Mic selection for recording drums

SGT_Drummer

Senior Member
Ok guys, this is an area that I am very new to. I have done a fair amount of research, but do not know enough to make a solid informed decision on. Basically, what mics do I need to get?

If someone could break it down for me please. Such as, Large Diaphragm Cardoid mic for bass recommend Shure 57B. Iuno, like I said this is a new area for me so I am open to everything! Including "Hey stupid! go buy/read this book".

My goal is to one day be a professional drummer or make it big in a band. But I'm a realist so my back-up plan is to get a studio going and be able to act as a middle man between unsigned acts and major labels. If that doesn't work, hell I guess I'll go crawling back to the military lol.

Anyways, thanks for the help in advance. You guys are frickin awesome!
 
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trkdrmr

Guest
I did the same contemplation. I just rotated back from the war in January.

I ended up getting the following:

Kick: Audix d6. Todd Sucharman of styx recommended it. The reason is, that it's pre-eq'd for a kick drum. A Shure beta looks better on paper (electronically it is) but I have seen many people complain it's very hard to eq correctly.

Overheads: Stirling audio and/or AKG perception 170. These condenser mics are about $99 each and work great for capturing the kit from overhead.

Snares: Shure sm57- probably the perfect snare mic, unless you are willing to spend $800 on a better one.

Here is a diagram of micing my kit: (I am adding a second D6 for my 2nd kick)
 

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Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
The D6 looks like the way to go for the bass drum. The Shure SM58 or Audix i5 seem to be the mics in vogue for snare drums. Overheads are a much more personal (and difficult) choice. Right now I'm running a pair of AKG C1000's; which I use for everything from recording small percussion parts to (this evening) recording a whole orchestra. With consistently high-quality results. I've also used AKG Perception 400's for the same objectives (before I bought my own set of C1000's) and they weren't bad. Well built, but somewhat lacking in terms of the high-end response. The C1000's clear that up nicely.

There are plenty of cheaper options (Oktava make a good set of overheads for less money) as well as Rode NT5's - which are around the same price. If in doubt, go for the best set of overheads you can, that you like. The choice is very personal when compared to the others. In my own experience, the majority of my mix comes from my overheads and I'm quite happy to record a whole kit with just overheads. In my opinion, bass and snare mics are just there to 'beef up' the sound that the overheads are already providing. So they are the far more important choice in my experience.

In ideal circumstances, try and get yourself to a few places where you can try different mics. It's harder to try out microphones than other things, admittedly. But if you can get some experience with a friend or an engineer who knows their stuff - or do some work in a theatre (I did some last year as part of a college course) then you will learn a lot very quickly about what works and what doesn't work for you. Try it. Personally, I love AKG - but that doesn't mean that in the future I might not find other overheads that I also like (and probably ones that will cost the Earth - I'm rather fond of SE Electronics and particularly Neumann...).
 
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trkdrmr

Guest
I just looked:

AKG C1000: $219 each

AKG Perception 400: $249

Shure sm58: $85

Audix i5: $99

Rode nt5 $429

Oktava (Russian made) start at $274
 
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Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Interesting. I was under the impression the Oktava Mics were cheaper. The prices are actually LESS in the UK for the C1000's. I got mine for £89 apiece. Looks like the prices over there are very much inflated. The NT5's cost about £110/120 depending on where you look. SM58's are less in the States (expected, US company). In the end, I'm guessing it's all coming down to import costs.
 

autonomos

Senior Member
I use the Rode NT5s with good results. I think they're one of the best bang for the buck deals for overheads.

Also another choice in bass drum mics is the Sennheiser E602. It also is kinda "pre-EQd" a bit like the D6. Shure Beta52 and AKG D112 are a more true transparent kind of sound.
 

nfiora

Member
I dont know what everyone else has said but one thing I would like to mention is to remember to Use overhead Condenser mikes in cooperation with your mikes u use on each seperate drum ( if you chose to do so). This will make a big difference. danny Carry form Tool only uses these type of miking system on Tool recordings.
 
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