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looking for the best way to mic your drums (on a budget)

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by rusmannx, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. rusmannx


    Jul 16, 2001
    so we have about 4 mics now, but are thinking of getting one of those drum mic sets.
    anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

    also, we would like to stick to 4 mics if possible (4 track recording), and i would like to hear some input on where the best place to locate each mic would be. we have a simple 5 piece drum set.
    didn't Led Zepplin record their drums with a 4-mic setup?
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    jeff ocheltree mic'ed up Bonzo's kit with only four mics:

    one mic for the snare
    one mic for the kick
    and two overheads

    if you're gonna splurge for new mics, here are my suggestions. an SM57 is great for snare work. handles lots of SPL's, yet gives you great definition. for the kick, the AKG D112 and Audix D6 are the defacto standards for rock. as for overheads, any stereo pair condensor mics should suit your needs. if you're lucky, your local GC might have a pair of Oktava MC012's. but be warned, they're not matched very closely, and can make your stereo overheads sound all unbalanced and outta wack. if anything, its a good idea to spend as needed. for me, i really like my Rode NT5 stereo pair. got 'em for $299.

    but all of these mentioned mics are very popular, and i'm sure you can find a nice one on ebay.
  3. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I'd like to add the recommendation of the MXL 603s for drum overheads. I've been micing my drums with these for a long time and for sub-$100 mics they really shine. I actually go for these over some of the other standards (SM81, Oktavas). They also sound great when micing the back of a guitar amp.

    Do go with the SM57 for a snare mic. They're great until you can afford to spend $500 and up on a snare mic. I don't like the D112 style kick drum mics for recording, but it works for some things.

    Getting a drumset recorded is a black art that takes a long time to get right. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for the average broke musician, getting good drum sounds relies a lot more heavily on the inexpensive tools of patience and good ears than it does on two grand worth of mics. So before you spend a dime I'd suggest investing a lot of time on research.

    Look on Google Groups for a lot of good info on recording drums. This question has been asked over and over and over for years now, and by looking on recording and drumming newsgroups you'll end up with more info than you'll probably get here.
  4. rusmannx


    Jul 16, 2001
    i've beend spending a lot of time on google trying to get some tips. i think is what i'll do is take the set down to a local auditorium and just spend some time with the 4track and my drummer. i think we can probably get a good sound, but the place we practice is terrible for recording (already proven). the auditorium has great acoustics, and i think it will help capture the voiceing i'm looking for.

    thanks for the tips guys.
  5. you should definitely run the kick microphone through a compressor to avoid distortion.