Options for miking drums

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
I think you should function as a sub-mixer sending signal to the main PA on your own. Then you eliminate any kind of confusion as to how to wire everything up.

If you can swing it, find yourself a Mackie 1402 VLZ, which gives you six XLR inputs just for you (and it also has a few channels that take 1/4"), but six is a good number. Then get enough Shure SM57's to cover the drums, and one good mic for an overhead, like a AKG SE33B. That should fill up six, right? Then just send one cable from you to the main PA and mix away from there.

I have a Mackie 1604 VLZ3 I can use just for me, or as a main PA console since it has 16-channels of XLR, 8 direct outs, 8 aux sends, 4 busses, - it definitely gives me a lot of options. But I play a 4-piece kit, so I have options to mic all the drums with a couple of overheads, or just the bass, snare, and an overhead, or...etc.,... If you're talking making the investment, doing it once is a good idea. Get as big a console as you can afford (or want), and just let it give you as many options as you can get. It should be at least somewhat "almost upper-end" because the circuitry will just be better and clean. Some of those old style "brain" mixers use inferior electronics and just make a lot of noise.

The neat thing is that I managed to find the console I have for only $250 used on eBay. Of course, there's a certain amount of risk there making sure what you buy actually works, but I have access to people who can test and fix the stuff, and I've been lucky meeting honest sellers so far.
You need to post a thread showing off all of your toys in depth
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You need to post a thread showing off all of your toys in depth
Perhaps this weekend. I'm experimenting with those AKG C418 clip-on mics from the toms and snare (I wanted something extra light and unobtrusive) after trying to use the Shure SM57 with those bone-crunching Shure rim mounts - those things are quite heavy - so if I get satisfactory sounds from these new tiny mics, I'll post something about it.

But I'm still jazzed about getting a great sound with a mic in the bass drum, and one overhead!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
after trying to use the Shure SM57 with those bone-crunching Shure rim mounts - those things are quite heavy - so if I get satisfactory sounds from these new tiny mics, I'll post something about it.
The biggest issue we had with the metal Shure clips was when someone tripped over, or got caught up in, a cable. Cheap plastic clips pull free... or simply break.... The Shure doesn't... You would intuitively think that's a good thing.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The biggest issue we had with the metal Shure clips was when someone tripped over, or got caught up in, a cable. Cheap plastic clips pull free... or simply break.... The Shure doesn't... You would intuitively think that's a good thing.
Yeah, when those Shure mounts are used, they make big targets for people to bump into and get caught up in. So if it's on my rack tom, for example, if someone gets caught on it, it'll just pull the whole drum with it!

I quite like these little AKG's though, nice and light, and unobtrusive so I think people won't focus on them. And the wiring is light that I can run a cable snake where I am and run the wires back to me, further cleaning up the clutter. I'll have to be more careful with the thin cables, but only on the set-up and strike.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
To back way up, the OP said that he is playing only small to medium-sized venues. In my experiences, the only thing you are going to need to worry about is miking the kick. Just start there. I'm a fan of the Audix D6. It's a one-trick pony, but it's a really good trick!

If you start playing more medium/large(ish)-sized halls or outside a lot, get a small board that has 4 XLR inputs. Mic your kick, rack tom, floor tom, and snare. But even still, we are talking that may be overkill.

For now, you'll be fine with just miking the kick. You won't even have to do that in smaller places.
 

Maverick10

Senior Member
Hey all thank you for the tips and advice. We had practice Monday night and for the first time I was told I was being to loud in non joking way. I was like I'm not playing any harder than I use to. So I'm not sure if having the guitar, bass, and vocals running through the PA and then the PA speakers on stands changed how loud I was for everyone versus amps on the ground. It was weird. I ended up just tapping as I played, which was fine I don't mind working on my dynamics. haha But it didn't feel the same. I mean I'm not bashing when I play and always use dynamics, but to really have to hold back was different.

I wasn't sore after practice this time. haha.

But guitar and bass were running direct to the mixer with 1/4" and the Vocal took 1 XLR channel. SO in theory I have 3 I can work with. I'm thinking Kick, Snare, over head and going straight to their mixer. Then I can save money on not buying one and just get better mics. But with the volume thing it made me wonder if I even need that much for any small venues we would have to bring our PA. Maybe a kick and snare for Continuity and have them mixed low for more of a feeling of it being there rather than full on heard. But for practice sounds like I may not need anything, except 5a's instead of 5b's. LOL!!!

J
 

J-Moe

Member
Maybe a kick and snare for Continuity and have them mixed low for more of a feeling of it being there rather than full on heard.
That's what I used to do in very small spaces. Just a DROP of kick and snare in the PA was enough to add some presence and make everything sound better. If that's the route you're going, then definitely get a good kick mic (you'll be happy with an Audix D6 or AKG D112) and a SM-57 for the snare.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
But guitar and bass were running direct to the mixer with 1/4" and the Vocal took 1 XLR channel.
Ok, I have to ask...how big are the woofers on the PA? If his is just running a pair of 10" speakers, then the bass player needs to man up and get a amp. Running a bass direct into a PA will sound like a fart box with smaller speakers.

But with the volume thing it made me wonder if I even need that much for any small venues we would have to bring our PA.
Like I said before, with a small/medium-sized hall, you will only need to mic the kick. If it's a small venue, then don't mic anything.


But for practice sounds like I may not need anything, except 5a's instead of 5b's.

If you are playing rock and roll, then they need to put up with the volume of your drums (within reason). However, if y'all are pop or anything else and you don't bash the drums, you would probably do just fine with a 7A sticks. I play 7A's at church and use Vic Firth AJ5's (even SMALLER than a 7A) whenever I play in my Americana band. At practice, I either use rods or brushes.
 

Macarina

Silver Member
My first read of the thread title, I swore it said Milking Drums.



My bad... now back to sensibility and this thread.
 
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