong. Having a direct XLR is far more convenient for me.

If it's a hot night, I wear a cap backwards which stops sweat running down. I use a windsock over it to help with de-essing.

A headset gives me total freedom to look around and I don't have to keep my head lined up with a mic on a stand.

My headset fits nicely into a round Tupperware container that I keep in my gig bag.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
You could try putting the stand directly behind you and bring the mic over your head on a gooseneck. You wouldn't need full extension on the boom arm and you could even secure it to your throne if needed.
You basically end up sitting tall and singing straight ahead.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I sing, although to suggest that I'm a singer is an insult to real singers. :O

My mic comes in the same way on a boom, with a 2nd mic on there for ambience, so there's added weight. I've never had a problem with it drooping. It's tightened into position for each show, not permanently set. I don't think there's anything special about it, and it's also extended pretty far.

Bermuda
 

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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I have both a Shure Beta 56a stand mounted mic and a Shure headset mic, and I much prefer the stand mounted mic. There are a lot of times I want to back away from the mic so I can be dynamic, and a fixed headset mic does not allow for that. Plus, having a headset mic means you also have some kind of rugged foot switch to turn it on and off in case you need to cough, or to communicate with someone without going out in to the house, so the headset is a much more expensive alternative when you consider what you need for it.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I don't really think about it too much, if I'm doing backing vocals that day I just have a mic stand to my left either facing down or up.

The exact setup however is normally dictated by the space I have to play with, especially interesting on tight stages!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
SM58 on a stand to my left.

Always set the stand higher than your head and tilt the boom arm down.

If you have the boom arm straight you'll be amazed how easy it is to catch it with your stick and give you a thick lip. That's one I leant from experience. Have an old school goose neck attachment but don't really use it anymore.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
I'm wanting to try the AKG C 520 Headworn Mic. I currently have a Telefunken M81 short mic with an On-Stage Mini Microphone Boom Arm. It's not a hot mic and sounds great. I can turn it up a lot louder than the other members Shure mics before feedback. I sing better when I'm not having to sing loud so it suits me good. The short factor helps to keep it out of the way.
 

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KEEF

Senior Member
I'm wanting to try the AKG C 520 Headworn Mic. I currently have a Telefunken M81 short mic with an On-Stage Mini Microphone Boom Arm. It's not a hot mic and sounds great. I can turn it up a lot louder than the other members Shure mics before feedback. I sing better when I'm not having to sing loud so it suits me good. The short factor helps to keep it out of the way.


Loving the floor/rack tom....not seen that done before!
22 16 18 ???
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I use a boom with a gooseneck and a weighted base for most gigs. Tonight I'm actually flying a boom and gooseneck off a double-braced Gibraltar tripod (to which I will eventually add a clamp for my mixer as well).
 

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BruceW

Senior Member
Like others have said here, and like the pic in the post above mine, I use a boom stand out perpendicular, with a gooseneck coming down to where it can stay in front of me but also leaves my left arm free.

I don't use a headset, cuz I have to back away from the mic on some songs, I get a bit loud on a few of them and need to control that part of it. As much as I'd love the freedom...
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Like others have said here, and like the pic in the post above mine, I use a boom stand out perpendicular, with a gooseneck coming down to where it can stay in front of me but also leaves my left arm free.

I don't use a headset, cuz I have to back away from the mic on some songs, I get a bit loud on a few of them and need to control that part of it. As much as I'd love the freedom...
Also we say stuff on stage that's best left between bandmates so swinging the mic away from my pie hole is a good thing :)
 

rebonn

Senior Member
Turning away coughing, clearing your throat and humming the first note with my mouth closed before I sing a part to make sure I'm on key are the main reasons I use a mic. I still want to try a good sounding headworn mic though. Seems it would make it easier to play and sing.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I used to use a headset mic in a previous band and didn’t like the idea of a mic on a stand. Now I use a mic on a stand and after a small amount of positioning it and being used to it being there (& “learning” to ignore it), I’m perfectly happy with that arrangement.
What I will say is that in my experience of the mic stands we have in two bands and the mic stands I use from the 3 PA guys we regularly use, they are almost all fairly rubbish. Floppy legs, stripped threads, over tightened wing nuts etc are the order of the day. It seems to be an area where people cut costs, at least in my experience. I think that for backing singers with guitars even these rubbishy ones will “do the job”. But factor in a drummers needs regarding placement and the likelihood that a boom is going to be well or fully extended and it’s metaphorically the last straw that breaks the camel’s, or mic stand’s, back.
I’m not saying this is the case but maybe finding and buying a really good mic stand with features closer to that of a cymbal stand might be the answer.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Fred LeBlanc of Cowboy Mouth uses a boom full time. I've seen him only once with a goose neck type. Went back to the solid boom from then on.
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
straight boom stand, off to my right and behind a little, with the center pole extended really high, and the boom dropping down to in front of my face. SM58 for almost 30 years now.

I also have a headset mic, but as others will say, they aren't all that great. They pick up your breathing, coughs, grunts and cursing when you rap your knuckles on something hard and metal. lol. And you can't move in and out to add dynamics to your singing. I use it for really tight spaces or rehearsals, but that's it.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
Thank you for all your tips! I've managed to rearrange things in my room so I can carry on using my mic on a downward angled boom. I'll take my good stand to gigs to so I can recreate it live.
It was really interesting to see how you've all tackled this problem :)
Bermuda, your setup looks incredible. Well done!
Alparott, that's a fantastic photo!
 
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