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  #1  
Old 01-11-2007, 05:45 AM
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Default Drum Mic suggestions

Alright so I've decided to build my own studio in me basement, and found these mic packages. Can you please look them and tell me what you guys think. I really have no idea on which drum mics are good.

These ones

These ones

These ones (strongly considering these)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Of the three, the Audix. Although if you could spend more cash you'd be in a better situation with microphones, I'm rarely impressed by the clarity of the 'lower' end versions of famous makes, eg. Shure PG58, I think the PG58 is just rubbish...

You could get a set (and there are advantages, I want a set of Audix D-Series something rotten and eventually I'll be able to afford them) but in some ways, for a tailor made sound it might be easier (and actually cheaper) to build up a set from scratch using something like eBay. Now a good set of available and not-too-expensive microphones would be something like:

AKG C-1000 Overheads (get a matched pair!!!)
Shure SM58/57 (Pretty much the same mic, one is adapted for vocals, but the capsule is the same) for toms/snare.
AKG D-112 (or the D-12, but they're MUCH older and rare... and lovely) or even an Audix D6 (my favourite) for the kick.

Then maybe an omnidirectional room microphone to capture everything and some ambience. I know very little about omnis and I would suggest you wait for further replies, although I'm a fan of the AKG C-3000. It's an expensive microphone.

But of those three, the Audix.
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Thank you for replying to my thread man. I wil take your advice and look for those mics that you listed. You seem like you know what you're talking about, so I trust your opinion :-). I have a Eurorack 2 input mixer which I guess I will have to upgrade sooner or later, but I've never heard of an audio/surface interface. Am I hopeless or what haha!
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Right well basically you can have two kinds of audio input onto your computer into DAW software (eg. Cubase or Logic). A control surface is basically an external mixer with the XLR ports, EQ's etc, that will actually move the sliders on the screen to match those on the input, using Firewire or USB. Handy and fast and actually fun. An interface is just usually the XLR inputs connected to a Firewire or USB port, you control the levels and EQ's etc solely from the digital display on screen. It's obvious which is the cheaper. I'm looking at getting myself a PreSonus Firepod (8 Inputs) for an interface at some point.

Compared to some people, I know nothing. My technical education is embryonic at the moment.
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

surprisingly, that actually makes sense to me. Going to have to do some shopping and research. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 01-13-2007, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Omnis are great for over heads as well. I like to use a single mono omni over head.

If you really get into recording you will want to continue to collect mics. Each one has a character of its own. I only have a few right now, but ahhh man there are many out there I would love to have (not just for drums).
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

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Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ View Post
Omnis are great for over heads as well. I like to use a single mono omni over head.

If you really get into recording you will want to continue to collect mics. Each one has a character of its own. I only have a few right now, but ahhh man there are many out there I would love to have (not just for drums).
Yeah, having a single omni as an overhead would help prevent phase issues, provided that it doesn't rely on two different capsules, but even if it didn't the phase issues would be minimal. The problem is that with a pair of cardioid condensers, you're more likely to get a wider naturalistic stereo field with greater ease. I like the XY configuration, so I'd have an XY in front (or behind) the kit with an omni room mic something like six/seven feet away and probably about six feet in the air. Probably a bass mic and maybe two snare mics (over and under). I hate micing individual toms, it's too much effort especially when you've got an omni and an XY already running.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Ya, I'm not going for a huge stereo representation of my kit. My kit is only a 4pc now so there really is no need. The music I'm recording doesn't really call for that either. I love the straight forwardness of a mono overhead. I've had good success with the XY overhead config though- definitely don't rule it out. My current favorite album to listen to is Blood Mountain by Mastadon and I love the stereo panning of the drums. That kit just wouldn't be the same in a mono sense. I'll keep my OH dead center in the mix, pan my kick mic slightly to one side, and my snare mic slightly to the opposite side. If I use a room mic I do the same type of panning in relation to my OH. I like to use the room mic as a reverb send, so I'll let it bed underneath my OH.

There are still phase issues with a mono overhead. You can have phase issues anytime you're using more than one mic on the same general source. I always try flipping the phase on each mic (OH, snare, kick) to see what sounds better. If you flip the phase on one mic and suddenly notice your snare sounds much fuller, chances are there was a phase cancellation going on prior to the flip.

XY OH pair should give you minimal phase issues as well within that pair of mics. Spaced stereo OHs can give a lot of phase problems though, but can make the kit feel wider in the mix. I don't have enough mics nor inputs to individually mic my toms. I try to get a full balance with my OH, and use my kick and snare mics to beef up those parts of my kit. The room mic would be the swing vote but I think it sounds much nicer than using a reverb send.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

I've never been a fan of spaced configurations particularly anyhow, just because, other than the obvious phase issues, it just takes up more space and is more hassle. I prefer going for a natural sound of the kit as an overall sound source, so individually micing the toms is definitely out. I mean, you've got a whole kit that you're playing together why not listen to it together. Snare and bass I can kind of understand, they are the fundamentals of the groove and hence may require a little more attention, but micing everything sight ala Lars Ulrich really drives me mad, it's just unnecessary...
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

I agree with you there. I want to collectively gather the sounds of the toms and cymbals, and get other mics to focus on the snare and bass. I don't see the point in micing every single tom, cymbal, etc.
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Well, I think that it just depends on the song and style of music. Whatever sound you are trying to go for. Individually miking toms and what not doesn't mean the kit won't sound cohesive, but I would suggest to anyone to start with a minimal mic setup to understand balance, and then add more mics where needed and/or wanted.

Personally, I like a minimal mic setup for my kit, but there are plenty of albums that I own that spot mic everything and I love that too. When recording a guitar amp, you don't always have to use just one mic. I like to use two. One close and one far. Some people will use several and blend it all together to get the desired tone.

My personal philosophy with drum miking is that the OH(s) should collectively get the whole kit, not just cymbals , and that all other mics should reinforce whatever part of the kit they are on, but 'underneath' the OH. Some engineers use OHs only to capture the cymbals and then use close mics for the main part of the tom sounds, etc. A lot of it has to do with how the drummer plays and sets up their personal kit. I like to keep my cymbals low and just above the toms so they don't dominate the OH. Walk into any recording forum and ask how to mic drums and you will end up with a 3+ page thread with many different opinions.

Spaced stereo OH do take up a huge sonic space in the mix. It's cool for certain things. Also, you could try putting one OH behind you, and one in front.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

I know people who've released albums with just a pair of XY condensers put behind the drummer as their ENTIRE drum mix. Good idea I say, gets rid of a lot of unnecessary waste on the sound board... I'm half-joking.

I guess my dislike for total kit micing goes back to a couple of years ago when I was hurriedly recording a project for a music technology A-level. We had the microphones set up (AKG D-12 (Yes, D-12, not a D-112) C-1000 Overheads) and the rest were some sort of Shure or AKG clip on mics, that I hated. Well, I didn't have time to do a proper soundcheck before we pressed record (we were that pressed for time) and the teacher didn't bother either.

Out comes my final capture with one of the toms missing from the clip on mics, and the idiot hadn't been able to capture enough of the drums with the overheads. So I have these fills (flammed toms mainly) with one of the toms missing. In the end we just took a compressor to the whole lot and it totally killed the mix. Since then I've been opposed to all-drum micing.
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Oi! That sucks. Sounds like you just need someone who knows what they're doing.
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

I know better now. Just really annoyed me... badly organised guy + inexperienced teenager = disaster.
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Yea that happened to me when I recorded. My rack tom couldn't be heard at all and we too were pressed for time. That was my first time in a recording studio.
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

So, for you two guys, would you say that the studio experiences you described are a main factor in what keeps you from the 'close mic everything' approach? Do you think if you had worked with someone a little more on their toes with the sound checking (and perhaps better knowledge of mic placement) you would have had a better experience? Obviously, I know you like the sound of a minimal mic setup for your own kit as I like it for mine. Do you guys enjoy any music with drums with many mics? I'm just curious, mainly to see if your bad studio experiences are the main factor in your opinion and if you had the opportunity to try it again would you? The two experiences you described are exactly why I think you should start with a balanced mix in the OH, and then add mics as needed/wanted.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

No doubt I won't try it again, when I have more time, but I've listened to recordings where everything on the drums isn't miced, and it sounded more natural, which is what I go for. I plan to do both sooner or later.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

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Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ View Post
So, for you two guys, would you say that the studio experiences you described are a main factor in what keeps you from the 'close mic everything' approach? Do you think if you had worked with someone a little more on their toes with the sound checking (and perhaps better knowledge of mic placement) you would have had a better experience? Obviously, I know you like the sound of a minimal mic setup for your own kit as I like it for mine. Do you guys enjoy any music with drums with many mics? I'm just curious, mainly to see if your bad studio experiences are the main factor in your opinion and if you had the opportunity to try it again would you? The two experiences you described are exactly why I think you should start with a balanced mix in the OH, and then add mics as needed/wanted.

And if you can always remove what you don't like! It is hard to add what was never there!


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  #19  
Old 01-16-2007, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

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And if you can always remove what you don't like! It is hard to add what was never there!
That's a really good point. I've read about some engineers who put up tons of mics, but may only end up using a few in the final mix. It's nice to have many sources to blend to get the desired tone.
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Fellas, I did a search for "XY micing", and came up with eleventy-billion threads of which I read ~20. I still have no clue as to what XY mic configuration is.

If I had to guess, it would be 2 mics aligned along the X and Y axes.

I apologize for the hijack.

Help, anyone?

SRJ
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

i didn't read the whole thread, but a really good sounding mic setup would be:

Snare - Shure SM57
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...Mic?sku=270102
Toms - Sennheiser MD421
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...one?sku=270820
Kick - AKG D112
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...one?sku=271161
Hihat/Ride - quite a few options here... best listed first, last is still far from a bad choice:
Neumann KM184
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...Kit?sku=271401
AKG C451B
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...one?sku=271163
Audio-Technica AT4051a
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...one?sku=270571
Shure SM81
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...Mic?sku=270171
Overhead
Shure KSM44
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...one?sku=270277
AKG C4000B
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...one?sku=271141
Shure KSM32
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...Mic?sku=270141

there are PLENTY of other mics out there that sounds great... these are just the obviouse/popular choices.
good luck
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

I've been doing a bunch of recording lately, and playing with mics/placement. I foolishly tried to get the OHs to capture only the cymbals (stereo matched set of Joe Meek JM27s(came free with my Firepod)). I've finally realized what ya'll are talking about - OHs plus kick mic plus snare mic really do capture the whole kit. BUT, adding an additional mic outside the kick and two on the toms (I play 2up, 2down so one mic for each set of toms) really gives some options in the final mix.

So my budget mics are (street value of $300)

2 JM27's for overheads
Audix F set-
1 F12 inside the kick (ok at best, really want to replace this one though)
1 Nady 58 looking thing outside the kick
2 F10's for toms
1 F10 snare top

So the OHs capture the crack of the snare and the attack of the toms, but the individual close mics allow me to blend in the body and sustain.

I've also been using the F12 to record the bass amp and the F10 for guitar cabs.

So here's an example of what I was screwing around with last night. If you would like to hear just the drums (7 mics total) I'd be happy to export those tracks so you can hear just the kit. (there seems to be a "database issue" here that won't allow me to upload anything...hmmm...I'll try it later I guess)

Oh yeah, so I'm looking to upgrade my kick mic to a D6 or a D112. I want to be able to record a huge variety of genres, so which is ya'lls favorite of those two?
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

I have actually explained XY in here before. Basically, a spaced pair of microphones are two microphones put very apart from each other, an XY set basically intersect directly over each other (on the same stand) at 90 degrees. Make sense? I can do a diagram if you want.

SBE: If I had a producer that actually knew what they were doing, I'd trust their judgement on what sounds best. Put in the hands of superior individuals I do listen and they'd be a professional and be doing it for a reason. A lot of music i do listen to has closed miced kit (Radiohead, King Crimson, Yes) but then again, a lot of it doesn't. There are advantages and disadvantages on all levels really.

And Parser; no question, the D6. The D112 is 'alright' but I've never been truly impressed by it.
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:06 AM
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And Parser; no question, the D6. The D112 is 'alright' but I've never been truly impressed by it.
Fair enough, thanks for the input. Gotta scrape up $200 now...
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:38 AM
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Oh yeah, so I'm looking to upgrade my kick mic to a D6 or a D112. I want to be able to record a huge variety of genres, so which is ya'lls favorite of those two?
I've never used the D6. I own the D112 though and I like it. I prefer it outside just in front of the kick. Inside it gives sort of a basket ball type sound, which is what a lot of people complain about. However, in front I think it gives a great punchy sound with little need for manipulation in the mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
SBE: If I had a producer that actually knew what they were doing, I'd trust their judgement on what sounds best. Put in the hands of superior individuals I do listen and they'd be a professional and be doing it for a reason. A lot of music i do listen to has closed miced kit (Radiohead, King Crimson, Yes) but then again, a lot of it doesn't. There are advantages and disadvantages on all levels really.
I agree, definitely pros and cons to both approaches to miking the kit which is why I think it just depends on the song, style, room, kit, and player. Good discussion. Radiohead and Crimson are also two of my favorite bands. :)
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:08 PM
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I have actually explained XY in here before. Basically, a spaced pair of microphones are two microphones put very apart from each other, an XY set basically intersect directly over each other (on the same stand) at 90 degrees. Make sense? I can do a diagram if you want.
Please do. I thought I understood until you said they were on the same stand, but "very apart".

In reference to the D112 and D6: What's the concensus on the relative positioning of thses two mics. Outside the BD, or inside behind the beater?

Great thread!

SRJ
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ View Post
I've never used the D6. I own the D112 though and I like it. I prefer it outside just in front of the kick. Inside it gives sort of a basket ball type sound, which is what a lot of people complain about. However, in front I think it gives a great punchy sound with little need for manipulation in the mix.
So then, do you have a ported reso or no holes?
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:17 PM
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Please do. I thought I understood until you said they were on the same stand, but "very apart".

In reference to the D112 and D6: What's the concensus on the relative positioning of thses two mics. Outside the BD, or inside behind the beater?

Great thread!

SRJ
Ok mate, it's just a bit of mild confusion. Just mis-read what I wrote and that's easily done and fair enough.

A SPACED pair is a pair of microphones set apart from each other on separate stands.

An XY pair of microphones are microphones set up on the same stand that intersect each other at 90 degrees, creating an 'X' shape.

With the positioning of the microphone, it really depends on what you want from the bass drum. If you want a fair amount of attack, then internal micing is the most common option. If you want a more full bass sound, then positioning outside the front head is more common. For instance, a John Bonham type sound would be achieved (aside from great tuning) but having the microphone on the outside of the drum, a few inches from the head and slightly off to one side. A more attacky 'metal' sound would be created by the microphone being internally placed, fairly close to the batter head. That much is pretty obvious really. In specific terms for these microphones, both are designed for either, although SBE has made it clear that he prefers his D112 on the outside, and that's the position I would choose for most micing, as that's my personal preference. As far as I'm aware, the D6 is good in both roles.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:40 AM
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So then, do you have a ported reso or no holes?
Up until recently I had no front head. Right now I have a reso with no port, but when I buy new heads for my kit soon I want to get a ported reso head. I currently use PS3-like heads on both batter and reso. I'd like to try something different with the next batch of heads.
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ View Post
That's a really good point. I've read about some engineers who put up tons of mics, but may only end up using a few in the final mix. It's nice to have many sources to blend to get the desired tone.

At one time in Nashville, the drums would be triggered but there would also be mics behind the drummer to catch the ambience from the drums. And these were not the XY overheads that MFB is talking about. You would be suprised at the mic'ing setups which get used in the studio. And an engineer who really knows the room and the best way to use it is undervalued! One engineer here, would stay up all night walking microphones around the room while running tape to find what works the best in a particular area. Then there was the thread in which I asked Bermuda about the sounds on the Bryan Adams records, and I remember him saying something about big drums and mics on top of and underneath all of the toms, which were muffled. Then, one of my favorite drum sounds is on the Billy Cobham Glass Menagerie album, Observations and Reflections.


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Old 01-18-2007, 02:26 PM
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You would be suprised at the mic'ing setups which get used in the studio. And an engineer who really knows the room and the best way to use it is undervalued!
Very true. I like to read the drum related threads over at Tape Op. One thing I've been wanting to try for a while is to place an omni right in the center of the kit, close to my 'kick' knee.
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

a pair of M160s and a D12e

pretty cheap!
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

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Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Ok mate, it's just a bit of mild confusion. Just mis-read what I wrote and that's easily done and fair enough.

A SPACED pair is a pair of microphones set apart from each other on separate stands.

An XY pair of microphones are microphones set up on the same stand that intersect each other at 90 degrees, creating an 'X' shape.
Currently, I'm using two condensers (one in front, one behind) for band rehearsal recording (cheapo Nady setup, but it works for practice). I'd like to try the XY configuration. One more Q: The XY mics are placed in front, behind, overhead? Wherever the room / sound desired demands?

Thank you kind sir, I appreciate the help.

SRJ
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

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Up until recently I had no front head. Right now I have a reso with no port, but when I buy new heads for my kit soon I want to get a ported reso head. I currently use PS3-like heads on both batter and reso. I'd like to try something different with the next batch of heads.
Good old experimentation, glad to see it! Have you tried "tenting" the kick, or used one mic inside, one outside?
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

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Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ View Post
Very true. I like to read the drum related threads over at Tape Op. One thing I've been wanting to try for a while is to place an omni right in the center of the kit, close to my 'kick' knee.
Tape Op rules! Larry Crane owns and operates Jackpot! Studios here in Portland. I've had the opportunity to track a few songs there. You wanna talk about serious mic collection, yowza!
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

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Originally Posted by n2xlr8n View Post
Currently, I'm using two condensers (one in front, one behind) for band rehearsal recording (cheapo Nady setup, but it works for practice). I'd like to try the XY configuration. One more Q: The XY mics are placed in front, behind, overhead? Wherever the room / sound desired demands?

Thank you kind sir, I appreciate the help.

SRJ
They can be placed more or less where you find the best place. Usually, a central position is the most desirable to capture an accurate stereo image, but behind the drummer or in front of the kit and a few feet above the cymbals (about the same as regular overheads) is usually the standard way. That's a general sound, however if you want something a little different, know yourself out with experimentation!
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Drum Mic suggestions

Thanks guys for you inputs and discussion. So far, these are the microphones that I like and can afford haha. What do you think?

Overhead
AKG C 1000

Kick
Audix-D6

Snare
Shure SM57

Hopefully the overheads will capture the kit as a whole, then the snare and kick can be more focused.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:26 PM
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Good little set there to get you started buddy. Go for it is what I say.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:33 PM
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Good little set there to get you started buddy. Go for it is what I say.
Thanks man. If it wasn't for you guys, I probably would have done something ignorant and buy something like the CAD mic package.

I was looking at Mixers and found this one for what looks like a reasonable price, and a friend of mine had a 4 input Eurorack mixer that worked fairly well.

Behrigner Eurorack
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:41 PM
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I'm never completely convinced with Behringer. They're good if they work, but their corporate ethics and quality control are a questionable at times.

Although this is MUCH more expensive, in the long run the PreSonus Firepod might be a better solution. It'll act as a direct digital interface between your microphones and your computer via a FireWire port. If you haven't got a FireWire port, the PCI cards probably run at about $60ish.

FirePod

If you want to expand your recording setup, it's best to buy the best interface you can afford, and as an interface, this is one of the most highly regarded for home users. It is more expensive, but personally, I can justify the expense. It depends if you can or not, but it's just another option. And you can daisy chain them together to double your inputs, or expand as you want if you ever buy another interface.

This comes bundled with a light version of Cubase too, which can be useful.
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