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Thread: Microphone For Room Recording Drum Kit?

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    Microphone For Room Recording Drum Kit?

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    Can anybody suggest what would be a good microphone for recording the room when a drum kit is playing? Suggestions would be welcome for recording just the drum kit or the whole band playing with a drummer. Actually, what weíre trying to do is record a band practice, drums, guitar, bass and vocals in the practice room but I figured the same mic would do the job in both cases. Iíve tried this with an Aston Spirit on the omni-directional setting and 0db level setting and it was a total disaster. Obviously the volume was too loud for the mic and it distorted badly.

    There are two further setting -20db and -10db, but I havenít tried these. I wanted to get some advice before doing so because it wastes a lot of practice time setting up the recording rig and if itís not the right mic for the job Iíd be better off getting a more suitable mic. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Gareth

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    One mic to record a band practice with full drums and amplified instruments? Sounds like something that is really going to be diary quality at best. I assume the vocals go to a small PA or something?

    Best practice is just to find the location in the room where with one ear, you get a reasonable balance of everything if you can find it - then pop your omni there and dial in the -20dB setting and see what the levels are like. It will probably be horrible sounding but the best you can do.

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    One mic was all they used donkeys ago but recording gear was SO expensive that only the best musicians were recorded. These guys had a really tight sound and produced a good, integrated sound in the room/hall.

    Solo parts were done by the rest of the musicians shutting TFup, or at least playing more quietly.

    So, if your band can do that, produce a good, balanced sound then, as Rob says, find a good spot for the mic (pref' a stereo pair) and you can make passing good recordings.

    Dave.

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    Thanks guys. We have recorded straight out of the PA but it means miking the drums (if you want to hear them on the recording) and it's not really worth the practice time it takes up. Recording the whole room seems like the easiest way. Yes (Rob) the vocals and guitars come out of the PA, the guitars come out of the amp cabinets as well, and the drums, it's a long story but if we do mic them they go straight into the recording mix and NOT out of the PA. I will try it on -20db, TBH if that doesn't work we're in big trouble. We will need to get a recording device that can handle high volumes!

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    Any dynamic that handles high sound pressure levels should work, unless you are playing so loudly that you are literally causing your ears to bleed. I don't know anything about that particular mic but if you have the specs you should be able to determine the SPL it can handle with the pads in and out. In an average size recording space using a PA I would recommend something that can take 130+ db SPL.
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    Thanks Gtoboy, the spec for the mic in the booklet is “Maximum SPL for THD 0.5%: 138db” I don't know what THD means (I'll google it in a bit). I'm a bit confused because it also says in the spec “Pad Switches: -20db/-10db/0db” but I don't know if that means the SPL becomes 20db higher or lower on that setting. Confused face! I have googled and searched TY for “room microphone for recording drums” and found nothing on it at all! :-(

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    "Total Harmonic Distortion" I could go on for quite some time but I am sure everyone would rather I didn't!

    Dave.

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    Thanks Dave, yeah I looked that up. Also, is there some sort of gadget you can get that measures volume in db? We could put this thing where the mic will go and quite easily work out what Max SPL mic to get. Anyway, first of all I'm going to try again with the Aston at -20db and see how that goes. Thanks again.

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    It's not going to be as accurate as a good meter but there are apps you can put on any modern smartphone to get a ballpark SPL reading. (Just checked - I've got Decibel X on my iPhone.)
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
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    Thanks Keith, i'm not sure that will run on my donkey's years old mobile (bought in 2010) but I'll look into it.

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