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Drum recording potential setup critique Dynamic Microphones
Old 9th September 2011
Here for the gear

Drum recording potential setup critique

Hi there!

I know this is an incredibly overdone thread, but I've read a fair bit and just wanted some final opinions before I dished out the cash for some new gear

I've previously only really been a guitar/piano guy, but I've had a fairly nice sounding Gretsch kit laying around for a while, and I'd really like to be able to get a decent recording sound out of it. Because I've previously only needed to record two instruments at once, I have an Edirol UA25 (2 inputs)

After a fair amount of research I've narrowed the gear I need down to this:

Interface - Mackie Onyx Blackbird
Kick - Beta 52 (and a homemade subkick)
Snare - SM57 (already own one)
Toms - Looking at either 3 Sennheiser 604s or SM57s. MD421s are out of my budget :(
Overheads - ? not really sure. I'd like something that won't break the bank too much because I'm already getting up there!

edit: couple of AKG C1000S maybe?

Will I be able to get a fairly nice drum sound out of this? Any substitutions you can think of that would be worth it at similar price points?

Thanks guys.
Old 9th September 2011
Gear Nut
MrTinkle's Avatar

I really don't like the Beta 52 for kicks... I've had a good play with a lot of fairly good mics, not the super expensive high end stuff though... So far I've found

Kick - Sennheiser E902
Snare - SM57
Hi Hat - SM57
Toms - Sennheiser MD421 II
Overheads - Oktaver MK2 (want to try some SE Electronics SE4's though)

Can get a pretty damn good sound with those. It depends on your budget though... - just make sure you kits tuned well otherwise it'll sound like rubbish anyway! :D
Old 9th September 2011
Gear Addict
Admiral James T.'s Avatar

You didn't mention a sound you're after, that would help. But since you're a "guitar/piano guy" I guess you're more after a sweet & natural sound - a thing that would show your gretsch kit respect as well.
I don't really like the shure beta thingy as well, but it's an ok mic. I'd look for an AKG D12 (not 112!) or a RE20, both can (still) be found used for a good price. Or a Stedman n90, or try a Heil if it has to be new. Sm57 is totally ok, even for toms. 421 can cause more phase issues as they pick up more of the whole kit. I wouldn't care 'bout HiHat, you'll probably never need that signal anyway. Stay away from the c1000, they're just ugly. I would spend the most money on overhead miks - that's where the drum sound happens. On the cheap side Rode NT5 are totally ok (yes they are), or Oktavas, as already mentioned. Don't know 'bout these chinese avantones and such, but they might be good as a start. Or think about a pair of LDC's, maybe Oktava as well, or Neumann TL102. Or a pair of ribbons?
Old 9th September 2011
Lives for gear
FossilTooth's Avatar

Sure that could be fine.

Are you planning on recording drums at your place constantly? If not, booking an outside studio may be more cost effective and yield better results.

If you live near a major metropolitan area, gear rentals for the day or week may be a pretty good bet, too! They're almost always cheaper than you think.

Either way, you wouldn't have to settle for whatever mics you can afford to buy, or spend days figuring out what setups and locations work best in your room.

Anyway, any of those mics will be fine if those are your available options. Whatever you record will surely sound like drums. Good luck!
Old 9th September 2011
Lives for gear
suedesound's Avatar

i personally am a fan of beta52's but there are several kick mic options in that same price range and none of them suck, just depends on what you're going for.

57's are fine on toms but i would also consider e604's or audix d2's and d4's. they can all clip on too.

i would stay away from the c1000's unless that's really all you can afford. i think oktavas or sm81's will sound a lot better and take longer to outgrow.
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