Rock drum recording question?
Old 25th January 2007
  #1
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Thread Starter
Arrow Rock drum recording question?

Hi all,
I only found gearslutz about 1 month ago now and I have a few questions about recording my band here in Ireland. Basically I'm looking for a set of overhead mics that I can use on my drumkit and also maybe use on a few other things in our band. There are not a whole lot of large drum shops and studio in the south tip of the country of ireland so this forum seems like the best place to get some real good advice. I hope you guys can help me out because I would love toget my kit sounding great.

Ok so here is the gear I have so far.

First thing I suppose is the kit itself. This is a large sounding DW collectors. 24"x18" kick 13"x11" rack, 16"x16" floor tom and Black beauty 14"x6 1/2" snare. All have new skins but I am experimenting here aswell with the skins. I have 4 cymbals, all large with a 22" paragon ride being the biggest and large 18inch crash Z cymbal that I would ride on and get a thrashy sound alot. The kit sounds really great and full with a big wet kinda sound to it. I want to capture this sound which isnt far from the sound of Wolfmother and that 70ties kit he has. I will try leaving the hoops on the toms with holes cut in the toms (on the bottom side obviously) if necessary to get that big retro sound. basically its a natural real sound I want to capture up front and not have to replace much or anything like that. obviously I know il have to compress the hell out of it and all that kinda stuff after but its to get that great real sound and give the kit its justice.

I know the room matters too - I have got a room that is all wood with carpetting floors. 14 feet by 12 feet with a 10 foot ceiling so it sounds pretty cool. not the best room in the world but not the worst!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. I have a D112 for the kick and a SM57 for the beater side. (maybe might get the subkick)
2. I have a MD421 for both the rack and floor toms.
3. I have a SM57 for the snare (Still looking for a bottom snare mic, any suggestions really appreciated)
4. Now for the overheads I am thinking the following:

Pair Audio Technica ATM450?
Pair Neumann KM184?
Pair Rode NT5?

Now I know the Nuemanns are the most expensive here but are they really better?

Anything else you guys would get instead of these and which is the best of this bunch.

All the mics will be plugged into a CLM dynamics DB8000 preamp with 8 channels which sounds nice kinda like the Focusrite 410 preamp but with 8 channels. I have the adat card for it so I have 16 inputs if I need it on my digi 002 rack system.

I would really appreciate it if you guys out there in great studios and years of experience could guide me a little towards the few great mics I need to allow me to capture my DW kit. Any help would be like gold to me!!! I have self thought myself from day one with my drums and with my recording gear so I am a quick learner so even if you have tricky tips to try out hit me with them because I love to experiment aswell (thats where the fun is

I would like to get a pair of overheads that I can use on an upright piano aswell and also maybe use on a guitar combo valve amp.

Il send you guys on a few pics of the setup I have here in Ireland soon - gotta get the digital camera out first!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks a million,
James
Old 25th January 2007
  #2
Gear nut
 
*CISKO*'s Avatar
 

hey dood, well first of all, try ordering form turnkey, I used to work there in london and they shp easily to ireland, ask for rod cullen
my advice is get something like the neumanns, for the overheads,and they work fantastic as acoustic guit mics, obvioulsy depends on you budget, I myself would go for a pair of coles 4038 or 4040, which are lovely, or royer 121`s, they are expensive but worth every penny, the 121`s are probably more versatile and require lessgain on the pre`s since they are phantom powered plus they dpuble up as fantastic electric and aoustic guitar mics, specially for rock n roll
check them out, ots of the greats love these, and you can get pics of them in sessions on the royer website
when it comes tothe snare mic, put the sm 57 on the bottom( i prefer micing the shell tho) and on top use an audix i5, killer mic
cheers
Old 25th January 2007
  #3
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Rogervandeberg's Avatar
 

121's are indeed a nice choice! They are also very versatile because the back side of the mic sound quite different. You could also use them for electric guitar (they smoke there!),saxes, acoustic guitars, violins etc.

On the other hand the rode nt-4 stereomic is also a nice choice if you are somewhat on a budget. Also an advantage is that it is a "set and forget"mic, since because of the design you have no phase issues. The nt-4 is also an excellent choice on acoustic guitars. ( i also saw bruce swedien using one on a picture in this forum)

@ cisko: I think you mean the royer 122. The 121 is not phantom powered.
Old 25th January 2007
  #4
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mahasandi's Avatar
for overheads a large or small diapraghm will work great it depends what your after.


What would be more useful for other tasks /overdubs?piano, gtr amp also can be good with either.

an audix i5 is an inexpensive mic that some really like on snare.

As for micing the bottom it might not be "all that".

Sometimes micing the shell gets more "musical" use for the total sound.

Also a room mic can really be good to blend in with the kit sound , regardless of the

rooms sound this can be useful and doesn't hurt to have to play with later.

also if you later delay this room mic a bit it makes the kit sound bigger and can

extend the tone of the hits: http://www.electrical.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=879


Are you tuning the heads of the drums? this gives you resonances that can really

glue the drums into the song or snap them at the song whatever.....

the songs ,
Old 25th January 2007
  #5
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Cheers

Cheers, everyone - didnt expect such a great reply so soon. Well I am on a little bit of a budget interms of say 1000euro or about 1300 dollars. I see that a pair of royers 122 is quite expensive - they do seem great but maybe the most i could go is the neumanns.

I guess by the way most of you did not mention the ATM450's or the rode NT5 the neumanns are better???

The sound Im after would be a big drum sound for sure so Il try out that room mic - any suggestions for a room mic - I have an AKG C3000 mic spare and I am getting a large condenser for the vocals in the band aswell - could i use this as a mic - or are there specific ones for the room??

My room is pretty decent so I could do with a room mic or 2.
Old 25th January 2007
  #6
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesosullivan1 View Post
I guess by the way most of you did not mention the ATM450's or the rode NT5 the neumanns are better???
Not sure about ATM450's, but Audio Technica 4050's consistently get raves as drum mics.
Someone slung a pair over my kit recently and I was very impressed.
For overheads, two mics that consistently get great reviews are Josephson C42's and Avenson STO's.
They are both reasonably priced.
The 4050's and C42's will probably hold their value better than the Rode's and Neumann's too.
Old 26th January 2007
  #7
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Thread Starter
Question

Thanks chrisso for mentioning the AT4050 - looks a great mic. My question about these is are they very good as overheads because havent really noticed a whole lot of people on here using them?

Also do I need to get them in a matched pair or is buying them separately ok?

Ive noticed that the older versions of this mic in 2006 had a different circutry I think in the CM/5 models. is this better or worse than the new designs of this mic?

Also could I use these on an upright or grand piano?

Are they as good or better than the AT4033. I know the strokes guy used the AT4033 on his first album for the vocals. Is the AT4050 good for vocals aswell?

Not really sure about these mics you see because Chrisso just pointed the Irish guy in that direction just yesterday so my research aint up to scratch yet!!!!!!!!!!


Cheers lads
Old 26th January 2007
  #8
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesosullivan1 View Post
Thanks chrisso for mentioning the AT4050 - looks a great mic. My question about these is are they very good as overheads because havent really noticed a whole lot of people on here using them?
I use my AT4050 as a room mic for drums and I'm happy with the results. I also use it for guitar cabs about eight feet out or so. It's a pretty versitile mic, and you can find them used pretty cheap.
Old 26th January 2007
  #9
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Thumbs up

Ok so what I have so far is:

1. D112 on the kick and sm57 pointing at the beater side.

2. 412 MD on the 2 toms I have

3. SM57 on the snare and the audix i5 on the bottom (or I could swap them around i think)

4. For overheads????? AT4050 pair, neumann KM184 pair, or the Josephson C42 pair

5. Room mics I only have a AKG C3000 here at the moment.

I do want to buy a good vocal mic aswell so im guessing i could use that as a room mic but is there such thing as a great room mic or can you use anything generally????
Old 26th January 2007
  #10
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Thread Starter
I am leaning towards a pair of AT4050's at this stage i think because i know I could use one of them as a vocal mic aswell. I was going to go for the AT4033 as the vocal mic but have read on soundonsound that the AT4050 is as good as the 4033.

So if i could get both applications the drum overheads and the vocal out of this mic that would be unreal.

Also do you guys know if these mics are great for upright pianos or grands aswell?

Basically i would prefer to get overheads that suit the drums and the piano and then get a dedicated vocal mic than maybe have to get dedicated pianos mics cause i bought the AT4050 that suit both vocal and drums!!!!

Your help is much appreciated guys.

cheers
Old 26th January 2007
  #11
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 

I think you are on the right tack.
If you want more advice, you might want to post a question on the 'So much gear' section though. Going on the respondants to this thread, a lot of the guys who regularly record drums are not looking at the dedicated 'Drums' forum.
In other words, I thought you might have got more replies and opinions.
Old 27th January 2007
  #12
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Thread Starter
Thumbs up

nice one chrisso - il try posting something there too. The AT4050's look like they could get me out of the overheads problem, vocal and piano problem so could be a very good option.

Cheers for the advice and guidance man - much appreciated.

James
Old 27th January 2007
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesosullivan1 View Post
4. For overheads????? AT4050 pair, neumann KM184 pair, or the Josephson C42 pair
I've used a pair of 184s for OHs for a while and found them to be really good for that, at least until getting a pair of Beyer M160s which are my go-to OH mics now. Maybe these are above your budget but the Beyers are beautiful mics and useful for many other things. I really dig the warmth and roundness of these mics but they still pick up enough detail and 'sheen'.

In fact, since I only found the 184s useful for OHs I sold the pair and got a single KM 84. Now I do agree with most folks that the KM 84 is a much better and more useful mic, I mainly use it for acoustic guitar so far but certainly will try it on snare and hi-hat eventually.

My advice would be to stay away from the 184s, I think that you get better value with the ATs or Josephsons.
Old 27th January 2007
  #14
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Tom D Kelly's Avatar
 

Thumbs up Rock drums

I've tried most of the above mentioned mics on overheads. They're all good choices.
But, if you want the best sounding 'ROCK' drums, it's got to be the Coles 4038. These mics are a cut above all the rest for this job. Generally I need to roll in a bit of top to get the perfect sound, and also make sure the mics are facing down parallel to the kit, about a meter off the brass.
tk
Old 28th January 2007
  #15
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom D Kelly View Post
I've tried most of the above mentioned mics on overheads. They're all good choices.
But, if you want the best sounding 'ROCK' drums, it's got to be the Coles 4038. These mics are a cut above all the rest for this job.
Good call.
The reason no one much is recommending the Coles is because the budget is $1300 for a pair of mics.
There are other amazing mics you can use for overheads, but many are more expensive than $1300.
Old 28th January 2007
  #16
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Thread Starter
So you guys think the coles are better than say the C414 and the AT4047???? if you had the choice of course.
Old 28th January 2007
  #17
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Coles 4038 are a industry standard ribbon mic.
A lot of people use them as room mics or overheads on rock drum sessions.
They are very dark, so you need to add high end eq, but the mic takes it very well.
I think they have a certain sound, which is possibly not as versatile as an Audio Technica. Not sure. Perhaps someone with more experience can talk about that.
Other ribbons often used on drums include Beyer, AEA and Royer. My favourite is the Coles though.
Old 28th January 2007
  #18
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
nice one for the advice everyone.

Do you guys wreckon for this big driving drum sound that the C414 and the AT4047 would be the best. I mean if i can use these mics again on the uproght piano and one on a vocal then id say il get a pair of these.

The coles seem unreal drum overheads but maybe not for pianos and say a lead vocal. I might be able to get away with the AT4047 through a great vocal pre on the otherhand????

oh all these choices - oooooooohhhhhh
Old 29th January 2007
  #19
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chrisso's Avatar
 

I think Coles can work on piano.
Again, I think it's worth posting a question on one of the main forums.
Coles, AT, Josephson or AKG, for all the duties you require.
Old 29th January 2007
  #20
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Ok im thinking of adding another floor tom to my set up just for recording and im thinking about the CAD M179 as the mic. Basically its a 16x16 tom again from another DW (not same colour) but who cares!!!!!!!!! Its got a slightly wetter tone than my own 16x16 and I think the M179 would be nice on it.

Do you guys think it matters i dont have another MD421 on it? I could get another MD 421 if you think that would be better but the CAD m179 is cheaper and would be cool if it sounds great??

Nice one
Old 29th January 2007
  #21
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C_F_H_13's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesosullivan1 View Post
nice one for the advice everyone.

Do you guys wreckon for this big driving drum sound that the C414 and the AT4047 would be the best. I mean if i can use these mics again on the uproght piano and one on a vocal then id say il get a pair of these.

The coles seem unreal drum overheads but maybe not for pianos and say a lead vocal. I might be able to get away with the AT4047 through a great vocal pre on the otherhand????

oh all these choices - oooooooohhhhhh
My suggestion is get the 4047s. I own a pair of 4033s,4050s,4047s, and 414s...and out of all those,the 4047s get the most use on drums and guitars. They are awesome overheads, room mics, or even better is floor tom mics! HOWEVER.....if you got the coles mics, you would be in drum heaven...best mics for drums on the planet...but as you said...not really a lead vocal mic (but they are awesome on piano with a little eq!!!)

my 2 cents.
Old 30th January 2007
  #22
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Thanks LA man for that advice. Ok here is the story so far that I think im going to go for.

1. Pair of AT4047's as the overheads (1380euro for the pair) Coles are to expensive for me!!!! Everyone think the AT4047 is the good choice?

2. D112 on the kick, shure sm57 on the beater side.

3. MD 421 on my rack tom and CAD M179 on my floor tom

4. Shure SM57 on the snare top and maybe Audix i5 on the bottom????

5. Only mic I got left as a room mic is the AKG C3000 - any good as a singe room mic?

All will be plugged into my CLM DB8000 preamp and into my pro tools 002.

Everyone think this would rock??? or not rock? The kick is sounding nice now and is rockin i just gotta capture it.

Piano

I will then use the AT4047 pair to stereo mic my upright piano? ye think this will be cool.

Vocal

I will use 1 of the AT4047 as a vocal mic? ye think this will be cool?

I just want a very professional sounding mic for a few jobs you see? i presume the AT4047 is top notch? obviously il be moving the mics and testing the hell out of them to get the right sound. But in terms of the mics themselves they are cool - right????
Old 30th January 2007
  #23
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Just looking there again is the AT4050 a better mic for the following three thing or is the AT4047 still the one to go for? I know the AT4050 is a little more expensive but is it better for the following 3 applications?

1. Drum overheads?
2. Piano miking?
3. Main vocal?

nice one lads and lassie's
Old 30th January 2007
  #24
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C_F_H_13's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesosullivan1 View Post
Just looking there again is the AT4050 a better mic for the following three thing or is the AT4047 still the one to go for? I know the AT4050 is a little more expensive but is it better for the following 3 applications?

1. Drum overheads?
2. Piano miking?
3. Main vocal?

nice one lads and lassie's
With the 4050 you get the ability to change the pattern on it...but personally I like the sound of the 4047 way more.
Old 30th January 2007
  #25
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firby's Avatar
 

Hey I went through the same thing here. Only my room is much smaller with a lower ceiling. The cheapest way to get a good OV sound is with a good condensor microphone.

However, Once I heard ribbons I was hooked.

I have beyer m160s. The high end in them is magical. I got them because they were a hypercardiod and thus the room is lees of a problem to me.

I have heard that "when the levee breaks" by Led Zeppelin is a pair of 160s. Its a great sound and in works in a crap room.

However, since your room has a higher ceiling you could definitely get into better ribbons. If you have never used a ribbon mic and you are curious check out a alctron/shinybox/apex (apex is the cheapest in the states) and see if you like the sound. Most ribbons are figure 8 so your room will have a lot to do with the sound.

Ribbon mics are also wonderful because they take eq like butter. It's really nuts how they take eq.

good luck brother.
Old 30th January 2007
  #26
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
So are the ribbons like way better than the AT4047 or is it just down to me and my engineering skills??? Obviously I know its down to me and my drums aswell but im hoping im not the worst player in the world - im some where about that!!!!

Would the AT4047 be better than the beyer M160's??
Old 3rd February 2007
  #27
James

I just started using those Audio Technica ATM450's for drum overheads and they are fierce! I have never been so happy with my overhead sounds. I have more expensive mics that I use to use. The ATM450 is a pretty new mic and they are only $220 US each.

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...8b3/index.html
Old 3rd February 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesosullivan1 View Post
So are the ribbons like way better than the AT4047 or is it just down to me and my engineering skills??? Obviously I know its down to me and my drums aswell but im hoping im not the worst player in the world - im some where about that!!!!

Would the AT4047 be better than the beyer M160's??
The m160s are excellent, but if you want to use these mics on gtr and vox as well, go with a pair of AT 4047s. That's what I did, and I love the 4047 on all of these applications. Great vox mic (GR MP2NV helps, too).

I got the best price I could find on new AT mics at:
http://www.northernsound.net/Sales/salesframe.html
Old 4th February 2007
  #29
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Thumbs up

Nice one digibird - that great river would help alright

Im thinking about the following pre's for my drum overheads, piano, and vocals what you think.

1. UA 2-610 (Can get it for 1500 euro second hand)
2. Amek 9098 (Can get it for 1000 second hand)
3. Pacifica (heard great things but cant find second hand and new its like 1800 euro so my budget may not stretch!!!)

Any other good choices again for all the applications.

Cheers for all this info im learning heaps in the last to weeks - cant want to get this stuff and really learn whats its like

nice one
Old 23rd February 2007
  #30
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DamnYankee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesosullivan1 View Post

4. Now for the overheads I am thinking the following:

Pair Audio Technica ATM450?
Pair Neumann KM184?
Pair Rode NT5?

Now I know the Nuemanns are the most expensive here but are they really better?
These are all great mics for overheads but there's a couple variables to consider which affect the mic and that's the preamp and the room itself. Personally, I (like everyone else) tries to find the perfect mic that captures what the ear hears without any coloring - and the AKG C414s (which have long been the gold standard on overheads for MANY recording engineers) come pretty darn close.

But you don't need to focus on the expensive. Consider legend Harvey Gerst who routinely uses the $200 Oktava MK-012, the $69 Marshall MXL 603s and the $50 Behringer ECM-8000 measurement microphone for overheads in his studios. And he owns Neumanns.

Have you considered renting some of these mics and see how they sound thru your chain in your studio? That might be the best option with so many choices out there.

Best of luck,

DY
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