View Full Version : drum mic selection
what's your ideal setup for micing up a drum kit?
bs drum -
snare drum -
01-17-2002, 12:11 PM
With many multiple tracks available (11 or more):
Bass Drum =
AKGD112 inside 1-2 inches from head
SM57 batter side close to beater
EVRE20 outside at the end of a bass tent about a foot or two back from drum
Snare Drum =
SM57 top side and inch or two in and up from rim
KM184 or AKG 451 Bottom side about a foot down from snare head
Sennheiser MD421's around the tops
Pair of Earthworks QTC's to pick up the room sound as well as the cymbals
Neumann U87 Center Overhead from behind about a foot or so above the drumers head with a 20:1 compressor put on it for the extra "Oomph"
With only a few tracks available (4 or fewer):
Bass Drum =
AKGD112 about halfway back from batter head inside
Snare Drum =
SM57 top side inch or two in and up from rim
U87 or Rode NT1000 behind and about a foot above the drummer with a 20:1 compressor on it
U87 or other set back from the set about 10 feet out and up from floor
There you go.....
here's what I've found to be most effective.
Bass drum - Audix D4
Rack toms - AT ATM35's
Floor Toms - Audix D4
Snare - Beyer M422
High Hat - AT AT3031
Overheads - Earthworks QTC1's or SR77's
Room mic - I had the chance to use the Soundelux Elux 251 once and it is killer
An AKG C414TLII is good to have around for misc percussion.
02-21-2002, 09:26 PM
d112 on kick.
sm57 on snare
SR77's for overheads
05-07-2002, 09:48 AM
I'll throw in my 2 cents here. First, I would say it depends what kind of music. For typical jazz or small groups, the following works for me:
Kick- either D12e, D112 or 421 (depends on the tune of kick) I usually
mic these outside the drum itself, rarely on the inside as other posts.
Snare- SM 57
O.H.- either SM-81's or Crown 700's
same set-up as above, with the addition of ATM 63HE's on rack and floor toms. Why 63's....I've just grown used to them and now how to get what I want from them. Might I use something differnt?? Sure....if I had some extra bucks!
Sometimes I pan toms...sometimes not. I am usually doing this set-up for TV, so there are times when it is acceptable (depending on camera shot) and sometimes not. But extra work in post like this adds a nice touch!
Out of habit I generally spend alot of time of drums. That has been my main instrument for 25 years....so I tend favor drums!...or give them that "special" attention.
The Royer SF12 as an overhead is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Also, an R121 on the Snare sounds very nice and is so easily EQ'able!
05-07-2002, 10:25 AM
Kick: AKG D112 or Sennheiser MD421U inside, Neumann U47FET or Soundelux 195 outside.
Snare: SM57 on top, small-diaphragm underneath, like a KM184 or even (gasp!) an SM81.
Hat: SD condenser. KM184 or equivalent. Can't wait to try the AKG 451 reissue.
Toms: MD421U's all around
Overheads: a pair of U87's or AKG 414's.
Room: If I use one, I'd go with one of the Royers.
05-14-2002, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by Bob
an R121 on the Snare sounds very nice and is so easily EQ'able!
Bob, what direction do you point the R-121 when micing a snare? I.e., where is the rear lobe facing?
Also, ever try flipping it around 180 degrees and using the back side as the main pickup? I just heard about this from the Royer website, tried it once on some electric guitar tracks and was quite happy...definitely a different sound than the front end of a Royer.
If your looking at the snare drum from the drummers stool, its about 10 o'clock and slanted - w/ the diaphram (front part of the mic) pointing towards the middle of the drum. Just a crystal clear sound.
I have tried flipping the mic around and it just doesn't work for my snare. But, it is a little brighter, more present sound. I like it on my Fender Twin guitar amp and definately on vocals. That mic is versatile, its really amazing!
PLEASE GOD!!!!! Give me a drummer that has a good sounding kit & knows how to tune it… from there I can get a good sound with damn near anything. :D
Ok… seriously folks… depends on the situation… Live, I use the stuff that I don’t mind (well TOO much) if it hits the floor. I ain’t Bill Gates… so I’d rather replace a $100 mic than a $300 one. :D
Kick: AKG D112
Snare: Shure SM-57
Toms: Live – Used to use 57s… friend loaned me a “kit” from AKG & told me to try it out… had the D550 for the kick & D440 for the toms… I like ‘em but use the D550 on the floor tom & the D440s on the rack toms.
Hi-Hats: AKG C430 from the above-mentioned kit.
Overheads: Marshall MXL 603S
Kick: EV-RE20 (Although I’m warming up to the Senn. E602 for rock & country)
Snare: SM-57 (might add an AKG C1000S on the bottom if needed)
Toms: Senn. MD421
Hi-Hats: AKG C1000S
Overheads: AKG C451
From there I’ll put three Crown PZM-30D’s around the kit. I’ll add a touch of ‘em if it’s a rock or country track & it’s a good sounding kit. For lighter genres I’ll reverse the priority (again, as long as it’s a nice sounding kit) using the PZM’s for the basic sound & sneaking in a little of the individual tom mics just to balance ‘em out.
Right now my current favorites are;
•Kick-Royer R121, 12-18 inches away from front head (full head, no hole!).
If more "click" is needed, I'd put a Sennheiser MD421 inside.
•Snare-Small diaphragm condenser (AKG C451, Earthworks SR77, Neumann KM184
or the like) if I want a really bright and cutting sound. Shure SM57 if I want
more meat. Maybe both...one on top, one underneath flipped out of polarity.
•Toms-Sennheiser MD421's all around. For ballads or slower tunes, AKG C414BULS's.
•Overheads-Either a pair of Earthworks omni microphones, or a pair of Royer R121's,
or a Royer SF12.
•Hat and Ride-Nothing. Small-diaphragm condenser if necessary.
•Room-Royer R121. Like Bob, I've also tried the Soundelux ELUX251, and it's amazing
However, it really depends on the situation. One of the best sounds I've ever had was with a single Royer R121. I found that if I needed to boost any particular drum, I'd just search for whatever frequency enhanced it and turned it up. Of course, this wouldn't be appropriate for every style, but squash it with a compressor and voila! Instant Kravitz-type sound. Of course, this doesn't work if the drums aren't tuned and the drummer doesn't know how to balance himself.
I've also had great results with SM57's on the toms, as well as AKG C418's (little clip-on condensers) and Audix D-series microphones on toms and snare. I've had good results on kick with the various "kick-specific" microphones (D112, E602, Beta 52 etc), an Earthworks TC30K inside (really!) and an AKG C414 outside, but that Royer is just amazing. I read somewhere that you could get a good sound miking the shell of the snare with an omni microphone, so I tried that with an R121 overhead and that was a good useful sound as well. One of the best-sounding recordings I ever got was one where I'd accidentally turned off the phantom power to the overheads and had the gain cranked way too high on my tom microphones...the groove was huge until I actually hit a tom, at which point it was just nasty. But up until that point I felt like I'd stepped into the stairwell Zeppelin recorded "When the Levee Breaks".
I guess my point is, I'd prefer to have as many microphones on hand as possible, just to be prepared for the particular session (and this includes having a good trigger-to MIDI converter around, in case the drummer can't tune his drums or has old heads so at least I can salvage the feel with good sounds...and if the groove isn't there...).
06-27-2002, 11:35 AM
i have three basic way to mic a kit- one is for my own band, one is for a live band (in a 250-500 seat room), and one is for the remote recording service i offer to bands/ect.
for my own tunes with my band, it's easy- i have a '71 rogers 'holiday' 5 piece kit with two crashes and one ride, and a 6'*2.5' five section clearsound® plexiglass screen. the miking scheme is a neumann tlm193 on kick (6" back or so), an at3525 on the snare (until i put it on a snare, i'd never found a good use for that mic!), and a matched pair of microtech gefells overhead. that combo into a presonus digimax has given me consistently great tracks for six months now, and i don't plan on modifying it anytime soon.
for live bands, i'll echo the comment above about using mics that won't make me flip out if they hit the floor- it was a d112/kick, sm57/snare, a 58 for every two toms, and a single sm81 overhead. i say it was, because a couple of months ago i bought a five mic kit from a chinese manufacturer called 'superlux'- the kit has a kick mic, two snare/tom mics, and two small diaphraghm condensors, and damn if they don't sound outstanding! occasionally i'll use a sm57 on the snare if the drummer has a bunch of toms, but for $175 i get a perfectly fine drum sound out of the p.a.! plus, if they hit the floor (which they've done a few times) they keep on ticking- and if they give out, they're cheap enough to replace- an entire kit can be miked for the cost of a d112!
for remote recording (usually at a bands rehearsal space- if they want a live club gig recorded, i'll use the above mic setup), i use a sennheiser421 on kick, beyer tgx-58 on snare, and a pair of rode nt1's for overheads. the rode's weren't purchased 'matched' but they sound pretty darn close- decent quality control i guess. for the remote stuff, drums go into a presonus digimax 'lite' which sounds fine (tho i wish it had the full digi's limiters), then lightpiped to a motu 828.
i've had some drummers kind of shoot me a dirty look when they realized i wasn't miking every piece of the kit, but in (almost) every case, they've been very happy with the results. i find it way cleaner (and 'in phasier'??) to let the overheads pick up the cymbals and toms- as long as the kit sounds good to begin with (and i carry a box of zero rings, muffles, moon gels, kotex, teflon spray, ect...) and the cymbals lowered so they're not right next to the overhead mics, it's a great drum sound.
06-28-2002, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by jamie garner
i find it way cleaner (and 'in phasier'??) to let the overheads pick up the cymbals and toms- as long as the kit sounds good to begin with (and i carry a box of zero rings, muffles, moon gels, kotex, teflon spray, ect...) and the cymbals lowered so they're not right next to the overhead mics, it's a great drum sound.
I've been moving away from the multi-miked monstrosities and using alot more minimalist setups too: Kick, snare, and an overhead pair, done.
One thing I'm getting into lately is to have those "overheads" NOT be over head -- instead, I put the stereo pair out in front of the kit (maybe 3' or 4' from the kick) and down around 5' or 6' off the ground. Cardioids, aimed at the drummer's crotch. Pulling the kick mic back to phase-align it with the stereo pair helps a lot too, especially if the room sounds good (and the rest of the band is isolated!)
10-22-2002, 07:59 PM
kick-d112-re-20 or 421
snare-audix d-1 sm57 beta 57 or a 421
room crown pzm
and a neumman u47 a few feet back from the kick and 3 ft from the floor
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