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8 Different dynamic mics as overheads Dynamic Microphones
Old 27th May 2018
  #1
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8 Different dynamic mics as overheads

II few weeks ago @heyokay posted a thread about recording drums only with dynamic mics. Read it here
I’ve done this here and there, but I thought it would be fun to set a bunch of dynamics as mono overhead(s) to try with my typical dynamic close mics. I wanted them all set up at once so that one performance could be captured. Many of us called out the VK U67 new/old comparison because the performance wasn’t the same, and it was tough to do a true comparison.

The Gear:
Neotek Elan II mic pres on all inputs.
Antelope Orion 32 converters.

Mics:
BD Sennheiser e602 II
SD Audio Technics ATM23he
Rack Tom Beyer M88
Floor 1 Beyer M88
Floor 2 Beyer TGX 50
Room EV 635a (2) taped to the floor

Overheads: Beyer M201, Beyer M88, EV 635a, EV RE10, sE V7, Audio Technic ATM25, AKG D119es, Sennheiser 421 U5.

The method:
I used 3 large stand, with 2 stereo bars and a couple of brackets usually used for pop filters to make a cluster of mics pretty much in the center of the drums, above my right knee. I did a bit of running back and forth to “rough in” the levels of the mics. I then recorded some playing and checked for phase issues, making adjustments to the polarity of a couple of mics (on the input side) so things are coherent.

I started the final recording by playing 4 bars of quarter notes on the snare to use for level matching. I then played the drum part for my band Wiplot’s song Sunshine Factory. There are fills, a bridge breakdown with cross stick , and both ride and hihat grooves. It seemed like a song that touches on a lot of what we might see in a typical session.

For the mixes I routed all of the OH mics to one output of the Orion so there would be no channel variation from the console. I then used clip gain in Pro Tools to match each OH to hit the channel at -5dbVU on peaks. I then used the M201 track to set up a basic mix with the OH pretty commanding but the close and room mics contributing what I might consider a typical drum mix. Each of the close mics, and the stereo rooms came up on individual channels of the Neotek. Panning was done with the console. Console faders are at Unity, and level adjustments are in PT. The room mics are pretty low (-17 or something on the PT faders) but are there for some air, and to show that rooms can also be dynamic mics.

There is no processing ITB or OTB. No EQ, no compression, no automation. Levels are static from PT. I created 8 stereo tracks, each named after the OH mic and ran each separately from the Neotek master fader to the Orion. So each of these files is one overhead, the close mics and the room mics.

The project was recorded 24 bit/88.2k. I made 192k MP3s in Pro Tools to post here, but would make a Band Camp page with the 24/88.2 files if enough people request that.

Enjoy!
Attached Files

M201 MIX_01.mp3 (6.07 MB, 2765 views)

M88 MIX_01.mp3 (6.02 MB, 2747 views)

635a MIX_01.mp3 (6.06 MB, 2717 views)

RE10 MIX_01.mp3 (6.28 MB, 2677 views)

V7 MIX_01.mp3 (6.00 MB, 2601 views)

ATM25 MIX_01.mp3 (6.01 MB, 2613 views)

D119es MIX_01.mp3 (6.07 MB, 2582 views)

421 MIX_01.mp3 (6.08 MB, 2647 views)

Old 27th May 2018
  #2
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And here are a few pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
8 Different dynamic mics as overheads-20180525_190006.jpg   8 Different dynamic mics as overheads-20180525_190026.jpg   8 Different dynamic mics as overheads-20180525_190057.jpg   8 Different dynamic mics as overheads-20180525_190105.jpg   8 Different dynamic mics as overheads-20180525_190112.jpg  

8 Different dynamic mics as overheads-20180525_190119.jpg   8 Different dynamic mics as overheads-20180525_190141.jpg  
Old 27th May 2018
  #3
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Pretty cool. And lovely playing, of course. I think I like the M88 best -- it's round and full, yet the ghost notes are the most detailed and distinct. But I'd be okay with any of them except the V7 and the ATM25. The V7 has a sharpness I don't care for. With the ATM25 it almost sounds like either there's some sort of phase issue between it and the other mics -- the low mids and bottom are kinda missing.

Thanks for doing this! You have 3 635's?
Old 27th May 2018
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Pretty cool. And lovely playing, of course. I think I like the M88 best -- it's round and full, yet the ghost notes are the most detailed and distinct. But I'd be okay with any of them except the V7 and the ATM25. The V7 has a sharpness I don't care for. With the ATM25 it almost sounds like either there's some sort of phase issue between it and the other mics -- the low mids and bottom are kinda missing.

Thanks for doing this! You have 3 635's?
Brent, I was hoping you'd see this. I was really surprised at the sound of the ATM 25, I really didn't like it at all. I thought both of the Beyers sounded really good, but we all know what a Beyer slut/geek that I am.

Yes, I do have 3 635a, and I think I have around $100-125 invested in them. Those things are awesome!!! I really like all of those old EV mics. I have 2 RE10s and an RE16 or 15 I can't remember. Newer EV dynamics sound really good too.
Old 27th May 2018
  #5
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With the AT, it sounds like it might be a polarity issue. Maybe the mic, or the cable, or a patch cord only shoved in halfway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I really like all of those old EV mics.
Keep your eye peeled for a 666.
Old 27th May 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
This is very informative! I think after hearing this, if I was recording drums with just dynamics for overheads, I would buy a pair of condensers or ribbons.
Old 27th May 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
With the AT, it sounds like it might be a polarity issue. Maybe the mic, or the cable, or a patch cord only shoved in halfway.
Polarity was checked on all mics as part of the process. I just think that mic doesn't make a good OH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Keep your eye peeled for a 666.
I do need one of those. We had a 664 where I used to work. Are they the same mic, just the 666 is black for TV? I should see if the old boss still has the 664, I liked that mic on guitar amps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
This is very informative! I think after hearing this, if I was recording drums with just dynamics for overheads, I would buy a pair of condensers or ribbons.
Thanks for listening. Obviously there's a reason the condensers are the de facto standard for overs, but that doesn't mean its the only way to do things.
Old 27th May 2018
  #8
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Are they the same mic, just the 666 is black for TV?
Not at all. Thing is, between the early 60s and mid-70s, they were everywhere. The Watergate hearings, that Michael-Corleone-Senate-Subcommittee scene in G2, Aretha at the piano in Muscle Shoals... there've got to be lots of survivors out there. Yet they seem rare and they cost more than they should.
Old 27th May 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not at all. Thing is, between the early 60s and mid-70s, they were everywhere. The Watergate hearings, that Michael-Corleone-Senate-Subcommittee scene in G2, Aretha at the piano in Muscle Shoals... there've got to be lots of survivors out there. Yet they seem rare and they cost more than they should.
A buddy of mine has the 666 that may have been used on BD for Pappa's Got A Brand New Bag.
Old 27th May 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
A buddy of mine has the 666 that may have been used on BD for Pappa's Got A Brand New Bag.
They've got a real nice "bump."
Old 27th May 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
They've got a real nice "bump."
You weren't kidding about the prices getting crazy.
Old 27th May 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
You weren't kidding about the prices getting crazy.
Yeah, but I have to think there've got to be lots of them stuffed in the back rooms of Illinois and Iowa churches and bingo halls and VFW's and radio stations.
Old 27th May 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Yeah, but I have to think there've got to be lots of them stuffed in the back rooms of Illinois and Iowa churches and bingo halls and VFW's and radio stations.
For sure. My RE10s were in City Hall and used for council meetings. I was bummed that my buddy who sold them the new system had already given a couple away when I got these.
Old 27th May 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Pretty cool. And lovely playing, of course. I think I like the M88 best -- it's round and full, yet the ghost notes are the most detailed and distinct. But I'd be okay with any of them except the V7 and the ATM25. The V7 has a sharpness I don't care for. With the ATM25 it almost sounds like either there's some sort of phase issue between it and the other mics -- the low mids and bottom are kinda missing.

Thanks for doing this! You have 3 635's?
I actually like the V7: feels like the only mic that's bringing out some shimmer on the cymbals.

M88 sounds really good though.

MD421 is usable too.

635 is great as a floor mic somewhere between snare/hats/bass drum; pinched that from Gabe at Daptones.
Old 27th May 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
I actually like the V7: feels like the only mic that's bringing out some shimmer on the cymbals.

M88 sounds really good though.

MD421 is usable too.

635 is great as a floor mic somewhere between snare/hats/bass drum; pinched that from Gabe at Daptones.
I actually pulled the V7 off the snare because I wanted to hear it as an overhead. I thought it made a nice overhead. I had no idea what to expect from the 421, though I remember someone (maybe here in the really early days) saying if they needed a ride cymbal spot mic, they liked 421.

I need to try that 635 trick. Just taped to the floor in between the BD and SD?
Old 27th May 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I actually pulled the V7 off the snare because I wanted to hear it as an overhead. I thought it made a nice overhead. I had no idea what to expect from the 421, though I remember someone (maybe here in the really early days) saying if they needed a ride cymbal spot mic, they liked 421.

I need to try that 635 trick. Just taped to the floor in between the BD and SD?
There's a post around here somewhere, but this guy used a Shure 55 "Elvis" mic:
The analog tape hater's thread

I had mine a bit lower, and pointing straight across with my 635. Sounded full, good mic to crush/distort and blend with the rest of the kit.

Also sounds good on it's own in a dead room for a retro funk 45 kind of sound.
Old 27th May 2018
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
There's a post around here somewhere, but this guy used a Shure 55 "Elvis" mic:
The analog tape hater's thread

I had mine a bit lower, and pointing straight across with my 635. Sounded full, good mic to crush/distort and blend with the rest of the kit.

Also sounds good on it's own in a dead room for a retro funk 45 kind of sound.
That's cool. I'll try it soon.
Old 27th May 2018
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Wow; thanks for all of the hard work!

The M88 and the M201 really stood out to me. What lovely sounding mics. Every shootout seems to make me a bigger and bigger fan of Beyer mics.

I, too, was very surprised at the sound of the ATM25. Very strange sounding, indeed.

Again, thanks for the effort. This was great!
Old 27th May 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjhuber View Post
Wow; thanks for all of the hard work!

The M88 and the M201 really stood out to me. What lovely sounding mics. Every shootout seems to make me a bigger and bigger fan of Beyer mics.

I, too, was very surprised at the sound of the ATM25. Very strange sounding, indeed.

Again, thanks for the effort. This was great!
Thanks for listening. I was a fun afternoon. I've never heard a Beyer mic I didn't like. M88 is my favorite mic.

The ATM25 sound great on BD, toms and guitars, just not here.
Old 29th May 2018
  #20
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I thought I'd give this a Monday bump for all the folks surfing at their day jobs.
Old 29th May 2018
  #21
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I thought I'd give this a Monday bump for all the folks surfing at their day jobs.
As if it didn't feel like Monday already. :-)
Old 29th May 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Many of us called out the VK U67 new/old comparison because the performance wasn’t the same, and it was tough to do a true comparison. !
They love the smoke and mirrors routine.
Old 29th May 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
They love the smoke and mirrors routine.
My goal was one performance heard different ways, via different mics.
Old 30th May 2018
  #24
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Seamus TM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not at all. Thing is, between the early 60s and mid-70s, they were everywhere. The Watergate hearings, that Michael-Corleone-Senate-Subcommittee scene in G2, Aretha at the piano in Muscle Shoals... there've got to be lots of survivors out there. Yet they seem rare and they cost more than they should.
Look for a 665.
Old 30th May 2018
  #25
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lobsterinn's Avatar
Thanks for putting the effort into this nice comparison.

Of course, the Beyers stand out. I love how M201's hear the snare from a distance. The M88's rule on the tom bits.

RE10 and 635 not shabby either.

I love dynamic overheads for the right track. They make the drums to sit back a little in a mid-fi way which helps other things come forward.
Old 31st May 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobsterinn View Post
Thanks for putting the effort into this nice comparison.

Of course, the Beyers stand out. I love how M201's hear the snare from a distance. The M88's rule on the tom bits.

RE10 and 635 not shabby either.

I love dynamic overheads for the right track. They make the drums to sit back a little in a mid-fi way which helps other things come forward.
Thanks for taking a listen. I'm trying to decide if I should use one of these in a live minimal set up for some smaller gigs this summer.
Old 31st May 2018
  #27
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Labs's Avatar
 

Really like the sound of the 201 on this.

The EV is my least favourite - boxy .

Some of the differences could be due to the mic pattern/amount of room interaction (not trying to be nit picky or devalue the test, just trying to give the EV a break)

Thanks for doing this!

Gustav
Old 31st May 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labs View Post
Really like the sound of the 201 on this.

The EV is my least favourite - boxy .

Some of the differences could be due to the mic pattern/amount of room interaction (not trying to be nit picky or devalue the test, just trying to give the EV a break)

Thanks for doing this!

Gustav
I like the 201 a lot too. I assume you're talking about the EV 635a, not the RE10. The 635a is omni, and I think you can instantly hear that for sure.

Thanks for listening. I didn't even realize you still posted. Good to see you here.
Old 31st May 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I like the 201 a lot too. I assume you're talking about the EV 635a, not the RE10. The 635a is omni, and I think you can instantly hear that for sure.

Thanks for listening. I didn't even realize you still posted. Good to see you here.
Yes, the 635.

Glad to see you as well

Gustav
Old 31st May 2018
  #30
Gear Addict
The ATM25 sounds wrong like Brent has said as they are great mics. I liked the M201, M88 and D421 the most. I didn't really like the highs that much on any of them.

Would it be possible to post overhead only files? That would eliminate phase issues and represent the mics in an alternative but equally useful way.

Thanks for doing this!

Tony
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