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8th mic on drum set... What to do? Dynamic Microphones
Old 14th January 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

8th mic on drum set... What to do?

OK! Im interested in opinions on what micing setup to use with (only) 8 channels available for recording drums. I think this is a lot of channels to work with but I know many people routinely use much more.

Snare-Kick-Rack-Floor-Cymbals setup

Mics available:

Shure SM7
Shure SM57
Oktavamod Mk219
Warm Audio WA-47
Oktava Mk-012 (2)
RM BIV-1 Ribbon (2)
Ev 635a
Ev 664
Beyer M201
Beyer M88
Heil PR40
Buncha 58's
CAD M179 (2)
....Behringer ECM8000


Im definitely going to audition all the mics I have for spot micing the toms, snare, and kick to see what is the best combination and that will change with the song, but.....

What I REALLY want to know is what overall configuration you would prefer with this number of channels.

I was thinking (and the mics I list for specific positions are just a general choice but not final - nothing is ever final or right for every application) something like this:

1. Overhead (ORTF) - Mk012 or RM BIV-1 for smoother sound
2. Overhead (ORTF) - Mk012 or RM BIV-1
3. Room - Mk219 or WA47 or Ev635a....
4. Snare - M201 or M88, 57
5. Kick - PR40 most likely..
6. Rack tom - M179
7. Floor tom - M179 or SM7

...............................mic 8?!?!

The question is, with another mic to use where would YOU place it?

Front of kick?

Bottom snare?

Shell Snare?

Hi-hat?

Crotch?

I was leaning towards a bottom snare mic but maybe some people see a front of kick mic ans more crucial or some other position....thoughts? Also if you particularly appreciate any of these mics in a certain usage for drums I'd love to hear it! They are all going to get extensively experimented with before the first track is laid down so I'm doing my legwork anyways but its always nice to hear others opinions.
Old 14th January 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
If it were me I'd either use the 8th mic for stereo room, or hat. I would NOT put a condenser on hat. I'd actually rather have stereo room and a mono overhead if I wanted to have the hat miced. If I was skipping the hat, stereo room and stereo OH.

I really like the M201 on hat. Don't record it too hot, just get it there for a little presence and clarity in the stereo picture.

Crotch mic can be a good thing too. Smash it. You might not use it on every mix, but its nice to have sometimes.
Old 14th January 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
put it inside a Conga that is sitting upsidedown - on its head / or try it right side up if the head resonates ina complimentary way !!! seriously .. adds a really cool controlled ambience ..

or out in the hallyway if you have one ..

or the Knee Mic is always nice as a starting point when mixing .. try giving just that mic to the drummer in their Cans and let them blend themself .. (themself- is that a word ?? themselve ?? haha)
Old 14th January 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
I would put it on the snare bottom.

How are your room acoustics? Is it well treated?
Old 14th January 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
zero64's Avatar
 

Stereo room or front of kick. I only ever mic the HH if somebody wants to hear it loud while tracking.
Old 14th January 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Front of kick, Snare bottom or Hi-hat.
Would depend on the song.
Old 14th January 2018
  #7
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I like to have inside and outside kick mics, more often than not. One more for the beater, and the other for fullness or tone.
Old 15th January 2018
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thanks all!!!

Room is well treated, still a work in progress but it will have tones of trapping and absorption before its done and some diffusion as well. 12" ceilings with deep absorption covering about 60%.

Im going to add some porous diffusion to some of the panels to add some reflective surfaces back after all the absorption is placed to keep the room from being super super dead. Drums already sound good in the room but there is nothing at the moment to eat up any of their energy so a snare just takes your head off.

Not going for a super live sound or a super dead sound.

I dont think I would try to mic the HH unless I decided to try to record cymbals separately.

I suppose I could use my ribbon pair for a stereo room in blumlein and see how that sounds. That in combination with a single mono overhead. What is the advantage of this configuration over setero OH, mono room? More spread in the distant sound vs the close sound? I understand that the majority of the solidity of the drum kit tends to come right up the middle most of the time in the stereo field.

In isolation I think kick in mics sound like whacking a basketball with a baseball bat but if I only had two mics I would throw up a mono OH and a kick because I feel the kick absolutely needs a close mic vs any other part of the kit.

Maybe a different way to phrase the question in order to narrow it down...

Two mics on Snare - vs - Two mics on kick???

Which do you prefer?

...Spagett.
Old 15th January 2018
  #9
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I've never used more than one mic on snare. Unless you count the "wurst" microphone or whatever you want to call it.

I like a nice spaced pair on rooms. Panned pretty hard apart. Sounds big and wide in the mix.
Old 15th January 2018
  #10
Gear Head
 

I can see a spaced pair being better for room vs blumlein. If thats the case then I might use the Mk-012 pair for the room and the WA-47 for mono OH.

The options are so numerous! I realize the only way to really wrap my head around the various rewards and challenges provided by the different combinations would be to just start doing it and auditioning various setups but its SO helpful to get this input from people who've done it before and know what I've got to work with. I think with the number of channels and the various mics available I'm not really limited and its all up to me to get something going with any approach.
Old 15th January 2018
  #11
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I would certainly spend a few hours on it (or less, if you're fast) before committing to a final sound. It's one of those things that, in my experience at least, does take some time to get right. Like you said, there are just so many options to sort through!

That said, a nice 47-ish mic can be really nice in front of /over a kit.

If it's a two guitar left/right wall of sound kind of thing I think a mono overhead could work pretty seamlessly. Or any kind of big/dense mix of non-drum instruments with a lot of stereo stuff going on.

Heck, even a mono everything mix can sound cool sometimes.

I'm a little torn about the overheads thing. I would probably prefer the SDC pair on overheads and the big LDC in the room or a little farther away. I guess I've just gotten used to SDC overheads and have come to sort of prefer them. I've also had good luck with distant LDC placement. It's really hard to say without hearing it. I think both ways could have merit.
Old 15th January 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 

A couple of thoughts after looking at your mic list. 664 can be quite good on rack tom even though it's a pain to position. My current favourite for rack is the EV PL6 which is a descendant of the 664. Both are in the same family as the RE15.
If you go for a mono overhead and are on the fence about ribbon or condenser the Oktava 219 is a nice middle ground. It's smoother/darker then other budget condensers and takes eq nicely. It's a good choice if you want lots of detail but are concerned about harsh cymbals.
The 635a was made for the crotch mic position. It's the perfect choice (unless you've got a sennheiser 211). On raunchy rock records I run it into a Ross overdrive pedal and straight to tape (no pre). I blend it in under the kit until things sound nice and explode-y. A clean crotch mic also give you lots of attack from the kick beater freeing you up to use one mic on the kick instead of in/out.

As for the 8th mic.......I would definitely opt for a room mic of some kind. Sometimes it doesn't even really matter what it is. I've done lots of sessions where the drums sound great until we recut the vocal and dump the guide vocal that was tracked in the room with the drums. It's amazing what even a 58 can do in that regard.
Old 15th January 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HostaMahogey View Post
OK! Im interested in opinions on what micing setup to use with (only) 8 channels available for recording drums. I think this is a lot of channels to work with but I know many people routinely use much more.

Snare-Kick-Rack-Floor-Cymbals setup

Mics available:

Shure SM7
Shure SM57
Oktavamod Mk219
Warm Audio WA-47
Oktava Mk-012 (2)
RM BIV-1 Ribbon (2)
Ev 635a
Ev 664
Beyer M201
Beyer M88
Heil PR40
Buncha 58's
CAD M179 (2)
....Behringer ECM8000


Im definitely going to audition all the mics I have for spot micing the toms, snare, and kick to see what is the best combination and that will change with the song, but.....

What I REALLY want to know is what overall configuration you would prefer with this number of channels.

I was thinking (and the mics I list for specific positions are just a general choice but not final - nothing is ever final or right for every application) something like this:

1. Overhead (ORTF) - Mk012 or RM BIV-1 for smoother sound
2. Overhead (ORTF) - Mk012 or RM BIV-1
3. Room - Mk219 or WA47 or Ev635a....
4. Snare - M201 or M88, 57
5. Kick - PR40 most likely..
6. Rack tom - M179
7. Floor tom - M179 or SM7

...............................mic 8?!?!

The question is, with another mic to use where would YOU place it?

Front of kick?

Bottom snare?

Shell Snare?

Hi-hat?

Crotch?

I was leaning towards a bottom snare mic but maybe some people see a front of kick mic ans more crucial or some other position....thoughts? Also if you particularly appreciate any of these mics in a certain usage for drums I'd love to hear it! They are all going to get extensively experimented with before the first track is laid down so I'm doing my legwork anyways but its always nice to hear others opinions.
go with what you have, maybe try the PR40 on snare (but 201 is )and the M88 on kick,...then put the room mic low in front of the kick and mic the shell of the snare for #8
Old 15th January 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
The SM7 is an awesome hihat mic. You'll never want to use a condenser mic on hats again, except maybe for jazz. M88 on outside kick if the hats are not getting used a lot, if the overheads pick them up plenty.
Old 15th January 2018
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HostaMahogey View Post

I suppose I could use my ribbon pair for a stereo room in blumlein and see how that sounds. That in combination with a single mono overhead. What is the advantage of this configuration over setero OH, mono room? More spread in the distant sound vs the close sound? I understand that the majority of the solidity of the drum kit tends to come right up the middle most of the time in the stereo field.

In isolation I think kick in mics sound like whacking a basketball with a baseball bat but if I only had two mics I would throw up a mono OH and a kick because I feel the kick absolutely needs a close mic vs any other part of the kit.

Maybe a different way to phrase the question in order to narrow it down...

Two mics on Snare - vs - Two mics on kick???

Which do you prefer?

...Spagett.
You could use ribbons in Blumlein or spaced in the room. If you go Blumlein, position them so the center in in line with both the BD and the SD. They will end up being to the right of the drums (from the players POV). That helps give the strong center, but still have spread.

To the mono OH vs stereo room, I think of room to add "bloom." I associate bloom with spread. Spread comes from stereo capture.

I like ribbons on overhead(s) sometimes, but its a really specific sound. The way ribbons capture ride cymbal stick attack is cool, but not what I want most of the time.

On 2 mics on SD or BD, ALWAYS Bass Drum, for me. I think under snare mic sound terrible. Yes they can make the snare stand out, but they make the WORST part of the snare sound stand out. An outside BD mic, on the other hand, can add are really great woom(p). BTW if your inside mic sound too basketball like, get something soft in there. Even something small to just deal with the reflections.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HostaMahogey View Post
I can see a spaced pair being better for room vs blumlein. If thats the case then I might use the Mk-012 pair for the room and the WA-47 for mono OH.
I don't doubt that would sound good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HostaMahogey View Post
The options are so numerous! I realize the only way to really wrap my head around the various rewards and challenges provided by the different combinations would be to just start doing it and auditioning various setups but its SO helpful to get this input from people who've done it before and know what I've got to work with. I think with the number of channels and the various mics available I'm not really limited and its all up to me to get something going with any approach.
Its always good to try different things. Anyone in this thread giving advice has tried numerous things, and made decisions in the moment. Sometimes they like things and keep doing it, other times we mix it up. In my experience, I don't really know how any of these different things work until I'm mixing. That's when I know how my different choices up to that point are working together.

On the next (and the next....) project I use that mental catalog to help me through what I'm doing this time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I would certainly spend a few hours on it (or less, if you're fast) before committing to a final sound. It's one of those things that, in my experience at least, does take some time to get right. Like you said, there are just so many options to sort through!

That said, a nice 47-ish mic can be really nice in front of /over a kit.

If it's a two guitar left/right wall of sound kind of thing I think a mono overhead could work pretty seamlessly. Or any kind of big/dense mix of non-drum instruments with a lot of stereo stuff going on.

Heck, even a mono everything mix can sound cool sometimes.

I'm a little torn about the overheads thing. I would probably prefer the SDC pair on overheads and the big LDC in the room or a little farther away. I guess I've just gotten used to SDC overheads and have come to sort of prefer them. I've also had good luck with distant LDC placement. It's really hard to say without hearing it. I think both ways could have merit.
In my current room, generally speaking, SDCs sound better/more pleasing than LDCs, but in my old room, I preferred LDCs. The mic (especially in multi miced set ups) work in concert with the space.
Old 15th January 2018
  #16
Gear Maniac
I would definitely use the ribbons in a stereo configuration as either overheads, or room mic’s, but I would lean towards overheads. I find condensers to sound thin in the mid range when used as overheads. In a well treated room, ribbon mic’s sound more natural and full bodied as overheads, especially in the tone of the toms.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Maniac
Bumping this as I'm in a similar situation. Recording a friend's band in a couple of weeks. Pop-rock, drums, bass, two guitars, male vocals, some keys. Extremely dead room, I suspect: they've sent me pictures and the walls are completely covered top to bottom in rock wool (don't ask). The only alternative was a large warehouse, which sounded like fun, but apparently there's too much traffic noise.

What I have mic-wise and what I'm thinking so far:

1 - Kick: AKG D112 MkII
2 - Snare top: Shure Beta 56A
3, 4 - OH: 2 x Shure SM137 (not to be confused with KSM137, apparently it's the same as the old KSM109)
5, 6 - Rack toms: 2 x Beyer M201
7 - Floor tom: Shure PG52

The 8th mic can be a Shure Beta 58A or PG81. Options I can think of:

A) PG81 as front-of-kit (given the space I don't think a proper, distant room mic makes much sense)
B) ? on hi-hat
C) some reshuffling between the D112, PG52 and I guess the Beta 58A so I can have both inside and outside kick mics
D) snare shell?
E) ...?

I ran the mono OH idea by them to have more options but they weren't crazy about it, so let's assume that's out.

Thoughts?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabirio View Post
Bumping this as I'm in a similar situation. Recording a friend's band in a couple of weeks. Pop-rock, drums, bass, two guitars, male vocals, some keys. Extremely dead room, I suspect: they've sent me pictures and the walls are completely covered top to bottom in rock wool (don't ask). The only alternative was a large warehouse, which sounded like fun, but apparently there's too much traffic noise.

What I have mic-wise and what I'm thinking so far:

1 - Kick: AKG D112 MkII
2 - Snare top: Shure Beta 56A
3, 4 - OH: 2 x Shure SM137 (not to be confused with KSM137, apparently it's the same as the old KSM109)
5, 6 - Rack toms: 2 x Beyer M201
7 - Floor tom: Shure PG52

The 8th mic can be a Shure Beta 58A or PG81. Options I can think of:

A) PG81 as front-of-kit (given the space I don't think a proper, distant room mic makes much sense)
B) ? on hi-hat
C) some reshuffling between the D112, PG52 and I guess the Beta 58A so I can have both inside and outside kick mics
D) snare shell?
E) ...?

I ran the mono OH idea by them to have more options but they weren't crazy about it, so let's assume that's out.

Thoughts?
Prog rock... hats might be important. What's going on with the bass player? If the bass is really active and midrange-y (Chris Squireesque) an putside BD mic might be useful. A "wurst" mic (over the BD shell pointed at the drummer's WURST...) sometimes is great, but usually when you have all the more important bases covered.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

i always miss a bottom snare channel when it is not there. i can take or leave most of the other extras
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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kennybro's Avatar
I've been using eight for some time, and recently busted down to six, eliminating bottom snare and outside of kik.
1 Kik
2 Snr
3 Rack
4 Floor
5&6 OH stereo

I'm finding that simpler is better, for me anyway.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine Misner View Post
i always miss a bottom snare channel when it is not there. i can take or leave most of the other extras
yup
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Head
 

A little over a year after my original post I did my first tracking session and honestly settled on an EV 635a mono OH, EV N/D 868 on kick, and a Beye M201 on snare. Slightly roomy, bandwidth limited, crunchy sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HostaMahogey View Post
A little over a year after my original post I did my first tracking session and honestly settled on an EV 635a mono OH, EV N/D 868 on kick, and a Beye M201 on snare. Slightly roomy, bandwidth limited, crunchy sound.
635 for overhead?....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I've been using eight for some time, and recently busted down to six, eliminating bottom snare and outside of kik.
1 Kik
2 Snr
3 Rack
4 Floor
5&6 OH stereo

I'm finding that simpler is better, for me anyway.
No room? I LURVE room mics...

Tony
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
OceanMan's Avatar
 

M201 absolutely for snare. I’d recommend an inexpensive mic called the ISK Little Gem (with Hypercardiod capsule) for hats. That’s my ****!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanMan View Post
M201 absolutely for snare. I’d recommend an inexpensive mic called the ISK Little Gem (with Hypercardiod capsule) for hats. That’s my ****!
I like the M201 for hats.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
Gear Maniac
Many thanks for the replies guys, keep them coming!
Just to stress that those are the mics I have, so all I can do is reshuffle them if necessary... On that note, some questions:

- For snare bottom, would you go Beta 58A (dynamic) or PG81 (condenser)? And for hi-hat?

- If I want outside kick, how about the Beta 58A on the floor tom, D112 kick in, PG52 kick out?

- I've read very good things about the M201 on snare, but then, how about the rack toms? Maybe Beta 56A and 58A on those (I understand they have the same capsule) and then I can use the extra M201 on something else (snare bottom, hi-hat, floor tom)?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Addict
Personally, I love to have the HH mic and I'm fine with mono room / no bottom snare!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
Gear Maniac
Thanks Friedrik. Actually right now I'm leaning more towards hi-hat. I know the drummer well, he's pretty good and definitely not a hi-hat basher, so I'm thinking that I can always shape the kick and snare with samples if necessary (one idea I have is to sample the actual kick and snare with extra mics beforehand) but if later they say "more hi-hat here, please", it's good to have that track just in case.

One more thing: given the super-dead room, would semi-coincident OHs give me more "air around the kit", if there's such a thing, than a spaced pair? I'm just going with the visual of the mics pointing more towards the outside... Am I on the right track?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 
OceanMan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I like the M201 for hats.
I’m one of those weirdos who dispises a 57 on snare. Been playing drums for over two decades and I just don’t get it I guess. The 201 has such a great “pop” on snare. Too each their own
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