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Author Topic: Internal drum mics  (Read 2500 times)

Mark Schneider

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Internal drum mics
« on: January 10, 2018, 05:35:31 pm »

I love the sound of double headed toms that are mic'ed from inside.  I also like how the Shure Beta 98 sounds on toms, but have only used them on the outside.  Two questions:

1. Would the 98 be able to handle the SPL of being inside of drum with a top and bottom head?
2. Would it actually sound decent, or would all the added reflections being inside make it sound like garbage if mounted inside?  I didn't want to try it until I know the answer to the first question!
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 06:36:23 pm »

The spl using the patented "May" mic mounting system (mics inside the drum) should not be significantly louder than the mic outside the drum, mounted similarly close to a drumhead...

Further the mics inside using the May system are generally at right angles to the drumhead, so up/down motion of drum head is not in line with the mic diaphragm.

I have never heard complaints of mic overload, but perhaps search on a drum forum (there are several).

JR

PS: I wouldn't expect the bottom (resonant) head to increase SPL inside... it will change the pitch of sundry resonances.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 01:31:22 am »

I love the sound of double headed toms that are mic'ed from inside.  I also like how the Shure Beta 98 sounds on toms, but have only used them on the outside.  Two questions:

1. Would the 98 be able to handle the SPL of being inside of drum with a top and bottom head?
2. Would it actually sound decent, or would all the added reflections being inside make it sound like garbage if mounted inside?  I didn't want to try it until I know the answer to the first question!

I found the May SM-57 elements to sound best when pointed 90 relative to the batter head (as JR mentions).   Straight on they sounded "plinky".  I've not worked with a drummer who used Beta 98 on the inside...
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Gert Sanner

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 07:26:11 pm »

Internal Drum Mikes are great for various reasons. Firstly they almost make gating obsolete, they can be a lot more consistent and they of course look better.
In my time as a FOH engineer for a quite well known band with a possible better known drummer we used the May system. We used AKG D112 capsules modified by May. One thing I can say is that it is not as simple as putting the mike inside, put the skin on and go. Every Tom Tom is different and you have to find the right position and angle inside the drum. Many a Drumskin will die in the process of that Search. When you get it right however you will essentially have a plug and play drum. But you will also miss a bit of Room on the Mikes. So make sure you have good Overheads to get that part of the drum sound back.
I am pretty sure the 98 capsule can do the Job, but the attachments available will not cut it. The position needs to be ( once found) absolutely fixed. And the 98 gooseneck will move in Transport etc.
The May System will no move. It also provides a clever cabling solution and is completely  drill free.
In short, Internal Mikes are great, but you have to do it right!
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 01:51:11 pm »

Just a caution about using the Beta 98 mounted internally - I have had the capsules "back off" on these mics.  The result is a horrible "crack" from the mic.  Twisting the capsule back tight solves the problem for a show or two.  It has become standard practice to make certain the capsule is tight whenever we use these.  Inside a drum that would be difficult.

Disclaimer: I work mostly in an area with a lot of oilfield activity and electronic contacts of all types really get dirty easily. They say it's the gas in the air.  It smells like money to us but . . .
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 02:04:47 pm »

Just a caution about using the Beta 98 mounted internally - I have had the capsules "back off" on these mics.  The result is a horrible "crack" from the mic.  Twisting the capsule back tight solves the problem for a show or two.  It has become standard practice to make certain the capsule is tight whenever we use these.  Inside a drum that would be difficult.

Disclaimer: I work mostly in an area with a lot of oilfield activity and electronic contacts of all types really get dirty easily. They say it's the gas in the air.  It smells like money to us but . . .

Back in my early days I did a lot of work in southwest Kansas, traveling through counties with large feedlots.  The locals said it smelled like money but it sure smelled like steer manure to the rest of us.

"Pornography is question of geography"  - Tea House of the August Moon
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

John Chiara

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 04:25:04 pm »

I love the sound of double headed toms that are mic'ed from inside.  I also like how the Shure Beta 98 sounds on toms, but have only used them on the outside.  Two questions:

1. Would the 98 be able to handle the SPL of being inside of drum with a top and bottom head?
2. Would it actually sound decent, or would all the added reflections being inside make it sound like garbage if mounted inside?  I didn't want to try it until I know the answer to the first question!

Hmm...so absolutely NO drum sound recorded EVER had a mic inside the drum. Sounds like one more way to make the drum sound totally different from what anyone in the room hears from the kit.
Not a fan. YMMV
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 07:27:50 pm »

Hmm...so absolutely NO drum sound recorded EVER had a mic inside the drum. Sounds like one more way to make the drum sound totally different from what anyone in the room hears from the kit.
Not a fan. YMMV
You forgot the smiley face icon... ::)

Drumheads move both in and out the same exact amount, so direct sound mic'd from either side will not sound very different.

One could view an internal mic as being bandpass filtered by the drum shell and heads... one might even say the sound is "drumpassed"(tm). Not a bad thing for live sound.

JR

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 08:43:58 pm »

You forgot the smiley face icon... ::)

Drumheads move both in and out the same exact amount, so direct sound mic'd from either side will not sound very different.

One could view an internal mic as being bandpass filtered by the drum shell and heads... one might even say the sound is "drumpassed"(tm). Not a bad thing for live sound.

JR

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.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Stephen Kirby

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Re: Internal drum mics
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 08:46:01 pm »

You forgot the smiley face icon... ::)

Drumheads move both in and out the same exact amount, so direct sound mic'd from either side will not sound very different.

One could view an internal mic as being bandpass filtered by the drum shell and heads... one might even say the sound is "drumpassed"(tm). Not a bad thing for live sound.

JR
It depends on how they're tuned.  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.  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.
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