Originally Posted by larryace
I think you mean condenser mics. But yeah, I'd rather have an overhead condenser than tom mics. The overheads will pick up the toms. and the cymbals.
Micing toms for a live outdoor is a waste of time IMO if you have a good pair of matched overheads. The overheads pick up the entire kit, except the bass drum.
I'm with Bo, kick mic, snare mic, and condenser overhead(s)....less fuss, all the tone.
I agree with this as well. I really don't like listening to bands that don't put up at least one overhead. If they play with any volume at all, then the cymbals and the overall tone of the kit get lost in the guitars. Your priority should be on the kick and overheads, then snare (to "fill in" what the overheads might not pick up), and then the toms. With the set of mics that you have, you should pick up a condenser mic or two.
Some options that I have used at one point or another:
- cheap but decent: Samson C02 ($140/pair)
- cheap and also decent: AT 2020 ($100 each)
- pricier, good quality: Shure SM81 ($250 each)
- expensive but worth it: Audix SCX25A ($1500/pair)
I personally have a pair of the C02's and a pair of AT2020's but I've been using the C02's more often. I usually put up one above my kit on the ride side of the kit pointing toward the snare drum (sometimes I put the other one up or use it as a hi-hat mic). I get pretty good coverage that way for my small kit (1-up 1-down with cymbals in the classic Bonham layout). I also don't roll off too much of the low end. Some people treat the overheads as "cymbal mics" and high-pass the low end at too high a frequency for my tastes. I high-pass the overheads at about 150hz to eliminate stage rumble. I want to hear the overall tone of the entire kit through the overheads and let the tom/snare mics add attack and low-end fullness.
We did a show last weekend where another band opened up for us and I got to hear my kit from the FOH during a full show instead of just during line check. It sounded great.