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Old 03-06-2017, 11:48 AM
dani1720 dani1720 is offline
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Default Mics for live performance

I just got a new acustic 5 pieces kit and I want to mic it for our gigs. I played with an electronic kit before wich was pretty easy to get through the PA.

We are 5 in our band, 2 guitars, bass, singer and me. We play classic rock and we play mostly in small venues, small pubs or hotels, sometimes inside sometimes outside.
I have only 4 channels for the drum kit in our mixer.

2 of the mics will be a sm57 on snare and a d112 on the kick. But after researching a lot I am still not sure about the other 2. My options are 2 overheads or 2 tom mics. We have 4 mics for vocals. And normally they are pretty close to me so I think my cymbals will get through.

In case I decide for the tom mics one mic would be between the 2 rack toms and the other for the floor tom.

My budget is 300$ for either the 2 tom mics or the 2 overheads. I was thinking to get the Sennheiser E604s or the Rode M5s.

Any advice?
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:26 PM
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Morrisman Morrisman is offline
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

For rock/pop music the toms will benefit from being close mic'd. Cymbals sound good regardless.
On this same situation, I placed a 57 between the two rack toms, and another one on the floor tom. I have some Shure 56D clamps, which let me place the centre mic a bit higher and centered. Sennhesier 604's will sound good, but you'll need a different clamp for the one between two toms.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:59 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Have you ever listened to a recording of just overheads? Do this and listen to what is (and isn't) there. You'll get plenty of cymbals, but the sound coming from the snare and toms will be "thin" -- not much low end in there.

Does your mixer have the ability to put gates and EQ on the tom channels? Nearly always, the toms require some noise gating and EQ in order to sound good through the PA, and not ring out sympathetically from loud amps nearby. If you can't put those things on the tom signals, it'll be better to not close mic the toms.

Live, start with one overhead, and see how it goes. A pair of overheads in small rooms is probably not necessary. One overhead will pick up cymbals, snare, hi-hat, and tom. If things go well, you might try a second mic on the floor tom, in order to give it some oomph (especially if your PA has subs).
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

I've seen several outdoor gigs where the cymbals weren't mic'ed, but all of the drums were. Sounded great!

I'd get 57's for the toms and let the cymbals go for now. IMO, you really don't need overheads until you are playing larger venues.
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

What kind of venues are you playing? How many people. Any outdoor gigs?
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

For most small venues pubs etc you don't really need any mics on the kit.

You can get away with x3 mics to do the whole kit. It's like a close mic Glynn Johns technique. I had a sound engineer use it ages ago and it sounded great I've used it ever since it goes like this:

x1 bass drum mic
x1 sm57 between snare and top tom
x1 sm57 between floor toms or 2nd tom and floor tom

Personally I'd recommend the Audix D6 for bass drum just because it makes your bass drum sound great whatever tuning/dampening/ported/unported etc you're using.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:52 PM
dani1720 dani1720 is offline
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Thanks for all the answers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
On this same situation, I placed a 57 between the two rack toms, and another one on the floor tom. I have some Shure 56D clamps, which let me place the centre mic a bit higher and centered.
So is it possible to use a clamp instead of a boom stand for the one between the 2 rack toms? And in that case can I use a 56D clamp also for the E604?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Does your mixer have the ability to put gates and EQ on the tom channels?
Just EQ and compressor for the tom channels. And no sub in the PA we have 2 Mackie Thump 15.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummer-russ View Post
What kind of venues are you playing? How many people. Any outdoor gigs?
Small venues max 100 people. Sometimes outdoors. Maybe for that it would be enough with snare and kick mics?



And most of you are recommending the sm57 over the E604. Is the Shure better to place it between 2 toms? Will it get less bleeding? I like the Sennheiser because it is smaller and it looks easier to place with a clamp but maybe Im wrong.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:41 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by dani1720 View Post
And most of you are recommending the sm57 over the E604. Is the Shure better to place it between 2 toms? Will it get less bleeding? I like the Sennheiser because it is smaller and it looks easier to place with a clamp but maybe Im wrong.
There were a number of small venue gigs that were fully covered by kick and snare (B52 and SM57). We'd often set up overheads and not use them at all in the mix, or to flip them in order to use them to reduce the cymbal volume and bleed-through on the vocal mics.

The biggest reason for the 57 over the 604 is "sound guys". This is to say, part-time audio guys are going to have experience with 57's, and may lack time spent with the 604. If you have a full time sound guy, or have time to invest on learning the nuances of the 604, then go for it. IIRC, I had a bit of learning to do when I switched from a 57 to a 609 on guitar, and ultimately came to rest on a 58 with the ball taken off.

As for mic'ing between two toms.... I'd try to avoid this, as you tend to get some undesirable rim click and overtones. If I were in a pinch and had to do it, I'd use a 58.

If I were going to plan out a live mic setup on a tight budget, I'd put the money toward a good overhead mic, a good BD mic, and one 57 for the snare. I'd use crappy $20 Samson/CAD/Pyle mics on the toms. I might get a $30 cigar-SDC if I did a lot of work on the hat.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Really small places I only mic the kick. Next is to use two overheads angled more toward the toms. I do this partly because I am a light hitter and I like to improve the tone of the drums. Outside I do close mic each drum and use two overheads. In my opinion with small venues like you are talking about you can use cheaper drums mics like the CAD mics.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

I use Behringer C-2's on the snare and toms, and a D112 on the kick. You need phantom power for the condensers, but boy, they give you a great live tom sound, Roll the switch to -10db though.....they are cheap, reliable and fat sounding. I use gates though to keep the noise floor down and just get the toms. And on the kick. Not the snare or hat though, that gets a bit weird if you set them too tight. I always mike drums, in any room. Reason being, unmiked drums sound all "attacky" and you don't really get the bottom like drums on recordings, the drums on CD's and stuff are really present in the mix, and really deep. I look at it this way.....if you want to be a "big boy", then present yourself like one. Unmiked drums are for novices! "Lounge Bands"....LOL!
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Old 03-07-2017, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

In all the gigs I have ever played, I have never had my overheads miked. Its always close mics, if any (the tiny venues without sound people obviously have no mics).
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:23 PM
dani1720 dani1720 is offline
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Well we play mostly in small venues, 100 people max. And we dont have a dedicated sound guy. When we play in larger venues there is usually a sound guy and they provide PA and mics.

Maybe for now it will be enough with just kick and snare, or even just kick?
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Kick and snare is a good starting point - the kick can be EQ'd to suit, and the snare can have some reverb and EQ as required.

Back to the 56D - the arm which holds the mic can go backwards or forwards, up or down, so it is versatile enough for one drum or between a pair of toms.

Re 604/SM57. The 57 well known, and much cheaper in some countries. I feel the 604 is a more accurate mic, but the 57 still sounds very good close mic'ed.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by dani1720 View Post
Well we play mostly in small venues, 100 people max. And we dont have a dedicated sound guy. When we play in larger venues there is usually a sound guy and they provide PA and mics.

Maybe for now it will be enough with just kick and snare, or even just kick?
Venues that size? Yeah, kick and snare will do nicely. Heck, sometimes you don't even need the snare.

It's nice to have everything miked up, but it's not necessary, despite what Funkutron says. I wouldn't listen to a guy who throws shade about "big boys" right after he goes all fanboi over cheap Chinese SDCs, anyway. His judgment is clearly questionable.
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
Re 604/SM57. The 57 well known, and much cheaper in some countries. I feel the 604 is a more accurate mic, but the 57 still sounds very good close mic'ed.
There's also something to be said for form factor and how it influences playing ergonomics, nonetheless visual appeal.

In addition to the 604, I just feel that there are plenty of better alternatives to the admittedly venerable 57. I don't buy into the argument that the 57 might be better because of a collection of idiots who only know how to mix with a 57. Mic tech has come a ways in the past 50 years, and you can find smaller mics with better transient response, more desirable frequency curves, and more off axis rejection for close to the same money.

Also, you could submix into your existing PA system and get more than 4 channels, but you're already stretching your 300 dollar budget. Regardless, when it comes to this stuff, I don't advise buying garbage you'll end up being unhappy with and replacing, get solid gear from the start.

I'd agree that you'd probably be fine just micing the bass drum. That's the one that tends to get lost. Beyond that, I'm personally not much of a fan of additionally micing the snare without the toms, because it sounds anemic out front when I do fills or play parts with a lot of tom work. If I was to that point, I'd rather just ditch the toms for consistency in sound. However, I suppose YMMV by genre. The need for overheads on small stages is mitigated by bleed into vocal mics.
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Old 03-09-2017, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

I haven't miced my drums since 2010. Mainly, I am playing nowhere near the volume that is possible with an acoustic drum set. I do believe I could clear most rooms I play in without any mics at all. But like I said, probably the single biggest things the musicians and audience members like about me is my volume control.

That said, a little presence in the PA does sound nice.

Plus all bands are different. If you don't need mics....they are a giant hassle.

E kits...you need amplification. Acoustic drums...you're the amplifier, microphones, EQ, volume knob, everything.
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Old 03-09-2017, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by STXBob View Post
Venues that size? Yeah, kick and snare will do nicely. Heck, sometimes you don't even need the snare.

It's nice to have everything miked up, but it's not necessary, despite what Funkutron says. I wouldn't listen to a guy who throws shade about "big boys" right after he goes all fanboi over cheap Chinese SDCs, anyway. His judgment is clearly questionable.
What I meant was, if you want to have a real pro sounding mix, a modern mix, where the drums are deep and fat like on a CD, then you have to mike the drums properly. If you've ever been to "Woodstick" in the Seattle area, compare the sound of the "big boys" who are up on the stage all miked up with the drummers who are on the floor. There's NO comparison. Of course, the band itself needs to have a full reinforcement system with 18" subs and enough watts to make that happen as well. A couple of 15's with horns up on poles is not going to cut it!

One more thing....you don't mike drums to make them LOUD per se, but to get a certain sound. It's no different than an electric vs an acoustic guitar. When you mike drums, digital reverb can be added, gating, compression, eq, etc., so it's no different than a guitar player seeking a certain sound from his amp/effects, etc..what I try to achieve is a microcosm of a big concert sound, but scaled back for a club venue. But the fat sound is still there.

Honestly, such hostility here sometimes! The Behringer C-2's do have a nice sound on the toms, I've been using them since 2009, and they are still working. And if I had to replace them, it would be really cheap.

Last edited by funkutron; 03-09-2017 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkutron View Post
What I meant was, if you want to have a real pro sounding mix, a modern mix, where the drums are deep and fat like on a CD, then you have to mike the drums properly. If you've ever been to "Woodstick" in the Seattle area, compare the sound of the "big boys" who are up on the stage all miked up with the drummers who are on the floor. There's NO comparison. Of course, the band itself needs to have a full reinforcement system with 18" subs and enough watts to make that happen as well. A couple of 15's with horns up on poles is not going to cut it!

One more thing....you don't mike drums to make them LOUD per se, but to get a certain sound. It's no different than an electric vs an acoustic guitar. When you mike drums, digital reverb can be added, gating, compression, eq, etc., so it's no different than a guitar player seeking a certain sound from his amp/effects, etc..what I try to achieve is a microcosm of a big concert sound, but scaled back for a club venue. But the fat sound is still there.

Honestly, such hostility here sometimes! The Behringer C-2's do have a nice sound on the toms, I've been using them since 2009, and they are still working. And if I had to replace them, it would be really cheap.
For my part, I'm sorry I threw shade back, now I understand you more completely. I thought you were saying, "I mic everything, I do it right, everyone else does it wrong." I'm glad you weren't saying that.

Yeah, it was a cheap shot about the Behringers. ;-) I like Behringer gear, by and large. I mean, they're not AKG 414s, but if they work, they work.

I dig what you're saying about Woodstick (I went and looked it up). However, that's an entirely different animal than a 4 or 5 piece band in a room that fits 100 people. Yeah, it's nice to get a full mix, but it's not necessary by any means. That's what I and others were trying to get across. I - and most every drummer I know in the same situation - get a great sound in a 100-person house miking only kick and snare.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:13 PM
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For my part, I'm sorry I threw shade back, now I understand you more completely. I thought you were saying, "I mic everything, I do it right, everyone else does it wrong." I'm glad you weren't saying that.

Yeah, it was a cheap shot about the Behringers. ;-) I like Behringer gear, by and large. I mean, they're not AKG 414s, but if they work, they work.

I dig what you're saying about Woodstick (I went and looked it up). However, that's an entirely different animal than a 4 or 5 piece band in a room that fits 100 people. Yeah, it's nice to get a full mix, but it's not necessary by any means. That's what I and others were trying to get across. I - and most every drummer I know in the same situation - get a great sound in a 100-person house miking only kick and snare.
Thank you. But to me, and for MY taste...not everyone's mind you....if you're going to mike the kick you should mike the toms as well, because any licks you do on the toms and kick together should all blend in the mix. The snare usually cuts through, but if you want reverb on it you gotta mike it. The worst thing is to have the snare bleeding through the drummer's vocal mike and then it gets delay on it. So the snare mike should overpower that. And then the drummer should use a Hypercardioid mike for his vocals to help eliminate snare bleed.
I am cursed with also being a sound guy as well as a drummer, so I carry this burden throughout life! LOL!
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Old 03-10-2017, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Cheap shots about Behringer aside, I did a big concert yesterday and mixed it all from a Behringer X32. I've never used a better digital desk. The compressor on it in particular is brilliant and it's just such an easy desk to use. For live use, I would highly recommend it - particularly with the S16 digital snake.
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by funkutron View Post
Thank you. But to me, and for MY taste...not everyone's mind you....if you're going to mike the kick you should mike the toms as well, because any licks you do on the toms and kick together should all blend in the mix. The snare usually cuts through, but if you want reverb on it you gotta mike it. The worst thing is to have the snare bleeding through the drummer's vocal mike and then it gets delay on it. So the snare mike should overpower that. And then the drummer should use a Hypercardioid mike for his vocals to help eliminate snare bleed.
I am cursed with also being a sound guy as well as a drummer, so I carry this burden throughout life! LOL!
Yeah.... I'm a huge convert from this philosophy. Two good overheads give an amazing perspective of the kit from the drivers seat. For recording and for bigger shows I would mic each drum plus overheads, but for small live venues? Hell yeah to one kick + two overheads! It's capable of overkill! Further, it does not over saturate the sound with cymbals (I'm hearing a bit of that) and BTW I'm a "sound guy" too and I own and operate several full systems that I rent. Everything from acoustic shows, to clubs, to outdoor festivals. There's a time and a place for two over, one under and a small venue is one. You can do a lot of extra leg work for little to no gain mic'ing toms with no overheads. Also, why spend this time on drums when you could be spending it on vocals. Sorry, soundman perspective.

2 up 1 down!

Last edited by The SunDog; 03-11-2017 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:30 PM
Daljeet Singh Daljeet Singh is offline
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by dani1720 View Post
I just got a new acustic 5 pieces kit and I want to mic it for our gigs. I played with an electronic kit before wich was pretty easy to get through the PA.

We are 5 in our band, 2 guitars, bass, singer and me. We play classic rock and we play mostly in small venues, small pubs or hotels, sometimes inside sometimes outside.
I have only 4 channels for the drum kit in our mixer.

2 of the mics will be a sm57 on snare and a d112 on the kick. But after researching a lot I am still not sure about the other 2. My options are 2 overheads or 2 tom mics. We have 4 mics for vocals. And normally they are pretty close to me so I think my cymbals will get through.

In case I decide for the tom mics one mic would be between the 2 rack toms and the other for the floor tom.

My budget is 300$ for either the 2 tom mics or the 2 overheads. I was thinking to get the Sennheiser E604s or the Rode M5s.

Any advice?

Hi, I'm currently in your position here and I'm interested to know what you decided to do?


Thanks
Dal
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  #23  
Old 10-30-2017, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Mics for live performance

My experience is different from what many people on here are recommending. Personally in all my years of gigging smallish to mid sized rooms, I only mic the kick, and that's plenty for us. Next step up always seems to be close mic the toms and snare, but to me that's a much larger room before I'd bother to go there.

I do have one of those cheapy 7 piece CAD mic sets that I picked up on sale, and it's ok in a pinch for having a full set for yourself, because any larger gigs and venues and outdoor festivals, they generally have the mics for you, so it's not your problem any more.
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