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  #1  
Old 09-27-2010, 06:36 PM
DingerJunkie DingerJunkie is offline
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Default Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

Hey there folks...been a while...sorry for the lack of posting. Got a slightly different question than usual for you all. Hope this is the proper sub-forum for the question.

I'm usually singing backing vocals, with occaional lead duties, from behind the kit. I've grown tired of dealing with a headset (Crown CM311) and wish to switch to a dynamic on an overhead boom.

The mounting setup will be similar to the system I've seen Greg Bissonnette endorsing recently...boom mic stand clamped to the drum throne, over the head, with a gooseneck to get the mic into position for singing. While that is easy enough to figure out, finding the right mic is an issue of unknowns.

I really want to get as close as possible to complete rejection of the kit in the mic...off-axis and rear rejection is paramount. Yes, I can gate the mic, but drum bleed-through only when I sing will cause the soundman to get ulcers for sure...cymbal levels jumping up and down, etc... So, tight focus and gain-before-feedback are critical.

Contenders so far include...
  • Audio Technica AE6100
  • EV N/D967
  • Audix OM7
  • Shure Super-55 (not the SH Series-II)
  • AKG D5

Anyone here have experience with these mics? Any better suggestions? This is for a full-range male vocal, non-screamer/growler, no stratospheric 80's metal leads.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

I've done alot of singing so far and I don't think you could ever get complete rejection of the kit with a stand-mounted mic. I've used the Crown 311 and because it's a powered condenser, it sounds good but is a little more sensitive as well.

What about a dynamic headworn mic? I'm currently trying to use the Shure WH20 dynamic headworn mic and it sounds great so far. Before that I used a Shure Beta 56 as my vocal mic on a boom stand (small, good rejection). I never stray too far away from the SM57 or 58, though.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DingerJunkie View Post

I'm usually singing backing vocals, with occaional lead duties, from behind the kit. I've grown tired of dealing with a headset (Crown CM311) and wish to switch to a dynamic on an overhead boom.

The mounting setup will be similar to the system I've seen Greg Bissonnette endorsing recently...boom mic stand clamped to the drum throne, over the head, with a gooseneck to get the mic into position for singing. While that is easy enough to figure out, finding the right mic is an issue of unknowns.

I really want to get as close as possible to complete rejection of the kit in the mic...off-axis and rear rejection is paramount. Yes, I can gate the mic, but drum bleed-through only when I sing will cause the soundman to get ulcers for sure...cymbal levels jumping up and down, etc... So, tight focus and gain-before-feedback are critical.



I agree there's no way to eliminate the drums through the mic and you shouldn't even worry about it. As far as the mic choice, I recommend getting the same mic the other singers are using, mixing mic's on stage is asking for feedback opportunities.

The best thing you can do for the sound man is get your mic with a switch so you can turn it off when you're not singing so he doesn't have to.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

ProCo makes a little stomp box called the "Cough Drop" (I believe that's the name). You plug your headset mic into in and then plug the box into the PA. You can shut your mic off when you're not singing with it. I think it costs about $70, the hip thing about it is that it allows the phantom power from the board to go through it to power the mic. Very cool.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:55 AM
DingerJunkie DingerJunkie is offline
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

Well, I'm about to try something completely new. I just had a phone conversation and email exchange with Bob Heil from Heil Sound. He is working on a variant of the PR-30, and I may have a chance to evaluate one. Current testing shows a 40DB drop to the rear, with a very tight pattern...plus typical Heil sonic performance.

That kind of db drop would mean one would pretty much not hear their own snare through their vocal mic.

I'll post back with the results.
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2010, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
I agree there's no way to eliminate the drums through the mic and you shouldn't even worry about it. As far as the mic choice, I recommend getting the same mic the other singers are using, mixing mic's on stage is asking for feedback opportunities.

The best thing you can do for the sound man is get your mic with a switch so you can turn it off when you're not singing so he doesn't have to.
Unfortunately, shutting off the mic doesn't stop my drum levels from spiking when the mic gets turned on. There is a way to get this done...just a matter of time and the right equipment.

I've done the headset thing for quite a while. Due to some reconstructive surgery on my right outer ear, none are comfortable for more than a few minutes. In addition, they don't hold up to a consistent workload of 8 to 10 one-nighters per month.

So, the quest is still on for the right mic...here's to hoping I can evaluate that Heil unit.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

I use the Shure SH55 Series II, and I love it to bits. You say you'd rather have the Super-55, which is understandable if you can afford it, so I'll just point out how amazingly comfortable it is to have a microphone that takes up very little room in front of my face. I have it hanging upside down right in front of me, so there's no need for head-turning, and I can maintain a very comfortable playing style. I can definitely recommend this style of microphone to any singing drummer. With the "normal" style of microphone, the mic and cable would extend a good 20-25 cm in front of my face, while the SH55 probably takes up about a third of that. No more whacking the microphone with my sticks :-)

For what it's worth, I'm very happy with the SH55 (and so is our sound man, which is a big bonus), and I'll recommend it to anyone who can't afford the Super-55. I still see the SH-55 in widespread use among big artists out there.

I mount it on a gooseneck with the stand boom hanging above my head, just like you say you plan to do:
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

I too like the looks of the Shure SH55 or any of it's variations, especially in a live gigging situation. What I use in the studio on vocalizing drummers is the DPA cardioid head worn microphone. I believe it's the model 4088. I run it through a noise gate with it's threshold set very high and in addition to it's cardioid pick up pattern, I'm able to alleviate a lot of the kits sound bleeding into the vocal mic. What's really nice about a head worn microphone is that it always stays a constant distance from the singers lips. The DPA is a bit expensive, but it sounds like a large diaphragm mic squeezed into the size of a pill. It's always better to record their vocals separately, but a lot of times they loose the excitement of the moment if individually tracked.

Dennis
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

i use a sennhieser 925 for my vocals from front or back of the kit and never had any problems with bleed threw from anything else. granted i don't do much singing from behind a kit unless it's in the studio but any of the recordings we've done in the past 6 months have never had any spikes from the drums. not a grossly expensive mic but does the trick just fine.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

Unfortunately, shutting off the mic doesn't stop my drum levels from spiking when the mic gets turned on. There is a way to get this done...just a matter of time and the right equipment.


I never turn the mic on during a song and if I do, 'spikes' haven't been a problem.

If one was going to just sing back-up's say in the chorus, they would turn the mic on at the beginning of the song and leave it on throughout.

Since a drummers mic is facing backwards to the drums, already behind the set usually and relatively far from a drum source, there's already mucho rejection happening.

A switch is great when the drummer doesn't sing a particular song as the mic/stand can be moved away from its singing position w/o worrying about feedback, or the sound man.

ProCo makes a little stomp box called the "Cough Drop" (I believe that's the name). You plug your headset mic into in and then plug the box into the PA. You can shut your mic off when you're not singing with it. I think it costs about $70

The reality is a stomp box it just another thing to buy, then you need another cord and if its you the drummer setting-up, its two more things you need to jack around with. I've used them, they blow compared to a switch on the mic. Cord $20 box $70... just buy another mic with a switch, dodge the extra hassle of being penalized with two more pieces of gear.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
[i][font="Arial Narrow"]

The reality is a stomp box it just another thing to buy, then you need another cord and if its you the drummer setting-up, its two more things you need to jack around with. I've used them, they blow compared to a switch on the mic. Cord $20 box $70... just buy another mic with a switch, dodge the extra hassle of being penalized with two more pieces of gear.
I hear what you're saying. But the reality is, when you're using a headworn mic that you can't turn off, what do you do when you have to cough? You can't pull the headmic off every time you want to sneeze or something, and sometimes there's no time to signal the sound guy to shut it off for you in time. Hell, in most situations there is no soundman for most of us.

I just consider it part of the cost of doing it right. We pride ourselves on these wonderful drumsets we own that cost thousands of dollars, yet we're gonna scream about another $90 to add to a headmic that cost at most, under $300? If my money-making ability gets an advantage by my singing, that's an easier cost to justify compared to some threads here where people are asking about what china cymbal (under $250 maybe? + another $90 for a stand?) they should get next, eh?

Yeah, the last wedding I played at the bride was ravin' about my china cymbal use ;)
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  #12  
Old 10-02-2010, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I hear what you're saying. But the reality is, when you're using a headworn mic that you can't turn off, what do you do when you have to cough? You can't pull the headmic off every time you want to sneeze or something, and sometimes there's no time to signal the sound guy to shut it off for you in time. Hell, in most situations there is no soundman for most of us.

I just consider it part of the cost of doing it right. We pride ourselves on these wonderful drumsets we own that cost thousands of dollars, yet we're gonna scream about another $90 to add to a headmic that cost at most, under $300? If my money-making ability gets an advantage by my singing, that's an easier cost to justify compared to some threads here where people are asking about what china cymbal (under $250 maybe? + another $90 for a stand?) they should get next, eh?

Yeah, the last wedding I played at the bride was ravin' about my china cymbal use ;)

A stomp box with head worn condenser mic? OK, but haven't we already determined a head worn mic is in itself a pain in the ass, unless maybe you're singing every song?

I've worn head set mic's, they blow. For those of you who're considering one, just imagine clips over your ears and a plastic/metal frame girdling your face every time you make a slight move, then a wire getting tangled in your hair (if you have any)... oh and all this is happening even on the songs you don't sing on, and that's just the physical negatives.

God forbid you take the head set off, when you put it back on you have to dick with positioning the mic perfectly in front of your mouth, a millimeter the wrong way (or in some instances just turning your head) and feeeeeee- back, or less bass/treble response... its a constant bytoch if you're even slightly physical behind the kit.

My head worn phase lasted about a week with an AKG C-420, a condenser that needed a pop free switch (b/f they were commercially available for $70).

I made a foot switch out of an unused guitar stomp box... simple and cheap, something to consider if you can solder and don't want to spend $70 + and you're hell bent on a head worn mic.

But then IMO, there are too many advantages to a stand mounted mic behind the drum kit to even consider messing with a head worn, first and foremost for me is comfort, I found head worns to be constant annoyance.


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Last edited by Les Ismore; 10-02-2010 at 02:59 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2010, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

Understood. I sing most of the time on my end. But, I also own enough stuff to change my mind too. So, if I'm so inclined, I won't mind carrying an extra stand and a mic, either.

Again, I still consider it the cost of doing business. If you sing enough, then it's worth the investment. If you don't, then don't do it. I've certainly played on small enough stages that having a big boom stand to get a mic to me was a real hassle. If not for me, then for someone else sharing the space with me. And like I said, if I have the gig mostly because I can sing, then I'll invest in the things that will help me to do it all the time.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Vocalist-drummer...mic advice?

I sing/play a lot, head worn feels like a piece of crap on my face and again, that piece of crap on your face even on the songs you ain't singing... poop!

I can see a tripod base mic stand taking up room, its why I don't use one unless its provided and there's space.

If you're the one packin' a round, or triangle base is the shizzle.


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