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Overhead Pre and Mics
Old 9th November 2002
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Overhead Pre and Mics

What are all of you using for your primary drum overhead pre and mics? I tend to close mic alot of stuff and print the room mics etc. I usually use the overheads as cymbal mics most of the time. I understand that the mics have alot to do with your choice of mic pre. Lately I have been using a great river MH. So what combo are you all using?
Old 9th November 2002
  #2
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm told by a few respected engineers that O/H's can make or break the entire drum sound.
Top overhead mics that appeared in a recent thread about drum mics were:
KM84/184 and U87's
Royer's also figured although my favourite (and cheaper) is the Coles.
I only have experience of one current MicPre which is Api 512c. Excellent. As are the 550 series eq's, zingy on o/h's.
In the vintage vault the Helios is supposed to be awesome. Available currently from Tony Arnold and a few dealers at Β£1,500 +17% tax for 2 'EQ1' modules and lunchbox (bargain!).
One of the Trident premium range (80b?) of MicPre/Eq's is supposed to be creamy on cymbals etc as well.
Interestingly, one of the famous names that I've heard old school guy's slate with regards to o/h's is Neve. Undoubtedly 'fat', but a few top engineers described them as like 'pulling a veil over the top end' when the first consoles started to appear. Controversial?
Old 9th November 2002
  #3
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"supposed to be creamy on cymbals"

This begs to ask the question as what people perceive OH mics to do?

Are they merely to capture cymbals or be an accurate overall respresentation of the drum kit, player and their nuances?

I use 2 pair of OH.. the first int he now 'classic' ..'Recorderman setup'

1073-->AKG c414eb ---> C12's when they are around = wet dream drum tones --> favourite comp of the day

then...

for the 'Cymbals' its a pair of KM-83 omni's which are placed about 2-3feet above the higest cymbals and altered in angles to catch the differing harmonics that cymbals generate.--> 1073 also...

Onto other OH pre's
Hear good results from Ward Becks, Anything with tubes... like tubetech, summit, Avalons, focusrite blue (ISA115, 215, 220, 430), SYTEKS...(the bomb for OH duty and so affordable).... and Neve's. API is nice but i feelthey roll of (which can be good!) the top end and slamking mids and bass.!

My ideal setup would be API 512 for my 'recorderman' mics (get the big bass and midrange of the kik and snare) and SYTEK's for the KM83's to capture the fast and shimmery trnasient and overtones from the cymbals.

OH's are VITAL to overall drum sounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


PEACE
Wiggy
Old 9th November 2002
  #4
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Usually:

Royer SF12 stereo ribbon - into Chiswick Reach 'Early Bird' valve pre amp (large 3U esoteric unit)

But this weekend I will use a 3 drum mic technique on a drummer that plays a lot like keith Moon.

M149 above snare / drummers head
M149 looking at snare across the floor tom
(distance of both these mic's from the snare measured to be the same)
D12 in kick & probably Royer 121 outside front head

For that I will use all Helios Mic Pre's (I have 4)

I will back this set up with some room mic's And some close mic's - the SF12 will go on room duties.

(last time I foolishly left too much padding in the Kick and I had to add sub bass tone with a gated/ triggered sine wave at 40hz when mixing it )
Old 9th November 2002
  #5
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i still havent seen details of this "recorderman" setup.

lately, i have been using 2x U195's to the sides of the kit... hat side up high, ride side down low equidistant from the snare. the hat side sits between the hat and the crash on that side... the ride side sits to the back side of the ride... both "aimed" at the snare.

with that and a R121 on the kick a few feet back, the set is covered. i add a CM700 on the snare or a 57, the 604's on toms but dont really need either, insurance or sorts. maybe a 4033 on the kick real close on the reso skin.

the OH's i have running into that Chandler EMI pre, the snare and kick into a Flamingo or API, toms into API along with a U99 room.

but that depends on the setup... i might throw the toms into my DBX 586 if i need better pres for other instruments to free up the APIs.
Old 9th November 2002
  #6
s2n
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
AT-4050 and API 312
Old 9th November 2002
  #7
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE]Originally posted by alphajerk
[B]i still havent seen details of this "recorderman" setup.

Alpha, I'm sure you can do a google search for the 'recorderman 3 mic drum' thing. Fletcher has a 3 mic setup @ the Mercenary site, (which I believe is essentially the same) as well.

As for OH mics and pres, I've used a bit of everything lately. Last time, I used sm81s> spider> straight to disc. Very, very nice. Actually sounded like cymbals are supposed to sound. Prior to the spider, I've been recording our kit though the Trident 80b commiting eq and comp to disc. Drums come together MUCH quicker than previous methods (outboard pres>comps>disc)... When we have time, (and we find some more friggin tuchels to wire it up) I'd like to experiment with inserting the Trident EQs and some outboard comps using the Spider for pres, tape/fat processing, and A to Ds. That should be the ****.

I haven't tried the Royers on OHs yet... The drumbooth is a bit small, and I'm thinking the ERs off the low ceiling could get funky. Have to use a big live room for that. Comments, Jules?

As for the 3 mic setup, last time I used it I put a MTG um71 directly over the snare (3-4' above, from center of top head), a TLM103 looking over the floor tom facing the snare (exactly the same distance from the center of snare as the 71) and a M149 in front of the kit (around 20" off floor, same distance ((3-4')) from center snare). All 3 mics thru 1272s to disc. Panned 71 100% left, 103 100% right, and 149 dead center, all multed to mono bus>crushed thru 1176 all buttons in, blended back in with the 3 tracks to 'Bonham'...Sounded very nice! Very natural, excellent imaging. Can't use this method with very many drummers, though. They have to be able to "mix" themselves... Fortunately, it was ME playing, and I'm pretty good at balancing the kit properly!

I agree with the tone living in the OHs and room, (snare and toms, especially) and prefer to use LDs to capture it, and at a distance, but unfortunately, I generally am forced to use our static studio kit setup in the booth (for speed and budgetary concerns), and it is non-conducive to my preferred methods. I just do the close mic thing (so I can fix the ****ty drummers), and use either sm81s or km184s on OHs... We're looking at changing this soon.

BTW, are you still up the street?
Old 10th November 2002
  #8
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
C12's ARE nice for OH's. heh Also, old C414's with original CK-12 capsules. I got surprisingly good results recently with AT4050's into Tele V72's. Also, Schoeps CMC5's with cardio capsules (MK4) are v-nice! Beyer 160's for a different "slower" sound. Lately, I tried the SF-12 with great results, also as "close" room in FOKit position. Gotta get one of those!

For pre's I've used Trident's, Neve's (sometimes too thick!?! :eek: ), Helios, Avalon's ( grggt Fast!!), Tele's, API's (I agree they can sound hard...)

There are so many good combinations... It depends on what I'm after and how the kit/room sounds really... My-Own-MMV actually!
Old 11th November 2002
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't usually reach for Neves on overheads. Recently I've been using the Dakings for them and I'm pretty happy. Telefunken V72s with U87s can be nice.
Old 11th November 2002
  #10
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davemc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Beyer M160's into a UA 2-610(color) or Buzz Dual(clean).
X/Y lately although I do like the snare(above) and floor or behind right shoulder like mention above. Just the damm drummers hit them, and with the ribbons this is a no no
Old 11th November 2002
  #11
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NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Pair of Jim Williams Modified Neumann KM86's in Blumlein through a pair of Great River MP-2H preamps.
Old 12th November 2002
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Jim Roberts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Works for me...

I use API 512c's for the close drum mics and a pair of U87s with a pair of Focusrite ISA110s. Always yields good results for me. Especially for R&R.
Old 15th November 2002
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I did a mono overhead recently that worked out nicely. U87 to VoxBox, no comp or EQ. Mostly I've been using the console (Neotek Elan) pres with 4047 or 4050. I was getting into SM81s for a bit but they weren't mine, and I don't have them anymore.
Old 15th November 2002
  #14
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mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lately I have been using two Royer R-121, equal distance from the snare, about a foot and a half above the cymbals, through the Chandler EMI mic pre and just a touch of compression with the Chandler EMI compressor. I used to mic each cymbal separate for a closer sound, but the Royers give me a nice overall picture of the whole kit as well as smooth cymbals.
Old 15th November 2002
  #15
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
Lately I have been using two Royer R-121, equal distance from the snare, about a foot and a half above the cymbals, through the Chandler EMI mic pre and just a touch of compression with the Chandler EMI compressor.
Hi Mr. Wagener (wonderful to have you here),

Regarding the R-121s in this application, how high is the ceiling and how much of an affect does it have on the sound of the OHs?

I (personally) haven't tried them on OHs yet, because of our low ceiling in the drum booth... I realize I'll just have to try it and see, but any observations would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Old 16th November 2002
  #16
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Recently, either Shure KSM44's or Neumann/Gefell UM57's into a Great River MP2.
Old 16th November 2002
  #17
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
Lately I have been using two Royer R-121, equal distance from the snare, about a foot and a half above the cymbals.
Michael, doesn't centering the overheads around the snare make the toms and any cymbals on the floor tom side off center?
Old 16th November 2002
  #18
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mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


Michael, doesn't centering the overheads around the snare make the toms and any cymbals on the floor tom side off center?
It depends on the setup of the kit. The snare has to be somewhat in the middle of the setup, but you can also make up for the difference with a little level offset between left and right or move one of the mics up rather than out to the side. Clever placement of a few TubeTraps helps as well.

(BTW, sorry, I didn't get to talk to you last week at BackStage, we have to arrange for lunch)
Old 16th November 2002
  #19
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mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by blackcatdigi


Hi Mr. Wagener (wonderful to have you here),

Regarding the R-121s in this application, how high is the ceiling and how much of an affect does it have on the sound of the OHs?

I (personally) haven't tried them on OHs yet, because of our low ceiling in the drum booth... I realize I'll just have to try it and see, but any observations would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
My ceiling is 10' high (low) and it's painted drywall, very reflective. So, the cymbals end up about halfway between floor and ceiling. The R-121 are a little brighter if you use the rear side of the mic. They can't stand quite as much sound pressure on the rear side but it should be way fine for cymbals at about a foot and a half away. Personally i like to use the front side of the mic (sounds smoother to me) and add a touch of EQ, if at all neccessary, the Royers can handle EQ quite well.

With a low ceiling (same or shorter distance from the cymbal to the mic as from the mic to the ceiling) i would check that there is no combfiler effect. If you can hear that slightly nasal tone, try to angle the mic in a way that it has a longer distance to the ceiling. The figure 8 on a ribbon mic is fairly directional. If your ceiling is not very reflective, you might be fine. Can't say much more without actually seeing (hearing) the room.
Old 16th November 2002
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I REALLY like my Royers for everything, (mono and stereo versions) . . . . . drums in particular.

There are times though, being figure 8, that I get too much of a "room" sound when using them for overheads (we have a high ceiling and some "clouds" above the kit). They don't seem "intimate" enough but I love the smooothness . . . . for certain tunes. I will take some absorbtion and mount it on a boom stand and place it a couple of feet or so behind (on top) if the stereo Royer is facing down and it tightens up the sound.

Was wondering if you any of you that use Royers for OHs ever feel they are a bit too "roomy" sounding and what you may do to tighten them up.
Old 16th November 2002
  #21
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener


It depends on the setup of the kit. The snare has to be somewhat in the middle of the setup, but you can also make up for the difference with a little level offset between left and right or move one of the mics up rather than out to the side. Clever placement of a few TubeTraps helps as well.

(BTW, sorry, I didn't get to talk to you last week at BackStage, we have to arrange for lunch)
I've been setting my mics so that the cymbals (and the whole kt) are pretty centered, and doing a level adjut. It works, but I want to find a more elegant (and possibly a better sounding) solution.

And if you're going to be in town next week, give me a call - I'll buy you lunch at the best rib joint in Nashville.
Old 16th November 2002
  #22
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
So I tried a differnet combo the other day. I used my DVC with a pair of marshall V-67's for haha's. It actually sounded real good. A certain producer turned me on to those mics. I used a hair of the opto limiter in the DVC as well. Might have to try that again for the next session. I guess you never know until you try it!
Old 16th November 2002
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Is this thread about Mic's and the pre's they go into, or palcement?
...kidding.

I wish I owned a pair of royers...alas I do not. So I do the next best thing, I get the client or studio to rent or buy.

Recording should be a custom shop. Not out of the Box. I went looking for a response to a thraed on I wrote somewhere else, but I try and recreate it here.

A. Mic's: Choice & Placement.
Assumption#1. I'll just say the obligatory statement at the beginning. Use your ears. Every mic you add increase the possibillity and therfore vigilance to be aware of phase. This shouldn't stop you though. I regularly use 10-20 mics on drums and make it work ("anything I can do you can do....").

recording OH's. Where do you start?

What tools do you have? A pair of Ribbons? A pair of Large Diaphram Condensers? A pair of small Diaphram Condensers?

Assumption#2: You gottenthe kit to sound it's best and are in the bets part of the room (this is relative to the song & style that you are working with also)

If the room is very ambient, and I've close it down (goboes & blankets) as much as I can, I like to use either Ribbons (Coles or Royers...never had my hand on beyers.) If the room spounds great and I got them (and especially if the room is dead) a pair of C12a's ("little" C12's). U87 or 414's can work great.
I use what I call the law of opposites. Really live room, cymbals small and bright...use a darker mic. Dead room &/or zildjians....Bright mics (c12a's or 451's, ect)

Placement can be /and is what works. First, imo, Overheads works best if they take a picture of the whole kit. If you can get the kit balanced in your OH's, then the close mics will add punch and muscle to a picture already alutlined by the OH's. When People use OH's as primarily cymbal mic's, they usually ahve to keep them -10 relative to the other tracks; there out of balance and unusable with respect to the other drums (hence the need to roll off bottom on these mics when they're principly "cymbal mics"). Additionally, Toms and the other close mics get too much top eq, mid's sucked out, bottom rolled off,ect., to get '"air" out of them. If the OH's get the whole kit right, you need virtually no eq on theclose mics (especially tyhe toms). This lets them do there job of jumpoing in your face when you hear them. the OH's will provided the "air" and "stick" sound to the Toms & snare. The un-eq'd tom mics are- especially if there dynamics-(this is where 421's or '57's shine) too "deaf" to ruin your image if you don't add a bunch of top end to them...leave them flat.
If you need more bottom on your toms, add bottom tom mics , blend them out of phase around 10 or more less than the top mics. (if you want to get really hip you can lightly gate the bottom mics. key the gate from the top mics, and only use about a 10db "range" between on and off).

sorry for unfocused rambling (it's my James Joyce impression).

....another cool placement, not for a close cymbal sound, is behinds the drummer, sometimes pretty tight near the shoulders, sometimes ear height, sometimes 8' feet high (btw, notice how hieght near 8' makes the bottom get tight 'n big!)...facing forward, perpendicular to the floor.

I'll say it again. Fine tweak your mic plcements with headphones on, listening to all of the mics. It's a skill that lets you get all the phase right, and all the mics picking up all of the "notes" you need to "build the kit" you want.

B. Mic pre's: I love all good pre's, and will use what i have. preferences:
neve, api, v72, ect. they all work. I like API, becuase of the headroom.

...gotta go.
...oh...SM7...best ride mic ever.....
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