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Mic'n Drums with Shield?

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Tim Padrick:
If VDrums or a drummer who can play for the situation are out of the question, you need a shield with an absorbtive top.  Otherwise, the benefit will be much less than you think.  An absorbtive back wall would be good as well.  You can then mic them up.

If you submix, put the mixer someplace where it can be accessed easily by someone who can hear the kit as the congregation hears it.

Jason Napper:
Had the same problem at my church. Our hall is extremely bad for reverb, and we have a loud drummer. Our stage is triangle shaped, with the back walls forming the point of the triangle. I made 2 square metal frames 2.4 x 2.4 metres that we mount perspex on to make the walls of the screen. I then have 2 pieces of plywood angled at 45 degrees inwards from the top to deflect the sound back down. We then used acoustic foam on the back wall and it made the world of difference. Even without the top sealed it made the sound so much more controllable during services. Just do the screen first, and then evaluate whether you need michrophones, because to do that and have a submixer is going to be quite a hassle.

Jeff Ekstrand:
I don't think I can remember a single non-electric drum kit that I've seen mixed from the stage. In some cases, with smaller setups, I'll only take maybe 4 inputs from V-Drums, but we spend time sound-checking them, and the drummers are sworn to leave their settings under penalty of "wrath of audio engineers everywhere."

Anyway, in no acoustic setting have I ever seen a drum kit submixed at the stage. Not only is it not the normal way to do things, it's almost unheard of in any professional situation.

Sounds like your band wants to do things the way the pros do it... or at least "everyone" does it. Everyone recommending that you do it this way can send your church plenty of references and credentials backing why we know this to be the best practice.

No offense to drummers. Some of them are the best mixers I know when they sit behind a console at FOH or in a studio. But those drummers who are great mixers will also recognize that they are in no place to mix while behind their kit.

Nathan Tisdale:
jeff hit it on the head

Len Phillips:
You need to remember that the purpose of a drum shield is to restrict the spread of sound from the kit. So for the congregation to clearly hear the drums they must now be miced and mixed into FOH. Even if submixed this must be fed into main mixer otherwise you cannot mix the sound as a whole. Of course if your FOH system cannot accurately reproduce drums then you may be better off encouraging your drummer to play softer.


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