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Micing Drums - mic choices

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Anonymous
October 6, 2004 5:05:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'm recording drums for a sort of acoustic Christmas album with
guitar, bass, vocal and piano...need some advice on mic choices for
the drum kit. Assume a standard drum kit and a song like Shawn
Colvin's Little Road to Bethlehem for a starting point. Also
appreciate any other tips.

Thanks much,

John

Mic cabinet:

2 neumann tlm103
2 neumann km184
2 sm81
2 oktava 012
3 akg c535
1 akg solidtube
1 soundelux u99
1 sm57

Here is what I'm thinking:
Kick: buy a D112 or maybe use the solidtube?
Snare top: sm57
Snare bottom?: akg c535
Tom 1: ? maybe a 103
Tom 2: ? maybe a 103
hi-hat: sm81 or oktava
overheads: km184s

Here's what you are thinking:

Kick:
Snare top:
Snare bottom?:
Tom 1:
Tom 2:
hi-hat:
overheads:
October 7, 2004 12:10:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <2df67823.0410061205.223bfb3a@posting.google.com>,
jmuirman1@aol.com (john muir) wrote:

> I'm recording drums for a sort of acoustic Christmas album with
> guitar, bass, vocal and piano...need some advice on mic choices for
> the drum kit. Assume a standard drum kit and a song like Shawn
> Colvin's Little Road to Bethlehem for a starting point. Also
> appreciate any other tips.
>
> Thanks much,
>
> John
>
> Mic cabinet:
>
> 2 neumann tlm103
> 2 neumann km184
> 2 sm81
> 2 oktava 012
> 3 akg c535
> 1 akg solidtube
> 1 soundelux u99
> 1 sm57
>
> Here is what I'm thinking:
> Kick: buy a D112 or maybe use the solidtube?
> Snare top: sm57
> Snare bottom?: akg c535
> Tom 1: ? maybe a 103
> Tom 2: ? maybe a 103
> hi-hat: sm81 or oktava
> overheads: km184s
>
> Here's what you are thinking:
>
> Kick: Audix d6
> Snare top: none
> Snare bottom?: none
> Tom 1: none
> Tom 2: none
> hi-hat: none
> overheads: Single 535

I doubt it will sound any better witha bunch of close mics
George
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 12:25:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>> Here's what you are thinking:
>>
>> Kick: Audix d6
>> Snare top: none
>> Snare bottom?: none
>> Tom 1: none
>> Tom 2: none
>> hi-hat: none
>> overheads: Single 535
>
>I doubt it will sound any better witha bunch of close mics
>George
>

Since most recordings are done with more mics I would set up the 3 along with
spot mics and choose afterwards.
I often find I can leave mics out of the mix but I can't rerecord.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Related resources
October 7, 2004 12:34:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <20041006162551.23955.00001627@mb-m16.aol.com>,
blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote:

> >> Here's what you are thinking:
> >>
> >> Kick: Audix d6
> >> Snare top: none
> >> Snare bottom?: none
> >> Tom 1: none
> >> Tom 2: none
> >> hi-hat: none
> >> overheads: Single 535
> >
> >I doubt it will sound any better witha bunch of close mics
> >George
> >
>
> Since most recordings are done with more mics I would set up the 3 along with
> spot mics and choose afterwards.
> I often find I can leave mics out of the mix but I can't rerecord.
>
>
one would adjust the mics completely diffrent when close micing VS far
micing
the sounds are not interchangable, unless of course you set up a close
mic and a distant mic set up at the same time
then you have"lots" of options
I would choose one set up and fine tune it as opposed to birdshotting
the kit with mics hopeing something hits
after all you can listen to it before you hit record and adjust
accordingly
but the question was what would "I" do and personally I just hate
close miced drums
George
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 5:31:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Here is what I'm thinking:
>Kick: buy a D112 or maybe use the solidtube?
>Snare top: sm57
>Snare bottom?: akg c535
>Tom 1: ? maybe a 103
>Tom 2: ? maybe a 103
>hi-hat: sm81 or oktava
>overheads: km184s
>
>Here's what you are thinking:
>
>Kick:
>Snare top:
>Snare bottom?:
>Tom 1:
>Tom 2:
>hi-hat:
>overheads:
>
What I'm thinking is the three mic setup to start with.

One TLM103 out front of the kick about 4 feet looking at the tom shells.
One U99 over the drummers left shoulder looking at the snare/toms.
One TLM103 looking over the floor tom at the snare. Try it about 2"-4" higher
than the floor tom.
Try to get all 3 mics equal distance from the snare.

Might surprise you.

--Wayne

-"sounded good to me"-
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 9:41:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"john muir" <jmuirman1@aol.com> wrote in message
news:2df67823.0410061205.223bfb3a@posting.google.com...

[snip]

> Mic cabinet:
>
> 2 neumann tlm103
> 2 neumann km184
> 2 sm81
> 2 oktava 012
> 3 akg c535
> 1 akg solidtube
> 1 soundelux u99
> 1 sm57
>
> Here is what I'm thinking:
> Kick: buy a D112 or maybe use the solidtube?
> Snare top: sm57
> Snare bottom?: akg c535
> Tom 1: ? maybe a 103
> Tom 2: ? maybe a 103
> hi-hat: sm81 or oktava
> overheads: km184s
>
> Here's what you are thinking:
>
> Kick: buy or rent the D112, or an EV RE-20
> Snare top: *maybe* am SM81
> Snare bottom?: no
> Tom 1: no
> Tom 2: no
> hi-hat: no
> overheads: KM-184s or MC012s, in XY

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:04:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Wayne" wrote:
> What I'm thinking is the three mic setup to start with.
>
> One TLM103 out front of the kick about 4 feet looking at the tom shells.
> One U99 over the drummers left shoulder looking at the snare/toms.
> One TLM103 looking over the floor tom at the snare. Try it about 2"-4"
higher
> than the floor tom.
> Try to get all 3 mics equal distance from the snare.
>
> Might surprise you.

Assuming, of course, that the drummer can self-balance and the room sounds
good.

-jw
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:57:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for all or your opinions...I was surprised that the majority of
you didn't mic the snare...I just read that Fillipetti sometimes puts
4 mics on a snare...maybe that's for more of a rock sound, i.e.Korn.
But I think you may be right as I don't want that pop snare sound - I
want brushes, sticks on the rim - stuff like that - in fact I may want
to dampen the snare a bit...

Well as always, thanks for your expertise...

John
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:48:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>> Try to get all 3 mics equal distance from the snare.
>>
>> Might surprise you.
>
>Assuming, of course, that the drummer can self-balance and the room sounds
>good.

This is the rub..I find this to be true MAYBE 5% of the time..the other times I
have to balance in the mix. I have recorded a bunch of 3-4 mic drum
sessions..but it only works if the drummer can balance and tune his kit..the
room sounds good..other sounds are not close and /or loud enough to cause
problems..etc.
The purist approach is great when it works but since probably 90%..at least..of
the recorded drums we hear are close miced..it may be that those that don't
like close micing..if necessary, are those that cannot get it to work well. I
did a Jazz session last month..17 songs in 4 hours..and used the snare and toms
spot mics in one song..when the drummer was playing a latin beats with
mallets..sounded totally natural and worked great. Some guys don't like
reverb..oh well.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
October 8, 2004 1:26:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <20041007164841.11769.00001990@mb-m29.aol.com>,
blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote:

> >> Try to get all 3 mics equal distance from the snare.
> >>
> >> Might surprise you.
> >
> >Assuming, of course, that the drummer can self-balance and the room sounds
> >good.
>
> This is the rub..I find this to be true MAYBE 5% of the time..the other times
> I
> have to balance in the mix. I have recorded a bunch of 3-4 mic drum
> sessions..but it only works if the drummer can balance and tune his kit..the
> room sounds good..other sounds are not close and /or loud enough to cause
> problems..etc.
> The purist approach is great when it works but since probably 90%..at
> least..of
> the recorded drums we hear are close miced..it may be that those that don't
> like close micing..if necessary, are those that cannot get it to work well. I
> did a Jazz session last month..17 songs in 4 hours..and used the snare and
> toms
> spot mics in one song..when the drummer was playing a latin beats with
> mallets..sounded totally natural and worked great. Some guys don't like
> reverb..oh well.
>
I find close micing poorly tuned or played drums only makes them sound
worse
back the mics away and reduce the mic count get a more holistic room/kit
sound
George
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:41:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"George" wrote:
> (Blind Joni) wrote:
> >
> > This is the rub..I find this to be true MAYBE 5% of the time..the other
times
> > I
> > have to balance in the mix. I have recorded a bunch of 3-4 mic drum
> > sessions..but it only works if the drummer can balance and tune his
kit..the
> > room sounds good..other sounds are not close and /or loud enough to
cause
> > problems..etc.
> > The purist approach is great when it works but since probably 90%..at
> > least..of
> > the recorded drums we hear are close miced..it may be that those that
don't
> > like close micing..if necessary, are those that cannot get it to work
well. I
> > did a Jazz session last month..17 songs in 4 hours..and used the snare
and
> > toms
> > spot mics in one song..when the drummer was playing a latin beats with
> > mallets..sounded totally natural and worked great. Some guys don't like
> > reverb..oh well.
> >
> I find close micing poorly tuned or played drums only makes them sound
> worse
> back the mics away and reduce the mic count get a more holistic room/kit
> sound

I'm not really an advocate of the 10 mics on the kit thing, but if the
drummer can't balance the loudness of the cymbals to the drums, then you're
kind of screwed doing a minimalist approach. A lot of otherwise fine
drummers, especially drummers who are more used to playing in clubs (where
everything but the cymbals are mic'ed) than recording, have trouble with
that.

Plus the room has to sound okay in the first place. If it's too small, or is
unflattering sounding, then pulling the mics back will emphasize those
problems.

But, yes, under the right circumstances a more area-oriented approach can
sound really good.

-jw
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 5:14:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>>> Try to get all 3 mics equal distance from the snare.
>>>
>>> Might surprise you.
>>
>>Assuming, of course, that the drummer can self-balance and the room sounds
>>good.
>
>This is the rub..I find this to be true MAYBE 5% of the time..the other times
>I
>have to balance in the mix. I have recorded a bunch of 3-4 mic drum
>sessions..but it only works if the drummer can balance and tune his kit..the
>room sounds good..other sounds are not close and /or loud enough to cause
>problems..etc.
>The purist approach is great when it works but since probably 90%..at
>least..of
>the recorded drums we hear are close miced..it may be that those that don't
>like close micing..if necessary, are those that cannot get it to work well.
>
>
There are so many drum machine tracks anymore, maybe we're being forced into
copying that sound. Close micing drums doesn't really give a great drum kit
sound, unless you're got great sounding, tuned drums and somebody that know how
to play them and you still need a room mic or use the overheads. But, then
that's gonna be the case however you decide to record them.

What do you get when you close mic besides attack? The overtones come from
getting back off the drum itself. Close micing might be necessary in a live
venue, but I don't feel it's mandatory in the studio.

If you want to record music, get good musicians and stop trying to make it work
with a ton of mics, gates, samples, editing, etc.

We stand in front of drum set and listen with two ears. What's the problem?

Of course, YMMV.

Wayne
October 8, 2004 6:14:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Close micing drums doesn't really give a great drum kit
> sound, unless you're got great sounding, tuned drums and somebody that know
> how
> to play them and you still need a room mic or use the overheads. But, then
> that's gonna be the case however you decide to record them.

I agree
>
> What do you get when you close mic besides attack? The overtones come from
> getting back off the drum itself. Close micing might be necessary in a live
> venue, but I don't feel it's mandatory in the studio.

I don't close mic drums live unless I don't get the sound I want with
ambient mics

>
> If you want to record music, get good musicians and stop trying to make it
> work
> with a ton of mics, gates, samples, editing, etc.
>
> We stand in front of drum set and listen with two ears. What's the problem?
>
I agree
george
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 8:20:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Close micing drums doesn't really give a great drum kit
>> sound, unless you're got great sounding, tuned drums and somebody that know
>
>> how
>> to play them and you still need a room mic or use the overheads. But, then
>> that's gonna be the case however you decide to record them.
>
>I agree
>>
>> What do you get when you close mic besides attack? The overtones come from
>> getting back off the drum itself. Close micing might be necessary in a
>live
>> venue, but I don't feel it's mandatory in the studio.
>
>I don't close mic drums live unless I don't get the sound I want with
>ambient mics
>
>>
>> If you want to record music, get good musicians and stop trying to make it
>> work
>> with a ton of mics, gates, samples, editing, etc.
>>
>> We stand in front of drum set and listen with two ears. What's the
>problem?
>>
>I agree
>george
>

I know everyone agrees...but this isn't the point..in many cases. I run a
studio..I get all kinds of clients..most drummers are not good enough for me to
use on my own recording..trouble is I still have to do the job. If someone
wants to record what he has to record..advising him to get better musicians is
probably not gonna help. I wish I could record all great players but that is
not the case for most small commercial studios.
If I get a hardcore basher who kills the cymbals..I have to close mic or use
all samples..in which case I would also close mic. The up side is..I learn how
to record and mix somenone who plays that style. PLUS..I learn how to use all
the evil tools..gating, editing..etc. This is really where most of my local
live sound buddies are lacking..they buy gear and then never use it...I am
still wondering how not doing something makes you better at it. If I was just
producing and could choose every player I would approach it on a cse by case
basis..and still do but when the talent is lacking in the player..the
creativity and talent of the engineer is what usually gets a tolerable result
on the CD. This is how engineers become better engineers.They come in all
shapes and styles too.
I've actually lost track of the original post so I may be in left
field...sorry.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 9:07:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Blind Joni" <blindjoni@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20041008002003.17257.00001255@mb-m25.aol.com...
> > Close micing drums doesn't really give a great drum kit
> >> sound, unless you're got great sounding, tuned drums and somebody that
know
> >
> >> how
> >> to play them and you still need a room mic or use the overheads. But,
then
> >> that's gonna be the case however you decide to record them.
> >
> >I agree
> >>
> >> What do you get when you close mic besides attack? The overtones come
from
> >> getting back off the drum itself. Close micing might be necessary in a
> >live
> >> venue, but I don't feel it's mandatory in the studio.
> >
> >I don't close mic drums live unless I don't get the sound I want with
> >ambient mics
> >
> >>
> >> If you want to record music, get good musicians and stop trying to make
it
> >> work
> >> with a ton of mics, gates, samples, editing, etc.
> >>
> >> We stand in front of drum set and listen with two ears. What's the
> >problem?
> >>
> >I agree
> >george
> >
>
> I know everyone agrees...but this isn't the point..in many cases. I run a
> studio..I get all kinds of clients..most drummers are not good enough for
me to
> use on my own recording..trouble is I still have to do the job.

True, and it's also a valid choice... getting more discrete drum sounds is
not necessarily a bad thing, depending on the style of music, the tones of
the rest of the instruments, etc, sometimes more discrete drum sounds can be
helpful in getting an optimal mix. Personally, I like it, so maybe I'm
biased towards that option.

>If someone
> wants to record what he has to record..advising him to get better
musicians is
> probably not gonna help.

Absolutely. You gotta work with who comes into the room.

Neil Henderson
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:58:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Wayne wrote:
> One TLM103 out front of the kick about 4 feet looking at the tom shells.
> One U99 over the drummers left shoulder looking at the snare/toms.
> One TLM103 looking over the floor tom at the snare. Try it about 2"-4" higher
> than the floor tom.

I think the TLM103's are a bit bright for this setup, but
it's definitely worth exploring.

Timo
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 2:43:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

jmuirman1@aol.com (john muir) wrote in message news:<2df67823.0410061205.223bfb3a@posting.google.com>...
> I'm recording drums for a sort of acoustic Christmas album with
> guitar, bass, vocal and piano...need some advice on mic choices for
> the drum kit. Assume a standard drum kit and a song like Shawn
> Colvin's Little Road to Bethlehem for a starting point. Also
> appreciate any other tips.
>
> Thanks much,
>
> John
>
> Mic cabinet:
>
> 2 neumann tlm103
> 2 neumann km184
> 2 sm81
> 2 oktava 012
> 3 akg c535
> 1 akg solidtube
> 1 soundelux u99
> 1 sm57
>
> Here is what I'm thinking:
> Kick: buy a D112 or maybe use the solidtube?
> Snare top: sm57
> Snare bottom?: akg c535
> Tom 1: ? maybe a 103
> Tom 2: ? maybe a 103
> hi-hat: sm81 or oktava
> overheads: km184s
>
> Here's what you are thinking:
>
> Kick: TLM 103 infront
> Snare top: 57
> Snare bottom?: whatever
> Tom 1: TLM 103
> Tom 2: Soundelux U99
> hi-hat: none
> overheads: Neuman or Oktava
Solid Tube out in the room with some limiting

I've never used the U99 or Solid Tube, but I ahve used a TLM 103 on
the kick and gotten a good sound. Lately I've been using them as
overheads, so I might try an alternate set up.

> Kick: U99
> Snare top: 57
> Snare bottom?: whatever
> Tom 1: Oktava
> Tom 2: Oktava
> hi-hat: none
> overheads: TLM 103s
Solid Tube out in the room with some limiting


In some ways it doesn't matter. There are lots possibilities of what
make a good drum sound. IF you have a specific sound you're going for,
then you really have to choose carefully. If you use taste and
discretion when mixing and create a sound that serves the song you
could get away with pretty much anything.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 8:51:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Wayne wrote:
>> One TLM103 out front of the kick about 4 feet looking at the tom shells.
>> One U99 over the drummers left shoulder looking at the snare/toms.
>> One TLM103 looking over the floor tom at the snare. Try it about 2"-4"
>higher
>> than the floor tom.
>
>I think the TLM103's are a bit bright for this setup, but
>it's definitely worth exploring.
>
>Timo
>
>
I was primarily going with his mic choices. The 535EB's should be considered
also in lieu of the TLM103's (unless he's got a tube pre).



--Wayne

-"sounded good to me"-
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 9:00:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>> Close micing drums doesn't really give a great drum kit
>>> sound, unless you're got great sounding, tuned drums and somebody that
>know
>>
>>> how
>>> to play them and you still need a room mic or use the overheads. But,
>then
>>> that's gonna be the case however you decide to record them.
>>
>>I agree
>>>
>>> What do you get when you close mic besides attack? The overtones come
>from
>>> getting back off the drum itself. Close micing might be necessary in a
>>live
>>> venue, but I don't feel it's mandatory in the studio.
>>
>>I don't close mic drums live unless I don't get the sound I want with
>>ambient mics
>>
>>>
>>> If you want to record music, get good musicians and stop trying to make it
>
>>> work
>>> with a ton of mics, gates, samples, editing, etc.
>>>
>>> We stand in front of drum set and listen with two ears. What's the
>>problem?
>>>
>>I agree
>>george
>>
>
>I know everyone agrees...but this isn't the point..in many cases. I run a
>studio..I get all kinds of clients..most drummers are not good enough for me
>to
>use on my own recording..trouble is I still have to do the job. If someone
>wants to record what he has to record..advising him to get better musicians
>is
>probably not gonna help. I wish I could record all great players but that is
>not the case for most small commercial studios.
>If I get a hardcore basher who kills the cymbals..I have to close mic or use
>all samples..in which case I would also close mic. The up side is..I learn
>how
>to record and mix somenone who plays that style. PLUS..I learn how to use all
>the evil tools..gating, editing..etc. This is really where most of my local
>live sound buddies are lacking..they buy gear and then never use it...I am
>still wondering how not doing something makes you better at it. If I was just
>producing and could choose every player I would approach it on a cse by case
>basis..and still do but when the talent is lacking in the player..the
>creativity and talent of the engineer is what usually gets a tolerable result
>on the CD. This is how engineers become better engineers.They come in all
>shapes and styles too.
>I've actually lost track of the original post so I may be in left
>field...sorry.
>
>
>John A. Chiara
>SOS Recording Studio
>Live Sound Inc.
>Albany, NY
>www.sosrecording.net
>518-449-1637
>
>
You're not in left field John, you're right in there.

With me the less number of tracks to try to adjust and make sound better makes
it easier for me and frankly, better for the client 'cause I can do a better
job for less money. Reflections, cross feeds, leakage, etc from mics drive me
absolutely bonkers.

After a while, my head hurts and my ears start folding over and closing up.
:>)

--Wayne

-"sounded good to me"-
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 1:16:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

john muir wrote:

> I'm recording drums for a sort of acoustic Christmas album with
> guitar, bass, vocal and piano...need some advice on mic choices for
> the drum kit. Assume a standard drum kit and a song like Shawn
> Colvin's Little Road to Bethlehem for a starting point. Also
> appreciate any other tips.

> Mic cabinet:

> 2 neumann tlm103
> 2 neumann km184
> 2 sm81
> 2 oktava 012
> 3 akg c535
> 1 akg solidtube
> 1 soundelux u99
> 1 sm57

Sm57 on kick, Oktava's overhead OR pay of Oktavas on a short stereo bar
in front of the kit, kit width from it, horisontal and no higher above
the floor than the top of the uppermost tom-rim, i.e. where you would
hear the kit if sitting in front of it to get some good hearing damage
.... brushes may btw. be very useful in the sonic context, but that IS of
course an arrangers choice ...

You could try using the SM81's instead of the Oktava's ... or the
TLM103's or the KM184's ... very much depending on which other mic
deployments you have to do simultaneously.

There are also the Fletcher "few mic set up recommendations" to look
into.

If I can suggest what is not in the mic cabinet: pair of DPA's or
Schoeps's, omni on the kick and cardioid or subcardioid as per above.

> John


Kind regards

Peter Larsen

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