Help Me Get The Best Drum Sound With My Setup (PLEASE)
Ceasar
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#1
9th February 2010
Old 9th February 2010
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Help Me Get The Best Drum Sound With My Setup (PLEASE)

i recently ran my studio with another engineer, but due to unforeseen circumstance he is forced to sell all his gear. While he was around he had a lot better mikes and was a really good at miking drums. Now that he is gone i need to figure out with what i have, to get the best drum sound.

a major question i have is, with the preamps i do have, which mikes should use them that would benefit its job. aside from my outboard pre amps, the rest of the mikes will be going straight into my Profire 2626



The Preamps/Comps i Have are..
Avalon VT737
ART Pro Channel
ART MPA Gold (dual preamps with ruby tubes)


the following is an idea of mikes i would use for miking drums. if i could achieve better sounds by switching mikes to a different drum, please let me know..

Kick In - Shure Beta 52
Kick Out - Audix F14
Snare Top - SM 57
Snare Bottom - SM 57
Tom 1 - SM 57
Tom 2 - Audix F10
Floor Tom - Senhiser MD421
Overheads - 2 Audix F15
Room Mike ?

As for the Room Mike, Which would be best suited of my leftover mikes?

- Studio Projects T3
- Baby Blue Bottle
- AKG 2020

* I am unsure if i should use the Audix F14 as a Kick OUT Mike, as i dont think the microphone is very good.. but i should use it anyway 'just in case' right? or should i X it out?

thanks for your help.
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9th February 2010
Old 9th February 2010
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lettenmusic's Avatar
 
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Making sure the kit is tuned well, and the drummer plays it well will have a huge impact on your final sound. The room plays a pretty big part too once you starting adding room mics.

Outside of that, try your set up and see what you get. However, personally I would use the 2020 and the Bottle as overheads, and the T3 as kind of a center room mic out in front of the kit, lower to the ground (or just in an area where the cymbals are not getting picked up more then the drums).

Regarding your preamps, just play around with different mics on different pres, until you get something you like. Again, this is just me, but I would nix the outside kick and the bottom snare and use the extra 57 for the 2nd tom.

Whatever preamp you think gets you the best sound, (Avalon maybe??) I would use that for the center room mic channel and just move it around until the kit sounds really good in that one channel. Then I would kind of build up from there.

But what do I know...
Ceasar
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9th February 2010
Old 9th February 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lettenmusic View Post
Making sure the kit is tuned well, and the drummer plays it well will have a huge impact on your final sound. The room plays a pretty big part too once you starting adding room mics.

Outside of that, try your set up and see what you get. However, personally I would use the 2020 and the Bottle as overheads, and the T3 as kind of a center room mic out in front of the kit, lower to the ground (or just in an area where the cymbals are not getting picked up more then the drums).

Regarding your preamps, just play around with different mics on different pres, until you get something you like. Again, this is just me, but I would nix the outside kick and the bottom snare and use the extra 57 for the 2nd tom.

Whatever preamp you think gets you the best sound, (Avalon maybe??) I would use that for the center room mic channel and just move it around until the kit sounds really good in that one channel. Then I would kind of build up from there.

But what do I know...
but because the baby bottle and akg 2020 arent a matched pair.. isnt that bad??
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9th February 2010
Old 9th February 2010
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Those Audix mics are really bright, and could wind up sounding kind of harsh on the cymbals / overheads. The baby bottle would probably be a better option there, as those things have a fairly ruler-flat response.

Only problem there is you would be sacrificing the stereo spread. It's a tough call, but I would probably want a pair of something flatter; some Oktavas might be nice. Everything else you have is fine, and more than adequate to do the job. Then you could ditch the "kick out" mic, and just put the baby bottle just below waist-high, about 5-6 feet out in front of the kit. That can serve double-duty as a room mic / outside kick.
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9th February 2010
Old 9th February 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceasar View Post
but because the baby bottle and akg 2020 arent a matched pair.. isnt that bad??
I have used different mics as overheads before and have had good results. If I have a really nice pair of condensers available I would go to them first though. I don't really worry about "matching pairs" or "stereo pairs" unless I am recording two track.

Like I said, the quality of the instrument, the player(s), and the composition will play a really big part.
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9th February 2010
Old 9th February 2010
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Perhaps you should focus on the sound of the kit in the room and go for a more minimalist approach.

Ditch the outside kick and snare side mics.

Use SM57 on rack toms and MD421 on floor toms. Another option would be to stick the Beta 52 on the floor tom and the MD421 on kick depending on the tone you prefer.

I would experiment with you Baby Bottle, T3, and your AT2020 for room mics. Use your best mic and best pre and get the best possible sound (playing with positioning, gain levels, etc) with the room mic.

Accent that sound with your other mics.

You don't need a matched pair of mics for stereo overheads. You could even simply mic kick and snare only and then use your 3 condensers in a 5 mic Glyn Johns method. Honestly not having a matched pair can sound better.

But most situations don't need a bottom snare mic, outside kick mic, etc. You are over analyzing this and chances are if you are asking these questions you will probably encounter all kinds of phase issues with all these mics.

If you can't get a good sound with one room mic you won't get a good sound from 12 mediocre placed mics in a blah room with a less than stellar drummer.
#7
9th February 2010
Old 9th February 2010
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jproc's Avatar
 
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I'd ditch those Audix mics completely... the D series are not bad, but those "Fusion" series mic's are pretty horrendous for anything other than cheap live sound reinforcement...

As someone else said, try a more minimal approach...
I'd go with a Glyn Johns or Recorderman style (modify as you see fit) using
B52 - kick
SM57 or MD421 - snare
and
choose from your condensors as the two "overheads" - don't worry too much about them being matched in this type of config, you can still get awesome results....

Maybe left over condensor as a front of kit/room mic...
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