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Low ceiling room drum overhead mic suggestions?
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Jules
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#1
25th April 2004
Old 25th April 2004
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Low ceiling room drum overhead mic suggestions?

OK

My Royer SF12 isnt giving me what I want in my new drum room. That's no criticism of the mic, and I am getting cool results with other mic combinations. For example the 3 mic thing with 2 x 149's and a Royer 121 or AKG D112 sounds great

So I find myself searching for a new overhead pair of mic's...

I want mic's that dont 'profoundly' pick up the whole kit - I USUALLY like to do that with individual mic's (so mic's like Earthworks etc are probably unsuitable...) but NATURALLY I want the OH to COMPLIMENT the close mic's for sure..

I want to get in some to test out

The suggestions so far are

AKG 460's
Neumann KM 84's
Josephsons (what model number?)
Beyer 160's (like the idea of a DIRECTIONAL Ribbon!)

So far I am 'feeling' KM84's (my gut tells me to get these)

I have the following pre's for em

Neve 1073, API, Helios, NTI, Focusrite, Chiswick Reach

Plan would be to sell the SF12 and get a pair of new mic's with the proceeds...

Music genres - guitar pop / alt rock

Thanks in advance

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25th April 2004
Old 25th April 2004
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Are you sure you have no standing waves in the drum room? If that's the prob try taking away the parallelity between floor and ceiling by tilting the ceiling a few inches from side to side or by putting up a shallow upside down pyramid attached to the ceiling just over the drum kit.

I mean - those mic-pre setups SHOULD render you excellent results.
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25th April 2004
Old 25th April 2004
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I recently taped a pair of Crown PZM-30s to the ceiling and really liked the results. Very punchy on the toms, nice ping from the cymbals, but with a sort of "room mic" flavor. like omnis but without the problems...
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25th April 2004
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Well this doesn't sound like exactly what you need, but it's worth mentioning a Boundary Layer mic (PZM), I'm thinking like a Schoeps, mounted on the ceiling- turn that low ceiling into an advantage. That would be more of a
get it all in the overheads approach though.
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25th April 2004
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SF12 OH

Jules,

I have a drum room that is about 10x10x7' and have used the SF12 with great results after doing the following. I had to bass trap the room very well then I stuccoed the ceiling with points up to half an inch for diffusion. The stucco disperses the sound on the backside of the SF12 and seems to excite the high end as well as cancelling direct reflections from the ceiling back at the mic.

I have the SF suspended approx at the center of the snare about 2 drumstick lengths above running it thru a JH Dual Servo 990.

Of course, there's nothing like a huge room w/a high ceiling for lots of options, but IMO, I would experiment treating your room more before selling that beauty. I would imagine that any room imperfections will still be apparent, despite the xtra hiend condensers offer.

Bob
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25th April 2004
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as long as they are 84's and not 184's... dont like the new ones as much.

other than that i dunno because i go for the whole kit sound in my OH's instead of primarily the cymbals. close mics are just punch for the OH's.
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25th April 2004
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Jules,

I had the same trouble with my sf12. Very dark, with too much room for my liking as an overhead. I sold it and got a pair of schoeps 221b's with hypercardiod caps. They are amazing as close cymbal mics.

Jason Livermore
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25th April 2004
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Jules,

What's the acoustic treatment for your ceiling? In low ceiling, small room situations, reflective floor and absorbent ceiling seem to be a workable scenario, at least in my room it does. I have a fairly small room and built some rigid rockwool panels into cloth covered frames. Hang them with little chains on various distances from the ceiling and the SF12 might actually work.

If you're close to the ceiling and the ceiling is reflective, any mic up there will be a compromise...

Greetings,
Dirk
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25th April 2004
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Thanks everyone but (no offence meant) so far I feel it's only Jason that get's where I am really 'coming from'.



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25th April 2004
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Well Jules,

If the SF12 isn't working, don't use it. Lot's of nice cardioid mic's available that'd do a good job.
On the other hand, seeing that you've been into acoustic treatment lately, perhaps the SF12 is telling you your room isn't finished yet ?

If it is, try some of the already mentioned options...

good luck,
Dirk
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25th April 2004
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Jules,

How are those new mini traps working for you, I recently put up some more bass trapping in our main room. This seemed to bring more clarity and focus to the cymbals as well.

Jason Livermore
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25th April 2004
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I record in a variety of mostly pretty shitty rooms, a couple with low ceilings. I've gone the Beyer 160 route ... as you say, directional ribbons. I tried the Royer (and also a Coles), but found I had too much room and/or ceiling colouration in all but the most ideal of situations (big room, distant ceiling), especially for the drier sound of most contemporary alt rock. I've played around with 84's and even some LD condensors, but come back to the Beyers, which I use as my main "kit" mics (I don't use tom mics generally). For the money (200 Euros each on eBay) they are at least worth trying. If you get used ones though, worth getting a tech or whoever to check the ribbon. One of mine was overstretched, even though it sounded OK.

As always, YMMV.
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25th April 2004
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Hi Jules
Try a pair of Crown CM 700's. Very high headroom small condensor. Self noise on this mic is a liitle high for soft things like maybe nylon/gut string guitar, but for drums/perc it's cool. Very pleasant rise @ 7-10k on it which kinda suits cymbals well. I paid $450US for my pair. There's an album coming out in the UK I was involved in (PT editing) were the drums were cut in a booth with a 7.5 ft ceiling, ended up with a pair of small condensors (AKG 1000's I beleive) in x-y and had to place a small piece of sonex/foam on the ceiling right above the mics.
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FWIW my favourites at the moment are a pair of Groove Tubes GT44s - but I DO look to pick up the whole kit in those.

£498 for a pair from Digital Village
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25th April 2004
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There is nothing out there that can turn my ex office low celing drum room into a high celing church!

Here some of the suggestion highlights so far!

"my favourites at the moment are a pair of Groove Tubes GT44s - but I DO look to pick up the whole kit in those."

"Try a pair of Crown CM 700's. Very high headroom small condensor. Self noise on this mic is a liitle high for soft things like maybe nylon/gut string guitar, but for drums/perc it's cool. Very pleasant rise @ 7-10k on it which kinda suits cymbals well."

" pair of small condensors (AKG 1000's I beleive) in x-y and had to place a small piece of sonex/foam on the ceiling right above the mics."

"I record in a variety of mostly pretty shitty rooms, a couple with low ceilings. I've gone the Beyer 160 route ... as you say, directional ribbons. I tried the Royer (and also a Coles), but found I had too much room and/or ceiling colouration in all but the most ideal of situations (big room, distant ceiling), especially for the drier sound of most contemporary alt rock. I've played around with 84's and even some LD condensors, but come back to the Beyers, which I use as my main "kit" mics (I don't use tom mics generally)"

"pair of schoeps 221b's with hypercardiod caps."

"as long as they are 84's and not 184's... dont like the new ones as much. "


" Boundary Layer mic (PZM), I'm thinking like a Schoeps, mounted on the ceiling- turn that low ceiling into an advantage. That would be more of a
get it all in the overheads approach though."

"I recently taped a pair of Crown PZM-30s "



AKG 460's
Neumann KM 84's
Josephsons (what model number?)
Beyer 160's (like the idea of a DIRECTIONAL Ribbon!)

Thanks!
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25th April 2004
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Jules.. How high do you have the mic? If you are after a Hi Fi sound with nice cymbals the royer is nice but its more of a 'kit' sound compared to a pair of SDC's..... the schoeps are amazing for this purpose and are well worth the price of admission.

Where i used to work we have a very low ceiling also, and i got around that using the ' recorderman' approach with 414's. I would then supplement them with a pair of omni km83's for the HF sparkle and the 414's for the 'Meat' of the drum sound which would be EQ'd heavily to achieve the sound im after from the OH's and if i feel i need more 'cymbal' i just increase the level of the omnis.

The omnis also have a big fcuk off HPF on them so i just get the 'ching and sizzle' without bringing in the spurious levels of LF energy that may be picked up from the room, which could interfere with the sound from the 414's.

The sound of those CD's i gave is a VERY small room probably the size of your control room, if that helps give you any kind of perspective from where i am coming from?

Cheers
Wiggy
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26th April 2004
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Josephson c42s are the ones I think you're thinking of. I record in a room with an 8 foot ceiling and am in a similar situation right now. I have a pair of c42s on the way. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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26th April 2004
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Hey Jason, how's it going?

Jules, if it were me, I'd go for KM84's or 451's or possibly the 460's into the API's. KM 84's are darker, kinda depends on your room and what you're going for. Schoeps rock for the bright approach. Depends on what cymbals you use too.

Let us know your results.
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26th April 2004
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Jules,
My all time favorite drum overheads are the gefell um70 large diaphram. Enough high end to sound open but enough rejection to sound good in a small room. High end is also very smooth. They can do the whole kit thing, but I really like what a few tom mics and a HH mic do when mixed with the um70. This is an M7 capsule so it might have some of what you like out of the 149, but its cheaper, and easier to position. I use mine in ortf over the drummers head.

Since your in europe, these seem common and you could probably find one for rent at a reasonable cost.

I dont think the 221 or a km54 will work (although these are also some of my favorite mics) since they both seem to pick up everything (tho they make it warm and pretty).

Frost
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26th April 2004
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Jules,

Darian is probably right. I mastered a project he had recorded and the drum sounds were very clear and punchy! All good suggestions. The API's do bring the cymbals more into focus.

Jason Livermore
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26th April 2004
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what about the shure ksm 141's? I've only used them in a bigger room but i liked them a lot.
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26th April 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
There is nothing out there that can turn my ex office low celing drum room into a high celing church!

Here some of the suggestion highlights so far!

"my favourites at the moment are a pair of Groove Tubes GT44s - but I DO look to pick up the whole kit in those."

"Try a pair of Crown CM 700's. Very high headroom small condensor. Self noise on this mic is a liitle high for soft things like maybe nylon/gut string guitar, but for drums/perc it's cool. Very pleasant rise @ 7-10k on it which kinda suits cymbals well."

" pair of small condensors (AKG 1000's I beleive) in x-y and had to place a small piece of sonex/foam on the ceiling right above the mics."

"I record in a variety of mostly pretty shitty rooms, a couple with low ceilings. I've gone the Beyer 160 route ... as you say, directional ribbons. I tried the Royer (and also a Coles), but found I had too much room and/or ceiling colouration in all but the most ideal of situations (big room, distant ceiling), especially for the drier sound of most contemporary alt rock. I've played around with 84's and even some LD condensors, but come back to the Beyers, which I use as my main "kit" mics (I don't use tom mics generally)"

"pair of schoeps 221b's with hypercardiod caps."

"as long as they are 84's and not 184's... dont like the new ones as much. "


" Boundary Layer mic (PZM), I'm thinking like a Schoeps, mounted on the ceiling- turn that low ceiling into an advantage. That would be more of a
get it all in the overheads approach though."

"I recently taped a pair of Crown PZM-30s "



AKG 460's
Neumann KM 84's
Josephsons (what model number?)
Beyer 160's (like the idea of a DIRECTIONAL Ribbon!)

Thanks!
Hey Jules, you might want to check out earthworks mics. I use a pair of SR77's for overheads and they work really well. My live room doesnt have high ceilings and they do the job for me.
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26th April 2004
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"pair of schoeps 221b's with hypercardioid caps."

Are those vintage caps (MK241) or newer Collette series caps?
I just got a pair of 221b's and am trying to determine if they themselves are obnoxious bright, or if it's just the MK24 (cardioid) cap that came with... I'm hoping with some non-high-end-hyped caps, I will be really happy with these...
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26th April 2004
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Ted,

Mine are the vintage mk241 capsules (no plastic ring). They are far from being bright imo. I believe they are flat to 15k or so, the mk24 cap has more of a bump up top. The mk241 is smooth, very smooth. They seems to round the edges off in a nice musical way. Great midrange on accoustic sources as well.

Jason Livermore
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26th April 2004
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This thread is going well!

Thanks!

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26th April 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by jasonlivermore
Ted,

Mine are the vintage mk241 capsules (no plastic ring). They are far from being bright imo. I believe they are flat to 15k or so, the mk24 cap has more of a bump up top. The mk241 is smooth, very smooth. They seems to round the edges off in a nice musical way. Great midrange on accoustic sources as well.

Jason Livermore
Smooth, very smooth... mmm yum that sounds good! So I guess it's just the mk24 that's scaring me here. How are yours on noise? Mine are pretty noisy, but Wes Dooley tells me that's normal.

Jules, there are forums and there are moderators, but for sheer enthusiasm yours takes the cake.
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26th April 2004
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Ted,

On quiet sources you can hear a little more noise from these guys than other mics, but it has never stoped me from using them. Mine are usually on overhead duty, where noise isn't an issue. I have also used them to record accoustic gtr, violin, banjo, and also backup vocals (this was a plesant suprise).

Jason Livermore
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26th April 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by jasonlivermore
Ted,

On quiet sources you can hear a little more noise from these guys than other mics, but it has never stoped me from using them. Mine are usually on overhead duty, where noise isn't an issue. I have also used them to record accoustic gtr, violin, banjo, and also backup vocals (this was a plesant suprise).

Jason Livermore
Thanks Jason.
Ever tried the new m222s?
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26th April 2004
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i have not tried them personally, but the guy who sold me the 221's (who still has a pair himself), said he was very dissappointed in the 222's and returned his.
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thanks again!
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