Good, cheap, drum mics

805Drummer

Gold Member
Hey everyone!

As you know, I record videos on Youtube, of drum covers and stuff.

I'd like to take this a step further and have my kit sound amazing, by micing it up.

The problem: I know pretty much nothing about mics--all I know is to avoid cheapies like Nady, CAD, etc.

I also know that a popular kick drum mic is the Shure Beta 52, which I found on eBay for only $70. Good deal?

As for the snare, the Audix i5 seems to be popular.

Keep in mind that I'm not recording for a studio, I'm just looking to put up some high-quality videos for fun (and a bit of ad revenue =D)

What mics do you suggest? And will I need a mixer, or what? I was thinking of having one snare mic, one for the rack tom, one for both of my floor toms, and either overheads or closed-micing for the cymbals.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Thank you!
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
Alright, sorry to bump, but I think I've narrowed it down (thank you, trkdrmr!):

Audix d6 for the kick
Shure SM57 for the snare

...and then an overhead. What would be the overhead equivalent of those two mics?
Also, I would have to get clips and stands, right?
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
AKG C1000. I I just bought a pair a couple of weeks ago and use them last night to record a concert. Great microphones that are not expensive and are very, very well made. Not the best sounding condensers I've ever heard, but at the price point some of the best. They also have the advantage of being capable of battery-power for location recording.

Rode NT5's are pretty much equivalent but I found them to be slightly more expensive and without the battery power option. Rode NT4's are useful mics, it's actually a stereo microphone with two capsules in an XY arrangement and a breakout cable. For hassle-free stereo recording, that's certainly a good option but is a little more expensive.
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
AKG C1000. I I just bought a pair a couple of weeks ago and use them last night to record a concert. Great microphones that are not expensive and are very, very well made. Not the best sounding condensers I've ever heard, but at the price point some of the best. They also have the advantage of being capable of battery-power for location recording.

Rode NT5's are pretty much equivalent but I found them to be slightly more expensive and without the battery power option. Rode NT4's are useful mics, it's actually a stereo microphone with two capsules in an XY arrangement and a breakout cable. For hassle-free stereo recording, that's certainly a good option but is a little more expensive.
The Rodes seem a bit unnecessary, because I don't even think Youtube uses stereo sound (I could be wrong). But the AKG seems good...the cheapest on eBay was $100. That's a pretty steep price, but I guess you get what you pay for. With the SM57 being $45, the d6 being $140, and the C1000 being $100, that brings the total to $285. But what about the mixer? What would be the cheapest and most effective way to bring all three tracks into Garageband?
 

Calummordue

Senior Member
hey, there is many ways of doing it. You need a audio interface, u need 6 mic imputs if your gonna have 6 mics. to be honest you don't really need to close mic for the purposes of youtube because it compresses it anyway. You should should look at that the recording technique "recorder man" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5Fjuz7jXzs you only need two mics and it produced a pretty decent sound. if you wanted to use more mics you could add a bass, snare and then toms. I would also look at getting a room mic as it really helps with the reverb and general sound.

so what i have done in the past is

The recorder man position - a pair of T.bone E100s
A room mic - Samson CO1 Studio Condenser
Bass mic - T.bone MB45

This is the drum cover i did using these mics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzTZobYp91U&feature=channel_page

These mic are not the best to be honest and they produce a pretty decent sound.

So you could use a pair of overheads in the recorder man position
The Shure Beta 52 on the bass
A Shure SM57 on the snare
And then possibly mic on the toms.

That would be an ideal setup but you would need a 7 or 8 channal interface + mic cable + stands or rim clips + audio software. It gets really expensive! i would just recommended using 4 mics and doing what i did in the cover.

I hope that helped

Calum
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
hey, there is many ways of doing it. You need a audio interface, u need 6 mic imputs if your gonna have 6 mics. to be honest you don't really need to close mic for the purposes of youtube because it compresses it anyway. You should should look at that the recording technique "recorder man" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5Fjuz7jXzs you only need two mics and it produced a pretty decent sound. if you wanted to use more mics you could add a bass, snare and then toms. I would also look at getting a room mic as it really helps with the reverb and general sound.

so what i have done in the past is

The recorder man position - a pair of T.bone E100s
A room mic - Samson CO1 Studio Condenser
Bass mic - T.bone MB45

This is the drum cover i did using these mics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzTZobYp91U&feature=channel_page

These mic are not the best to be honest and they produce a pretty decent sound.

So you could use a pair of overheads in the recorder man position
The Shure Beta 52 on the bass
A Shure SM57 on the snare
And then possibly mic on the toms.

That would be an ideal setup but you would need a 7 or 8 channal interface + mic cable + stands or rim clips + audio software. It gets really expensive! i would just recommended using 4 mics and doing what i did in the cover.

I hope that helped

Calum
Thing is, in your drum cover, I could tell that you're not using a snare mic. I think I would really want one, because I'm going for a pretty pop-ish, condensed sound, with punchy toms, and a kick that thuds. That being said, I think it's pretty imperative that I mic the snare and the bass. I was told that the Beta 52 needs lots of EQing, so I was gonna go with the Audix d6.

I couldn't find the T.bone anywhere on ebay, but the Samson C01 had a pretty good price, for $70. But how would it compare the the $30 more AKG C1000?

Let's see...the Audix d6 comes with a cable, so I would just need to buy a cable for the SM57. The SM57's come with attached clips, I'm pretty sure, so that means I would just have to buy a mic boom stand for the d6, and a cable for the SM57.

If I was only using three mics, couldn't I just go with, say, a four-channel interface? I already have audio software--Garageband.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Audix I5 for snare (you cant shatter the capsule like on a 57)
Audix D6 for kick (Beta 52 is also a fine mic)
Overheads, I can't speak intelligently about an inexpensive one. I would heed MFB's advice, he's quite experienced. I have Rode NT5's but they aren't cheap. Buy good stuff first, it's cheaper in the long run, that's my mindset.
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Audix I5 for snare (you cant shatter the capsule like on a 57)
Audix D6 for kick (Beta 52 is also a fine mic)
Overheads, I can't speak intelligently about an inexpensive one. I would heed MFB's advice, he's quite experienced. I have Rode NT5's but they aren't cheap. Buy good stuff first, it's cheaper in the long run, that's my mindset.
I'm not that experienced, I just know what I like.

The C1000's may be $30 more than the Samson, but at this price point, $30 is a LOT of the percentage cost. You won't regret the C1000's. Although they're not 'high-end' microphones, you won't ever get rid of them because they are very useful. Often you find in a recording situation, you'll have access to high-end microphones, but often the cheaper one will get the job done better or suit your recording aesthetic. With that said, you want a quality microphone at a good price point and my experience with Samson has been mixed. My experience with AKG is the opposite. It hasn't ever been mixed, it's always, always been one of quality at whatever price you may pay.

You'll hang onto the C1000's, even when you have higher end microphones. You won't hang onto the Samsons.

Four channel interface would be the way to go - sometimes the value of a four-channel interface is offset with the equivalent eight track. Often, the price difference might only be a hundred dollars or so for double the inputs. My Line 6 TonePort UX8 was only £350, but a four-track equivalent wouldn't have been significantly less. Maybe a hundred pounds or so.
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
Audix I5 for snare (you cant shatter the capsule like on a 57)
Audix D6 for kick (Beta 52 is also a fine mic)
Overheads, I can't speak intelligently about an inexpensive one. I would heed MFB's advice, he's quite experienced. I have Rode NT5's but they aren't cheap. Buy good stuff first, it's cheaper in the long run, that's my mindset.
Yeah, I've noticed a lot of people on Youtube use the I5 on the snare batter, and the SM57 on the snare side. I've also heard that they sound pretty similar, except the i5 is a bit more high-pitched, and the SM57 makes for a warmer tone. If that's true, the I5 sounds better for the snare, and the SM57s would do well for the toms.

In fact, it might even be cheaper to close mic the toms than to use an overhead mic, if I can get a good deal on the SM57s.

I'm not that experienced, I just know what I like.

The C1000's may be $30 more than the Samson, but at this price point, $30 is a LOT of the percentage cost. You won't regret the C1000's. Although they're not 'high-end' microphones, you won't ever get rid of them because they are very useful. Often you find in a recording situation, you'll have access to high-end microphones, but often the cheaper one will get the job done better or suit your recording aesthetic. With that said, you want a quality microphone at a good price point and my experience with Samson has been mixed. My experience with AKG is the opposite. It hasn't ever been mixed, it's always, always been one of quality at whatever price you may pay.

You'll hang onto the C1000's, even when you have higher end microphones. You won't hang onto the Samsons.

Four channel interface would be the way to go - sometimes the value of a four-channel interface is offset with the equivalent eight track. Often, the price difference might only be a hundred dollars or so for double the inputs. My Line 6 TonePort UX8 was only £350, but a four-track equivalent wouldn't have been significantly less. Maybe a hundred pounds or so.
OK, so now I know not to go with the Samsons--C1000's instead.

As far as interfaces go, I'm completely lost. I was looking at http://www.guitarcenter.com/Audio-Interfaces-Computers-and-Peripherals.gc?o=1 and I can't even tell how many inputs it has! The Toneport costs $500, so I'm obviously not going with that. Can't you kind of skimp with a cheap interface, or no?
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
You can't kind of skimp with anything. If you get a poor interface, the preamps will be awful and as a result the quality of your microphones will be irrelevant. You need to make sure it has phantom power as well, unless you want to buy a lot of batteries.
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
You can't kind of skimp with anything. If you get a poor interface, the preamps will be awful and as a result the quality of your microphones will be irrelevant. You need to make sure it has phantom power as well, unless you want to buy a lot of batteries.
So what would you recommend? I can't even tell how many inputs it has by the description...
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
So what would you recommend? I can't even tell how many inputs it has by the description...
I'm trying to find something suitable right now, but doing a number of other things.

My general advice to you is to wait until you can afford something that you will keep. I'm using a Line 6 TonePort UX8 - which is out of your price range, but I suggest that if you want to expand your recording capability then you consider something to save up for. A PreSonus FP10 would also be a good idea, or even a FirePod second hand from eBay. Try and look second hand for something like this. Don't necessary like new for your microphones either.

Don't skimp on anything. If in doubt, save up and wait.
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
I'm trying to find something suitable right now, but doing a number of other things.

My general advice to you is to wait until you can afford something that you will keep. I'm using a Line 6 TonePort UX8 - which is out of your price range, but I suggest that if you want to expand your recording capability then you consider something to save up for. A PreSonus FP10 would also be a good idea, or even a FirePod second hand from eBay. Try and look second hand for something like this. Don't necessary like new for your microphones either.

Don't skimp on anything. If in doubt, save up and wait.
Oh yes, most definitely used. I was just using Guitar Center as a reference point. I'll keep on the lookout for some interfaces...

I actually don't have the money to most of this stuff now (I only have $50), but I keep this huge spreadsheet in Google docs of all my drum purchases, future purchases, links, things I need to sell / have sold, etc. It's really, really useful.
 

ermghoti

Silver Member
You want to go cheap? Get the 52, that's a great price used. Go single overhead, CAD M177, Studio Projects B1, a 603 maybe a used Russian Mk012 will turn up. Nothing I've heard from the C1000 flatters it considering the price point.

Keep the OH low, it will get the snare plenty sharp, the other stuff will bleed in well enough with careful placement. alternatively, get two condensors, go Recorderman, or a spaced pair in front of the kit, probably about tom high and 4-6' back. You probably won't like the proximity of the snare in the mix though, based on your comments.

That way, you can use one of the halfway decent two-channel interfaces, which hover around $200. It will be a huge improvement over a camcorder.

In an ideal world, I'd suggest dual Recorderman config OH, a snare, and kick, but even used, you'd be in for the B52 + $275+ for decent mics, used, and then be committed to a larger interface, which would be at bare minimum, $300 used.
 

Chonson

Senior Member
In fact, it might even be cheaper to close mic the toms than to use an overhead mic, if I can get a good deal on the SM57s.
You don't want to go this route - it seems to make sense initially, but you'll lose a lot of air and the kit will sound fairly dead. If you want to go minimal, I'd rank importance in the following order:

Overhead - Condenser or ribbon
Overhead #2 - matched (or not) to the previous.
Kick
Snare

OH is a matter of taste; I'm currently really liking the Cascade Fatheads but they're about $300/pr which seems to be a bit more than you're wanting to spend (but they're great mics).
Kick again depends on what you are a fan of; I haven't been using a "kick mic" per se lately (421 or RE20 + AT4047) but the designed-as-a-kick-mic I like is the Beta 52.
Snare - Can't go wrong with a 57. (Unless you want to pony up for an m201)

Not a huge fan of the Audix stuff, personally. Matter of taste.
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
You don't want to go this route - it seems to make sense initially, but you'll lose a lot of air and the kit will sound fairly dead. If you want to go minimal, I'd rank importance in the following order:

Overhead - Condenser or ribbon
Overhead #2 - matched (or not) to the previous.
Kick
Snare

OH is a matter of taste; I'm currently really liking the Cascade Fatheads but they're about $300/pr which seems to be a bit more than you're wanting to spend (but they're great mics).
Kick again depends on what you are a fan of; I haven't been using a "kick mic" per se lately (421 or RE20 + AT4047) but the designed-as-a-kick-mic I like is the Beta 52.
Snare - Can't go wrong with a 57. (Unless you want to pony up for an m201)

Not a huge fan of the Audix stuff, personally. Matter of taste.
I know it sounds bad, but I want my kit to sound fairly dead. Not like "cardboard box" dead, but like, barely any resonance. I just want a quick, fat, punch from each tom, and I want my snare to be the only one with a bit of ring. Cymbals: crisp and bright.

So the Beta52 or the Audix d6 is final for the kick, the SM57 is final for the snare, and for overheads, so far I have either the AKG C1000s or Recorderman OH (I think).

But now I need to find a good interface to keep my eyes set on...the cheapest possible 4-input interface that won't ruin my sound.
 

Chonson

Senior Member
I know it sounds bad, but I want my kit to sound fairly dead. Not like "cardboard box" dead, but like, barely any resonance. I just want a quick, fat, punch from each tom, and I want my snare to be the only one with a bit of ring. Cymbals: crisp and bright.

So the Beta52 or the Audix d6 is final for the kick, the SM57 is final for the snare, and for overheads, so far I have either the AKG C1000s or Recorderman OH (I think).
The recorderman thing is a placement technique, not a product. One over, one behindish - kinda like the old Glyn Johns method.

2 OH, 57 snare + 52 kick will get you there. To achieve your desired sound, you'll need to try and get the majority of it through careful tuning and some application of muffling. I was commenting that close-micing your toms and ditching overheads entirely would not produce a good sound. Your cymbals would sound horrible and there would be very little air to the sound. Overheads are pretty much the foundation of the kit sound.
 

Calummordue

Senior Member
Im pretty sure Garage band wont work with a audio interface.... garageband will only talk to one sound card and it classes an audio interface as a sound card. You will have to look at getting another.

calum
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
The recorderman thing is a placement technique, not a product. One over, one behindish - kinda like the old Glyn Johns method.

2 OH, 57 snare + 52 kick will get you there. To achieve your desired sound, you'll need to try and get the majority of it through careful tuning and some application of muffling. I was commenting that close-micing your toms and ditching overheads entirely would not produce a good sound. Your cymbals would sound horrible and there would be very little air to the sound. Overheads are pretty much the foundation of the kit sound.
Besides my bass, my kit is tuned just about perfectly how I want it. I guess I'll go with that then. One or two overheads, and 57/52 or d6 on the bass.

But: what about mixers?

Im pretty sure Garage band wont work with a audio interface.... garageband will only talk to one sound card and it classes an audio interface as a sound card. You will have to look at getting another.

calum
What? No, not true. I quote, from Garageband's help files:

"To record on multiple tracks, you need to have an audio interface with at least two input channels for recording."
 
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