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  #1  
Old 07-17-2011, 04:12 AM
eskjg eskjg is offline
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Default Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Any advice on drum kit mic'ing in a small venue ? Bass drum and snare only ? should the whole kit be mic'ed ?
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

You can mic the entire kit if your band plays real loud.
If your band plays at moderate levels you will probably only have to mic the kick.
If your band plays at low volumes you won't need any mics.
It depends on your band and the sound that you want.
My advice is for the band to play at the lowest volume level possible that allows the type of music that you play to sound good.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Plenty of small rooms I've gotten away just a kick and nothing else. I suppose it depends on just how small of a venue, and as Bob pointed out, the over all volume of the band.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

I've gotten away with NOT miking my kit in small rooms. Depends on the room, though. Basically, mic what's needed. Every room is different...
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Micing a kick can sure help fatten it's sound even if you don't have a real need for extra volume. A properly tuned snare cuts through pretty well anyway, at least the way I play. If I needed just a bit more volume, perhaps one over head and the bass mic would be a better choice in my mind than bass and snare...

Lots of valid opinions on this topic though, and a lot depends on your natural balance on the kit as well as how you tune.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Even in small venues I always mic the kick and fly an overhead. I might not always need the overhead, but it is there if I want to have it dialed in.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

We play small venues most of the time and I mic the kick and thats it.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

The most common event in small venues for me is either no mics at all, or just the bass drum. Played with my kit a in club last night with no mics and it was fine.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
You can mic the entire kit if your band plays real loud.
If your band plays at moderate levels you will probably only have to mic the kick.
If your band plays at low volumes you won't need any mics.
It depends on your band and the sound that you want.
My advice is for the band to play at the lowest volume level possible that allows the type of music that you play to sound good.
If it's a small venue, you could easily play at loud volume with no miking at all, depending on your set and style. A lot depends on how small is small.

I play mostly small venues and there is never any need to mic my kit. A band that is too loud for the room is overbearing and reduces the audience's enjoyment.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

I appreciate all of the posts. One frustration is that a mic'ed drum kit in a large venue has such an incredible sound. There just doesn't seem to be a good way to duplicate that in a small venue.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Don't try to get stadium sound in a small venue.
Try to make it so that the drums are heard in the mix as they really sound.
Play the small venue just as you play at a practice session.

I have seen many bands blow a small room out with excessive volume levels.
That is a mistake.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

there's really not much need to mic a kit in a small venue. i've seen crowds diminish in a matter of seconds from cats playing too loud w/o mics
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

I always look at situations like these as "sound reinforcement". You would completely treat a 100 seat venue very differently than you would 50,000 seat stadium. In a small room if all instruments blend well together, then probably all that's required is reinforcing the singer's voice. If something out front is being lost, then I would also reinforce that. Depending on the size and especially the occupancy of the room, miking each individual instrument can add a very nice depth and evenly mixed sound to the front of the house. Maybe in your situation all that's really necessary is a bass drum mic and may be an overhead thrown in. It all depends on each particular venue.

Again, use what is necessary and don't blow the crowd out the door with preposterous levels regardless of the size of the venue. Your live drums won't sound as if they're in a stadium, unless they actually are.

Dennis
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

+1 on AT's advice.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2011, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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Originally Posted by eskjg View Post
I appreciate all of the posts. One frustration is that a mic'ed drum kit in a large venue has such an incredible sound. There just doesn't seem to be a good way to duplicate that in a small venue.
You'll never duplicate that stadium sound in a small room. It's a physical impossibility. If sound is your goal, concentrate on getting your kit sound as good as possible. In an unmic'd situation, sustain translates to "fatness" in the mix of most amplified music. That solid short thud you can get easily by tuning low and/or muffling when listening behind the kit, translates to something like hitting a cardboard box out front. Tune them a touch higher on the resos than usual, let them sing out, & get your band to balance the mix around the kit volume. A bit of extra weight, not volume, from the bass drum can help out the power in the mix, but only consider that if you've got the PA to deliver low frequencies. The moment you lift the volume of the bass drum, the rest of the kit is automatically out of balance, & it's the toms that suffer first. Once you start down that road, then progressively, everything needs micing, & the band just gets louder & louder.

A small room can only take so much sound. Pushing too much into a small space is asking those frequencies to fight with each other. It just gets all muddy, harsh, & generally horrible. When putting up a band mix, if there's an inbalance, ask first what you can take away, rather than automatically boosting the element that's low.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

I've done the gamut, and have concluded that it's best to mic' it up and just not pump out a lot of volume if it's not necessary. When you do this, you're creating a source point at the PA speakers for the audience's sound rather than from behind a wall of bandmates. Even with very little volume in the PA, the drums sound a lot clearer. Same goes for guitar amps, etc- keep the volume down, mic it, and put however much you need- but no more- in the PA so that the audience's source is the speakers and not the cabinet behind the guitarist's ass.
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  #17  
Old 07-19-2011, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Size of room / placement of kit / number of people in audience will all determine the answer. As per AT's comment, if you view it as sound reinforcement rather than straight amplification then you'll be right.

You can achieve the stadium sound, but it needs judicious use of a few FX to simulate that bigness.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

I do it, because it means I can concentrate on the groovem rather than hitting harder to cut through the mix. Its a seven piece band, with brass section, so finding a voice unmiced can be difficult. Micing just makes everything simpler, and the front of house sound much more levelled.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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I do it, because it means I can concentrate on the groovem rather than hitting harder to cut through the mix. Its a seven piece band, with brass section, so finding a voice unmiced can be difficult. Micing just makes everything simpler, and the front of house sound much more levelled.
"Cutting through the band" also means, in a smaller venue, overpowering the audience and being plain obnoxious. A gig is not a competition between band members as to who can be louder than who.

With a seven-piece band in a small venue, you should all be thinking of ways to play less loud, not more loud.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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"Cutting through the band" also means, in a smaller venue, overpowering the audience and being plain obnoxious. A gig is not a competition between band members as to who can be louder than who.

With a seven-piece band in a small venue, you should all be thinking of ways to play less loud, not more loud.
Not at all in the over powering stakes - I'm not a hard hitter, at all, and tend to get lost in the mix. The venues we play are generally 200-300 people, so kit micing is right for us.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Hi
80% of my gigs are small rooms.....I offer the following comments:
Depending on the room sized and band I use different number of mic's
1. No Mic's
2. Just an overhead mic.
3. Overhead mic,snare mic and bass drum
4. Fully mic'd kit

I love the sound I get from any of one my kits with one overhead mic!!!!!!!!
Denis
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

I think it's fun being mic'd at small venues, especially my bass drum, but not necessary.
Also if you don't have the time to get the mix right or have a bad sound guy then it'll definitely harm some things.

Overall I agree with bob though, adapt it to what your band is doing.
I play in a 3 piece and the guitarist uses a limited amount of distortion and I've never had a problem with fitting into that sound without mics, but I think mics do add a bit of brilliance and clarity.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Depends on how hard you play, how loud the rest of the band is, the PA system that's available, how big your kit is... Plenty of variables.

I play a 20" kick in most live situations with the Jimmy DeGrasso snare. I generally mic the kick and toms and leave the snare cause it's such a beast. Usually, what you want to do is mic the snare and the kick as those are the two most important drums. However, if you use a lot of toms, you might want to mic those as well. I tend to leave cymbals alone cause they cut through enough in smaller venues.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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Originally Posted by The Modernist View Post
Not at all in the over powering stakes - I'm not a hard hitter, at all, and tend to get lost in the mix. The venues we play are generally 200-300 people, so kit micing is right for us.
200-300 people is good for miking. Is that what you mean when you say a "small venue"? I was thinking more like a large coffee shop, small bar, etc.

I have seen people mike their kits in coffee shops and it's just plain obnoxious.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

We play small bars and pubs. Usually no more than 100 peeps on a good night.
A mic in the kick is plenty as the rest of the kit is plenty loud enough.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
200-300 people is good for miking. Is that what you mean when you say a "small venue"? I was thinking more like a large coffee shop, small bar, etc.

I have seen people mike their kits in coffee shops and it's just plain obnoxious.
We obviously had crossed wires. For a small bar, I'd only mic the bass drum for a bit of extra oomph.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

I always close-mic everything, regardless of venue. While most people think you mic for volume, it should NEVER be about volume; it should be about balance, first and foremost. It's a side benefit to have a volume control. ;-)

It's so nice when everything is coming through the mains. In a small venue, you obviously want to turn down, but again, think about what people normally are used to hearing in everyday life. When you listen to the stereo EVERYTHING comes out of the speakers. Same with an MP3 player, or even your computer speakers. So, we mic all drums and all instruments. The nice thing about doing this is that even if you turn down, you can "fill" from the mains, even if it's ever so slightly, as you would in small venue, just so things don't sound disjointed, and everything is always balanced. For example, while you normally have drums center-back, and bass and guitar on either side, the people sitting closer to the guitar hear guitar and drums more than bass, but when you mic everything, no matter where they are, they hear everything balanced.

Another nice thing about always micing is that your sound is consistent no matter what venue. People talk about making their kicks sound good, with or without muffling, but it is completely different when micing and running "naked", and when you ALWAYS mic, you get a consistent sound and tone. For example, I muffle the batter with 2" foam fixed against the inside lower portion of the head, approximately 20% coverage. With a mic it sounds great. Without one, it's slightly dry. It would be a PITA to have to remove a head to take the foam in and out depending on venue. But, because I always mic it, it always sounds good. Incidentally, I suspend an aluminum Kelly Shu inside my kick, so the mic is always in the same position, again, for consistency. ;-)

And, since everything is always mic'd I save my hearing via my in-ear monitors. Always nice to hear clean sound myself. I also can play lower with IEMs because I hear myself much more clearly. With all the phase cancellation going on onstage because of the ambient sound of all the instruments cancelling each other out, I find that with standard floor monitors I tend to play louder just to hear myself, especially my kick. And once you start playing your kick harder, you naturally start playing everything louder, and then everybody else starts turning up, you know what I mean? Pretty soon the entire band is too loud, and now you have a bad reputation. But, that never happens with IEMs. ;-)

So, rather than just thinking about it as whether or not to mic in a small venue, I tend to look at the bigger picture. So, if you have the mics, I say use them, but use them wisely! ;-)

Just thoughts.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

MrLeadFoot makes a solid point as long as one can control his/her stage volume. The same applies to the guitarist/bassist who does not want to mic his/her cab preferring to just crank it on stage. I also prefer everything to come out of one sound source for the audiences listening pleasure.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
I always close-mic everything, regardless of venue. While most people think you mic for volume, it should NEVER be about volume; it should be about balance, first and foremost. It's a side benefit to have a volume control. ;-)

It's so nice when everything is coming through the mains. In a small venue, you obviously want to turn down, but again, think about what people normally are used to hearing in everyday life. When you listen to the stereo EVERYTHING comes out of the speakers. Same with an MP3 player, or even your computer speakers. So, we mic all drums and all instruments. The nice thing about doing this is that even if you turn down, you can "fill" from the mains, even if it's ever so slightly, as you would in small venue, just so things don't sound disjointed, and everything is always balanced. For example, while you normally have drums center-back, and bass and guitar on either side, the people sitting closer to the guitar hear guitar and drums more than bass, but when you mic everything, no matter where they are, they hear everything balanced.

Another nice thing about always micing is that your sound is consistent no matter what venue. People talk about making their kicks sound good, with or without muffling, but it is completely different when micing and running "naked", and when you ALWAYS mic, you get a consistent sound and tone. For example, I muffle the batter with 2" foam fixed against the inside lower portion of the head, approximately 20% coverage. With a mic it sounds great. Without one, it's slightly dry. It would be a PITA to have to remove a head to take the foam in and out depending on venue. But, because I always mic it, it always sounds good. Incidentally, I suspend an aluminum Kelly Shu inside my kick, so the mic is always in the same position, again, for consistency. ;-)

And, since everything is always mic'd I save my hearing via my in-ear monitors. Always nice to hear clean sound myself. I also can play lower with IEMs because I hear myself much more clearly. With all the phase cancellation going on onstage because of the ambient sound of all the instruments cancelling each other out, I find that with standard floor monitors I tend to play louder just to hear myself, especially my kick. And once you start playing your kick harder, you naturally start playing everything louder, and then everybody else starts turning up, you know what I mean? Pretty soon the entire band is too loud, and now you have a bad reputation. But, that never happens with IEMs. ;-)

So, rather than just thinking about it as whether or not to mic in a small venue, I tend to look at the bigger picture. So, if you have the mics, I say use them, but use them wisely! ;-)

Just thoughts.
If you're in a small venue, you may be too loud even if you played at normal volume without amplification.

As you describe it, your system works for you, but I have a hard time believing that miking a drum set in a small venue will result in appropriate (lower) volume. Volume is volume is volume. If your band has very good communication and small egos, it might be possible to make it work. But one person is bound to turn up and everyone else will turn up too.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Just to echo the sentiments of a few others on here I lean towards mic'ing everything up as standard and rolling things on/off as required.

The mics are not so much about volume as projecting the true sound of the drum.

My 8" tom sounds fantastic when you sit on top of it but un mic'd behind 2 rhythm guitars, lead, bass and keys it can get lost during something like "Carry on Wayward Son" and sound just like a thud rather than an actual musical instrument.

I tune quite open with the resonant heads higher than batters to get a nice amount of resonance from all of my drums. Having the mics allows us to project that through the mix and allows me to give others more of an idea what I'm hearing.

It's just about lifting things in the mix where required. At least in the rock covers group I'm in that's how we use it.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
If you're in a small venue, you may be too loud even if you played at normal volume without amplification.
I love hearing people say things like this. It gets us more jobs than you wouldn't believe. In other words, a small venue looking for live music knows what they're up against. But, whenever my band plays such places, they always love us because we know how to control volume. In fact, that's one of our selling points. ;-)

Quote:
As you describe it, your system works for you, but I have a hard time believing that miking a drum set in a small venue will result in appropriate (lower) volume. Volume is volume is volume.
I didn't say micing results in lower volume, and the OP didn't ask about LOWERING the volume. Nothing controls drum volume except technique. Fortunately for me, I've been playing for 41 years, and can play so soft we can sing without vocal mics. Not that we perform shows like that, but the point is that I can play in a hotel lounge, and even in a coffee shop. I've played different types of cruises, and even different types of clubs and restaurants in hotels that required low volume with no problem. ;-) With the application of good dynamics you can even get good tone out of drums, too, at times when tunes crescendo and such. ;-) But, that's not the point of this thread.

The fact is that just because you mic, doesn't necessarily mean that things will be louder... if you're smart and professional about it. It also helps to have experience. Good thing experience can be learned; the other two qualities you just have to have, and some people just don't have it, and never will. :-)

Quote:
If your band has very good communication and small egos, it might be possible to make it work. But one person is bound to turn up and everyone else will turn up too.
Nah, sounds like you just haven't had the opportunity to work with seasoned folks. It works all the time when you work with the right folks. Fortunately, for the past 3 years I've run my own band. Although I am a drummer, I run sound, and believe it or not, I HATE when things are too loud. That's why I wear IEMs and no longer use a floor monitor. I also get rid of people who don't get "sound balance". In fact, I just dumped a killer guitarist because he insisted he HAD to hear himself out of his guitar cabinet, which in turn means sound clutter onstage, sound bleed into other vocal and instrument mics, and subsequently no control over mix and overall sound. No place in my working band for someone like that, no matter how good they are.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

We play mostly in small venues and I never mic anything. I've used my hand held digital recorder to record some of the sets, and the drums seem to come through pretty well. On the songs where the rest of the band gets real loud, sometimes I just need to get a little louder too. Last month I listened to another band play a gig at the same place, and I swore the drums were mic'ed since they sounded powerful, but they were not.

I've also listened to bands playing in small venues, where everything was mic'ed. What stood out was that the cymbals, especially the crashes, were way over the top, to the point of being ear piercing. that's the danger of over mic'ing in a small venue. You also have to have confidence that the sound person can mix things properly. Since we don't even have a sound person, I don't take the risk of mic'ing the drums.

I also have never mic'ed the drums at church, and the mix is fairly good. In some cases, I actully have to dial things back on the quiter songs. Others will use plexiglass sound shields, but I have never tried that for live playing.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

A lot of the time it's the small venue's layout and acoustical properties that might or might not call for miking of the instruments. Although I don't tune my drums to any particular room, the room itself can have good or not so good properties when it comes how the audience perceives the loudness of each piece in the assemble.

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Old 07-28-2011, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
I love hearing people say things like this. It gets us more jobs than you wouldn't believe. In other words, a small venue looking for live music knows what they're up against. But, whenever my band plays such places, they always love us because we know how to control volume. In fact, that's one of our selling points. ;-)

I didn't say micing results in lower volume, and the OP didn't ask about LOWERING the volume. Nothing controls drum volume except technique. Fortunately for me, I've been playing for 41 years, and can play so soft we can sing without vocal mics. Not that we perform shows like that, but the point is that I can play in a hotel lounge, and even in a coffee shop. I've played different types of cruises, and even different types of clubs and restaurants in hotels that required low volume with no problem. ;-) With the application of good dynamics you can even get good tone out of drums, too, at times when tunes crescendo and such. ;-) But, that's not the point of this thread.

The fact is that just because you mic, doesn't necessarily mean that things will be louder... if you're smart and professional about it. It also helps to have experience. Good thing experience can be learned; the other two qualities you just have to have, and some people just don't have it, and never will. :-)

Nah, sounds like you just haven't had the opportunity to work with seasoned folks. It works all the time when you work with the right folks. Fortunately, for the past 3 years I've run my own band. Although I am a drummer, I run sound, and believe it or not, I HATE when things are too loud. That's why I wear IEMs and no longer use a floor monitor. I also get rid of people who don't get "sound balance". In fact, I just dumped a killer guitarist because he insisted he HAD to hear himself out of his guitar cabinet, which in turn means sound clutter onstage, sound bleed into other vocal and instrument mics, and subsequently no control over mix and overall sound. No place in my working band for someone like that, no matter how good they are.
Truly, you are unique among bands.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

We have a monthly gig at a local bar/restaurant. Since we bring a decent following that come to eat dinner, we play three sets from 8-12 pm. This makes the first set take place during the tail end of the dinner crowd. So the owner always tells us to keep it a little quiet when we first start off. Tomorrow night when we play we will be playing a few accoustic songs up front, in which the guitarist will play and sing, and I will accompany on a shaker and tambourine, as well as backing vocals.

The mic'ing of my drums would be overkill for this venue, but I would love to hear what it would sound like nonetheless.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

My extended family owns a mid size nightclub restaurant. Happens to be an old church rehabbed into a cool space, high ceilings, etc. Can fit about 300 people max. Hence I've seen over 100 different bands there and mic'ing the drums is always overkill, way too loud, and never necessary. Sure I love it only because I sit and watch the drummers without talking to anyone, but since people come there for dinner as well, mic'ed drums always prevent people from holding a conversation. In fact, many get up and leave because of the volume. I just can't see a need to mic drums in an indoor venue that seats 500 or less. Outdoors is another story...
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:34 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Truly, you are unique among bands.
Good to hear. Because the more yahoos out there micing for volume, the better for my band in the way of garnering good gigs. ;-)

Micing for balance instead of volume enables you to sound GOOD, because the less acoustic and ambient sound coming off the stage makes for quality tones and sound from EVERY instrument, not just drums, shine from the audience perspective.

I'll admit, I truly am a different kind of drummer. I don't like ANTYTHING too loud, and learned from a very young age that working on technique is much more important than just banging on drums. It's paid off big time, for me. I got good contract work in Hawaii for 4 years because of it, and I've never forgotten what got me there. ;-)

I see a lot of bands out there that would sound so much better if the drummer could play softer, so they could mic everything, even in small venues that only seat 100. The quality of drum tones drummers all work so hard to achieve gets lost among other instruments so easily. Try this: hit your toms one at a time, and they sound great. But, when you add more hits to each tom, not to mention rolling across them, as well as bringing cymbals into the mix, the initial quality drum tones you heard via the single hits goes right out the window. Close micing picks up all the nuances of every strike, tone and ring, and there's simply NO way to carry that out to an audience through a mix without micing. In fact, that's exactly why recording engineers always mic everything, instead of flying overheads (even in a studio), so they can pick up everything on the recordings. ;-)

Play third party to a band with no drum mics sometime and just listen. Once everyone starts going, sure, you can hear the drums, but you do NOT hear good tonal quality of the drumsf. People tell us all the time that, live, we sound just like our recordings, unlike most bands that sound great on their recordings, but sound muddy live once they've hired them. That's not good, to sound better on your demo than you do live. It inevitably is a disappointment. But, we use the same configuration when recording and when playing shows. In fact, we no longer even record studio samples and demos anymore, because our live recordings sound just as good, and often better, because the mics pick up some ambient sounds of our audiences whooping it up.

If you've not tried it before, I suggest you spend some time working on close-micing, and of course your playing technique. Not trying to sound condescending, but remember also that when you're mic'd you actually have to play differently because mics pick up every little thing, even your missed hits, stick bumping, and even when you don't hit the sweet spot on a drum head. Not only will you be surprised at how much better quality of sound and tone you hear, a side benefit is that this forces you to improve your playing technique, which over time makes you a better, more precise player. You will, without a doubt, need to tune differently, as likely start employing muffling techniques you previously scoffed at and never would have previously considered. In fact, even a low line kit can sound good when mic'd. That's a big bonus for micing right there! My 1974 Tama Royalstar sounds awesome mic'd. Can you imagine how dry shallow toms sound fitted with pinstripe heads, Evans rings AND moongels? Almost dead. But, they sound great when mic'd, and you don't even have to hit them hard to produce great tone.

With all that said, it bears repeating: In small venues, don't go purely for volume; just bring your faders up enough to add balance and fill, and allow your drums' true tones to not get washed out by the rest of the band. Here's another benefit: In large venues, you don't have to do anything different. You don't have to play loud or anything; simply bring up the mains, and VOILA! ;-)

On second thought, maybe you shouldn't try mic'ing at small venues, becuase if you do, your band might end up sounding like a quality band, and we might start getting less gigs! :-)
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Last edited by MrLeadFoot; 07-29-2011 at 08:40 PM.
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  #38  
Old 08-16-2011, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Truly, you are unique among bands.
No, they're not, among bands who know how to use a PA in low-volume situations. He mentions "micing for balance", to which I'd amend to "micing for balance and clarity", as per my post above. I personally have experienced everything he's described except for the IEM's.

It's simple, really. A PA isn't only used for boosting volume, but also (or instead) for balance and clarity. When you mic a drum/cabinet, you're moving the audience's point of aural reference for that piece from the piece itself to the PA speakers. It doesn't have to add volume, and in fact, can reduce overall volume, since no one has to turn up a cabinet to compete with a drumkit's volume, and the player of said kit can play quieter (if capable). Plus, with any instrument above bass range, whenever someone (audience member in house or band member on stage) is in between the source (instrument) and the listener, the sound from that source becomes less direct and therefore less distinct- muddier, because the path from source to listener's ear is interrupted. Think about how, before people used surround sound speaker systems for TV's, how the sound would briefly change whenever anyone walked between you & the TV. So, you move the source of the audience's sound to PA speakers where the horns are approx. 7-8 feet off the ground, & then there are no blocks from there to the listeners' ears. With just a smidge of PA, the overall volume gets negligibly louder but MUCH clearer.

Trust me. :) I'm not talking out of my ass here, I've ran sound for bands in low-volume situations and tried both methods, and venue owners/managers and myself both clearly (no pun intended) hear the benefits of using the PA. I've even had some venue managers tell me that even when it's a *little* louder, it's much more bearable than not using the PA because it's clearer- easier on the ears than a muddy mess.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Mic'ing a kit in a small venue

played some small venues in my time, all you need is kick and toms depending in the accoustics of the room, snare usually cuts threw everything nicely
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