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Drum Mic Options Dynamic Microphones
Old 25th January 2015
  #1
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Drum Mic Options

I currently have the following kit:
Rogers Holiday 1962 with 22" Kick, 15" snare, 13" RT, 16" FT
Kit is located in the corner of a 18'x14' room, height is around 8'

I do mostly pop related music and some rock/pop, reggae, jazz

My available mic options are the following:
MD421, Unidyne SM57, SM7, Vintage U87, M160, CAD VX2, AKG C12VR, Audix OM2

I understand there are a few ways to mic this kit but I'd love to find out if I need to purchase a mic or two, that's going to make my mic-ing options more versatile?
I produce music, as opposed to engineer, so tools do help, however, i'd like to have specific tools if possible.

I know I don't have any SDCs (which if I get a pair of KM184s I could use for stereo OH's and possibly use for other purposes such as acoustic guitars etc.) and possibly a 'pair' of any mic.

Any advise would be appreciated!

If you can even advise on which of my mics would be best suited for what and give me an option to get whatever mic, that'd be fantastic. I can have up to 8 inputs dedicated for tracking.

Thanks!
Old 25th January 2015
  #2
U87, around chest high, centering on the kick and snare symmetrically, looking down at snare ground zero, maybe a 30 degree angle or so.

SM7 just inside the bass drum port, off axis with the beater head.

57 on snare.

M160 half way or perhaps all the way across the room looking at the kit from same view as 87.

421 on floor, OM2 on rack? Have had that mic around on sessions but still never put it up.
Old 25th January 2015
  #3
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Thank you Zilla.. Going to try your options for sure!
Sounds like a very interesting set up.
With U87, is it at chest high sitting or standing? If standing, it would then be around 60" from the ground? That would make it approximately 30" from top of snare? am i on the right page here?
I also realized I have a Beyer M88. Perhaps this may change a few things? Perhaps use this for FT?
Could you also clarify exactly what you mean by this "centering on the kick and snare symmetrically"?
Any mic suggestions I need to get?

Last edited by CJ1973; 25th January 2015 at 06:58 AM..
Old 25th January 2015
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Thank you Zilla.. Going to try your options for sure!
Sounds like a very interesting set up.
With U87, is it at chest high sitting or standing? If standing, it would then be around 60" from the ground? That would make it approximately 30" from top of snare? am i on the right page here?
I also realized I have a Beyer M88. Perhaps this may change a few things? Perhaps use this for FT?
Could you also clarify exactly what you mean by this "centering on the kick and snare symmetrically"?
Any mic suggestions I need to get?
Chest high standing up, in front of the kit.

By symmetry, I mean that if you draw a line that bisects the middle of the kick and the middle of the snare (birds eye view) it's going to begin a few lugs to the left on the snare drum, and extend out to the drummers right side through the kick drum.

I find that angle is is a good place to put an LDC and capture a pretty balanced mono image. The mic is angled down towards the kit, but only about 30 degrees or so— to taste as in all things.

M88 is a great kick mic, I don't think I've ever tried it on Floor but I imagine it would be good. Maybe experiment with SM7 v M88 on those two and pick winners.

Apologies to whoever's image I appropriated below:


Old 26th January 2015
  #5
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Thanks heaps Zilla for the detail. I will try it out and update you.
With the U87 did you have it right above snare or slightly close to Kick or in between?
Old 26th January 2015
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilla_studios View Post
Chest high standing up, in front of the kit.

By symmetry, I mean that if you draw a line that bisects the middle of the kick and the middle of the snare (birds eye view) it's going to begin a few lugs to the left on the snare drum, and extend out to the drummers right side through the kick drum.

I find that angle is is a good place to put an LDC and capture a pretty balanced mono image. The mic is angled down towards the kit, but only about 30 degrees or so— to taste as in all things.

M88 is a great kick mic, I don't think I've ever tried it on Floor but I imagine it would be good. Maybe experiment with SM7 v M88 on those two and pick winners.

Apologies to whoever's image I appropriated below:


Maybe I'm missing something but didn't see m88 listed. I did see m160 which I would not put on kick drum, I would be afraid of wrecking the ribbon. It a great muc though. Definitely use it on something perhaps mono overhead ( worked for when the levee breaks)
Old 26th January 2015
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Thanks heaps Zilla for the detail. I will try it out and update you.
With the U87 did you have it right above snare or slightly close to Kick or in between?
Actually, I had it out in front, as a sort of FOK mic capturing the overall balance.

Instead of 90 degrees, capsule perpendicular to the floor, I've been liking 60 degrees-ish so that if the capsule were a camea lenses it would be "looking" at ground zero on the snare. In this analogy, 90 degrees sort of looks the drummer right in the eye, and nobody wants that.

Sorry, I guess I'm not great at describing it.

Couldn't hurt to try a mono OH as an alternative. I'd probably look down at the snare for starters. Every room is different.

@ phanlon , he mentioned the M88 in a follow up post. That said, I love ribbons as room mics myself.
Old 26th January 2015
  #8
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jjblair's Avatar
Never use 421s on toms, unless you want to have to gate the ugly off axis cymbals out of them.
Old 26th January 2015
  #9
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Thanks Zilla and all. Pic here. U87 somewhere there? Is that what you mean?
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Old 26th January 2015
  #10
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the suggestions are real nice, but i love u87 for out side kick too... maybe try experimenting with that
Old 26th January 2015
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Thanks Zilla and all. Pic here. U87 somewhere there? Is that what you mean?
Yes, very close to what I was suggesting. I feel like I tend to hang mine a tad lower than that, but it may just be the camera angle and you should experiment anyway to find your sweet spot.

I don't know the C12 VR first hand, but perhaps you'll want to try it in that spot too, maybe even the CAD.

One nice thing about this setup is that I find I don't need an outside kick mic as there's plenty in the FOK. But that assumes a well tuned kick with a nice subby bloom to it.

I had to fight an overly damped bass drum recently and then it was all hands (mics) on deck and as much retuning as time/cooperation allowed.

I know there are many ways to get great drum sounds, but I like this method for when there's only one "flagship" LDC on hand.
Old 26th January 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
I currently have the following kit:
Rogers Holiday 1962 with 22" Kick, 15" snare, 13" RT, 16" FT
Kit is located in the corner of a 18'x14' room, height is around 8'

I do mostly pop related music and some rock/pop, reggae, jazz

My available mic options are the following:
MD421, Unidyne SM57, SM7, Vintage U87, M160, CAD VX2, AKG C12VR, Audix OM2

I understand there are a few ways to mic this kit but I'd love to find out if I need to purchase a mic or two, that's going to make my mic-ing options more versatile?
I produce music, as opposed to engineer, so tools do help, however, i'd like to have specific tools if possible.

I know I don't have any SDCs (which if I get a pair of KM184s I could use for stereo OH's and possibly use for other purposes such as acoustic guitars etc.) and possibly a 'pair' of any mic.

Any advise would be appreciated!

If you can even advise on which of my mics would be best suited for what and give me an option to get whatever mic, that'd be fantastic. I can have up to 8 inputs dedicated for tracking.

Thanks!
Just buy a pair of head mounted triggers and use the drums to trigger samples.

Or, SM7 for snare top, Unidyne for the bottom, MD421 inside the kick, buy a woofer from Radio Shack, cut the end off of a guitar cable, connect the wires to the speaker terminals and the other end to a direct box, then put the C12VR a few feet in front of the kit, and record kick and snare only.

Overdub cymbals separately.


While there's plenty of pop music, the pop drum sound is really not an organic kit sound. Plus, it's definitely going to be on the grid, so it doesn't matter if the performance is a little awkward due to playing parts of the kit separately.


You could also use an electronic kit with real cymbals. Use the kick and snare trigger signals for aligning on the grid and then go back and double the parts with real kick and snare and line them up.


Any of these things will give you what you need during the mix. That's what's most important for pop drums.
Old 27th January 2015
  #13
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Hi Zilla - Thanks so much. Curious to know if you have used the Recorderman process with 2 condensers (similar or different) along with some individual micing of kick/snare/hats/toms?

Mike - Thank you as always for that knowledge and information. I really appreciate it. I totally feel you on the 'pop' sound and have definitely had a good share of that in my music, but I am starting to just get over that typical sample sound and really am looking to introduce a sense of 'live' into my work on top of the programmed stuff, for some added color and depth, at least for some projects. This does not mean I steer away from sampled kick drums or whatever, which i am proficient at programming, but want to use the air I get from a live kit (have control over it in the mix) and then have a fine balance of pop samples and get mixes that would have a good balance of both, depending on the sound. Here is an example I am referring to. This is where I am trying to head with a sound. Having a large vintage console has helped me a lot to open up my ears and sonic palette, so this is a simple example of what I am talking about. This has both in it and I am playing most of the instruments, producing it and co-writing the song. Hope my vision is making sense to you as I am truly starting to hear different elements in what I put together that I am not hearing in today's top 40, so I am hoping my vision would pay off
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg9enIuu_yA
Old 28th January 2015
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Hi Zilla - Thanks so much. Curious to know if you have used the Recorderman process with 2 condensers (similar or different) along with some individual micing of kick/snare/hats/toms?
I'm not sure I've done Recorderman exactly the way it was conceived of, but I've played around with something in that spirit. Have not tried anything like that without a pair of LDCs.
Old 28th January 2015
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Hi Zilla - Thanks so much. Curious to know if you have used the Recorderman process with 2 condensers (similar or different) along with some individual micing of kick/snare/hats/toms?

Mike - Thank you as always for that knowledge and information. I really appreciate it. I totally feel you on the 'pop' sound and have definitely had a good share of that in my music, but I am starting to just get over that typical sample sound and really am looking to introduce a sense of 'live' into my work on top of the programmed stuff, for some added color and depth, at least for some projects. This does not mean I steer away from sampled kick drums or whatever, which i am proficient at programming, but want to use the air I get from a live kit (have control over it in the mix) and then have a fine balance of pop samples and get mixes that would have a good balance of both, depending on the sound. Here is an example I am referring to. This is where I am trying to head with a sound. Having a large vintage console has helped me a lot to open up my ears and sonic palette, so this is a simple example of what I am talking about. This has both in it and I am playing most of the instruments, producing it and co-writing the song. Hope my vision is making sense to you as I am truly starting to hear different elements in what I put together that I am not hearing in today's top 40, so I am hoping my vision would pay off
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg9enIuu_yA

The snare doesn't sound live at all, but the sound is right for the track.

That leaves kick and cymbals.

There's no way you're going to leave the kick off the grid, so it's not a problem to play the kick part alone into one or two mics.

Then do live cymbals which are really the only thing that can be left live in modern pop.


One thing you'll find is that dynamics make a part seem live more than timing.

Try side chaining your drum bus off of a click on 1 and 3 - use the Digi compressor and play with the knee and the release to get the accent on the and of 1 and the 2 right. You might want to leave the kick out or run it parallel as well.
Old 29th January 2015
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
The snare doesn't sound live at all, but the sound is right for the track.

That leaves kick and cymbals.

There's no way you're going to leave the kick off the grid, so it's not a problem to play the kick part alone into one or two mics.

Then do live cymbals which are really the only thing that can be left live in modern pop.


One thing you'll find is that dynamics make a part seem live more than timing.

Try side chaining your drum bus off of a click on 1 and 3 - use the Digi compressor and play with the knee and the release to get the accent on the and of 1 and the 2 right. You might want to leave the kick out or run it parallel as well.
Super interesting stuff, Mike.
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