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  #1  
Old 07-20-2009, 01:05 PM
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Thaard Thaard is offline
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Default Buying drum mic's for recording.

Hey all. Me and the band are going to be recording soon, so we obviously need mic's to record drums. So I've asked around and searched, to come up with this (buy)list:

shure beta 52, combined with beta 91/sm 57 on bass(depends if we need 2 mics on bassdrum)

sm57 on toms, snare and hihat.

shure sm94 for overheads.

I got a presonus firestudio sound-card, so i got 8 inputs(8 mic's).

What I'm interested in, is to hear some comments from the gearheads and connoisseurs of recording. Is there any mic's that are better, that are cheaper? All comments appreciated!
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

You might want to try the search function, a lot of threads on this subject.
That said, Beta 52 on kick is a good choice, the 57 on the snare as well. But I would not use SM57 on the toms. Try Sennheiser 904/604. Nice sound, easy clip on mic holders included.
For overhead the sm94 will work, as will many condenser cigartype mics. I use Rode NT5.
In many situations you really don’t need microphones on your toms, they are picked up by the overheads.
/Frode
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2009, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Takker. Yea, I searched abit, but I was really unsure about what to choose, so I had to ask since all the people that I've asked(before) have recommended different mics.

Did you use those mics you recommended on the recordings on your bands site? Sounded really good.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaard View Post
Takker. Yea, I searched abit, but I was really unsure about what to choose, so I had to ask since all the people that I've asked(before) have recommended different mics.

Did you use those mics you recommended on the recordings on your bands site? Sounded really good.
Trouble with most opinions are recommendations based on what they bought or used. They will tell you their 60 dollar mic is the best!
What you looking for is a comparison from someone who has used them all and in context and that’s not me either. I would recommend a recording forum and just read for a few days till you start asking questions. You can quickly figure out who know what they are talking about.
I’m more of a live sound guy. In that I have used all the more popular kick, snare, tom and a few overheads. I can’t really say what is best but I can you what I bought and why I did. I have a beat 52 for kick, 57 on the snare and an audio technical pack on the toms. I use relatively inexpensive Apex condensers for overheads.
I chose these for several reasons including price vs performance, durability, and least amount of coloration at this price point.
But again this is not for recording…

My kids are going in to the studio at the end of August for 2 weeks. My discussions with the engineer have landed us running three mics and 1 trigger on the kick alone. A D112 in the port hole. A SM91 in the kick. An ATM250 I think?? The one that you can phase reverse on the fly on the batter head from the outside and finally a trigger as a backup so if absolutely necessary we “could” sample and not spend another few grand going back to do drum tracks again.

Anyway talk to a recording guy that has experience with a variety of mics.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Go simple. If you buy a bunch of 57s (which aren't really stellar on toms, IMO), you're going to have... a bunch of 57s. Not a lot of ability to pair a microphone with a room and a sound source, and everything will start looking like a nail.

If you're only getting 4 mics:
Beta 52 on kick
SM57 on snare
1 pair of overheads - SM81, KSM27, etc

Then you can save your money for something like a 421 which is ridiculous on toms; find a different kick mic for a slightly different vibe on the kick; overheads, ribbons, etc.

Besides, if this is your first DIY project, you will very quickly wind up in phase hell if you're trying to run all those channels yourself. You'd be surprised what you can get out of a very minimal mic setup as long as you pay attention to positioning.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaard View Post
Did you use those mics you recommended on the recordings on your bands site? Sounded really good.
Thanks, Yes I used this setup on the recordings.

Use quality gear, that's the main lesson here. Stay away from mic kit with 7 mics for the price of 1 decent. Shure, Audix, Sennheiser, Rode, they are all good microphones. Much depends on personal taste. I know that Heavy Metal dudes often prefers Audix, specially on their kick (D6)

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Ok, thanks for the answers.
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2009, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Numberonefan View Post
Trouble with most opinions are recommendations based on what they bought or used........Anyway talk to a recording guy that has experience with a variety of mics.
You rang?

Okay, a BIG factor in mic selection is the room you're in. What are the dimensions? Is it "live" or "dead"? Also, stylistically, what kind of sound do you want to capture? Punchy and articulate? Textural? What is your goal with it? Professional album? Demo? Just for fun?

Also, are these mics that you'll want to use as your live performance mics after you're done recording? What's your budget? How many pieces in your kit?
Anyone can come on here and rant and rave about "such-and-such" mics that work for THEM. We need to find out what will work best for YOU...
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2009, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

The room we record in is medium big I'd say. It's inbetween "live" and "dead", but we're going to dampen in abit more.

I would like a good punch, but also articulation. To hear most ghost-notes and such.

We'd like to get semi-proffesional sound, more or less. Or as good as we can get.
We got some experience with recording, mixing and such.

We'd like to use them both for live and recording. As for the budget, around 1k dollars.

I play a 4 piece drumkit, but we've always had problemt with getting good sound with the bass(maybe we need two mics?)

We've recorded some stuff before when we played/practiced somewhere else, but we got kicked out for hogging all the mic's. So we moved to our own place.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Great man. Thanks!

Alright...medium-sized room, but you're going to dampen it some, and you want an articulate and punchy semi-professional (or more) sound. $1k budget for live/studio mics for a 4-piece kit. Man, you've got a good situation going.

What sizes are your drums, and what kind of sound are you after? What kind of heads do you use, and how do you like to tune them?

Initially, I would suggest Audix mics: I-5 for the snare, D-2 for the rack tom, D-4 for the floor tom. Maybe a D-6 for the kick if you want it to sound thumpy. If you want a little less "thump" and a little more "thud", go for an AKG D112 on the kick.

Shure 57s would work *fine* on the snare and toms, but if you want a punchy sound, I would look into getting the Audix mics.

As for overheads, get a matched pair. Since you're in a somewhat dead room, small diaphragm would be okay, like a pair of AKG C1000s. If you want more "room sound" get a condenser with a larger diaphragm and use it a little further away.

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Nice. I've been thinking abit, and wondered if its a good idea to buy the Shure pgDmk6 drum-mic pack? It's gotten good reviews and easy to carry around and, and then i can upgrade the overheads and such over time.

From the vids I've seen on youtube, It's more or less the sound I want.

Hope I'm not being rude to you folks for trying to help me :P
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Just curious, what's your budget? And what kit are you planning to use?
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2009, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

I'm using these: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=51013

My budget is about 900-1000$.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Assuming you will do "close-miking", from the looks of your drum kit (which looks very nice), you would need:
- one small diaphragm dynamic for each tom batter (that means 2 for your kit)
- one small diaphragm dynamic for snare batter
- one dynamic (small or large diaphram) for bass drum reso side
- two small diaphragm condensers for overheads (if you want it stereo)
- one OPTIONAL small diaphragm condenser for hi-hat (in a pinch, the overheads can cover that, but many will opt for a separate mic to capture details).
- one OPTIONAL small diaphragm (dynamic or condenser) for snare bottom (this is to add detail to the snare buzz only, but not mandatory if you can get a good enough sound from the top).
- one very OPTIONAL large diaphragm condenser for ambience.

For "cheap" mics, forget the Shure pgDmk6 kit. To me, PG series mics are in a sense "disposable" mics, and aren't cheap for what they are. While they are fine for recreational use, their shortcomings are very obvious in critical applications. Its like getting Pearl Forum series drums at Vision series prices. They are no more durable or sonically tolerable than, (gasp) Behringer stuff, which are much cheaper. I got a pair of B-1's for a 1-year field recording project three years ago, and while they sound just a shade above tolerable, they still work to this day. If this just is a one-off DIY/demo recording project, and don't see yourself getting a record contract and entering a real studio down the road, cheap stuff will do for now.

But if you plan to use this setup in the medium-term for a number of recordings, get good stuff. $1000 can squeeze in quality mics for the mandatory setup. Good mikes are an investment and can be used to record the rest of the band (condensers for acoustic guitars and ambience, and dynamics for guitar amps), and for live gigs if the venue doesn't have enough mics. Since you are interested in worry-free "packs", I recommend these:

1) The Shure DMK57-52 pack gets you three SM57's and one Beta 52A. For better or worse the SM57 is the benchmark for small diaphragm dynamics in terms of sound quality and durability, and countless recordings have used them. The pack also includes the clip-on drum holders. Every mic company has an equivalent model in the same price range. I will agree with caddywumpus that Audix mics are pretty good, and they have a nice pack similar to this (Audix DP5-A). So if you are serious, don't get anything less than the SM/Beta line of Shures.

2) The Rode nt5 (matched pair pack) is a fabulous small diaphragm condenser. Everything good you may have heard or read about them is absolutely true. They are about $30 cheaper than a pair of A-T 4041's, half the price of a pair of SM81's, and 1/3 the price of a pair of AKG451's. They have been used for everything from drum overheads, to acoustic guitars, to harpsichords, to choirs, to orchestras. The nt5's are actually next on my personal wish list for my occasional pro-bono acoustic ensemble recordings.

3) 1 and 2 will come up to just below $1k. If you have a little extra money, or can strike a deal with the store, get the optional stuff. This means another nt5 (single) for the hihat, and an SM57 for the snare bottom. If its not possible, cheap Behringers will be tolerable. The very optional ambience mic is only applicable if the room sound interacts nicely with the drum kit sound. I use this primarily to give the drums some "air" without having to use too much artificial reverb, but you have to be careful to avoid phase cancellation. This can also be soloed when you need an occasional "lo-fi" sound.

4) Put aside some money for cables and stands. For 6 mikes minimum you will need about 60 meters of cable (6 mike cables x 10 meters per cable), and 12 xlr connectors. Its cheaper to make them yourself, as it needs only basic soldering skills. And even if you get the Shure kit with drum clips, you will still need two boom stands for overheads, and one for the bass drum.

Last edited by makinao; 07-23-2009 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Quote:
2) The Rode nt5 (matched pair pack) is a fabulous small diaphragm condenser. Everything good you may have heard or read about them is absolutely true. They are about $30 cheaper than a pair of A-T 4041's, half the price of a pair of SM81's, and 1/3 the price of a pair of AKG451's. They have been used for everything from drum overheads, to acoustic guitars, to harpsichords, to choirs, to orchestras. The nt5's are actually next on my personal wish list for my occasional pro-bono acoustic ensemble recordings.
Agreed. NT5s are one of the best value purchases you can make. I went down a slightly different route (AKG C1000) which are very similar microphones - with the exception that you can run the C1000s without phantom power - and I have used my setup to record orchestral work as a stand-alone pair of condenser microphones. The condenser set is by far and away the most important component of a basic recording setup and provides the vast majority of your sound. In my case, I see little need for much else, but work your budget to the overheads and then provide for the rest around that - that's my approach.

Also the tip on making your own leads? Priceless. A basic soldering kit cost me £25 and then the components around £20 to make two decent-length leads. For the assurance of quality, it's a much better approach and you know what kind of cable, etc is going in.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Yea, the Røde Nt5's are nice, but I have to import the Shure dmk pack from England, which means that i gotta pay a hefty toll-price. And if i buy each mic separately, It costs too much :(
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Hmmmmmmm........ wait a minute...... I only noticed now that you're in Norway. Would European mics be cheaper there than American, Australian, or Japanese mics? For example, how much in Euros would a Sennheiser 421 cost there, versus a Shure SM57?
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Sennheiser 421 costs 5000kr = 560 euro = 796 dollars
Shure Sm57 costs 1500kr = 168 euro = 239 dollars

Expensive :(..
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

I second the Shure mic pack with the three SM57s and the Beta 52. It's a good value. I added a pair of AKG C1000s mics for overheads and it has worked out really well.

Don't skimp on cables.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

For me...
Beta 52 & SM91 in the tub, Beta 57 on snare.
Sack the tom mics off & invest in a pair of AKG 414's for overheads.

That 'll do the job and wont be that far outside your budget.

Enjoy!!
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat the beat View Post
For me...
Beta 52 & SM91 in the tub, Beta 57 on snare.
Sack the tom mics off & invest in a pair of AKG 414's for overheads.

That 'll do the job and wont be that far outside your budget.

Enjoy!!

Here in the states a pair of AKG C414B-XLS's would cost between $1900 to $2000 USD. I use the 414 ULS's in the studio for overheads. For sound reinforcement I tend to use Shure SM81's. Shure also has the KSM line of short condenser mics. I haven't tried them, but the model KSM137 is a stereo pair for about $600 USD. Published response of 20-20,000 with an SPL of 170.

Dennis
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

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Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Here in the states a pair of AKG C414B-XLS's would cost between $1900 to $2000 USD. I use the 414 ULS's in the studio for overheads. For sound reinforcement I tend to use Shure SM81's. Shure also has the KSM line of short condenser mics. I haven't tried them, but the model KSM137 is a stereo pair for about $600 USD. Published response of 20-20,000 with an SPL of 170.

Dennis
Hmm maybe I forgot how cheap i buy kit in...
Haven't heard much of the KSM stuff except the KSM9 that one of my artists uses on his vocal, but i guess if they're anything like that they'll be good. Will have to demo.
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  #23  
Old 07-24-2009, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

US$239 for an SM57? My goodness! In that case, consider the classic 4-mic drum setup:

1) One dynamic mic for the snare
2) One dynamic mic for the bass drum
3) Two condenser mics for overheads.

The two dynamics should be SM57's. Again, don't get anything less. Its the cheapest Shure SM series mic, and the cheapest dynamic mic worth considering for serious work. It will work for bass drums, punchy although a bit lacking in low end. But it's nothing that mic placement and a little EQ can't help.

If you can't afford the nt5's or c1000's, the cheapest condenser mic with a generally good reputation is an Audio-Technica AT2020. It should be about the same price as an SM57. It's better known as a vocal/announcer mic because of its warm sound. Technically, it is a compromise between a classic large and small diaphragm condenser mic. While it lacks the sheen of a true small diaphragm condenser and doesn't have a -20db pad, it is nevertheless transparent and smooth in its frequency range. I have used it as an ambient mic for drums and guitar amps with great results, so I imagine it would do equally well for drum overheads. Your band's vocalist will love it too.

I'm guessing these four mics will fill up your US$1k budget in Norway prices.

I will caution you however that this 4-mic setup might force you to modify your playing. Only the bass drum and snare (and the leakage of the hi-hat into your snare mic) can be controlled in mixing. Everything else will be going into your overheads. You will have to find a way of balancing your toms and cymbals in actual playing because it will be difficult to do so in mixing. So do at least a couple of days of test recording to get your playing right, and to find the sweet spot for the overheads so that they get a balance of ambience and detail. Back in the mid-80s, I did a TV theme music project at home with a three-mic setup (bass, snare, and one overhead). Once I balanced my playing and found the sweet spot for the overheads, I didn't have to use too much EQ or reverb. I didn't even need that much of the snare mic in the mix, since all it needed was a little detail to add to the overheads.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Buying drum mic's for recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaard View Post
Sennheiser 421 costs 5000kr = 560 euro = 796 dollars
Shure Sm57 costs 1500kr = 168 euro = 239 dollars

Expensive :(..
The prices you mention are suggested retail, I have never paid more than 950 NOK for a sm57.
BTW, there are only vat on imported music stuff. Try musicstore.de cheap shipping and good prices.

/Frode
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