What mics would you use to record a 4-piece?

Hypothetically speaking, you have ALL the money in the world. Nothing is stopping you from getting your dream microphone setup to track your drums. What do you use to record your drums? I'm looking to upgrade my microphone setup, right now this is what I'm using.

Snare Top - Blue Ball, Shure SM57
Snare Bottom - SM7B
Toms - Sennheiser 421
Kick - Yamaha Subkick, Shure Beta52
Overheads - 2x Audio Technica 4040
Ride - Shure SM57
Hats - Shure Beta 87a
Room - Neumann U87

I'm looking to make some changes! What WOULD you use?!
 

FoolInTheRain

Senior Member
Re: What mice would you use to record a 4-piece?

I get by very well with a Beta 52 for the kick, SM 57 for the snare, and 2 AKG C-214's--one a shoulder level placed at the 5 o'clock position and the other directly above me. If I wanted to close-mic everything I would just get four more 57's so each tom and the hats could have a dedicated mic.

Why 57's? Because I'm still new to the microphone world and those seem to work well for so many other people. I'm sure there are probably better, boutique mics out there that I'd probably really like, I just haven't found them yet.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
True. Mice won't help in this situation. ;-)
I've corrected the thread title...

As for the SM57 - you can 'open up' the sound by bridging or removing the transformer. The frequency range will be enhanced both in the higher and lower frequencies but you'd have a significant level drop so you'd need to have clean amplification to make up for it. Some drummers actually prefer the non-modded version.
 
True. Mice won't help in this situation. ;-)
I've corrected the thread title...

As for the SM57 - you can 'open up' the sound by bridging or removing the transformer. The frequency range will be enhanced both in the higher and lower frequencies but you'd have a significant level drop so you'd need to have clean amplification to make up for it. Some drummers actually prefer the non-modded version.
Thanks Arky!

Very cool! I have a handful of 57s, I'll have to try a mod on one of them, though I'm not super handy. I'm sure there's a YouTube tutorial for it somewhere.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I guess you might find more info than when I did a search a few years ago, prior to doing this mod myself.

See here - post #5, that was me posting on the Gearslutz forum a few years ago.
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/geekslutz-forum/349797-mxl-sp1-sm57-mods-more.html

I borrowed the pics from the internet but you get the idea.
I also did this mod to a friend of mine who's dealing with hi-end recording equipment and he liked the mod a lot, too. Shure might have improved the transformer by now, but in the past they've been made of so-so quality and were messing with the sound the mic 'itself' can produce so using outboard amplification to make up for that level drop after the modding isn't too bad. My impression is that the mic opens up significantly, it just sounds like you paid twice the amount. Use good preamps if you can. Most of the time I'm using a Mindprint DTC (Dual Tube Channel) and basically any mic sounds great with that one.

http://www.mindprint.de/cms.php?scr=products&mode=1&r=p&pr_kat=4

As said, you can simply bridge the wires from the capsule to the XLR connector, that would be the easiest way to do it. I went for removing the transformer because this reduces the weight a bit. Getting the transformer out as it's glued in with that sticky stuff is the toughest part.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'd get two AKG C12's or two Telefunken U47's for my over heads. One Neumann U87 for each tom. A Shure Beta 57 for the snare (top only). And a AKG SE300b for my pencil condenser on the hi-hat. Sennheiser 421's make great tom mics too. And I'd use the venerable Electro Voice RE20 for the bass drum - maybe get two so I could mic it from both sides so I can keep a non-ported front head. But that's in my dreams.

However, I've made many great recordings and live sounds using just three mics - one in the bass, one on the snare, and one overhead. With a versatile board, it almost doesn't really matter what kind of mic's they are - they could all be SM57s, or they could all be big condensers. Somebody on YouTube demonstrated an awesome sound he got with TWO mics - one in the bass drum and one over head. With the right console, you can do whatever you want.

I say it's good to have a selection in your mic cabinet, but sometimes having less gear between you and the recording device is better, too.
 
I keep forgetting about the EV RE20. I used it as a vocal mic on a track not too long ago, just cause the studio I was at happened to have one, and I loved it. I used it for a lot of live sessions as well. And considering how versatile it is, I should probably pick one up just to have one.

And a U87 on each tom! Holy, haha, you really dream haha. I have one and have a hard time justifying the purchase of a second, hahaha.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I keep forgetting about the EV RE20. I used it as a vocal mic on a track not too long ago, just cause the studio I was at happened to have one, and I loved it. I used it for a lot of live sessions as well. And considering how versatile it is, I should probably pick one up just to have one.

And a U87 on each tom! Holy, haha, you really dream haha. I have one and have a hard time justifying the purchase of a second, hahaha.
I think on Jeff Porcaro's mid-80s instructional video they put U87's on each tom. Awesome.
 

baz

Silver Member
I justb use a Shure beta 52 on the bass and a pg 81 overhead.

They work well for what I need.

Barry
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I justb use a Shure beta 52 on the bass and a pg 81 overhead.

They work well for what I need.

Barry
I think if you stepped up to an AKG SE300 pencil mic, you will be blown away by the clarity. But yeah, two mics I can get a great natural drumset sound.
 
I think if you stepped up to an AKG SE300 pencil mic, you will be blown away by the clarity. But yeah, two mics I can get a great natural drumset sound.
I had a project I had to do in university where I had to record an entire record using only 2 SM57s.

I'll see if I can find the recordings somewhere... I basically used on SM57 as a room mic, had it placed level with the top of my bass drum, and then had the other one placed directly above the snare, about 6 feet above the whole kit. Then I sampled the kick and the snare and used that to record the kit.

Mic'd everything else (guitars and voice) as usual, and went D/I with the bass. That was a tricky project. If I wasn't recording a super poppy song, I would have just left the kit au naturel instead of using the samples.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I had a project I had to do in university where I had to record an entire record using only 2 SM57s.

I'll see if I can find the recordings somewhere... I basically used on SM57 as a room mic, had it placed level with the top of my bass drum, and then had the other one placed directly above the snare, about 6 feet above the whole kit. Then I sampled the kick and the snare and used that to record the kit.

Mic'd everything else (guitars and voice) as usual, and went D/I with the bass. That was a tricky project. If I wasn't recording a super poppy song, I would have just left the kit au naturel instead of using the samples.
Yeah, you don't necessarily need condensers for 'real' overheads or anything. If whatever you have is plugged into a really nice pre-amp, that should almost negate what kind of mic it is. I took a SM57 and plugged it into a Avalon mic pre, and then into some high-end compressor (I think it was a Urei?) and that mic was picking up traffic sounds down the street! Like anything, the right tool for the right job, but there's alot of leeway because it's your ears making the decision anyway.
 
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