Drum mics

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by owenmakesstuff, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. owenmakesstuff

    owenmakesstuff SS.org Regular

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    Hey dudes and dudettes,

    I'm currently looking to upgrade my mic rig for the drums. What do you recommend?
    I'm looking at a price range of about 800 bucks for the basics (toms, snare top and bottom). Kick, overheads and rooms, I'm willing to spend a separate budget on. The goal is to achieve something natural and modern but still versatile, which I reckon I can pull off with the heads, tuning and mixing.

    Is that budget viable or am I looking at more figures here? I'm willing to split it up and take my time to get something I'm comfortable with. Don't wanna have too much difference in quality between all the different mics. Anything cheaper that works well will do too!

    Thanks in advance for the replies!

    -Owen
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    What do you have now, and what do you like and not like about it?
     
  3. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Over many years I've decided that I like the following for getting the most easily mixable sound:

    - Shure Beta 91A Kick In
    - AKG D112 Out (Neumann U47 Fet if it's Rock and I can get one)

    - Beta 57 (NOT a 57A, the original Beta 57) or an SM57 on the Snare top
    - KM184 or similar smooth clean top end Pencil Condenser for the Snare Condenser
    - Sennheiser 441U or SM57 for the Snare Bottom.

    - MD421s on the Toms without a doubt if you want the modern sounds. If I HAVE the channels and microphones I really like micing the bottom of Toms with 421s as well and summing them to the same track (phase inverted of course, gives me better cancellation which is nice as well)

    - For overheads anything Ribbon is nice. The new RODE Ribbon mic is actually great for this. I also like AKG414s on Overheads, just because they're really clear for cymbals to my ears.

    - For Rooms I don't do stereo rooms anymore, but I like AKG414s, warm sounding LDCs or Tube mics depending on how slamming I want the sound.


    Take from that what you will... obviously MD421s aren't cheap for a Tom microphone, but they're worth the expense.
     
  4. owenmakesstuff

    owenmakesstuff SS.org Regular

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    Whoa, thanks a lot, man. I'm using an SM57 now so that's one I've got covered lol, the AKG's have been interesting me for a while now. Cool tips on tom recording, I find them generally hard to get just right. I wanted to go with an AKG414 for vocals since Nasum used it on their last two albums (which to my ears still sound amazing), I didn't realize they'd work well for OH's so I might just go for them. The Ribbons sound tempting too, though. Will check out the options regarding rooms!

    Really great summary overall, thanks so much!
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I recently tracked a kit with a bunch of rental mics - the kit was a cheap, poorly tuned kit (because I'm not a real drummer hah), and they didn't have any 421s - they were very limited in the available selection that day I guess, so I ended up going home with a bag full of plain 'ol 57s, and just threw em on everything. Worked surprisingly well, given I wasn't expecting phenomenal results.

    As time goes on, I find it harder and harder to argue against owning a whole bag of 57s- whenever you just need something to get the job done without spending much money or putting much thought into it, they'll do the trick.
     
  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I love the sound of an SM57 on the snare.

    Personally, I've always used an AKG D112 on the bass drum. I've had people tell me they don't like the sound I get, though, so there's that.

    For overheads, I've been using CAD pencil condensers. I used to use large diaphragm mics on studio stuff, and, at the time, I thought it sounded great, but I get a tighter sound that is easier to mix with the small diaphragms.
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I think it's good to have a choice between large and small for overheads, and pick the one that works best in the room. I wanted to use a couple of pencil mics last time I did some drum tracking, but wasn't in a great room, so the smaller mics ended up being kinda harsh and harder to control. A couple of ldcs ended up giving me more predictable results. Could be that I just prefer those for that application, or could be the terrible room I used.
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I'm up to two SM57s, and will probably own a couple more before much longer. They're awfully hard to beat as a snare or guitar cab mic, and in a pinch they'll give you "good enough" results on almost anything.
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That's interesting, because some of my favourite drum tracks I've recorded were done in a fantastic-sounding room with LDCM's at a distance.These were more rock-n-roll context, which I think might lend itself to that sort of drum sound, though.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I haven't had a ton of experience tracking drums, but my understanding has always been that metal tends to depend a lot more on spot mics and close micing techniques, whereas rock is definitely more a matter of relying on your overheads for the primary sound of the kit and adding in close mics for support where needed.
     
  11. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    My live and studio kits have about 10 each of them :lol:
     

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