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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Best Drum Mics For live

jbright44

Looking for the best drum mic setup for a live situation. If you could give me some insight into what works best for tom's, kick, OH and anything else, that would be great. I'm looking to buy some for a kit. I can't afford $400 mics and stuff but I don't want cheap crap either (IE sure PG stuff). Thanks for any input.
Jason
December 8, 2002 @05:48am
cmchamp

I'm sure I'll get some scoldings here, but for the price, I've been completely happy with the CAD PMP632C. http://www.cadmics.com/percussion_kits_2.htm
They list at 569, but I'm sure you can find them in your price range.
If you want a demo of them, I even made a recording iwth them when I was in a pinch.
December 8, 2002 @02:59pm
Ted

I've never heard those particular CAD microphones, so I guess I won't scold you...in general, if you're looking for an inexpensive package but don't want the real cheap stuff, I'd look at some of the packages that give you microphones that you can purchase separately instead of the ones that are real cheap and only offer microphones that are part of that specific package. For instance, I bought a package from AKG years ago that had a D112 and a pair of C408's for about $400...each of those microphones by themselves were at least $200, so it was a decent savings. They still offer several similar packages (with current microhpones), as do Shure and Audix and probably a few others that don't come to mind as well.
If you're looking for more specifics, any of the kick microphones in the $200 range should work nicely...I personally like the Sennheiser E602 a lot, but the Shure Beta 52 and AKG D112 and a few of the Audix D-series microphones are really nice as well. For toms, there are some great clip-on microphones available from Shure, Audix, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, AKG, beyerdynamic and others, which are nice because of their low profile and the fact that you don't need stands. SM57's also make great tom microphones and are the industry-standard snare microphones...Shure has a kit you can buy with a few SM57's with clamps to attach them to your drums and a Beta 52. For overheards, one of the best deals out there right now is the NT5 from Røde, which comes in a matched pair for $300. Oftentimes in live situations I've found the bleed from the other microphones to be sufficient, although the extra control you get from dedicated microphones is nice (and they sound a lot better)...
-Ted
December 8, 2002 @10:03pm
BillP

This may sound strange but works. Take a 10" ir 12" full range guitar speaker (less cabnet of course) and suspend from eyes brackets screwed to the hardware inside your bass drum. Connect these two wires to a 1/4: unbalanced plug and connect to a line input of a board or preamp or a direct box. (Front head on or off but you may want some dampening material in the drum - or not). Place one cardiod condenser mike (At4033, KSM 37 or even one of those inexpensive Chinese mics under many different labels) 18" -24" directly over the center of the kit-head height over snare facing down on a boom. Mix and eq to suit.
January 11, 2003 @02:47pm
Ted

That's a cool technique, especially in the studio...I'm not sure how well it would work in most live situations though...
-Ted
January 11, 2003 @05:37pm
BillP

Ted,
I wonder if sometimes drumers want each drum in their kit to be a band member or the kit as a whole to be one instrument (actually two if you want to deal with the low end of the kick drum as it's own sound space with the bass player). This is just a concept I think about sometimes.
Bill
January 12, 2003 @03:55pm
Ted

I think it's different in the studio vs live...in the studio, I often try to approach the drumset as a single instrument, and it's a fairly common thing. However, in most live cases, if you want any sort of control close-miking each individual drum is often a necessity. Many times when I've done live sound I haven't even used overhead microphones, especially in smaller venues...the cymbal bleed through the tom microphones was enough, and bringing up the overheads was essentially bringing up the drums plus amps plus everything else so they were pretty much useless...
In the studio, though, I think you generally have a lot more options. I guess that's why I spend most of my time there...
-Ted
January 13, 2003 @04:56am