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Old 06-15-2010, 11:55 PM
BradLyons BradLyons is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Default 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.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:39 AM
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Keybeeetsss Keybeeetsss is offline
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Default 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)..

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Old 07-31-2010, 08:41 AM
paul_g paul_g is offline
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Location: South West
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Default 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!
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:36 PM
barters81 barters81 is offline
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Default 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.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:13 PM
MarkJordan MarkJordan is offline
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Location: Singapore
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Default 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...
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:38 AM
Hotcrazyfruit Hotcrazyfruit is offline
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Default Re: Overhead mics?

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Old 09-06-2011, 03:59 PM
MrTinkle MrTinkle is offline
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Location: United Kingdom
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Default 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?
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:46 AM
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ejwells ejwells is offline
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Default Re: Overhead mics?

I currently use a set of Josephson C42's for overheads.
Love them to death!
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