Buying Drum Mics

as always, you can click on any of the photos to see them larger, and will likely find a nice little link if you do. :)

I often get asked about drum mic'ing. Disclaimer. I am not the smartest man in the world. I only strive for simplicity and logical practicality. Here's what I like: :D


(Bass drum)
(Snare drum)
(Hi-Hat Cymbals)
(Rack Tom 1)
(Floor Tom 2)
(Overhead cymbals)

Six channels. If I can get more, I like to mic the Ride with a second over head.
Audix D6
Usually though, depending on the room, this stuff doesn't make it.
And more usually, the gear is just not there.

So, sometimes we'll do this:


Let the room hear the cymbals
Shure SM57
Personally, I'd rather do something like this: "FAVORITE SIMPLE"


The Snare will ring and pop through those overheads JUST FINE, and I like hearing the hats and ride. If any kind of recording is happening, I've GOTTA do this way, or you don' hear any cymbals later, because above, it's all drum heads.

The reason I don't always run the 6ch setup, or even the "favorite" setup, is that the church doesn't have an overhead mic, or the room is just so small you don't need it and you might as well re-use the channel for something more important.
Audio Technica Pro37R
Drums are not the most important thing in the world.
If you look at most boards, you'd see 10 channels of drums and, "oh here's 6 for everything else". Not a big fan of micing that much drums when 95% of the time, I am working with 16 channels, and only 16.

Placement is important. More important than the brand on the mic or how much it costs.

Overhead placement is more important than anything else.

I love a large diaphragm mic, centered on the snare, out of the drummers way, halfway between the hats and the ride, to start. The bigger or smaller or louder or softer he's playing his Ride, move it around. Hat and Ride balance are the most important here. The crashes will crash their way in, don't worry. :)
Sennheiser e604
MOST of the questions are simply, "which mics should we buy". Here's my favorites.

2nd Disclaimer. I could tell you to run out and spend $4000 on these, and if you don't it won't sound good. You would take my advice, throw it in the garbage, and go buy the cheapest stuff you can find. Instead, I strive to be real, and to be practical. Every single time I recommend a mic, a cable, anything... a wiser friend of yours will be quick to say, "BRO THE RADIAL DIRECT BOX IS MUCH MUCH BETTER THAN WHAT HE SAID BRO GET THAT". Then I'll get the call, and you'll question me a bit, and say, "uh, I don't know, but have you heard of 'Radial' I think it's supposed to be better"? I have, and yes, yes it is. The Radial is better. It's 3x the price. Please, please go buy it, you'll love it, but I thought the point was to be on a budget.

Soapbox over, sorry. Ouch that might have been too much, sorry. :)

OK, buying mics. Here's what I like, here is what I have purchased out of my wallet, and it's what I use every day. I've got to use a LOT of really nice gear over the years, much nicer than this, but here's what's on my kit every week:

K - Audix D6
S - Shure SM57
Hat - Audio Technica Pro37r
T1 - Sennheiser e604
T2 - Sennheiser e604
OH - Studio Projects B1

That D6 is a must, the 57 is a tradition. Any small diaphragm on the hats will be alright. Those Sennheiser Toms are kind of important, and I love the B1, although sometimes I put my more expensive Shure 27 on it, but I actually like the SP B1 better, but it's cheaper.

There's that. :)

You'll need 3 short booms (Kick, Snare, Hat) and one tall strong one (Overhead). The Sennheiser's clip right to the drum.

If your guy runs click don't forget to drop him a DI for his metronome.
Studio Projects B1We can talk later about where to mic, and what to do at the board once you're there, but for today, the question was, "what mic's should we go ahead and buy?" So, hopefully this helps!

I appreciate your time, thank you for reading!