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Old 12-01-2011, 08:47 AM   #1
chrisadlersidol
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mics and recording set up

im looking to get a new set of mic's for recording my drums. as of right now i just have a few cheapies that don't work the best. any recommendations on a decent set around 200-300 dollar range? also when im recording my drums and i have my overhead mic i always pick up the slap of the beaters and a faint noise of the bass drum itself. does anyone have any tips on how to isolate that a little better cause when i go to mix the music i get two different sounding kick drums.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
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Ideally the kick drum bleed into the overheads would be a good thing but maybe it's your room causing a problem. You could try a different overhead mic technique.

As for overhead mics, AT2020's are pretty solid for the price. I have 2 of them and think they're great. They'll run you about $100 each.
If you could also get a snare and kick mic you'll be set. Sure SM57 or Audix i5 are popular choices and will run you about $100.
I'm not so sure about kick mics but a decent one will be upwards of $150 afaik.

There are certainly cheaper alternatives but if you go that route then you may end up having tons of cheap mics that you don't know what to do with if you decide to upgrade them later. Kinda up to you to decide how serious about recording you are.
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Solo bass drum tracks lack the high end slap that the overheads pick up. Its kind of needed for the overall sound.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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It's probably got a lot to do with the room cause Its pretty small so its not hard for things to bleed into each other, but the problem I'm having with the kick is when I mix the actual kick it has a much lower tone then the sound of the kick that's bleeding through to the overhead so it has two different pitched kicks in the mix and it sounds like crap
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:20 AM   #5
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The best drum mics!

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Originally Posted by chrisadlersidol View Post
im looking to get a new set of mic's for recording my drums. as of right now i just have a few cheapies that don't work the best. any recommendations on a decent set around 200-300 dollar range? also when im recording my drums and i have my overhead mic i always pick up the slap of the beaters and a faint noise of the bass drum itself. does anyone have any tips on how to isolate that a little better cause when i go to mix the music i get two different sounding kick drums.

Best drum mics that I have used is the sure drum mic pack...DMK%& 52. FOr the toms I use cheap condensers. Also, if you want more isolation, put a noise gate on pretty much everything. You can do that in the mix afterward too. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:43 AM   #6
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I use the shure dmk57-52 for recording. two cheap condensers for toms and the 57's for overheads close to the cymbals. I get almost no bleed. Check out the finished product at soundclick.com/pointzerostudios. Great deal for the price.....hands down.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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If you are recording drums in a room and you cannot get to a proper studio, do your best to find a place with HIGH ceilings.
Low ceilings are a killer for drum sounds, especially when it comes to cymbals.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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Audio technica dk6 are decent set in that price range as for the slap sound maybe try flatting out the room a bit with carpert, foam, old heavy drapes, etc, anything that will reduce the sound from bouncing around the room.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:06 PM   #9
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Carpet and foam take away just the high-end, so it does the opposite of adding slap.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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Isnt that what he wanted, to remove some of the slap hes getting in his overheads?
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:23 PM   #11
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Condensers for toms?
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:51 PM   #12
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Many high end studios just use condensers and ribbons for drum set miking.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:05 PM   #13
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Ah. I've usually seen Dynamics used, but that's for home setups. The phantom power requirement makes it hard to use a bunch of them (e.g. 1 per tom), especially if you have overheads.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:23 PM   #14
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I use condensers for toms and I love them... CAD M179's not the BEST, but i've never heard a mic with such nice sounding bleed. I rarely gate my toms unless I'm REALLY compressing the drums hard.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:24 PM   #15
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There is a famous video of Jeff Porcaro using 5 ELA M 251s on his toms. I've used 87s, 67s, 4038s and FET 47s with varying degrees of success.

For a generic tom sound though a 421 -> 512c/3124 is my go to pairing.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #16
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condensers are more common on snares than toms to capture all those high end frequencies.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #17
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You have to be careful with the SPL tolerances of some mics on drums, particularly with condensers!
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:59 PM   #18
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I've never heard or seen close micing with condensers on drums in modern recording. Like Damo said, the SPL would blow them away... that's a real fast way to learn a real simple lesson about mics.

Condensers are for condensing lots of sound. Dynamic mics are for direct sound sources.

Lots of great drum mic kits from Audix, Shure, etc... just depends on your budget.

I've been using Heil mic's lately, however previous to those I used various Audix or Senn clip on's for toms. SM57 for the snare - always. Industry standard for a reason. D112 on the kick, occasionally using a sub mic for recording.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:47 PM   #19
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I dunno, some of my condensors have higher SPL thresholds than an SM57. So much misconception.

Really, not sure where this "fragile condensor" thing came from. Ribbon mics? Yeah, THOSE are fragile, sure, but if you know how to position right, they've been using Ribbons 1-2 meters away from a Marshall stack for decades.

I mean, you often hear that if an engineer was to mic the bottom side of the snare, and they use a condenser for that, even if the top is miked with a 57. And obviously because the bottom is so much quieter than the top, right?
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
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And obviously because the bottom is so much quieter than the top, right?
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:32 AM   #21
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It's not "fragility", it's just how they are designed. All the manufacturers of mics are very clear about this.

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they've been using Ribbons 1-2 meters away from a Marshall stack for decades.
Sound drops off at the inverse square. Meaning twice the distance is half the sound. 2 meters - or roughly 6 feet away from a sound source. Is half the SPL as 3 feet. And again that of 1.5 feet. And again that of 9 inches, etc... close micing a drum is roughly 2-3" from the sound source.

This means that the same mic at 6' away is getting 4x the SPL at 1.5 feet away. And 8x that at 9" away. It's the nature and physics of sound.

A condenser mic from 3+ feet away is very normal because of this. Hence overheads on drums.

You put those same mics 3" from those guitar cab speakers and you'll have a very expensive piece of trash from the first riff.

3 meters and 3" is roughly 16x the volume difference in SPL.

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I mean, you often hear that if an engineer was to mic the bottom side of the snare, and they use a condenser for that, even if the top is miked with a 57. And obviously because the bottom is so much quieter than the top, right?
I've never seen, or heard of, a condenser mic being used on the bottom of a snare drum. Or top of any snare drum. Never read about it or otherwise for that matter.

It should be noted that Bob Gatzen, who is famous for recording Bonham's drum sounds, and many others, has never mentioned using condensers for close micing drums.

Thumb through your drum mags, google up your favorite studio drummers pictures, live playing pictures, whatever you want... you'll never see a condenser close micing a snare drum.

SM57, hands down. It's the industry standard for good reason.

Dynamic mics are used in close micing situations because there is no need to "condense" the sound. It's already about as direct as you can get.

This is basic drum micing 101.


Here is the formula's for how acoustics work:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/ph4060/p406i.html


*The bottom of a snare drum is not quieter then the top. It's simply a different sound. A Db meter will easily show you this.

Last edited by Vinnie's Ice Cream; 04-09-2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie's Ice Cream View Post
I've never heard or seen close micing with condensers on drums in modern recording. Like Damo said, the SPL would blow them away... that's a real fast way to learn a real simple lesson about mics.

Condensers are for condensing lots of sound. Dynamic mics are for direct sound sources.
This is totally incorrect. There are tons of condenser mics that are designed to be used for close micing drums:

Shure Beta 91 (goes inside kick drum)
Shure Beta 98 (toms)
Sennheiser e901 (goes inside kick drum)
there are a bunch of others that are for similar applications that I can't think of right now.

I've even seen the FOH engineer for a well-known band use Shure KSM32's on close-mic'd toms!

The difference between condenser and dynamic mics is the kind of transducer element that they use. Dynamics use an inductor while condensers use a capacitor. Since the moving element of a condenser has less mass, they are often better at picking up transients and are more sensitive. They generally have wider pickup patterns and therefore make better overhead-type mics, which is probably what you mean by saying that they 'condense' the sound.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:00 AM   #23
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All of those mic's you list have special digital attenuation for the close proximity. Check the specs. Those are not "normal" mics. They have pre amps and digital attenuation built in.

"..and a new design integrates the preamplifier and XLR connection for easy setup and minimal stage clutter."
- Shure (Beta91)

This is like saying, condenser mics don't need phantom power because my Heil condensers don't. The exception is not the rule.

Last edited by Vinnie's Ice Cream; 04-09-2012 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
I've never heard or seen close micing with condensers on drums in modern recording
Quote:
All of those mic's you list have special digital attenuation for the close proximity.
This line of thinking doesn't make sense to me. By saying that they are not found in modern recordings, you imply that they would be found in other recordings (in this case, older recordings). Then you say that those mics have digital attenuation, which would obviously only apply for....modern recordings.

Attenuation has been used in mics for decades. Analog or digital.

And gearslutz have something to say on the matter as well http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/38770-snare-drum-condenser-micing.html

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-end-theory/358104-condenser-tom-mics.html

Hey, I'm not arguing that condensers are better for close miking, I'm not arguing that condensers are used more often, I'm just arguing that many pro studios DO use condensers for close miking, if they fit the desired sound.

My best bass drum sound has come from an AT4047 several inches off the head, and this is over the tried and true D112 and Beta 52.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:02 PM   #25
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*shrug* There will always be exceptions and weirdo's. Seafroggys do you have any of these recordings on line?

In the last 6 days I've played 4 shows and have another kit setup in the studio for tracking next week. Another show tonight and saturday. Next weekend will be a huge show (50,000+) and I expect the same micing setup as I've always seen.

Only time I've seen condensers used is for overheads.

In fact, I couldn't count how many times I've recorded, let alone played live. In my experience I've never seen a condenser used for close micing.
I HAVE seen condensers blown out from being too close to sound sources though!

Again, there's always weirdo's and people doing odd things. But there's a pretty standardized formula for recording drums that has been proven tried and true.

I would recommend for the novice recording interest to stick to the middle of the road and play it safe.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:47 PM   #26
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Oh of course, for newbie engineers, use dynamics. Never argued against that.

As far as blown condensers, there can be many reasons. The engineer may have been an idiot. The mic may have been cheap. The preamp may have been cheap. Who knows?

And live? I wouldn't expect a condenser to be used to close-mic live. Not saying it would never be done, but like you, I've never seen it.

I do have several recordings with using an AT4047, in fact there's a mic shootout test that I posted here about a year ago or so comparing a Beta 52 with the 4047.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:44 AM   #27
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I still find it hard to believe that you have never seen anyone close mic a drum with a condenser mic if you've been in the music business for very long.

I am an engineer at an 850-capacity venue and I see many touring engineers come through who use condensers on drums, particularly the Shure Beta 98AMP or e901/Beta 91. Like I stated before, I've seen people successfully use Shure KSM32's (a studio vocal/overhead mic) on close-mic'd toms in a live setting.

Yes, we tend to use dynamics because they are generally more durable and are cheaper, but that doesn't mean that I don't see a condenser used every 5 shows or so.
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