Recording drums with one mic: Shure SM57? Or Behringer C-1?

diegobxr

Silver Member
Hi there,

Right now I'm on my way to get my first recording equipment and I've been running into a lot of doubts so I would really appreciate your help.

What I have in my budget until now is this:

- 1 Behringer Xenyx 1202FX - 4 channel, XLR, phantom-powered mixer with EQ.
- 1 XLR Cable (from mic to mixer)
- 1 RCA Cable (from mixer to computer)
- 1 pair of Sennheiser HD280Pro Headphones
- 1 mic stand

I own a Toshiba Satellite laptop, 2010 model, dual-core processor, Windows 7, with FL Studio 10. 1 Mic input available.

Now I'm trying to decide what mic to get. I'd like to start recording with just one. I'm learning and basically atm I just want to record myself practicing and playing along to songs.

I was thinking about the Behringer C1, as it is a very affordable large diaphragm condenser.. but then I read a lot about the Shure SM57, which is dynamic, but apparently some people have managed to record with only one as a room mic.

Anyway, what would you recommend?? The SM57 seems like a good choice as I could buy more mics later on and keep it, but I'm afraid that it won't work alone (and that's how it's gonna be for some time)..

Oh, and about the other gear.. Is it OK? Am I missing something? Do I have to check for anything in particular on my computer for it to record?

I'm sorry for the long post, I look forward to your opinions, thanks in advance.

Cheers.
 
Last edited:
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
For one mic, you'll want a condenser. What kind of budget are you on for the mic?
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Well, there a lot of options in that range - especially for one mic.

For precisely ninety-nine US, there's this new:

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/AKG-Perception-120-Condenser-Microphone?sku=271289

Which is decent. Better than the Behringer.

If you look used, there's all sorts out there - but AKG and Rode make some very competitive mics around that range. I notice you're in Uruguay, so the prices may be different in terms of what you can get. Do you know which store you're going to be buying from so I can see what's possible?
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
I'm actually buying it in New York since a friend of mine goes there next week!!! ;)

A mic that costs $99 in the US, where I live goes for around $180. :l

Go figure. :(

Thanks a lot for your help. :)

PS: actually this friend is my guitarist, so we're talking about joining forces.. maybe I get a condenser and he gets the 57 and that works for both of us, hehe.
 
I have a Wharfedale Pro dynamic mic. It was £40 or £50, I can just use that to record and it picks up everything, pretty impressive. Recorded tracks with it, but when I increase the gain a little the volume goes weird. Found out how to fix it today though :)
I'd go for a Wharfedale Pro mic.
Or a cheap condenser. Not to mention, Travis Barker recorded his new album with ONE Room mic.
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
;837396 said:
I'm actually buying it in New York since a friend of mine goes there next week!!! ;)

A mic that costs $99 in the US, where I live goes for around $180. :l

Go figure. :(

Thanks a lot for your help. :)

PS: actually this friend is my guitarist, so we're talking about joining forces.. maybe I get a condenser and he gets the 57 and that works for both of us, hehe.
That makes things a lot easier!

I hear some reasonable things about MXL. I've never used them, but they're supposed to be decent value.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-MAS-MXL604-LIST

This would do you reasonably well:

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-MII-NOVA-LIST

Audio Technica make good gear:

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-AUD-AT2020-LIST

All of these, as well as the AKG I listed above would do the job. I'd take the AKG or the Audio Technica, personally.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
WOW Great man, thanks a lot. :)

Of all of those mics, the Audio-Technica is the one that handles the most SPL, at 144 db vs 130db of the AKG for example. They seem pretty even in everything else.

It's curious how Shures and Sennheisers are so much more expensive than all of the rest, isn't it? :/

I liked the AKG combo.. for 10 more bucks you get a pair of K44 MKII headphones (worth $40). Could work... :)

Like you, between MXL, M-Audio and AKG, I'd choose AKG. I'll be checking some reviews and vids.

Thanks a lot again. ;)
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
I use AKG C1000s and they're good, just a bit out of your range price-wise.

The maximum SPL shouldn't be too much of a problem - it's rare you'll reach those extremes on most modern condensers, so that's not too much of a concern. I've no great experience of Shures beyond their dynamics, but they're a big name who charge reasonably fairly. To be honest, everyone has a 57 and you could pick one up very cheaply second hand at a later date. I like Sennheiser for a lot of their gear, but they haven't really gone this deep into the market. Only AKG have in a big way. The next step up is where things start getting really interesting - but the bottom end still has a lot to offer between $80 and $130.

The bottom end of the market is much better than it was even five or ten years ago. You can get a lot for your money these days!
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Yeah, I agree with you in everything.

So you record with one mic too?? Or have more?

What about my other gear? (first post) Is it ok, right? I think I'm not missing anything, but since we're here, it doesn't hurt to ask. :)

I'll keep reading reviews and watching videos, but for now those AKG's may be a choice. Thanks again.

Cheers!
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Thanks Simms, that looks like one good mic!

It's amazing how I started thinking of buying a $44 Behringer mic and now I'm considering spending more than twice that initial price. :(

IDK, I'm thinking about this day and night, 'cause I want to get good equipment and good sound, but I must acknowledge that I'm a total begginer when it comes to recording and I don't have a proper home-studio so I can't afford to spend thousands of dollars if I'm gonna sound like shit anyway!!

I'm starting to get stressed, LOL.

Thx again for your help. Cheers!
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
Thanks Simms, that looks like one good mic!

It's amazing how I started thinking of buying a $44 Behringer mic and now I'm considering spending more than twice that initial price. :(
It's a great mic...I was amazed how good it really is compared to some much more expensive mics...I don't think you'll find a single negative review of it.

Mics are recording equipment are just like drums...addictive! I've turned into a microphone junkie. There are some reasonably priced gems out there.

I think if you have a SP B1 and a couple Shure SM57s you have a very competent setup for recording a small group.
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
It's a great mic...I was amazed how good it really is compared to some much more expensive mics...I don't think you'll find a single negative review of it.

Mics are recording equipment are just like drums...addictive! I've turned into a microphone junkie. There are some reasonably priced gems out there.

I think if you have a SP B1 and a couple Shure SM57s you have a very competent setup for recording a small group.
I'd actually do it the other way around and have a pair of condensers and then the dynamics.

I don't tend to record with one mic - I've got access to a studio at University and I tend to use four or five. Two overhead, bass and two on the snare. That's a reasonable balance to get the most of everything without going overboard. I have in the past used fewer though and I do like using just a pair of overheads to record drums. It works great! The only difference between using one mic and a pair is the stereo image, but if you're just recording for your own benefit then it shouldn't matter. One mic a couple of feet above you (in the middle of the kit) facing the cymbals would work well for that setup. Just experiment around!

The rest of your equipment will work fine. It's not ideal though - ideally you'd have a direct interface into the computer rather than the RCA Phono into the socket, but for one mic it shouldn't really matter. If you were using more, you'd need some kind of interface.

It's always worth buying a good microphone that you'll always have. I have my AKG C1000s (I have a pair) and although they're not high-end, they'd make great 'utility mics' for further down the line. I could use them to record more-or-less anything and I'm always going to keep them. Everybody has something like that. Whatever you get, get something you'll keep and always have a use for.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
personally, I record my drums with no fewer than 12 mics:
1x bass (dynamic)
4x toms (dynamic)
1x snare (dynamic)
2x overheads (SD Condenser)
2x room (LD Condenser)
1x hi hats (SD Condenser)
1x ride (SD Condenser)

I have also recorded with 1x LD Condenser for giggles (actually set up a 13th mic, muted the others and just used a centered LDC on final track).

I say one condenser and a few SM57s so he can record guitar/bass with the 57s , LDC as a room mic for drums and then use the LDC for vocals at the end.

Agree though...going to need an interface to record more than just one mic. Using RCA in you're going to have issues with sound quality, latency, and you just won't be happy.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Thanks again guys, you really know your stuff, I've learned like crazy this past few days. ;)

Yesterday I was talking to a sound engineer that works here (I'm at work, don't tell anybody), and he told me about the interface. Until then I didn't know anything about that.

With all I've talked, read and learned this week, plans have changed. Right now my plan is to get this:

- AKG Perception 120 or Audio Technica AT2020 or Studio Projects B1 Condenser Mic.
- Yamaha MG102C Mixer (same price as the Behringer one)
- Behringer UCA222 Interface

In addition, my guitarist is getting:

- Shure SM57 Mic
- M-Audio Fast Track Interface

With this setup each one of us can record by themselves at their homes, while being able to complement each other when we plan to record something more "serious".. I can borrow the 57 and the M-Audio and he can use the Condenser and the Mixer.

However I'm a bit hesitant.. I don't want this to bring any problems between us.. I usually don't like to buy stuff with anyone. According to my experience, people never treat borrowed stuff as their own, no matter what. :S

Anyway, things are a lot clearer now. :) thanks again guys!!

Cheers
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
Just a word of caution, with that Behringer interface, you're going to have latency problems. You'd be better off using the M Audio he's buying until you can afford one of your own. Trust me, I've used that little Behringer 222 and it's not great for recording on top of playback.

Also, you got to think about your recording software (DAW)...what are you planning on using? Audacity is free.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
mmm.. alright Simms, thanks for the advice. :)

I have FL Studio 10. Then like you said, Audacity is free and the M-Audio interface comes with Pro Tools.. so I think the software won't be a problem.

I'm sure the UCA222 isn't gonna be great, but for $30 I guess I can give it a try.. at least it will be a lot better than my actual soundcard and I can find some use for it.

Cheers!
 

autonomos

Senior Member
Why do you need a mixer? The pre-amps on whatever interface you get will get the mic signal into computer.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
Why do you need a mixer? The pre-amps on whatever interface you get will get the mic signal into computer.
Behringer UCA222 isn't really an interface, so he'll need a mixer. It's basically an RCA-in-to-USB adapter. It will work as long as one is not recording onto an existing recording (ie it has a lot of latency). UCA222 is great for ripping LPs, cassettes, and 8-tracks to WAV/MP3.

It will work ok as long as he's just recording drums or a band in one take.
 
Top