Mixer for practice

davige101

Member
This is interesting. Have you used it? How would it work with a typical drum set up, assuming you put the two extra inputs on the

Cool. So are you using the Zoom H4N I take it? It has it's own mic's it seems, so that is placed where? I assume you use the extra inputs for the overheads?
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rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Cool. So if you use the Zoom, where does the mic's on the Zoom itself get placed? I assume the overheads are your two extra inputs?
D
The Zoom H4N has the internal mics setup already in XY fashion, so it would be mounted on a mic stand about your head, and then if you wanted to use the external XLR connections for two more mics (eg snare and kick) you could do that. I have the H5, but never got around to trying this, so I don't know if there are any stability issues - the Zoom is kinda heavy, and with two heavy XLR cables plugged into it, might be too much for a well-extended stand.
 
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Deleted member 525878

Guest
You can mount the zoom on a stand. The built-in mics are condensers; perfect for overheads. Two inputs on the bottom of the unit could be used for, say, a kick mic and a snare mic, or inputs from the outputs of a mixer.
 
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Deleted member 525878

Guest
I used to mount the Zoom on a stand behind me, above and behind my head. There's a threaded part on the back of it for use with stands, shoe mount thingy, etc. The two bottom inputs could be used for almost anything; outputs from a mixer board, music, extra mics. Get on the Zoom website and check their products out. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, too. You could even place the Zoom in front of your drumet.
 

davige101

Member
Thanks all for your input. I am leaning now towards a reasonable mixer, at least 10 inputs, and getting 'OK' mics. Again, I am not going to do much of any recording, so this is for practice and occasional uploads. The Zoom options is nice, but as you can see in my profile image my set is a bit big to really handle what it offers. I am still open to suggestions. Regardless, thanks so much for helping me out.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hey Drummerworld. I have played for years as a hobby and only have done a few gigs, so I am basically an experienced hobby drummer.

Having said that, I practice to songs over an old stereo amp, a laptop piping in the music, and use old Vic Firth headphones. (yeah, my hearing is crap!)

I have a large set (I love old Rush and Genesis, and hey, I like a large set) and have two bass drums. Now, I was looking at getting something to get the kit and particularly the bass drums more into the headphone mix so I can actually hear what I am doing and practice accordingly. I have no intention of going on the road, studio work, etc.

I do not know much about the sound/micing/mixing side of drumming, and thus why I'm here. I really don't want to blow too much money on this either. Just need something that picks up the set and feeds it into a mixer and I can input the songs I want to practice with it.

I was looking at the Sabian Sound Kit. It is interesting, has good reviews if you are needing a decent mic strategy for practice, but has two possible drawbacks. It has only one bass drum mic, and I am really not sure the overhead mic's would work well on a 12 piece kit with lots of cymbals. All the reviews and YT vids are all on 4 or 5 piece kits.

But what do you all think? Would the Sabian Sound kit actually be enough for my needs? What cost effective mixer and mics would you recommend? I could go back to a single bass with double pedals if really needed, but if I don't have to, that would be nice too.

Your help is most appreciated.

Thx

Davige101
Ok I’m chiming in: if your goal is just to hear your drums while you play along with music, it sounds like what you need is a mixing board and some microphones.

Your music player will plug into the mixer and your headphones take the mixers output so you can hear what’s going on. All you have to decide is how many mics you want to use to cover your kit. If you want to keep it simple, and keep your double bass drums, then two bass drum mics, a snare mic and an overhead will cover you. Run those through the mixer and mix your music in, and voila! You’re hearing the music and your kit. If your budget allows, add more mics.

As this is a hobby, I’d go out and find a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer which gives you 16 channels, room to expand in the future. You can probably find one used for $300, leaving you some $$$ for a cheap drum mic set and cables. I say get actual drum mics that attach to the drums, then you only have to get one boom stand for an overhead mic. Then you’re all set!
 

davige101

Member
Ok I’m chiming in: if your goal is just to hear your drums while you play along with music, it sounds like what you need is a mixing board and some microphones.

Your music player will plug into the mixer and your headphones take the mixers output so you can hear what’s going on. All you have to decide is how many mics you want to use to cover your kit. If you want to keep it simple, and keep your double bass drums, then two bass drum mics, a snare mic and an overhead will cover you. Run those through the mixer and mix your music in, and voila! You’re hearing the music and your kit. If your budget allows, add more mics.

As this is a hobby, I’d go out and find a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer which gives you 16 channels, room to expand in the future. You can probably find one used for $300, leaving you some $$$ for a cheap drum mic set and cables. I say get actual drum mics that attach to the drums, then you only have to get one boom stand for an overhead mic. Then you’re all set!
Brilliant! I am coming to the same conclusion too, Bo Eder. Much appreciated. The nice thing about this approach is if I really want to record at some point, I have the basics in place and can move on to more interesting stuff.

Thanks again.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Brilliant! I am coming to the same conclusion too, Bo Eder. Much appreciated. The nice thing about this approach is if I really want to record at some point, I have the basics in place and can move on to more interesting stuff.

Thanks again.
True. With the Mackie board, if you added, say, the Zoom R16, which can record 8 tracks at the same time, you have 8 direct outs on the Mackie, so if you do everything with 8 channels, you can record that way and do a proper mixdown in the R16 instead of having to record everything to stereo.
 

davige101

Member
I have a question to ask:

It is going to be impossible (or just plain too expensive) to mic each drum individually. Assuming I pickup an 8 to 12 input mixer, can I use an XLR splitter cable to use two mic's for one input? I am not too concerned about recording right now, and given I have a large set, I would be willing to mic them all, but then the mixers get expensive trying to get all 14 mic's into it, etc. Just seems like overkill for my needs. I have seen many (almost too many!) YT how to's on four, three, two or even one mic setups, but I don't think I'd have the same success on a large kit.

I would split up the close mic tom's into one input, saving me some mixer input's. The snare, overheads and two bass drums would get their own mic's. (Split the bass drums???)

What do you think? I don't want to spend a fortune, as I have to get everything from scratch. I have no mic's, stands, XLR cables, and no mixer.

D
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I have a question to ask:

It is going to be impossible (or just plain too expensive) to mic each drum individually. Assuming I pickup an 8 to 12 input mixer, can I use an XLR splitter cable to use two mic's for one input? I am not too concerned about recording right now, and given I have a large set, I would be willing to mic them all, but then the mixers get expensive trying to get all 14 mic's into it, etc. Just seems like overkill for my needs. I have seen many (almost too many!) YT how to's on four, three, two or even one mic setups, but I don't think I'd have the same success on a large kit.

I would split up the close mic tom's into one input, saving me some mixer input's. The snare, overheads and two bass drums would get their own mic's. (Split the bass drums???)

What do you think? I don't want to spend a fortune, as I have to get everything from scratch. I have no mic's, stands, XLR cables, and no mixer.

D
You can mic your kit with as little as four mics (2 bd, sd, and two overheads) if all you want to do is hear your kit equally when you play along to a track. So you could get away with at the very least a six-input mixer. But, it’s false economy to think like this. Buying a mixer with more input channels isn’t unattainable, and like anything else, a 16-Channel board isn’t that much more than a board with less inputs.

I say you’ll eventually want to move up to more, so if you don’t have any money, I’d just wait and save up. If you get a small mixer now, you’re just gonna spend more $$$ later as you expand. I’ve never met anyone who gave up on miking up and having the ability to record, so I doubt you’d try it and then declare you won’t go any farther. It’s like a musician-narcissist thing. We like hearing ourselves too much 😉
 

davige101

Member
You can mic your kit with as little as four mics (2 bd, sd, and two overheads) if all you want to do is hear your kit equally when you play along to a track. So you could get away with at the very least a six-input mixer. But, it’s false economy to think like this. Buying a mixer with more input channels isn’t unattainable, and like anything else, a 16-Channel board isn’t that much more than a board with less inputs.

I say you’ll eventually want to move up to more, so if you don’t have any money, I’d just wait and save up. If you get a small mixer now, you’re just gonna spend more $$$ later as you expand. I’ve never met anyone who gave up on miking up and having the ability to record, so I doubt you’d try it and then declare you won’t go any farther. It’s like a musician-narcissist thing. We like hearing ourselves too much 😉
I agree with you Bo. Eventually I'd probably record myself because I would have a lot of the miking in place, so it does make sense to get some mixer and extra mic's going. I am moving away from a small mixer now.

I was wondering, though, if there is *technical* reason not use a XLR splitter, say, for my 6" and 8" rack tom's, which are not played as often as the other toms and you are not concerned with precisely mixing each single drum one may have? If you have two bass drums and they are equally tuned, would it not make a bit of sense to split that input as they would be mixed the same? Or is that a bad thing to do on a kit? I am just curious, as I am not a sound guru (obviously). And I don't have Neil Peart budget (R.I.P.) and a sound crew to mic a huge kit like he had. (Probably the Bozzio kit would be a nightmare to mic up I'd imagine!)

Thanks so much for your thoughts. Really helpful.

D
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I agree with you Bo. Eventually I'd probably record myself because I would have a lot of the miking in place, so it does make sense to get some mixer and extra mic's going. I am moving away from a small mixer now.

I was wondering, though, if there is *technical* reason not use a XLR splitter, say, for my 6" and 8" rack tom's, which are not played as often as the other toms and you are not concerned with precisely mixing each single drum one may have? If you have two bass drums and they are equally tuned, would it not make a bit of sense to split that input as they would be mixed the same? Or is that a bad thing to do on a kit? I am just curious, as I am not a sound guru (obviously). And I don't have Neil Peart budget (R.I.P.) and a sound crew to mic a huge kit like he had. (Probably the Bozzio kit would be a nightmare to mic up I'd imagine!)

Thanks so much for your thoughts. Really helpful.

D
I suppose you could XLR-combine. Totally up to you. You just never see it in a pro situation because they want individual control of each drum. You have to think in terms of EQ as well: one drum might not sound good with the EQ that makes the other one sound good. Would you be using more than 16 channels for everything? Yamaha makes semi-compact boards up to 32-channels so it can be done individually with the right amount of money. In a perfect world, how many mics do you need to cover your kit?
 

davige101

Member
I suppose you could XLR-combine. Totally up to you. You just never see it in a pro situation because they want individual control of each drum. You have to think in terms of EQ as well: one drum might not sound good with the EQ that makes the other one sound good. Would you be using more than 16 channels for everything? Yamaha makes semi-compact boards up to 32-channels so it can be done individually with the right amount of money. In a perfect world, how many mics do you need to cover your kit?
No I figure the Bob Clearmountin's of the production world would never split an input like that, but I am spit balling an option. In a perfect world, I have twelve individual drums, then about the same in cymbals and a couple of accessories like a cow bell and a bell. The overheads would usually handle the cymbals, and assuming I go with two overheads or one really good one, that would be at least 13-14 distinct mic's, the snare getting one of them (instead the modern two mic method). So 16 channels would be ideal with all those mic's. But I am trying to determine if it is really worth it. I get your point though; may as well splurge for the 16 input mixer and perhaps build up the mic's (start with the four/five mic option you mentioned).

To top it all off, I have no port hole on my bass reso heads, which adds a little extra complexity with the possible bass mic's. I have been reading all sorts of different ways to handle this, and all of them are expensive for two bass drums setup, but some of the cheaper large diameter bass mic's seem OK for my purposes. Ideally, I'd stick the mic inside the bass drum as I have the tom holes freed up, but then I read other drummers say that's not a great way to get sound from your bass drums.... There are all sorts of mic kits being sold; some from well known brands but $$$$ and then there cheap sets that are basically 7 mic's for cheaper then one Shure Beta 52A.... It's mind boggling how far you can go recording a kit these days. I know you get what you pay for, but I am not a session drummer. I play for myself.

I need a drink... : O Thanks again Bo.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
No I figure the Bob Clearmountin's of the production world would never split an input like that, but I am spit balling an option. In a perfect world, I have twelve individual drums, then about the same in cymbals and a couple of accessories like a cow bell and a bell. The overheads would usually handle the cymbals, and assuming I go with two overheads or one really good one, that would be at least 13-14 distinct mic's, the snare getting one of them (instead the modern two mic method). So 16 channels would be ideal with all those mic's. But I am trying to determine if it is really worth it. I get your point though; may as well splurge for the 16 input mixer and perhaps build up the mic's (start with the four/five mic option you mentioned).

To top it all off, I have no port hole on my bass reso heads, which adds a little extra complexity with the possible bass mic's. I have been reading all sorts of different ways to handle this, and all of them are expensive for two bass drums setup, but some of the cheaper large diameter bass mic's seem OK for my purposes. Ideally, I'd stick the mic inside the bass drum as I have the tom holes freed up, but then I read other drummers say that's not a great way to get sound from your bass drums.... There are all sorts of mic kits being sold; some from well known brands but $$$$ and then there cheap sets that are basically 7 mic's for cheaper then one Shure Beta 52A.... It's mind boggling how far you can go recording a kit these days. I know you get what you pay for, but I am not a session drummer. I play for myself.

I need a drink... : O Thanks again Bo.
I get the early frustration about it. I think we all go through it.
So we know you need at least a 16-input mixer. I know you can get a solid used Mackie 1604VLZ in the $275-400 range. Definitely get the right board first, then add mics as you can. Theoretically you could use two over heads and one hi hat mic, and each drum get it’s own. Oddly enough, CAD makes this pack called the Stage pack, and those aren’t bad for the price. Each drum mic can clamp to the rim, and you just need three booms (two for the overheads and one on the hi hat. The bass drum mics would need their own stands, and then go to Amazon to get a bulk order of sixteen 25” mic cables and your all set. It’ll be over $500, but it’ll be worth it.
 
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