Drum mics

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by jon mccumber, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Anyone have any suggestions for a budget conscious set of drum mics.l need to get some and don't have much experience in micing up drums. I see sets going for $100 to $1000. l don't have a large budget to work with but I can't afford to throw away money on junk either.
  2. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Audix makes good stuff and sells full drum mic kits that are in your price range.

    You could also go a la carte: Audix D2 and D4 for Toms; D6 for Bass Drum; and I5 for snare.

    You might also consider the CAD M179. These are decent low cost multi-pattern condensers that will work well for overheads and lot of people love them as tom mics.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  3. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    sm57 snare top, you can't go wrong here.
    Audix for toms and kick is a good suggestion.
    A matched condenser set for overheads. I use Oktavas.
    Basically, if you are new to drum tracking, just read and read and read....
    It is the most complicated instrument to handle in rock/pop music. There are numerous effective production "recipes" to get a good drum mix. for me the learning curve was and still is pretty steep. what you do with the tracks after recording is much more technical that the capture process IME. The room is important too.
    I would suggest reading in some drum and production forums.
    Wasnex likes this.
  4. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    Cad Pro 7 middle of the road, but a good set
    Regular $199 on sale at MF $129
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  5. Thanks for the replies, these will be used 98% for live sound.
    I'm just starting a sound co. And I need more mics ,di's, couple more monitors, and some lights. I'll look at the Cad mics. Any money that can be saved can be used elsewhere.
  6. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    CAD pro 7 or the Audix F Series kit. The Audix D series is better but WAY more expensive. The D6 is an all-around good kick drum mic. You can put an i5 on the snare/hat (like a 57) and the F series overheads work fine even at festival levels.
    The vid here came from a mix done 2 weeks ago... I KNOW there was a D6 on the kick, because I put it there. :)
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    The D6 is definitely a great bass drum mic for an inexperienced audio tech. It has a very strong and effective baked in EQ curve that works well with most bass drums and gives good results with little to no fuss. The new audio tech should study the frequency response of the mic as bass drums typically require an EQ curve with this basic shape to sound good.

    The one possible down side of using a D6 is you tend to get the baked in tone of the mic instead of the sound of the drum. Some experienced audio techs prefer a more transparent mic. Compare the EV ND868 which also has a built in, but less hyped bass drum EQ curve.

    Attached Files:

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  8. If you are starting a sound company, go ahead an spend the money on the Audix set. Especially if you are going to be doing sound for anybody who is out on the road and who sends out a rider. They almost always will ask for, or at least accept, the Audix stuff.

    For overhead and HiHat mics, we used Samson CO1 mics. Nice little condenser mics that were fairly inexpensive. We used those for most all of our condenser needs.

    jon mccumber likes this.
  9. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I have a few others.. like the AKG D112 (my fav), the Senn MD421 and the Shure Beta52A :)
    Not that I use any of them [hardly] any more :(
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  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Skip the overheads to start. Until you really get to know the technique, ohd’s create more problems than they solve... cymbals bleed through open vocal mics like mad...

    For general rock, pop, country, etc I like ...
    D6 kick
    Sm-57 hat
    I5 (better) or Senn e604 on snare (almost as good, way convenient)
    E604 rack and floor toms

    For acoustic support jazz, blue grass, etc
    Senn 421 on the kick, voice switch in the middle, positioned outside the drum
    Senn 441 centered on the snare not a very beefy OHD specific stand.
    (That combo just blew your budget though...)

    A Rode nt-3 or AKG C1000 mdc will work with some eq’ing to get rid of the harshness.

    If you stumble across an Audio Technica ae-2500 kick mic... it is a fav of mine... not usually cheap.

    If the drummer sings, get his vocal mic and monitor settled first, then with it on, do the drums.

    Work your LPF/HPF filters and get separation on the drum mics.

    If your board supports RTA, use it. Check the snare mic and adjust the LPF while the drummer is hitting the kick. Get the kick out of the snare mic. Then do the reverse and get the snake out of the kick mic.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  11. LowFactor


    Jul 6, 2018
    The Shure PG like are inexpensive and sound really good. The pg 52 sounds better than a beta 52 in most applications.... they come in a kit or you can go ala carte.
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  12. For basic recording, I've done snare, bass, and L/R overheads. I second 57 for top of snare. A single overhead in the center also works in a pinch.
  13. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    Audix D6 on kick
    Whatever small diaphragm condensers you can afford on overhead/hat
    Sennheiser e604 for everything else
    Occasionally I'll use a beta57 on snare instead of the e604

    Drum tuning and mic placement is just as important as mic choice, often more so.
  14. LowFactor


    Jul 6, 2018
    Can never go wrong with a 57.... on everything. Petty used them for his vocal for years... great in a kick drum, snare, toms, bass..... even used them for overheads a few times.
  15. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    The cad stuff hits way above its weight level. That weight level is, admittedly, very very light. But for cheap live mics that are gonna get abused you can't go wrong.

    If this is for a truly professional operation that you expect to be booked on big stages with national acts, however, I wouldn't waste the time or money on them.

    Expect your clients to listen with their eyes.

    Save up for the Audix set or go all Shure - 52 on the kick, 57 on the snare, 56 on the toms, 81 for OH. Note that those are SM models, not PG (common joke is they call them "PG" because they're "pretty good" imitations of the equivalent SM models).
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  16. +1 on the CAD mics I have collected a set over the years that have worked out quite well for me using the KBM412 Bass/Drum mic and TSM411 mics and love them because they work great on drums and also just as well on other instruments and in some cases vocals too.
    The Shure PG sets are also a good value but not as versatile as the CAD mics to my ear.
  17. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO, Good advice in a small room. It may not be good advice outdoors or in a large venue, especially if your using quality vocal mics with a tight polar pattern.
  18. I probably won't be competing with the big boys in my area for quite a while, if ever. Clubs and smaller outdoor shows are what I'm seeing as my niche for now at least.
  19. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    It is a slippery slope... some sound guy retires and all of a sudden your phone rings off the hook... so begins the road to box truck full o’crap...
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  20. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    What he said
    Before you spend any money on anything you must determine what clients you are trying to attract
    Then purchase accordingly or you are setting yourself up for failure
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