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Author Topic: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals  (Read 3713 times)

Shawn Parmer

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Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« on: January 03, 2013, 04:19:19 pm »

What goes into your decision on all the various mic placement techniques for cymbals/overheads?  I know with the hi hat most people recommend top micing because of stick noise/sizzle/bleed.

When bottom micing are you basically close micing every individual cymbal or is it picking up the entire kit similar to overheads?

I have seen a lot of discussion on general overhead placement but not very much about 'nontraditional' techniques like underheads, close micing ride, etc.

Partially I am trying to find ways to cut down on mic stands.  Everything but toms and kick has its own full size mic stand crammed into a small area and it is ugly and a complete pain to negotiate wiring.  Right now the kit I am working with is simple enough that really one overhead would be enough, but I have to bring them in so close to compensate for stage noise that two are needed for even coverage.

Thinking about buying various clamps, etc. that can hook onto cymbal stands but I want something that will be useful on a variety of kits.  Adding mics to experiment with (I know they aren't necessary but I would like being able to experiment some and learn) is not an option because the board is maxed and the snake is almost maxed.  Every time I get to 'we really don't need that, why are we close micing everything?' a song comes up that reminds me why everything is close miced.
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Dave Bednarski

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 06:24:45 pm »

I noticed this, this summer at a few Springsteen shows that Max Weinberg's kit is underhead mic'd, great photo here, http://mrbsdomain.com/gallery2/d/36061-2/IMG-4245.jpg

I've attempted with spare Shure 81s using clamps and similar aiming with minimal success.  =/
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John Chiara

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 08:59:54 pm »

Overhead is simply a description of where the mics are placed not their function. In studio settings I place 'overheads' wherever they work best... Sometimes about 4' high at 10&2 in front of the kit.
And you are probably only wanting to amplify the cymbals with those mics, so experiment and learn about phase relationships in the process.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 07:51:19 am »

Overhead is simply a description of where the mics are placed not their function. In studio settings I place 'overheads' wherever they work best... Sometimes about 4' high at 10&2 in front of the kit.
And you are probably only wanting to amplify the cymbals with those mics, so experiment and learn about phase relationships in the process.
Good points.
Also, if using a plexi drum shield, remember to consider reflections from that.
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Geoff Doane

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 07:58:40 am »

I noticed this, this summer at a few Springsteen shows that Max Weinberg's kit is underhead mic'd, great photo here, http://mrbsdomain.com/gallery2/d/36061-2/IMG-4245.jpg


Great photo!  There's lots of detail there to think about.  At least Max is only using three cymbals.  That's only one extra mic compared to a traditional "stereo" overhead.  8)

Anybody know what's going on with that mic below the snare, but pointed away from the kit?

GTD
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John Chiara

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 10:35:07 am »

Great photo!  There's lots of detail there to think about.  At least Max is only using three cymbals.  That's only one extra mic compared to a traditional "stereo" overhead.  8)

Anybody know what's going on with that mic below the snare, but pointed away from the kit?

GTD

Probably part of an ambient in ear setup.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 10:53:45 am »

Great photo!  There's lots of detail there to think about.  At least Max is only using three cymbals.  That's only one extra mic compared to a traditional "stereo" overhead.  8)

Anybody know what's going on with that mic below the snare, but pointed away from the kit?

GTD

I was talking to a friend who was part of the stage audio crew for the 121212 concert at Madison Square Garden. He mentioned that it was good that Bruce was on first so they didn't have to set up his 112 inputs during a changeover. I think the number of drum OHs was a minor thing. Eric Clapton was 12 inputs.

Mac
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John Chiara

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 12:18:35 pm »

I was talking to a friend who was part of the stage audio crew for the 121212 concert at Madison Square Garden. He mentioned that it was good that Bruce was on first so they didn't have to set up his 112 inputs during a changeover. I think the number of drum OHs was a minor thing. Eric Clapton was 12 inputs.

Mac

This amazes me sometimes. I understand every show is different but 112 inputs for a live show. Maybe a lot of backups?
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Shawn Parmer

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 01:23:24 pm »

Overhead is simply a description of where the mics are placed not their function. In studio settings I place 'overheads' wherever they work best... Sometimes about 4' high at 10&2 in front of the kit.
And you are probably only wanting to amplify the cymbals with those mics, so experiment and learn about phase relationships in the process.

I know it is a reference on position, that is why I mentioned overheads/underheads/techniques.  I would love to have more time/channels to experiment but unfortunately that isn't an option.  Trying to learn some of the techniques, narrow them down a bit, and then play with those.

Right now I am practically close micing the cymbals anyway.

Good points.
Also, if using a plexi drum shield, remember to consider reflections from that.


Thanks for the reminder.

This amazes me sometimes. I understand every show is different but 112 inputs for a live show. Maybe a lot of backups?

Close micing every string on the piano maybe?  I have seen some keyboard setups that would probably eat up 16+ channels if the person playing could get away with it.
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EvanKirkendall

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Re: Underheads/Overheads, other mic technique for cymbals
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 05:14:14 pm »

I'm all about less clutter, and LP claws for my full kit have been the solution. Close micing everything, and underheads on the cymbals. It works well and sounds good to me. Granted, my drummer beats the shit out of everything so I don't lose any brightness or attack with the underheads...



Evan
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