Looking for some ideas here, as it seems that there is little consensus to be found in a forum search
-You're recording a decent sized kit (7 piece, quite a few cymbals).
-You have a fairly open carpet / sheetrock room with a high (18' or so)open ceiling in the middle, and 8 portable sound panels to place around if needed.
-You have 4 decent channels with which to work (RME UFX or equivalent).
-You have an SM57, and need 3 other mics with which to capture this kit.
-The music style is rock, a bit technical and dynamic at times. Assume the drums are tuned well, and the player is competent.
-You have a budget of about $1500.
Assuming there's just one kick happening, I'd say kick/snare/and a pair of overheads to pick up toms, cymbals and room seems like a safe bet. Pick one of the usual suspects for kick (depending on how rock it is, D112, D12, or D6?) plus a decent pair of LDCs (there are so many- maybe look at Advanced Audio or Mojave?) should do it. Experiment with placement.
honestly, if I was in your shoes with $1500 the way to make that money go farthest is to go rent some studio time in a well outfitted studio. I dont know if that is practical for you, and Im not so bold as to suggest that you can't find three decent mics for $1500 however for that money, if you find the right spot you can put 6 u47's on your drum kit and do it in a room that was acoustically designed and have mics high and far away. AND have someone press record for you. AND have money left over. In 2013, with that budget, you can basically get the best drum sound ever recorded if you are near a city with decent studios. Dont know what your situation is, but that is massively maximizing your investment compared to whatever three mics you wind up with for that cash. As an aside, one of the most fun drum sounds I ever got was with only four 421's on a kit. Not trying to be all snobish about it, but ownership isnt always the best approach.
What I'd do is use the 57 on the snare - not my favorite, but serviceable. Beyer m88 for the Kick ($350). Then either go for a pair of decent SDC's (Josephson c42's $975 or Shure KSM41's $870) or ribbons (Cascade Fathead $749/pr, Beyer m160+130 ~$1k) for "overheads". Go condensers for bright and transient, ribbons for smoother and more natural. If you have $40 left over, find a used EV635a and hang it over the drummer's head.
I've gotten great drum sounds with nothing but cheap mics, and absolutely horrible ones with U47's & RCA's. Depends on the drummer and the day and my mood and the position of Mercury with regard to Venus and god knows what else. Though I must say that I ALWAYS throw up that 635 - and I almost always use it. Sometimes as the main part of the take...
4 mics for a big busy 7-piece kit with lotsa cymbals is NOT gonna sound great at all. or at least you are not gonna get good tom definition/punch with respect to your kick and snare.
if you can't increase channel-count then simplify the kit! 2 cymbals (ride and crash) and just a 3, maybe 4 piece.
you're not gonna get a consensus on what mics to use...there are too many good options. i can't believe more slutz aren't telling you to rethink things or, (wise words above^^^), rent a good studio for a day or 2 and capture your big kit in a way that will give you good options.
again...if you want punch and definition you need to change the kit or get more channels.
with a simple kit there are a lot of 4-mic techniques (or 3, 2 & 1 for that matter).
[QUOTE=AwTAC;9311651]''this is hardly the rule of law if you have experience with recording a drum kit like this. In a decent sounding room, Id chose 4 over 10 mics on any size drum kit every time''.
that's great man...whatever works for you! .....but don't tell me you can get a whole range of sounds (tight and punchy vs ambient and washy etc) from your 4 mics on a big busy kit with lotsa cymbals - no matter how great your room is! contrary to what your knowledge is telling you, experience is telling ME to simplify the kit OR get more channels.....UNLESS i am after a more ambient, less punchy, roomy sound. - in which case 4 mics can be fine....in fact 1 or 2 can be great! but we don't know what the thread-starter is after do we?
you gotta capture whatever drum sound fits the material & your comment: ''Id chose 4 over 10 mics on any size drum kit every time'' - is pretty narrow-minded/tunnel-visioned....on some material and on bigger kits I would certainly chose the 10 mics over the 4! there are no rules - but you gotta be adaptable and it's nice to be able to do/capture what's best for the music!
this is hardly the rule of law if you have experience with recording a drum kit like this. In a decent sounding room, Id chose 4 over 10 mics on any size drum kit every time if I had my choice.
Agreed. You can get great sounding drums with 4 mics.
You won't get consensus on any *one* of these three, let alone all of them. That being said, for me:
1) I'd use two condensers for overheads in something like a Recorderman set up. I would lean toward LDCs as I find SDCs can sound a bit weak on toms without close micing to augment the tone. I like my AT4050s for this role (as well as many others) but there are lots of choices. 2) SM57 on snare is a good choice, and you own it already. 3) Then pick your favorite kick mic. More modern sound - D6; more classic rock - D112 etc. Given you have a 57, the other mics new would run you just over your budget. Buy one or more used and you can be under budget.
I would likely not use a room mic with only four channels available. I'd just use some reverb and call it a day.
Spaced pair with KSM32's. Close mic the cymbals with the 603S (they actually sound good). Use your 57 on the snare. Put triggers on toms and kick/snare. Use room samples from Slate while mixing kick/snare samples. You aren't going to record much better than that on a budget.
M160's or fatheads for overheads, beta 52 or re20 kick, use your 57 snare. Assuming this has to be 4 channels only. Also agree you'll probably get better results dropping that money on a couple of days at a studio. Also like the ksm32 suggestion if you want to go with condensers for oh's. Random but i've heard good things about kel mics but never had a chance to try any out
The "take your money and book studio time" idea might be your best bet if you aren't experienced enough to have opinions on mics for the sound you are after.
Another take would be to rent/borrow/demo some of the suggestions here and experiment a bit. You'll end up saving a lot of money if you can figure out what works for you rather than buying $1500 worth of mics based on internet suggestions - then re-selling until you find what YOU like.
That said, I would get try a EV868 for close kick, cuz it works 99% of the time. Beyond that, I would opt for a matched pair of mics, because then you have the choice of matched overheads if you want them, while still having the option of recorderman, or one mono overhead and one room mic, etc. Which matched pair depends sooooo much on your tastes and style though... In that price range: Beyer 930's are great SDC's, Stellar CM5's are great LDC's, Cascade Vinjets are nice sounding ribbons...among others.
And just for yet another option, since nobody's mentioned the 'Glyn Johns' method, you could get 2 'affordable' LDC's for the GJ setup - (Mikteks, Joly K47s, etc), with either a third of the same on the kick, or a dedicated kick mic like D112, Audix D4, RE20, Senn MD421 etc... and your 57 on the snare for punch 'as needed'.
Many solid sounding rock records have been made with the Glyn Johns method, though measurement and experimentation are critical to making sure you get the phase and kit balance just right.
Fun thread! I agree with the Beyer m160 OH and a good dynamic for kick, like a Beyer m88, EV RE20 or a Heil PR40. Is the kit going to be isolated in this room? The room seems kind of live so I don't necessarily see the need for a room mic per se, there's going to be room in the mics no matter what, and even more if you put a limiter on the OH.
Another approach could be something like 2 of the Stellar cm5 LD tube mics in stereo OH (spaced or Blumlein, depending on how wide you want the drums in the mix, pair can be had for $900 new), and a used AKG 414 TL2 ($600 ish on eBay) front of kick, which I've really been enjoying in this capacity lately.