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Author Topic: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions  (Read 2086 times)

Matt Davis

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Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« on: October 26, 2020, 01:58:37 pm »

Hello,

Were needing some new overhead mics for our drum cymbals at my church. This is for live drums application, playing mostly contemporary music.
The snare will have a Shure SM57, the toms will have Sennheiser e904s, and the kick will have a Shure Beta 52A and a homemade sub-kick.

Im wanting to get some opinions for the overheads for the cymbals. Well have two crashes (18 and 16), a ride (20), and hi-hats (14). They will all be Zildjian K Custom Dark. Our intention is to use two overheads. The mics should have enough room in the enclosure to be able to be placed up to 3ft above the cymbals. Our budget for both mics combined is up to $500, but I could probably go a bit over if I can convince my pastor.

Some of the mics Ive been looking at are the Rode NT5, Rode M5, Shure SM137, and Audio-Technica AT4041. I am 100% open to any and all ideas and suggestions.

Thank you so much!

Matt
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Art Welter

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 02:14:52 pm »


Im wanting to get some opinions for the overheads for the cymbals. Well have two crashes (18 and 16), a ride (20), and hi-hats (14).
Matt,

I used to use AKG-C451 and Shure SM-81 for cymbals, until comparing them to the Audio Technica AT-37.
The Audio Technica AT-37 is a great sounding and relatively inexpensive cymbal mic, though I'd suggest using a separate mic for hi-hat.
At the present price, it appears that three AT-37 would put you one dollar over your mic budget, but worth every penny  :).

Art


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David Simpson

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2020, 02:29:39 pm »

Shure KSM 137's and SM81's have long been popular choices in this application. I have been a fan of the 81's over the 137's, but it is all about what you do with them. Is there a way you can rent / borrow a few mics to see what works best for you before you buy?

~Dave
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Matthias McCready

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2020, 03:40:48 pm »

Hello,

Were needing some new overhead mics for our drum cymbals at my church. This is for live drums application, playing mostly contemporary music.
The snare will have a Shure SM57, the toms will have Sennheiser e904s, and the kick will have a Shure Beta 52A and a homemade sub-kick.

Im wanting to get some opinions for the overheads for the cymbals. Well have two crashes (18 and 16), a ride (20), and hi-hats (14). They will all be Zildjian K Custom Dark. Our intention is to use two overheads. The mics should have enough room in the enclosure to be able to be placed up to 3ft above the cymbals. Our budget for both mics combined is up to $500, but I could probably go a bit over if I can convince my pastor.

Some of the mics Ive been looking at are the Rode NT5, Rode M5, Shure SM137, and Audio-Technica AT4041. I am 100% open to any and all ideas and suggestions.

Thank you so much!

Matt

Earlier this year I had the chance to do an overhead shootout at work: we had SM81, SCX25, KSM32, C414, a beyerdynamic set (I forget which), and a pair of ribbons. I am probably missing another pair or two mics that we tried as well.

With that shootout, I came away being really impressed with the Shure KSM32's, with that Room, PA, and kit they actually sounded better than the C414's! Not what I expected. The KSM32 really holds its own and is a pretty decent overhead. You may be able to find a used pair in or around your price range if you look hard.

Ironically the SM81 was one of the mics I disliked the most in the shootout; however I really love them! An SM81 is such a useful mic to have in the toolbox, and it is almost always my first choice for an overhead for something more budget friendly as it is a predicable mic. Additionally if you want to get a nicer overhead mic down the road it is really great for bottom snare or as a general purpose condenser. A pair of these is worth considering.

There are of course better things out there for more money, but that is not always feasible.

Two more thoughts:
1) You should look into a bottom snare mic if you do not have one.

Personally I would rather have one overhead and use a second mic for snare bottom, it makes the snare sound so much more life like; 3D if you will. My usual go to's are a E906 (which is nice a thick sounding for this application) or an SM81 (crisp and tight, although 1.5k can get a little
weird).
 
2) Play with positioning

I am not sure what your enclosure is like. I have been in some really nice ones that were spacious, had AC, and sounded phenomenal and were thereby easy to get a great mic sound; I have also been in many that made micing and mixing a kit a more challenging endeavor. All that being said 1 mic could work better than two depending on the situation, which allow you to get a nicer mic (SCX25 used or something that someone else might suggest)



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Tim Weaver

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2020, 05:16:50 pm »

Matt,

I used to use AKG-C451 and Shure SM-81 for cymbals, until comparing them to the Audio Technica AT-37.
The Audio Technica AT-37 is a great sounding and relatively inexpensive cymbal mic, though I'd suggest using a separate mic for hi-hat.
At the present price, it appears that three AT-37 would put you one dollar over your mic budget, but worth every penny  :).

Art


This right here.


AT is the king of the budget condenser mic.




Also, is this in a fully enclosed drum booth? I have one of these for our youth band and I repurposed some old Sennheiser hanging choir mics for the overheads and they work fantastic. I stuck a screw into the ceiling of the drum booth and zip tied the mic's thin cable to that to hang at the right spot. Outside of the booth you can't even see them.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 06:19:05 pm »

Also, since I'm sitting through a rehearsal with nothing better to do I made a little clip of our setup.

This is a DW kit in a fully enclosed drumsheild/booth thing. Plexiglas front and half-sides, with a fuzzy, absorbant rear wall, roof, and part of the side walls.

Kick Beta 52
Snare SM57
Hat Rode M5
Toms Sennheiser 604's
OH's Sennheiser ME 34 or 35. I actually don't know, since we just had these laying around when I got here.


https://soundcloud.com/highspl/drum-example

The first 36-ish seconds are the OH's only. Unprocessed except being panned L/R.
From 36 seconds to 1:02 are all the drum mics raw and unprocessed except being panned.
From 1:02 to the end is my 5 minute gate/EQ/compression job just for this little demo.

The track came from a youth night performance. Nothing special, just the first one I grabbed.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 07:58:09 pm »

Obligatory, OH aren't super important.

Dont spend too much.

https://www.prosoundweb.com/how-to-ruin-a-mix-stop-enough-already-with-the-cymbals/
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2020, 04:13:39 am »


AT is the king of the budget condenser mic.
When I search for AT37, all i can find is an Audio Tehcnica record deck cartridge.
Even a search on AT's website doesn't find anything.
Is the Pro37 the same mic?


Steve.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 04:23:00 am by Steve M Smith »
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2020, 07:39:57 am »

When I search for AT37, all i can find is an Audio Tehcnica record deck cartridge.
Even a search on AT's website doesn't find anything.
Is the Pro37 the same mic?


Steve.

Yes, they just shortened the name.

Matt Davis

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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 12:43:50 pm »

Thanks for all the great suggestions!

Currently I'm leaning towards getting 3 Audio-Technica Pro 37s.

I'm also considering a sE Electronics sE8 matched pair for the OH, and then getting either an Audio-Technica Pro 37 or Shure SM137 for the hi-hats.

I'm personally unfamiliar with the sE8s, but I've seen a lot of great reviews for them recently, and I listened to some audio of them being used on drums. Maybe I'm crazy, or they were just mixed really well, but they sounded as good to me as many recordings with $1000+ mics.

Does anyone have any experience with them?

Also, we have a few spare SM 57s at my church, so I might throw that on the snare side. Ive used them on my snare side previously. Thats a good option, right?
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Re: Drum Overhead Mic Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 12:43:50 pm »


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