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  #1  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:48 PM
dblinkhorn dblinkhorn is offline
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Default Microphones

So I'm just starting to get into the recording side of drumming now that I've joined a band. We recorded a few pieces with two MXL 990 condensers overhead. Needless to say the quality was only good enough for sample uses. My bass drum was barely being picked up, and this was the worst thing about the recordings. Anyway I ended up buying the Audix D-6 and I'm really happy with that so far.

My goal is to mic my whole kit (except snare and kick) with two overhead condensers. I was just wondering what you guys recommend for this function. I want two mics that will be able to easily pick up my cymbals and toms and still retain a nice sound quality. I'd be nice to have mics that I could use for live and recording situations. I've had the Shure SM81 recommended to me, but they are a bit pricey (but not out of the question if they're worth it). The Audix ADX51 was also recommended. This is more reasonably priced, but I'm curious about it's quality compared with the SM81 or other mics over $150. Also, right now I've been using a Shure SM57 on the top of my snare (none on the bottom). Do you guys recommend a different mic for the top, and do you recommend one for the bottom (if so, which)?

Thanks!

(P.S. I have a DW Collector's Maple kit and I prefer to use Remo Coated Ambassador heads on every drum. Remo Clear Ambassadors on the bottom, except for the snare obviously.)
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:08 PM
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sticksnstonesrus sticksnstonesrus is offline
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Default Re: Microphones

I don't recommend anything for micing the kit with only two mics...overhead. You're not going to pic up much more than cymbals and ambient noice like that. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you?!?!?

SM57's are ok for snare tops. Heck, SM57's are run of the mill for most places nowadays.

Standard live setup for me is two or three overheads, one inside the bass drum; one at the port of the bass drum, snare tops (both main and alternate snares), hi-hat, one on each tom, one on the floor tom, one for effects (chimes, bells, blast blocks).
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:18 PM
dblinkhorn dblinkhorn is offline
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Default Re: Microphones

You understood me correctly. Even using two cheap overhead condensers, they picked up the toms nicely and at a good volume compared to the cymbals which they were also picking up. My drum instructor mics his kit with only two overhead condensers (Audix ADX51), a snare mic on the vent, and a single kick mic. His recording sound good and I've teched for him live and they didn't sound bad at all. I think Danny Carey of Tool also uses this method (though I could be mistaken). My only complaint would be that the toms weren't quite loud enough when everyone else was playing loud (but they were easily audible).

Out of curiosity, why do you use an overhead inside your bass drum and another at the port?

Also, do you recommend I mic each individual tom and use the overheads only for my cymbals? I may also decide to mic my hi-hat...what would you guys recommend for that? If I decide to mic each tom, what would you recommend for those?
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:37 PM
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sticksnstonesrus sticksnstonesrus is offline
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Default Re: Microphones

It's not an overhead inside th bass drum..like a pad-mic. It's flat...more like a trigger. The condenser on the front of the port picks up the oomph.

I'd say that micing drums individually is going to get you the most clarity for each. Allows you room to balace the mix later.

Toms individually, yes. Overhead for cymbals, yes. One for hi-hats, yes.

Nobody can give you the tried and true answer becuase everything is unique for you, your setup, and your expectations for recording. What someone might have ahd great success using, could be junk for you so most are hesitant to recommend anything. Gonna have to settle on what to buy and how to use it and go from there.

Andy
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:48 AM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: Microphones

Quote:
Originally Posted by sticksnstonesrus View Post
...two mics...overhead. You're not going to pic up much more than cymbals and ambient noice like that.
Totally untrue. In fact, in a decent recording, the overheads are the main image of the kit, supported by whatever close-mics are needed. Assuming your room doesn't sound terrible (and fix it if it does, no micing technique will fix a bad room any more than it could a bad head), an X/Y or Recorderman or M-S, or whatever, with a kick mic w, will work 90% of the time. A snare mic is nice to have for parallel compression, and as a reverb send.

Most of us, most of the time, would be better served by three mics than ten.
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Old 10-09-2007, 04:05 AM
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sticksnstonesrus sticksnstonesrus is offline
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Default Re: Microphones

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Originally Posted by ermghoti View Post
Totally untrue. In fact, in a decent recording, the overheads are the main image of the kit, supported by whatever close-mics are needed. Assuming your room doesn't sound terrible (and fix it if it does, no micing technique will fix a bad room any more than it could a bad head), an X/Y or Recorderman or M-S, or whatever, with a kick mic w, will work 90% of the time. A snare mic is nice to have for parallel compression, and as a reverb send.

Most of us, most of the time, would be better served by three mics than ten.
Totally? I don't think so. I strongly disagree in that the overheads are the main image of the kit. I believe they are the brightness of the top end of the kit, mainly cymbals and top end of the batter-sides...singular compression mics for each drum individually allows for the fullness and depth that you might be looking for. Either way you cut it, there cannot be a problem using more mics to record sounds. Whereas there can be a problem in not getting enough of the shape of the kit by not using enough mics...

Either way...what works for you, might or might not work for me, or the guy actually asking the questions here. Stop confusing the guy and let him find out for himself like the rest of us. You aren't here, you don't know my sound, you aren't my soundguy, you don't the semantics...maybe you meant to say that YOU are better sevred with three mics. All for a decent recording.

Last edited by sticksnstonesrus; 10-09-2007 at 12:59 PM.
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