Tom mics?

Adcc

Junior Member
Hi guys. I have a gig soon and i dont have mics for my tom toms. I was wandering if i could do the gig with just a bass drum mic, a snare drum mic and a couple of overheads. If yes how should i setup my overheads and eq them so i have the best sound i can for both cymbals and toms? The gig is outside at a pool bar, not very big place and i will play a 4 piece drumset. Thanks 😁
 
Depends. If the audience isn't more than a handful folks, and your band mates don't play too loud, it works pretty fine. I used that approach even without a snare microphone, but you must of course not expect the whole thing to sound processed in a studio manner. But one will definitely hear the drums and cymbals. I would recommend leaving your moon gel at home to let the drums ring. The more open the tom sound is, the more they will be audible.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Depends. If the audience isn't more than a handful folks, and your band mates don't play too loud, it works pretty fine. I used that approach even without a snare microphone, but you must of course not expect the whole thing to sound processed in a studio manner. But one will definitely hear the drums and cymbals. I would recommend leaving your moon gel at home to let the drums ring. The more open the tom sound is, the more they will be audible.
Agreed, & if it's only up to 50 people in the audience, just a bass drum mic should do the trick just fine for most musical situations.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yeah, the idea is for the drums to sound just as up front as everything else. And sometimes just a bass drum mic will help that so there’s some bottom end. If you added one overhead to that that might just be enough. No need to be thinking in stereo, you’re just reinforcing your sound into the house.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I often play with 1, 2 or 3 mics. Kick first, then either snare or overhead next depending on the size of the room.
If the overhead is picking up toms, keep it away from cymbals as much as possible, or else you’ll have up front cymbals overpowering distant toms.
With two overheads, place one above the floor tom and one above the high tom, and keep them both the same distance from the centre of the snare if possibke.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Unless you're playing for like a 100+ capacity room, just snare and bass mic should be sufficient. Heck, I've played 200 capacity rooms where they only miked up my toms with 2 mics, and I have 3, and it sounded fine.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If it's a small venue, I'd do a kick mic and maybe a floor tom. The rack tom, snare, and cymbals should carry (as long as you don't have the rack tom and snare all muffled up). At MOST I'd just mic the drums and not worry about cymbals. If they can't hear your crashes, ride, and hats, then you need to have a rental PA company come set up and worry about it.

Just my 2¢.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Yeah I mic up the drums before I mic up the cymbals - overheads do a pretty poor job of picking up the fat bottom end I want out of my toms unless I'm using my AEA ribbon mics, and those don't work well at all live unless it's a big stage, at which point you'll probably be provided tom mics. I do kick drum first, snare second, and toms close third for that bottom end. Cymbals are pretty much always loud enough IMO, even if they're dark and thin.

I'd also check out the Tchad Blake mic position - between rack and floor toms, right over the kick batter head, pointed at the snare. It does a shockingly great job of picking up the meat of the kit with one mic. Supplement that with a proper kick mic and it's pretty much the best two-mic combo I know of.

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