Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

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alexdingley
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Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by alexdingley » Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:10 am

I’m looking up info about properly making y-cables for ganging a set of dynamic mics on each Tom.

I know that I’ll want to have the “bottom” half of the y-cables phase-flipped since they’ll be on the bottom drum heads… but I recently heard a podcast interview in which an engineer suggested that it’s most appropriate to make sure you use a 600ohm y-cable.

I’m googling for good info about this, but not sure I’m finding a good explanation of why this is needed & where in the wiring the resistor(s) need to be placed.

Anyone ever use such a wiring setup? Any insights / resources?

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:12 pm

Not a Y cable but same principle. Seems like it ought to work all right:
http://www.regiscoyne.com/tech/combiner/

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:59 pm

Do you have a console with groups?

That is what they are there for.

Y-ing two mics with little to no control over individual levels / phase is just going to make more work for you.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by alexdingley » Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:33 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:59 pm
Do you have a console with groups?
Not anymore. My exploration of this idea came partially out of the fact that I’m gonna be relying predominantly upon a pair of 8ch I/Os and with a prog rock drum kit & vocals, keys, guitars, Tom mics might get combined / also have always been curious about the top/bottom Tom mic stuff.

Very much JUST a curiosity at this moment.

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by numberthirty » Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:48 pm

alexdingley wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:33 pm
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:59 pm
Do you have a console with groups?
Not anymore. My exploration of this idea came partially out of the fact that I’m gonna be relying predominantly upon a pair of 8ch I/Os and with a prog rock drum kit & vocals, keys, guitars, Tom mics might get combined / also have always been curious about the top/bottom Tom mic stuff.

Very much JUST a curiosity at this moment.
Accounting for that you are working with that and talking "Prog..."?

I can't help but think something like this might be the best way to address the issue in your specific set of circumstances.

(and I dislike throwing a notable amount of cash at a problem...)

https://www.radialeng.com/product/mix-21


That said, the Radial unit in question addresses the "Phase..." issue that you will need to deal with while also giving you a way to set the repsective level of the "Tom Top..."/"Tom Bottom..." microphones.

Seems like a fair amount of potential upside that could justify the amount you would have to invest.

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by The Scum » Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:03 pm

Things you learn when doing the top/bottom tom mic thing:

Tuning the drums is critical. If the bottom head isn't in tune with the top, the result is mush. And if the bottom head is the same pitch as the top, it doesn't contribute much...just more of the same. A 3rd, 4th, or 5th away from the top (either direction) can fatten things up.

Bottom tom heads sing along with the rest of kit. They'll resonate along with the kick and snare. Which leads to gates and gaff tape.

My experience is that I usually want to bottom head quieter than the top, so a 1:1 balance via a y-cable might not be ideal. That Radial deal is a well-thought-out solution. Or, in the schematic linked above, bump the bottom head resistors up a bit...470, 560, or 750 maybe.
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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by vvv » Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:24 pm

mmmm, I'd consider getting a a little sub-mixer ...

But I do have a little box somewhere (AT?) that is for doing top and bottom snare like that, but found it a PITA, devolved to a bottom (or top) mic and more in the OH's.

But try googling for "mic splitter" or "combiner".
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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by drumsound » Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:22 pm

Unfortunately, Audio Technica discontinued the 8681. Garges loved them!

https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/mi ... ics/at8681

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by losthighway » Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:46 am

The Scum wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:03 pm

My experience is that I usually want to bottom head quieter than the top, so a 1:1 balance via a y-cable might not be ideal. That Radial deal is a well-thought-out solution. Or, in the schematic linked above, bump the bottom head resistors up a bit...470, 560, or 750 maybe.
Perhaps not unlike the typical ratio of outside kic mic to inside.

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:34 am

but also refer to the quote in losthighway's signature... (Mo' Mics Mo' problems) as it is words to live by.
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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:16 am

The Scum wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:03 pm
Things you learn when doing the top/bottom tom mic thing:

Tuning the drums is critical. If the bottom head isn't in tune with the top, the result is mush. And if the bottom head is the same pitch as the top, it doesn't contribute much...just more of the same. A 3rd, 4th, or 5th away from the top (either direction) can fatten things up.

Bottom tom heads sing along with the rest of kit. They'll resonate along with the kick and snare. Which leads to gates and gaff tape.

My experience is that I usually want to bottom head quieter than the top, so a 1:1 balance via a y-cable might not be ideal. That Radial deal is a well-thought-out solution. Or, in the schematic linked above, bump the bottom head resistors up a bit...470, 560, or 750 maybe.
ALL-A-DAT.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:34 am

Ideally, a combiner with a level control on one of the inputs would be ideal, but almost every time I've mic'd the tops and bottoms of toms I've set the faders at the same volume then committed to single tracks (after I edit) in ProTools.

For me the main drawback would be less editing options. Kurt Ballou mentioned a trick in his TO interview.... edit the top mic shorter, bottom mic longer. Good attack, more sustain w/out as much weird bleed stuff popping in and out. It works well.
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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by vvv » Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:42 pm

drumsound wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:22 pm
Unfortunately, Audio Technica discontinued the 8681. Garges loved them!

https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/mi ... ics/at8681
That's it!

As I recall changed to using just one instead of two mic's on the rack toms in order to get two on the snare, but I wanted two mic's on both so I got this.

Eventually I realized that I typically preferred having just one (varying the location re what the track needed) mic on the snare; I really didn't like/need a bottom mic, and if I side-mic'd I could set up to use the OH's instead of a dedicated top mic and be happy.

The cool thing about that unit is you can adjust the balance between the two mic's, which cheaper splitter/combiners like the ART may not offer.

It does work really well, needs but also passes phantom power.

AT says discontinued but I found a new one listed here:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/255533061322?h ... SwS8ZifAwL
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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by trodden » Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:25 am

numberthirty wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:48 pm
alexdingley wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:33 pm
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:59 pm
Do you have a console with groups?
Not anymore. My exploration of this idea came partially out of the fact that I’m gonna be relying predominantly upon a pair of 8ch I/Os and with a prog rock drum kit & vocals, keys, guitars, Tom mics might get combined / also have always been curious about the top/bottom Tom mic stuff.

Very much JUST a curiosity at this moment.
Accounting for that you are working with that and talking "Prog..."?

I can't help but think something like this might be the best way to address the issue in your specific set of circumstances.

(and I dislike throwing a notable amount of cash at a problem...)

https://www.radialeng.com/product/mix-21


That said, the Radial unit in question addresses the "Phase..." issue that you will need to deal with while also giving you a way to set the repsective level of the "Tom Top..."/"Tom Bottom..." microphones.

Seems like a fair amount of potential upside that could justify the amount you would have to invest.
These Radial units are fucking great. I bought a couple since my console was in the shop for a bit and I prefer to sum guitar/bass cab mics when tracking since usually have at least two close mic's on each bass and guitar cab. I work better when making some commitments when tracking. That way I don't end up with 11-14 tracks, but 5-7 for a single bass and two guitars. (DI, Cab for bass and DI, Cab, and maybe Room) for each guitar) I sometimes use the DI track later through an amp modeler plug for some different texture/tone options for both bass and guitar.

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Re: Y cable on top+bottom Tom mics

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Aug 06, 2022 6:50 pm

trodden wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:25 am
These Radial units are fucking great. I bought a couple since my console was in the shop for a bit and I prefer to sum guitar/bass cab mics when tracking since usually have at least two close mic's on each bass and guitar cab. I work better when making some commitments when tracking. That way I don't end up with 11-14 tracks, but 5-7 for a single bass and two guitars. (DI, Cab for bass and DI, Cab, and maybe Room) for each guitar) I sometimes use the DI track later through an amp modeler plug for some different texture/tone options for both bass and guitar.
Yup, those should do the trick.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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