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-   -   Overhead mics? (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=272721)

barters81 04-26-2010 11:18 PM

Overhead mics?
 
I'm about to purcahse a new pair of overheads to record drums with. I know everyone will have a different opinion, but from the forum posts I've seen today on other sites this needs to be brought up again everynow and then.

What mics do you use for drum overheads? How/Where do you palce the mics?

Any tricks you've come up with when mixing etc?

I'm looking at buying a pari of Oktava MK-012.....anyone had any experience with these? Or would I be better served purchasing Rode NT5's?

Keybeeetsss 04-26-2010 11:26 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I hav THESE @ my Memphis spot(even The Mad Brad likes 'em:D) & we hav c414's @ the Nashville spot...

Room takes a huge part in it & there are really not much tricks needed in mixing when tracked well...

Ryan Young 04-27-2010 02:36 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I have the Oktavas, they're ok. I'll leave it at that. If you want depth and tone I'd go with the Rode. After purchasing my first Rode (NT2A) I've fallen in love with their products.

Keybeeetsss 04-27-2010 07:38 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I hav the RODE K2 & 2 NT1a's but never used those on drums before...

cdavis6406 04-27-2010 11:08 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Ive used several but as far as bang for the buck.

I use the Mike J. modded MK-012 and its a reaaaaally good buy. Have Rodes, AKG, Nuemann, AT, and this one is a go to for me and overheads. Captures sound as flat as 160's. Dead flat. What you hear is what you get.

Drum Overheads
Classical Guitars
Solo Orchestral instruments
Acoustic guitar
Cab mics for things like Fender Jazzmaster, Old Princeton amps, etc.
Choir overheads especially w/ Omni capsules

By that fact allone it responds really well to eq and so forth. They arent dark or bright but very balanced.

And with the interchangable capsules its has diffenent flavors to work with.

Best bang for the buck. Best money youll spend in that catergory.

google oktavamod and see.

barters81 04-28-2010 03:38 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Thanks for the reply.

I've been looking at the Oktavamod site a bit as well trying to gauge if that mod is worth it...so thanks for your opinion.

I'm also looking at the Shinybox ribbon mics. From everything I've read about them they seem good too. Too much gear too little money I guess.

I know the mics I'm looking at probably don't compare all that favouribly with the high end stuff, however I'm not at pro at this and have a budget to work with.

I've been using a pair of rode NT5s borrowed from a mate on all my recent recordings for overhead and random condensors for room mics (just for fun). the sound was ok, albeit quite shrill. this may have everything to do with how and where I'm placing the mics too.

I'm leaning towards ribbon mics that I may be able to use on other applications as I just like the mid frequency better. Doesn't sound so harsh to me.

sowby 04-28-2010 07:01 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I've used Rode NT5s for a few years now, and just got some AKG C-451Bs.
If you need a really crisp sound, I go with the NT5s, and for a darker, more mellow sound, I use the AKGs.
As for placement, I've always stuck with a spaced pair, one over the HH side, one over the Ride side, recorded to a stereo track.
When mixing, I usually do a parallel compression on the overheads, especially if I want more room sound.
Other than that, all I can say is to have really good sounding drums to start with.

Craig F 04-28-2010 08:42 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
spaced pair, large cap or active ribbon

and or my SM-2 center over the snare X/Y or M/S

rimskidog 05-02-2010 03:37 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Do you have a good sounding room? If so take a look at the cascae fatheads. Probably the best bang for buck in audio at the moment (but you really do need a good room).

Also, what kind of music do you do and do you have a preferred kind of sound? You really need to think about your goal before choosing mics IMO.

There's a zillion different placement techniques. I often use the Andy Johns method. Google it.




Quote:

Originally Posted by barters81 (Post 1599033)
I'm about to purcahse a new pair of overheads to record drums with. I know everyone will have a different opinion, but from the forum posts I've seen today on other sites this needs to be brought up again everynow and then.

What mics do you use for drum overheads? How/Where do you palce the mics?

Any tricks you've come up with when mixing etc?

I'm looking at buying a pari of Oktava MK-012.....anyone had any experience with these? Or would I be better served purchasing Rode NT5's?


barters81 05-02-2010 04:34 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I've been recording anything from Jazz to hard rock recently. I understand that there is a decent difference between how the two kits should be mic'ed etc. Unfortunately my budget only goes as far as one set of overheads.

I'm down to the modded Oktavas, or a set of Shinybox ribbons with one of the two upgraded transformers.

tommyknocker 05-04-2010 12:08 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I've been in and out of studios for years but kinda new to recording myself and our band......with that said I use to record vocals,acoustic,and some cabs(old twin reverb) with a rode NT1a thru an ART MPV pre. I now use a Neuman TLM49 thru A UA710. It really sounds better but I'm not sure if it's $2000 better! Point being try them out first and don't listen to the mfg.'s advertisement cuz' it's b.s........sometimes. I use my Rode as overheads now and like it for cymbal brightness and at the same time it gives my mic'd toms some body, you know a fuller/hollow sound.:rolleyes:

barters81 05-04-2010 03:37 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tommyknocker (Post 1603295)
I've been in and out of studios for years but kinda new to recording myself and our band......with that said I use to record vocals,acoustic,and some cabs(old twin reverb) with a rode NT1a thru an ART MPV pre. I now use a Neuman TLM49 thru A UA710. It really sounds better but I'm not sure if it's $2000 better! Point being try them out first and don't listen to the mfg.'s advertisement cuz' it's b.s........sometimes. I use my Rode as overheads now and like it for cymbal brightness and at the same time it gives my mic'd toms some body, you know a fuller/hollow sound.:rolleyes:

Yeah I hear what you're saying with the fuller sound from overheads. When I use the NT5's I get a nice cymbal shiimmer, but it really lacks the bottom end I need to make the toms to show some character.

I'm leaning towards the ribbon mics as when I've used ribbons before they give a much more natural sound to me. I hate the "digital" sound of ultra crisp cymbals, and to me after adding all guitars and everything in the mid frequencies seem to become distorted or "messy".

When I've recorded a gutiar cab with a ribbon previously the mid frequency sounded a lot truer to the source. I've heard many people say the same occurs with drums too.....

But you're right...reviews generally aren't that great anymore. And most people in forums think whatever mic they've got is the best....which is what I sometimes do to. Its only natural.

thanks for all the advice guys.

Greg M 05-06-2010 05:46 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
My current favorite for overheads is a matched pair of Royer 121's through a Great River MP2NV.

My only advice for OH placement is to try and space them so that each mic gets half of the kit and that they are placed so that you don't get "phasey" cymbols (usually best to place the mics above the cymbol bells if you can).

Hope this helps,
Greg

bill60532 05-06-2010 11:30 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I like a spaced pair of Shure SM81's, good ol standard I have normally used for many years. Always a natural sounding pair for overheads with little or no eq needed
They have 2 low end roll off selections on the mic (or select flat), and the mic has an option to attenuate -10 db if needed for the real hammerhead bangers.

barters81 05-06-2010 11:42 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg M (Post 1604680)
My current favorite for overheads is a matched pair of Royer 121's through a Great River MP2NV.

My only advice for OH placement is to try and space them so that each mic gets half of the kit and that they are placed so that you don't get "phasey" cymbols (usually best to place the mics above the cymbol bells if you can).

Hope this helps,
Greg

If I could afford a pair of royer 121's I most certainly would pick them up.

Damn you....and your fancy pants awesome mics!! :P

Or Damn me and my ability to save!!! :)

BradLyons 05-07-2010 04:43 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Being I do a lot of live tracking, my microphones vary depending on what else is going on and where I am. For example my preferred overhead mic for drums out live is the Royer SF24. Conventional wisdom says this won't work---but in reality for a drum overhead on-stage, it can work great! There are times where I can't use that so then I'll move to AKG C451B's. In my personal studio I use the Earthworks TC30K's for drum overheads.

Keybeeetsss 05-07-2010 08:42 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I had the earthworks but sold them; they're great but for the music I do they were a bit too much because its a must that I mic each drum but with the TC's those grabbed everything a little bit more than I needed & a guy wanted som reallly bad who only uses overheads mostly so I sold 'em for what I paid for them ;)

barters81 05-13-2010 09:43 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
So I ended up purchasing a matched pair of Shinybox MXL ribbon mics. Just waiting for them to show up now, hopefully next week. I'll let you know how it goes.


I just couldn't afford the 2 x royer 121's that I really wanted. Doh!!

SpongeBob 06-15-2010 08:30 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
So ... is the Earthworks kit over-hyped in addition to being over-priced?

barters81 06-16-2010 12:49 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I can't comment on the Earthworks mics as i've never used them.

I've now gone from using NT5's as overheads to using 2 shinybox MXL ribbon mics and I can honestly say my sound has definately improved. I seem to be able to produce a much nicer snare, tom and kick sound now as the ribbons must be picking up more of the kit than the NT5s.

I tried the Shinybox MXL on a guitar cab as well and was totally stoked with the sound. Definately a lot smoother than my trusty old 57. I'm shure (*shakes head in disgust) my trusty old 57 will still have its place, and I'm sure I'll even mix the two together on occasion. One thing I do know is I'll never track with a 57 for clean guitar again.

BradLyons 06-16-2010 12:55 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Earthworks microphones are NOT over-priced---they are premium microphones, IMHO. I've been using the TC30K's for several years now in the studio due to their accuracy, zero issues with phase, and my cymbals sound like my cymbals. Other microphones can produce great results too---that's not to say that Earthworks are the only answer---but nothing performs like them. With that said, again they aren't the only answer. I can't speak for KeyBeets and his situation---only my own.

Keybeeetsss 06-16-2010 07:39 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I mostly agree with Thee Mad Brad; I didn't say they were over-priced because I think they're wonderful as well as priced well; but for the work that I do, they were "overkill" & I only say that for lack of a better description (I thought I said all this in my original post)..

paul_g 07-31-2010 09:41 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Octava's are great! I use them at my home studio and work/sound wonderful.

When I'm in the actual studio (with a mic closet to die for, that I didn't buy...)
My choices are:
DPA 4011's
Schoeps CM6's
Or Neumann KM 184's

All three brands are amazing, out of my price range, and do a wonderful job.
I prefer the DPA's for overheads. But they're all very close. The Schoeps are nice because you can change the polar pattern from cardioid to omni. For overheads, always use Cardioid.

But I don't stop there..... Also, when in the studio, in the live room after the kit is all mic'd I also put up two Earthworks QTC40's which are very sweet - high end, omni's. Depends on the song or genre if they'll get used in the mix... but it's always nice to have. And never forget your "crazy mic" - a cheap affective condenser that you stick somewhere... anywhere... some bizarre place in the room just to see what it picks up. This is a great trick because you can take that track and do insane things, i.e. low fi/smashing with compression -etc.. Have fun with it, that's why I call it the "crazy mic". If you don't like it in the mix, just mute it or make in hidden/inactive.

There are several mic'ing technics for overheads
1. Spaced Pair - measure the overhead left equal distance from the right by measuring from the center of the snare, otherwise, you'll get too much high hat and snare pulling to the left.
2. Coincidental pair (x/y) from the center of the kit. A lot of people like this because it's simple and almost eliminates any chance of phase. But the stereo spread isn't as great.
3. ORTF - kind of like an x/y but the mic capsules are 110 degrees from each other... Similar to an x/y, they almost have zero phase and create a better stereo spread than Coincidental Pair.

For mix - just pan them to taste - I never go 100/100, I try to keep them 60/60 or somewhere around there. Usual eq - sparkle on top - maybe some low cut, compress and maybe bus them to a reverb or whatever.

Remember, the overheads make up about 80% of the drum kit. Everything else is to fill... I've seen mixes where almost the whole thing was done w/ three mics... couple of overheads and one in the kick or even one somewhere else -

For more mic'ing techniques, Glynn Johns - famous for all the Zep stuff is a good one to look into, but you'll need large diaphragm condensers.

It's all on google - tons of material out there! Just have to look for it and take your time experimenting. Nothing saying you can't have a drummer come in for a session where there is no other objective other than trying different techniques and mic's.

Good luck!

barters81 08-18-2010 04:36 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
Great advice Paul.

Due to using ribbons as overheads in the main these days I've been doing a "trick" (its a trick to me, but probably not to others) to create the sparkle, yet in a smooth way.

I've been sending both tracks to a AUX track which has eq and compression. The eq strips all the bottom end, and boosts the highs. The compression is quite heavy with a fast attack time and a slow release. I then blend the AUX track to taste. The idea is to bring out the highs, but to compress this so the crashes etc don't explode out of the mix, but shimmer and glean after a hit. The original overhead track provides the guts of the sound.

I've ben experimenting a lot with mic placements recently. I pretty much use the spaced pair method as I really like the wide stereo signal. However, I'm finding that by measuring I will keep my snare in phase, but one or two toms may be out of phase. And....using ribbons, the overheads catch a lot of toms etc.

I also then use a condensor on the highhat. I never used to mic the highat until I started using ribbons for OH's. My theory here is the highats really sizzle through even at a low volume.

MarkJordan 11-12-2010 10:13 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I have been using the Rode NT-3's recently for overheads and they sound really good provided the placement is done properly. I usually breakup the drum kit overhead miking into three sections. Left overhead is placed near the over the hats looking in between the snare and toms, so this covers snare, high tom, hats and cymbal 1, a Center overhead placed pointing at the snare covers mid tom snare a lil of the kick and cymbals 2 and splashes, a Right overhead covers remaining cymbals and floor tom. These mics are then panned Left center and RIght to give an amazing stereo image.. a little fiddling around to be done to reduce phasing, but otherwise it creates a wide stereo image where toms automatically pan frm left to right snare and kicks are in the center, hats and cymbals range frm left to right again..i've also tried these mics in simple spaced pair and xy which did not give that much of stereo seperation..would love to try out neumann 170R's or AKG C414's for xy or ab...

Hotcrazyfruit 11-15-2010 11:38 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
AT 4041's. Very bright. 500 for a pair brand new.

MrTinkle 09-06-2011 04:59 PM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I've only just skim read through this so you'll have to forgive me If this has already been asked...

Has any one had chance to play with some SE SE4 microphones? If so, what's your thoughts about them?

ejwells 09-07-2011 02:46 AM

Re: Overhead mics?
 
I currently use a set of Josephson C42's for overheads.
Love them to death!


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