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Drum over heads recommendations. Condenser Microphones
Old 10th January 2019
  #1
Drum over heads recommendations.

Hello, I am looking for a pair of good drum overheads. I seem to prefer the LDC sound vs the SDC sound. Also for some reason I want them to have an actual transformer in a FET based circuit. I can't justify a pair of Neumann U87 but I was looking closely at the Warm Audio WA-87, the Audio Technica 4047 and the Stam Audio SA87.

I know a lot of these YouTube videos are a total joke when it comes to mic shoot outs and some people should just cease and desist from making them!. I really had my heart set on a pair of WA-87s but after checking out as many youtube videos as I could stand to watch in a single day on microphones I was really left with uncertainty about the WA-87. Some videos the WA-87 sounded just like the Neumann U87 it was compared to, and other times the WA-87 sounded like a Gauge USA ECM-87 with out the hyped high end, ya know...kinda like that 4k-ish cheap mass-produced Chinese mic sound. (The Chinese like to mass produce mediocre telescopes too it seems) Of course I realize there are a lot of variable at play in these shoot out videos.

I have also heard the modern U87s sound kind of cheap-is too but then again I've not heard one myself in person so I am not bashing it by any means here so please don't flame me for that comment.

The AT4047 sounded really good to me in the videos I watched, but so did the SA87 but that was just on vocals and not on drums, but that does not mean it will work at my studio. I am really a big fan of the WA hardware and wanted to stick with them but I am now really on the fence about this WA-87 mic. I think a mic is a larger factor in the sound than a mic pre so I wanted to get this right.

Maybe there is something I haven't head of or considered aside from these choices. The style of music is mostly Rock and hard Rock. I have used the Oktavas and the C2s SDC stuff and I am just sick of that sound maybe because I cannot get it right but it seems the LDC mics have a natural compression character I like and sound less brittle. Maybe I am just over thinking this..lets face it, I am NOT producing Grammy material here lol!

Maybe I'll just order a pair of WA-87s and if I don;t like them I think I can just send them back...

Thanks for checking this post, all comments are appreciated.
Old 10th January 2019
  #2
Here for the gear
 

3U Warbler MKII or MKIID are on my short list. Supposed to be in the spirit of the U47, with switchable voicings. I have a pair of Warbler 127's (SDC) with omni and cardioid capsules, and have been really stoked on them for overheads. I used to really prefer LDC's, and still do for certain mic techniques, but the 127's do something to the cymbals that I really love. All of the top end I want without any harshness/brittleness. That said, I'd love to have a couple of the MKII's for overheads and front-of-kick duties. There isn't much I go fanboy for, but I do dig the 3U stuff, especially for the money.

Warbler 127
Warbler MKIID
Warbler MKII
Old 10th January 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
+1 on the Warbler 127. Another option is the Warbler MK1D.
Old 10th January 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Josephson C42's.
They are an incredibly good buy.
Old 12th January 2019
  #6
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foldback's Avatar
I like the sound of good LDC mic's over the drums. My regular pair is a set of C-414B-ULS I bought new in 1994, these have a nice smooth uniform sound.

I have been experimenting with a pair of WA-47jr on a variety of stereo sources and I think these would also make a nice pair of overheads.

I favor a coincident pair over the drummers head for a natural, phase coherent stereo field of pickup.

The WA-47jr is not heavily colored, it's just a good sounding microphone that can cover a lot of territory. The price is amazing.

I've been a fan of Mic Parts microphones but these Warm Audio microphones sound as good or better and they're not kits so I can do what I really like to do, make more music!

Here's a full review of both Warm Audio 47ish microphones I wrote for High-on-Technology: High on Technology: WARM AUDIO WA-47 AND WA-47JR MICROPHONE REVIEW

Good luck and good music to all!
Old 12th January 2019
  #7
Give the advanced audio mics a look- I use a pair of CM414’s for overheads and have been very happy with them, nice and present in the highs without being harsh. They’re also great on other sources like acoustic guitar.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
As crazy as this is after watching dozens of mic shoot outs on youtube I went with a pair of Audio Technica AT2020. I seen a few vids where they compare them to Nuemman U67s and I just didn't think shelling out hundreds for mid-level mics was even worth it. Brand new at $80 each. No problem.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

You can for sure make just about anything work (I love ribbons and dynamics for certain tones and situations). I grabbed the 3U mics because I was searching for a specific sound I wasn't finding in my other mics. That said, I keep finding uses for the AT2020, and am often pleasantly surprised. They're fairly flat compared to a lot of their contemporaries. I think mine was free, bundled with something else years ago. Hope they work out for ya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaberocker View Post
As crazy as this is after watching dozens of mic shoot outs on youtube I went with a pair of Audio Technica AT2020. I seen a few vids where they compare them to Nuemman U67s and I just didn't think shelling out hundreds for mid-level mics was even worth it. Brand new at $80 each. No problem.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
foldback's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaberocker View Post
As crazy as this is after watching dozens of mic shoot outs on youtube I went with a pair of Audio Technica AT2020. I seen a few vids where they compare them to Nuemman U67s and I just didn't think shelling out hundreds for mid-level mics was even worth it. Brand new at $80 each. No problem.
Those AT2020 have been the bargain mic I refer a lot of beginners to, they have a fairly flat and uniform sound without exaggerated or harsh high frequency content.

Enjoy, good music to you!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaberocker View Post
Hello, I am looking for a pair of good drum overheads. I seem to prefer the LDC sound vs the SDC sound. Also for some reason I want them to have an actual transformer in a FET based circuit. I can't justify a pair of Neumann U87 but I was looking closely at the Warm Audio WA-87, the Audio Technica 4047 and the Stam Audio SA87.

I know a lot of these YouTube videos are a total joke when it comes to mic shoot outs and some people should just cease and desist from making them!. I really had my heart set on a pair of WA-87s but after checking out as many youtube videos as I could stand to watch in a single day on microphones I was really left with uncertainty about the WA-87. Some videos the WA-87 sounded just like the Neumann U87 it was compared to, and other times the WA-87 sounded like a Gauge USA ECM-87 with out the hyped high end, ya know...kinda like that 4k-ish cheap mass-produced Chinese mic sound. (The Chinese like to mass produce mediocre telescopes too it seems) Of course I realize there are a lot of variable at play in these shoot out videos.

I have also heard the modern U87s sound kind of cheap-is too but then again I've not heard one myself in person so I am not bashing it by any means here so please don't flame me for that comment.

The AT4047 sounded really good to me in the videos I watched, but so did the SA87 but that was just on vocals and not on drums, but that does not mean it will work at my studio. I am really a big fan of the WA hardware and wanted to stick with them but I am now really on the fence about this WA-87 mic. I think a mic is a larger factor in the sound than a mic pre so I wanted to get this right.

Maybe there is something I haven't head of or considered aside from these choices. The style of music is mostly Rock and hard Rock. I have used the Oktavas and the C2s SDC stuff and I am just sick of that sound maybe because I cannot get it right but it seems the LDC mics have a natural compression character I like and sound less brittle. Maybe I am just over thinking this..lets face it, I am NOT producing Grammy material here lol!

Maybe I'll just order a pair of WA-87s and if I don;t like them I think I can just send them back...

Thanks for checking this post, all comments are appreciated.
Hey there,

I normally first try SDC because of slightly better off-axis high-frequency response, but I've had really good success with the AKG C414 B-ULS variant, a discontinued model (produced from late 80s to early 90s?). Neumann TLM 193's have also been surprisingly useful too, as they are super flat, so that may work to your advantage.

The WA-87 will probably do the trick, though you might find that it may not play nice with really 'splashy' or 'bright' cymbals. That would also depend on placement and the rest of your signal chain too though. For lower priced options, hard to beat something like the AT 2020, 4033, etc. Just a matter of giving them a test.

Best of luck!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
My go to overheads are a pair of Audio Technica AT4040’s. I’ve also heard great things about the Shure KSM32’s.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
My go to overheads are a pair of Audio Technica AT4040’s. I’ve also heard great things about the Shure KSM32’s.
Be tough to go wrong with a pair of KSM32, or a nice pair of new C414 XLS. Used both.

The AKG catches a lot of flak for some reason, probably comparing it to previous 414 versions? Yeah, AKG C414 EB brass capsule is preferred, but prices are stupid, and comparing the two mics just because they both say 414 is not fair. The new 414 is a great mic in its own right.

KSM32 also a great choice, and half the price, but cardioid only. Switchable KSM44 puts you up at the price point of the 414.

So KSM32 if you don't need switchable patterns. Plus, it's a great vocal and acoustic guit mic. Covers a lot of ground.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
To me, it's ribbons or bust.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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ActualDino's Avatar
 

Call me crazy, but I've had great luck with a pair of v67s.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Oktava 319s $125 each used. I like them on OH more than my AT 4050s
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