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Thread: Drum Mic Advice

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    Drum Mic Advice

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    Hi there,

    New to this, so hopefully I'm in the right place.

    I'm looking to buy my first set of drum mics and need a bit of advice please. These will be primarily used for studio recordings and not likely to be used in any live situations. I've also currently got a pair of Rode M5 matched pair which I am going to use for overheads for the time being - I've done a bit of recording with these before and I actually don't mind how they sound for the price.

    So my original thought was to get the Audix PD5a pack (D6, D4, D2x2, and i5) but after having a listen about I think I can get more versatile mics for a similar budget - the D6 scooped mids maybe makes it a little bit of a one trick pony?

    After doing a bit of research I thought about getting the Beyerdynamic M201 as a snare top - seemed like a bit of a step up from an SM57?
    I then found the T-Bone MB75 as a cheap alternative to the SM57 for the snare bottom - from what I've read and heard it does a pretty good job for a third of the price and if I feel like having a "57" on the top I have that option.
    In terms of tom mics, I'm not sure what the best option is. I've seen a lot of good things said about the Sen e604s which I'm open to. I was also maybe thinking of getting a Sen e904 for the rack tom and a Sen e902 for the floor tom (my thought being that this can be used for kick as well?). Any thoughts on this? The 421s are a out of my budget but are there any other recommendations people have?
    When it comes to the kick as well I'm really not sure what to do here. Should I be looking to get two mics here one for inside and outside or can I get by with one well placed mic and let the overheads do the rest? For my interface I'll either have the choice of two kick mics or hi-hat, which I think I prefer the latter. I like the sound of the AKG D12 VR but I'm not sure if it's false economy spending so much (300) on a kick mic when my overheads are worth less haha and if I should go for a kick drum mic such as Shure Beta 52A or AKG D 112 MKII which is drastically cheaper?

    I know a lot of this comes down to personal preference but any advice or thoughts on the above would be much appreciated.

    Thanks all

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    I've got a Beyer M201. love it. however - I use it as a single overhead, I don't like it on the snare, which gets a 57 by default. Or maybe a condenser if it's jazz. I also really like the AKG 112, which I note many people hate. I rarely ever use a snare bottom mic. For my music, it's a bit pointless. the Thomann '57' is the mic the Chinese were using to counterfeit the SM57, the somebody realised they actually were pretty good, so started selling them as a proper mic!

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    I have used a couple different mics the few times I mic drums. I did pick up a D112 because I got a good price, and it seems to work well.

    The thing is, with the drum samples that are out there for every kind of kit, style, whatever, the kick drum is probably the easiest thing in the world to simply replace with whatever you want because it's so spiky that there's no problem using it to trigger an entirely different kick drum sound.

    There are others here who mic a lot of drums with a lot of mics. Hopefully they'll pipe in. (But the Audix pack is one that I've looked at a couple times - just always had higher priorities.)
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Check out the sE Electronics V drum series mics. I haven't used them in the studio but, I heard a live band using these and they sounded fantastic. They were also using the V7 vocal mic which I also thought sounded very good. I talked my sweetwater rep about them, he praised the heck out of the SE mics. His take on them were like a shure mic but, with more detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scarrold View Post
    Hi there,

    So my original thought was to get the Audix PD5a pack (D6, D4, D2x2, and i5) but after having a listen about I think I can get more versatile mics for a similar budget - the D6 scooped mids maybe makes it a little bit of a one trick pony?
    All I can tell you is what I personally like. If you find used mics, which I always start with when possible, you can get some very good sounds for probably less money than the Audix pack.

    Personally, I like the EV 868 on kick. It has a sound that works for me. $125 used?

    My snare mic is an EV 408. Very compact size, very tight pattern. I think I use it mostly because you can fit it under that high hat and it picks up no high hat. I think the sound is in the same ballpark as the Beyer m201, which I also have one of.

    And put EV 408's (or 468, a later version of the mic) on the rack toms. About $100 each used.

    On floor tom I use an Audix D4, or else a condenser of some kind. Audio Technica 450, Oktava. All those will pick up a lot of low end. $100-150 each used? You only need one.

    Since you have your overheads, that might do it. Personally I don't mic the high hat, it always seems to be very well represented in the overheads. I used to use just the EV 868 on kick, but recently picked up a used Samson sub-kick mic used that picks up an extra low boom, nice to have.

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    I like the Audix D2 and D4 for toms, they are punchy and crisp, but you can easily eq them to get less aggressive sounds. I agree that the D6 is a bit of a "one trick pony" but if you play around with mic placement you can usually get close to what you want; a D-112 on kik would probably be the most versatile. I've never really been happy with the Sennheiser drum mics, especially on snare. I always seem to find my way back to an SM57 for snare.

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    For toms, I don't think anything does much better than the AT ATM230 unless you are in love with something specific or feel you need a condenser. I'm a big fan of picking up Blue Encore mics on BOGO but a 3 pack of ATM230s is very, very hard to beat IMO. I also like what I heard from MXL V67i, which is a dual diaphragm cardioid, a bright capsule and a dark one (you can get one of the sounds from the regular V67 but I don't know which side I heard). I've warmed up to condensers, Shure KSM32s are great tom mics, and serve other purposes as well, but cost more than any of these other options. My fave tom shootout video:

    doubt I like your Rodes, but who am I. Keep em, they're paid for and you like them.

    For snare, there are so many good options. I have an Audix D3, AT ATM63, Blue E100 and E100i, KAM RT1 and I used to have an ST2, none of these cost over $50 at the time. I do like the 57 a lot, some do not, and I think that the EV Cobalts are perfectly acceptable, whichever one is on blowout at MF. I got Co4s for $17 and have since traded two of my three for other things. I also have a CAD D90 from SDOTD that I'm sure would work on snare. I think this is the hardest place to mess up tbh, it's more preference than any one option being horrible. 57s do shatter if you hit the grill, though, so a Beta or 58 might do better, if that's your sound.

    For kick, I have seen both the Senn E902 and E602-II go on sales for very cheap, $99 or less, and I like the sound of both mics. I bought the E902 when it was sale time and there was a Reverb code for 15% off. These are both pretty heavily contoured in terms of EQ, vs something like an ATM25 or PR40 or RE20. The Beyerdynamic D70d is very good as well. The flatter mics like RE20s, SM7s, and Senn 421/441 will get much more use for vocals and bass and other sources, but they cost more, and none are my fav on kick so far.

    Sorry for the wall of text, this is something I have fun with, cheap mics and drummy options. My bucket list has some more expensive mics but I wanted to stress that this can be done very well on a shoestring budget.

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