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Author Topic: Wireless drums?  (Read 2752 times)

Rodrigo C Goncalves

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Wireless drums?
« on: June 24, 2019, 01:18:02 am »

Hello everyone!
I'm Rod.
I'm new to the forum, but not new to audio.
Ran my own recording studio for about 10 years, went and got a Production & Engineering diploma from Berklee, finishing my Degree in Leeds, UK at Leeds College of Music, and am now touring with a function band.

Which leads me to the question!
Since we do everything ourselves, including the entire PA, miking, cabling the works, and we sometimes do 3 gigs in 3 consecutive days, it gets REALLY bad having to put all of it up and take it all down each single time.
To alleviate some of the effort, I've been thinking about ways to make it easier, quicker, faster, lighter, simpler.
The band is a 4-piece. Vocals, guitar, bass, drums.
We currently have everything going through an Allen & Heath 16 channel mixer.
I, the drummer, get one AUX cable from the main mixer to a smaller mixer, to get my click and monitoring in my in-ears.
We can't afford to have everyone on in-ears yet, because for the three of them they would have to be wireless (mine aren't, since I'm not going anywhere).

The biggest hassle right now, is miking and cabling the drumset. So, I had an idea.

Putting, for example, a Sennheiser XS system on each of my drums.

Kick, Snare, 3 Toms, 2 overheads.

Now...
- How reliable would this be? Interference wise, etc, with so many of them running next to each other?
- Cost/benefit? I mean each pair of XS transmitter/receiver is 266.
- Anything else I haven't thought about? Other solutions, other ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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Russell Ault

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 01:23:33 am »

Hello everyone!
I'm Rod.

Hi Rod!

Welcome! According to the forum rules, no one is allowed to answer your question until your Display Name is your real, full name, and there's a decent chance a Mod will be along shortly to lock this thread if you don't do so right away...

-Russ
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Rodrigo C Goncalves

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 01:30:25 am »

Hi Rod!

Welcome! According to the forum rules, no one is allowed to answer your question until your Display Name is your real, full name, and there's a decent chance a Mod will be along shortly to lock this thread if you don't do so right away...

-Russ

Done. Thanks for the heads up!
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 02:00:08 am »

Done. Thanks for the heads up!

Wireless drums can work, but not well with XS.  You'll want to look at QLX-D, ULX-D, Axient Digital, Lectrosonics, or Sennheiser 6000 or 9000.  All the "fun" of using wireless in different venues plus multiple transmitters together plus companding plus compromised frequency/phase response. 

I'd rather look at internally mic'ed drums and an XLR loom.
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Rodrigo C Goncalves

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2019, 02:13:59 am »

Wireless drums can work, but not well with XS.  You'll want to look at QLX-D, ULX-D, Axient Digital, Lectrosonics, or Sennheiser 6000 or 9000.  All the "fun" of using wireless in different venues plus multiple transmitters together plus companding plus compromised frequency/phase response. 

I'd rather look at internally mic'ed drums and an XLR loom.

So, those two are options I've considered.
The bass drum actually has a MAY miking system installed, with a KELLY SHU mounting system inside. I never take the mic out, I just connect/disconnect the cable.
But, this works becuase I can easily access the mic via the hole in the front head in case it moves (which... after like 30 gigs, it did. Only once, but it did).
As for the toms and snare... You put them in there, you're done. Absolutely unrealistic for someone in my situation where I don't have a drum tech or roadies or anyone else to do anything in case something stops working. Taking a head off to mess with the mic inside is completely out of the question. And this changes nothing for the overheads...

Now, a loop would help, yes, because then it's just one thick ass cable going from the drums to the main mixer, but we still need to run it, tape it to the floor, coil and store it when done, all that jazz. And it's way bigger and heavier than all the wireless transmitters put together, by a lot...
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 03:14:30 am »

welcome to the forum.  A friend of mine used to teach at Leeds Coillege of Music (Berklay McKay).

Whilst is is doable, my worry is that it is just more things with a potential to go wrong.  I like to keep things simple.


Steve.

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John Penkala

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 04:51:07 am »

So, those two are options I've considered.
The bass drum actually has a MAY miking system installed, with a KELLY SHU mounting system inside. I never take the mic out, I just connect/disconnect the cable.
But, this works becuase I can easily access the mic via the hole in the front head in case it moves (which... after like 30 gigs, it did. Only once, but it did).
As for the toms and snare... You put them in there, you're done. Absolutely unrealistic for someone in my situation where I don't have a drum tech or roadies or anyone else to do anything in case something stops working. Taking a head off to mess with the mic inside is completely out of the question. And this changes nothing for the overheads...

Now, a loop would help, yes, because then it's just one thick ass cable going from the drums to the main mixer, but we still need to run it, tape it to the floor, coil and store it when done, all that jazz. And it's way bigger and heavier than all the wireless transmitters put together, by a lot...

Well, it looks like you've given the alternatives alot of thought. Let us know how you make out with your new wireless rig. Best of luck.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2019, 07:24:15 am »

A $5 cable beats a $5000 wireless unit every day of the week.
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Dave Scarlett

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2019, 08:22:01 am »

You mention that you are using a 16 channel A&H board. If 16 channels does the job you could go with a digital mixer from A&H or Behringer with a stage box to the drum location then some 10 or 15 ft XLR's.
I made that change a a few years ago and set up / tear down is quick and easy.
   
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2019, 11:30:19 am »

You mention that you are using a 16 channel A&H board. If 16 channels does the job you could go with a digital mixer from A&H or Behringer with a stage box to the drum location then some 10 or 15 ft XLR's.
I made that change a a few years ago and set up / tear down is quick and easy.
 

A little analog snake too.

I see many acts come around with mics mounted in the shells.  They usually have an XLR connector on the drum itself.  An analog snake to the main snake serves as your look.

I can't imagine this would save more than 10 minutes and I am old fat guy.  In addition to that and the duties of checking RF at each venue and replacing batteries each gig (or charging) seems lots of risk for little gain.  The Senheisers are the wrong choice.   Decent wireless (others in Sennheiser line or the Shure's and Lectrosonic's mentioned.) are quite pricey too.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Re: Wireless drums?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2019, 11:30:19 am »


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