Minimal drum mic setup
My roommate and I are planning on recording a few songs in january and I need to buy mics for my kit. I'm in college so I obviously don't have a big budget but I was thinking of buying a package that comes with the AKG D112 Kick Drum Mic and the Shure SM57 Mic plus stands and cables. It costs 299 but do you think that I could get a decent sound from just two microphones or would you buy a third? How would that setup sound?
Re: Minimal drum mic setup
If you're only going with two, I would recommend getting some kind of pencil condenser mic as your one overhead. The SM57 is OK, but it mostly excels as a close-up mic, like if you were to mic your snare only. If you want to capture the entire kit nicely, a condenser would be the way to go. When I use two mics on my kit, I have a SM58 that I stick about two inches inside my bass drum port, and an AKG SE300B as my pencil condenser overhead and it sounds great.
I would almost recommend going cheaper on your bass drum mic and getting a good condenser, especially since your budget is so low. Like I said, a simple Shure SM58 in the bass drum doesn't sound that bad. You could save $100 on that alone, and then you'd have two mics you could use for everything.
BUt you haven't said what you're plugging into. I'm guessing some kind of computer interface? Make sure that's good too - the mic is only as good as the pre-amp its plugged into. Good luck!
Re: Minimal drum mic setup
If you really are on a budget then I would recommend the Røde NT5 as a solid budget choice for an overhead. I've used these fairly extensively and can produce decent results.
An SM58 and an NT5 would be a good budget choice for a mono setup. A pair of NT5s and an SM58 would work well for a stereo setup. For the bass drum mic, you want a dynamic mic with a relatively large diaphragm (most are). Dynamic mics in my experience are much less sensitive to budget than condensers, so if you need to make savings, that's where it would be.
Remember also that placement is far more important than the mics you are using. A good acoustic environment with good placement with budget microphones will produce much better results than high-end microphones and poor placement. To this end, I would recommend a that you buy a good audio textbook with some of the savings you make.
I've always been an advocate of 'Modern Recording Techniques':
I've owned an older copy for five or six years and I still refer to it on occasion. A good textbook will make up for savings in other areas. It's a very good value equation to buy it once and then decide what you want to do.
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