Overhead Micing (Mono)

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
I currently have the Audix FP7 mic kit, an I5, and a D6. I have 2 F9 condenser mics in this pack and I have been debating two options for recording. I would like to buy some nicer overheads, such as the Rode NT5's. But I recently read on a forum about using a mono overhead. So my question is.. Would buying a matched pair of NT5's be a good choice (putting the F9's on the ride and hats)? OR should I buy an AKG C214 and put it as my mono overhead and place the two F9's on the hi hat and the ride(or just left and right)?

This may be a bit confusing, but I want to get the best sound out of my $400.
Thanks,
Jackson
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
Well I think that you should put away the idea of effectively using four overheads unless you really know what you're doing and you have a great sounding room. That is creating more problems than anything. Lots of off-axis sound and likely many phase problems between mics. If you want to spot mic the hi hat and the ride and use two overheads....you better have spot mics on everything else. Often , you'll find the overheads sound way more like drums than the close mics do, especially if you're using 'budget mics', which you are. In this case, less is certainly more.
Look into some tried and true methods of overhead mic'ing using just one or two mics and experiment. Google it. Spaced pair, XY, Glyn-Johns, mono, etc. Moving mics a few inches up or down , left or right can make all the difference.
After you have two overheads mastered, you'll probably want to consider a stereo or mono room mic to blend in.
Best drum recordings I have ever heard : jazz player on a vintage Camco kit, playing R&B in a great sounding room. Kick drum - Sennheiser 421 outside (full reso) and a spaced pair of Bruell & Kaajer ( they became DPA mics) omni overheads. No verb, no EQ, no compression. Sounded like I was standing right there, only better.
Even if you know you want a more produced /processed sound, learning everything I pointed out above will go a long way to your overall recording knowledge.

But to directly answer your question: yes, NT5's are fine....use those as overheads and use the F9's as room mics.
Better yet, buy a pair of Octava or another pencil condenser that has interchangeable capsules. You want cardioid and omni to start out.
If you want to try some good sounding omnis cheap, lookup Naiant microphones. Pair for less than $100. And they are more than useable.
Good luck.

Best,
Neal
 

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
Well I think that you should put away the idea of effectively using four overheads unless you really know what you're doing and you have a great sounding room. That is creating more problems than anything. Lots of off-axis sound and likely many phase problems between mics. If you want to spot mic the hi hat and the ride and use two overheads....you better have spot mics on everything else. Often , you'll find the overheads sound way more like drums than the close mics do, especially if you're using 'budget mics', which you are. In this case, less is certainly more.
Look into some tried and true methods of overhead mic'ing using just one or two mics and experiment. Google it. Spaced pair, XY, Glyn-Johns, mono, etc. Moving mics a few inches up or down , left or right can make all the difference.
After you have two overheads mastered, you'll probably want to consider a stereo or mono room mic to blend in.
Best drum recordings I have ever heard : jazz player on a vintage Camco kit, playing R&B in a great sounding room. Kick drum - Sennheiser 421 outside (full reso) and a spaced pair of Bruell & Kaajer ( they became DPA mics) omni overheads. No verb, no EQ, no compression. Sounded like I was standing right there, only better.
Even if you know you want a more produced /processed sound, learning everything I pointed out above will go a long way to your overall recording knowledge.

But to directly answer your question: yes, NT5's are fine....use those as overheads and use the F9's as room mics.
Better yet, buy a pair of Octava or another pencil condenser that has interchangeable capsules. You want cardioid and omni to start out.
If you want to try some good sounding omnis cheap, lookup Naiant microphones. Pair for less than $100. And they are more than useable.
Good luck.

Best,
Neal
Thanks, I look forward to experimenting with different mic set ups, I think I will go with the nt5's because people keep saying they're great for the money.
Thanks again! -Jackson
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Nothing wrong with a mono overhead. I use that in SR all the time. Right over the snare. Then add in other mics as required. Lot of classic recordings done with a single overhead, often out in front of the kit.

If you want a very obvious stereo spread you can experiment with variations of the Glyn Johns method. The mics don't have to necessary be matched for this. Lately I've been playing with a large diaphragm condenser overhead and a dynamic or ribbon off to the side for the spread. The restricted high frequencies of the dynamic keep the cymbals in balance and emphasize the toms in the stereo image. The cymbals just sound spacious, not panned hard left and right.
 
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