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Author Topic: Internal drum mics  (Read 2200 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 10:02:04 pm »

It depends on how they're tuned.
I don't care how they are tuned, the two opposite sides of the same drumhead will vibrate at the same amplitude and same pitch.
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For folks who tune them close together this is probably true.  A local 1st call drummer/teacher I know tunes his reso heads a 6th above the batter.  Works better on his Jasper Gretschs than his Yamahas but he typically has the reso quite a bit higher than the batter.  Acoustic sound in the room comes out as a lower pitch than either.
There is a phenomenon with timpani/kettle drums where they are perceived as sounding a lower phantom note pitch than they actually make but this is a well understood psychoacoustic mechanism. The kettle/tympani make two closely spaced lower resonances (fundamental and first overtone) that are spaced exactly one half octave apart (1x and 1.5x), so your brain perceives that half spacing difference, as a phantom lower note at 0.5x the fundamental pitch. This is unique to the closed back timpani/kettle drum, and how they sound even bigger (lower) than they are.
 
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  Strange but that's how it works out when he gets them tuned right.  Sustain is controlled without being dead and no damping needed.  They just go "boom!".  Close mic'd from the batter side, they sound like any other drums but with more controlled sustain.  Not sure what an internal mic would sound like on these.  I can't get quite the same pitch differential on my thinner shelled D'Amicos, they choke.  But I do have the reso on the floor tom a 5th above the batter.
Detuning batter and resonant heads will pull the after-ring pitch up or down, but the lower resonances will be dominated by conventional tuning. Note: the fundamental is defined by the combined average tension of both heads, so with both heads detuned significantly apart you will get a fundamental and two different first overtones (so three different lower pitches) but drums always make multiple different pitched resonances.

For TMI see http://circularscience.com/about-drums

JR
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John Chiara

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 03:31:44 am »

Maybe "Blind Johnny C" didn't see it back in the day, but it the single head "concert toms" were frequently mic'd from the inside/bottom with Senny MD421.
No...I had single headed drums!
But a mic inside a drum gets sound bounced back from all angles with very short delay times. It always sounds like the inside of a small garbage pail. There is no way that is gonna sound like a top and/or bottom mic outside the drum. I wouldn't mic a conga by shoving a mic inside near the head. I guess you could..but..😇
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 10:51:07 am »

No...I had single headed drums!
Mics are routinely shoved up inside kick/bass drums
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But a mic inside a drum gets sound bounced back from all angles with very short delay times.
If the mic is closer to the drumhead than the shell, any reflected waves will be lower amplitude, and there are not many flat surfaces inside a drum shell so I expect the reflections to be diffuse.
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It always sounds like the inside of a small garbage pail. There is no way that is gonna sound like a top and/or bottom mic outside the drum. I wouldn't mic a conga by shoving a mic inside near the head. I guess you could..but..😇
A tall small diameter drum (conga) can act like a port (helmholtz resonator). If you stick a mic down into an open drum shell the room sound leaking into the mic will take on a characteristic drum sound (I call drumpass filter). The sound coming from the heads will be louder, and similarly sound shaped. 

One company actually makes (made?) drums in what look like garbage pails (don't ask me why? Customer is always right, yadda yadda).

JR
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 05:25:28 pm »

You probably don't want the capsule at the axis of the drum.  Everything would focus on that line.
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Ned Ward

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 01:25:33 pm »

Internal drum micing is a compromise for live sound. In the studio, you have hours to find the right snare for the track, the right mic and position, and the right dampening. Usually you don't have a Hiwatt stack right next to you bleeding into every mic. Kenny Jones would be the example here - an MD421 in the bottom of the tom is going to pick up a lot less of Pete Townshend's deafeningly loud amps back in the day, but in the studio, they might have used mics on top and bottom of the heads.

Live, having a consistent sound to work with that speeds up setup and teardown can be a lifesaver for a drummer and a band. Does it sound the same as your favorite tom mics on the outside? Maybe not, but having a relatively isolated signal may give the mixer more opportunities to sculpt a drum sound vs. dealing with all that bleed.
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John Chiara

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2018, 06:42:34 pm »

Internal drum micing is a compromise for live sound. In the studio, you have hours to find the right snare for the track, the right mic and position, and the right dampening. Usually you don't have a Hiwatt stack right next to you bleeding into every mic. Kenny Jones would be the example here - an MD421 in the bottom of the tom is going to pick up a lot less of Pete Townshend's deafeningly loud amps back in the day, but in the studio, they might have used mics on top and bottom of the heads.

Live, having a consistent sound to work with that speeds up setup and teardown can be a lifesaver for a drummer and a band. Does it sound the same as your favorite tom mics on the outside? Maybe not, but having a relatively isolated signal may give the mixer more opportunities to sculpt a drum sound vs. dealing with all that bleed.
I guess. I mix about 20 bands a month...of all different genres...never have any problems with 604's on the rims. It may be more convenient for a number of reasons, but in small festival type shows...if someone showed up to play a 1/2 hour set with internal mics, I wouldn't even take the time.
It all depends. If inside and something happens with transport and setup/tear down, then you have to take the drum apart? Don't know about you but my shows work at high speed and that would not be an option.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 12:36:05 am »

I guess. I mix about 20 bands a month...of all different genres...never have any problems with 604's on the rims. It may be more convenient for a number of reasons, but in small festival type shows...if someone showed up to play a 1/2 hour set with internal mics, I wouldn't even take the time.
It all depends. If inside and something happens with transport and setup/tear down, then you have to take the drum apart? Don't know about you but my shows work at high speed and that would not be an option.

It depends on what happened.  If the mic position changed it's a drum key and thumb screw or 2 to make the adjustment and tighten up.  As most of the *May* system uses a vibration isolation mount on the mic element, it's unlikely that removal of a drum head would be needed except in the most damaging of situations (in which case the drum or head(s) have likely been damaged, too.

In the situations of fast paced, no sound check gigs I frankly don't sweat the band's back line gear.  They make their choices of brands, models, tone and use.  I do the best I can with what they give me and 40 minutes later we're onto another band.  I quit feeling guilty about "band shit" a long time ago.
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