Simple Drum Kit Mic Setup

Hi All,

Played a new venue for the first time which was a pretty large room (for a pub gig). A competent musical pal let us know that drums were being lost somewhat. As an emergency measure, I rigged up a spare cheap Behringer dynamic mic as a sort of overhead picking up mostly snare and a bit of kick drum. Surprisingly it worked OK giving just enough drums out front to make up the deficiency.

I've got two spare channels available so aiming for a simple kick drum and single overhead arrangement so interested in any recommendations. Budget wise, I wouldn't expect our drummist to fork out more than about £200 at this stage. 

Through bitter, bitter experience I've leaned that making things complicated for a band of weekend warriors is a recipe for disaster so I'm not going down the route of full set of mics, sub mixer and so on.

All the best for your NYE gigs guys,
Pete
They don't want your name, they just want your number.
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Comments

  • simonksimonk Frets: 1289
    edited December 2018
    Assuming you’ve got a vocalist or two in front of the kit I’d see their mics as the overheads. So, in your case I’d mic the kick and position a second mic in between the toms and snare. Or use an XLR splitter cable (or box) and have two mics covering the toms and snare.
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2313
    simonk said:
    Assuming you’ve got a vocalist or two in front of the kit I’d see their mics as the overheads. So, in your case I’d mic the kick and position a second mic in between the toms and snare.
    I’d agree with that - an akg d112 on the kick and a sm57 can both be picked up cheap and resold easily if necessary. They will be close to plug and play if you are just adding a little into the PA.  
        
    It’s amazing how rarely I need to stick up overhead mics on a kit as stages are rarely big enough for the vocal mics not to pick up the cymbals.  
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  • Appreciate the input guys, I’m definitely going to take the D112 / SM57 route to start with and add as required later.

    Many thanks indeed.
    They don't want your name, they just want your number.
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  • I would look at something like Shure 91 or Senn E901 for kick drum duties and mount it inside the kick as it will save room on small stages, any kick drum mic on a stand is liable to get kicked about. i would also look at something like shure PG81 condenser and stick it on the hat. I find the groove comes from the hat, the mic will also pick up a lot of snare and a bit of tom. In most cases getting these two elements in the mix will enforce the drums, there is usually enough coming off the other cymbals that an overhead is unnecessary. t The drums will  tend to spill into   the vocal mics which again reduces the need for overheads
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • For kick you could try a superlux E100, its like a budget shure91A and you get a lot more of the attack than the D112 which is more about the body. I like to combine the 2 where possible but if I had to choose one I would take the E100.
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  • Btw id also prob go for a snare mic rather than an overhead too as most drummers paly theiur symbals far too loud anyways
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  • What's your FoH system? You could seriously screw things up trying to put a kick drum through it unless it can take it.

    R.
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  • What's your FoH system? You could seriously screw things up trying to put a kick drum through it unless it can take it.

    R.
    I think that as long as your conscious of headroom and the fact that low freqs will eat more of it than high ones you should be fine. You wouldnt think twice about putting a mixed CD through the PA right?
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  • What's your FoH system? You could seriously screw things up trying to put a kick drum through it unless it can take it.

    R.
    I think that as long as your conscious of headroom and the fact that low freqs will eat more of it than high ones you should be fine. You wouldnt think twice about putting a mixed CD through the PA right?
    I was more thinking about screwing up the mix + sound of the band than damaging the gear.

    There was a longish thread on here about the pros and cons of using a sub with a PA over the past year or so.

    R.
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  • Greatly appreciate the extra advice provided here. So much so that it's precipitated a robust discussion within the band along the line of "why don't we just turn the f*ck down?" which frankly had it's merits for my tired old ears.

    I also totally accept that miking drums has an impact on the PA too. We use a Behringer* 600w powered mixer and Celestion 12" cabs upgraded with Eminence drivers which has been OK for some while but what I'm suggesting may well call for 15" tops as a minimum.

    *please don't laugh, it's been reliable, OK sound quality and paid for itself several times over.

    Again, thanks for the helpful advice guys,



    They don't want your name, they just want your number.
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  • HippoPete said:
    We use a Behringer* 600w powered mixer and Celestion 12" cabs upgraded with Eminence drivers 

    A pair of 12" tops pushed by a 600W powered mixer is a vocal PA. If the drums can't be heard over that then I think you've already reached the correct conclusion - "why don't we just turn the f*ck down?"

    I always said to our drummer that if we need to mic the drums then the PA wasn't big enough for the venue. We now have a 4.4KW HK Linear 5 rig and generally mic the whole kit every gig as I often make multi-channel recordings, but we only have a lot of drums on FoH at larger venues.

    R.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3811





    The cheap Samson drum mic sets are OK, done loads of gigs with them. Placement of the kick drum mic makes a huge difference .... for best results get it inside the drum to get the attack from the batter head. As with anything drum related though the drummer is everything ... a guy with a heavy foot on the kick and a light hand on the cymbals will make life easy .... but a drummer who beats the shit out of the cymbals but doesn't hit the kick or toms hard enough is harder to make sound good. In general the snare will get into everything, even the vocal mics so
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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