Drum miking newbie question.. what to plug into

RockNGrohl

Senior Member
Hey guys, I have played some outdoor gigs that could have used mics on my drums. This summer I will be playing a "socially distant" out door one at a local campground that has just opened. I have full of set of mics including a snare mic, two toms, kick and two over head condensers. Plus all the cables and stands. But now I need to know is what to plug into. I was thinking about getting my own eight channel mixer and sending that into the band P.A. Nothing fancy. Does anyone have any suggestions, or brands of one under a grand, new or used? Would this work? If not what is the solution? Any miking advice and tips please!
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The compact Yamaha's and Mackie's work well for this kind of application. You don't need a super high end mixer - if you were at a gig that required that it would be provided for you.
If you want to record at home as well, get the Zoom L-12 which can be an 8 - 12 channel mixer with reverb, compression and memories, or it can an 8 - 12 track recorder or even a USB interface.
You could try an ipad controlled mixer like the Behringer X series, the Mackie1608 and others, but I'd prefer to have a mixer with physical controls for a live setting.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I agree with the small Mackie or Behringer. For the cost, of you can afford one with 16-inputs minimum that would be a better investment for the future. Having more channels for future plug-ins is always a smart move. Although an older model, the Mackie 1604VLZ is a good start. The circuitry is cleaner than others and it provides ample power to the microphones. Mackie is really good about educating you on how to use the mixer too - something that lacks from other companies.

I’m using the Yamaha TF mixer these days for everything I do, but it might be out of your price range.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Hey guys, I have played some outdoor gigs that could have used mics on my drums. This summer I will be playing a "socially distant" out door one at a local campground that has just opened. I have full of set of mics including a snare mic, two toms, kick and two over head condensers. Plus all the cables and stands. But now I need to know is what to plug into. I was thinking about getting my own eight channel mixer and sending that into the band P.A. Nothing fancy. Does anyone have any suggestions, or brands of one under a grand, new or used? Would this work? If not what is the solution? Any miking advice and tips please!
This is a hard one to give a comprehensive opinion for, because I've only been on the sound-guy end of this.

Drummers will sometimes need to provide a mix in situations where there is no sound guy. It is in these instances where an onstage mixer is beneficial. The objective is to provide ~8-in and and 2-out (a mix sans BD and a solo BD).

In situations with a dedicated sound guy, aux mixers are less desirable. When on-stage mixers are used, their role changes. SG's in the front of the house will want control over the mix, so you're looking at 8-in / 8-out, forego'ing the mixer altogether, or using it as a personal monitor mixer. From a house SG's perspective, drummer mixers tend to be an annoyance. They're just another piece of stage gear that will get knocked over of otherwise fail mid-gig.

Worse yet is the drummer that thinks their snare isn't cutting through and bumps his volume/EQ mid-show. This usually results in the entire house collectively blinking in time with the songs.

My suggestion is:

Forego the disparate on-stage drum mixer and instead invest in a nicer front mixer like a StudioLive AI that features monitor control from an phone/iPad. Perhaps consider adding a non-essential multi-instrumentalist band member that does keys/synth/samples/harmonica/tambourine/harmonies and operates the mixer.

If you feel the burning desire to purchase something that helps improve the band's live sound, I'd recommend a pair of powered bass bins. Something like the Yamaha DX, or whatever brand/form-factor matches the rest of your band's PA.
 

RockNGrohl

Senior Member
Thanks as always guys! I'm just a weekend warrior right now looking into adding mic'd drums into our sound to make up for the outdoor sound dissipation.WE're not all pros but would like to sound pretty good sound wise. But i'll look into the Mackie, Yamaha and even the Zoom, although I don't really see doing much home recording at all. I'm just looking to amplify my drums when needed and you gave me some great suggestions.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Hey guys, I have played some outdoor gigs that could have used mics on my drums. This summer I will be playing a "socially distant" out door one at a local campground that has just opened. I have full of set of mics including a snare mic, two toms, kick and two over head condensers. Plus all the cables and stands. But now I need to know is what to plug into. I was thinking about getting my own eight channel mixer and sending that into the band P.A. Nothing fancy. Does anyone have any suggestions, or brands of one under a grand, new or used? Would this work? If not what is the solution? Any miking advice and tips please!
When you start micing toms, it gets fancy.

Toms ring out when you're not hitting them, because of other drums, and amps/monitors on stage, and it will cause feedback and humming. You need noise gates at the mixer, in order to avoid this. A simple EQ won't work. So, forego the tom mics, until you're feeding the signals into a proper mixer. Snares won't ring out as much, and a kick can be managed will pillows or blankets inside. You can try to just overheads, kick, and snare, but your mixer's outputs will be line level, probably XLR outputs. The mixer you want to connect to has mic level inputs, and MAYBE some line level inputs on SOME of the channels, which are 1/4 TRS inputs. So you'll need two XLR female to TRS male cables, or adapters.

This whole thing seems so simple, but it's a pretty big pain. If you can get by with micing just the kick, and maybe an overhead, that's the easiest route.
 
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