Redux: Condensers on toms

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Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by permanent hearing damage » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:51 am

been using Oktava 012s (MK/MC) on top toms for some time, but curious about all the new offerings these days. I have ATM450s (had more), but only ever choose them for placement. curious about the Blue Hummingbirds, but they look like they might be a little big and clunky - not a whole lot of info/opinions about them online that I've found.

I understand not wanting to stick a U87 or a 414 close on a drumkit, but maybe those WA87s/WA414s that are a helluva lot less? or even something weird like a Blue Baby bottle? not a whole lot of side address SDC options for placement, so that has me thinking this morning about a regular old LDC instead. What are folks using these days?

(sidenote: damn it blows my mind how cheap mics are these days - what i wouldn't have done to spend that $300(i think?) I dropped on a Rode NT1 way back when to have a damn family of condensers for the same price at the time!)

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by kslight » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:05 am

I don’t usually work with delicate drummers so I I tend to avoid it, but I remember having good luck with studio projects b1/3 when those were cool and the cheap cat in town.

Doing it today, you know things like the monoprice LDC (regularly can be found $60ish) can’t be awful for this purpose? There are even some sub $20-30 condensers on eBay/alibaba?

I am also super curious about the Slate ML2...for $150 with modeling to whatever your choice of mic basically? I would be really tempted if I was starting today to Buy a few of these. However, I feel like Slate could sell a side address condenser version of these just for drums...or maybe make a model kind of like that weird angled SM57 you see floating around?

I also am one of those that bought a Rode NT1 as my first non RadioShack mic..and today would do anything in my power to avoid using that mic... but it’s pretty amazing how many decent mics are fairly affordable these days.


Side note also, I mean what about making a sample kit with condensers before a session then swapping out for dynamics when tracking comes...I dunno about you but I often end up replacing toms (with same toms, not just a random virtual drummer program) to manage bleed and such in lieu of extreme gating.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by permanent hearing damage » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:06 am

yeah, i always edit the hell out of my tom tracks. only resort to samples if they really sound terrible (and they won't use any of my toms) and/or there is some overwhelming cymbal wash.

been thinking of pulling the trigger on the ML2 also. curious about the mic modeling (see my fancy tube mic post in this forum from last month or so) and that's a pretty cheap buy in. but a side address one would be amazing, even if they're half as good as they claim.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by losthighway » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:43 am

permanent hearing damage wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:51 am
been using Oktava 012s (MK/MC) on top toms for some time, but curious about all the new offerings these days. I have ATM450s (had more), but only ever choose them for placement. curious about the Blue Hummingbirds, but they look like they might be a little big and clunky - not a whole lot of info/opinions about them online that I've found.

I understand not wanting to stick a U87 or a 414 close on a drumkit, but maybe those WA87s/WA414s that are a helluva lot less? or even something weird like a Blue Baby bottle? not a whole lot of side address SDC options for placement, so that has me thinking this morning about a regular old LDC instead. What are folks using these days?
I pretty faithfully stick to my cheap-ass Sennheiser e604's, they just always work so consistently even though they merely have the pedigree of a 'live mic'.

I've used Shure KSM141s and 137s before and they sound good, probably similar result to Okatavas.

I think a Blue Baby Bottle would have gain staging/clipping problems. The lack of pad on those might be a concern, but I haven't owned one in 10 years. That said if I walked into a studio and was micing up drums and there were a pair of Oktavas and a pair of Baby Bottles I wouldn't hesitate to grab the Oktavas.

I always thought the Joesphson side address SDCs looked cool, but they're pricey.

Is something missing from your tom sounds?

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:02 pm

The output on the BB is crazy hot. Toms would def blow things up. They're beautiful on AC GTR. That's about the only reason I keep mine.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by vvv » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:25 pm

A sorta budget (Gearslutz) standard condenser is the CAD M179 (or the single pattern 177). I've only used them for drums as overheads where they are ... OK, but even there the toms sound great (it's the cymbal sound I found ... OK.)

FWIW, my main acoustic drummer gets a MD421II on a big floor tom, an RE320 on the bigger floor tom, and a E604 or sometimes a old AKG or even a 57 splitting the rack toms. But that's because I only have two tracks with convenient phantom power, else I have to break out an outboard power box. (Also, usually E602II on kick, Beta58 on snare, and Studio Project C4 or AT4040's for OH's. I usually like a tube mic, like a Sputnik, for room.)
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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by kslight » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:13 pm

permanent hearing damage wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:06 am
yeah, i always edit the hell out of my tom tracks. only resort to samples if they really sound terrible (and they won't use any of my toms) and/or there is some overwhelming cymbal wash.

been thinking of pulling the trigger on the ML2 also. curious about the mic modeling (see my fancy tube mic post in this forum from last month or so) and that's a pretty cheap buy in. but a side address one would be amazing, even if they're half as good as they claim.
Yeah usually it’s a factor of overwhelming cymbal wash that influences use of samples...with a tendency to work with drummers with large kits and too many cymbals (packed two inches from the toms) that’s really the only way I’ve found to make it work. I usually take a few good clean hits of varying amplitude and replace the uglies.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by permanent hearing damage » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:58 am

losthighway wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:43 am
Is something missing from your tom sounds?
not at all. i love the Oktavas on toms, but placement is often an issue. maybe 30% of the time, I have to use an ATM450 or an SM98 due to placement. another 20% of the time, I don't get to place them how i'd like. As there seem to be so few side address SDC options, I was just curious if anyone was utilizing LDCs - particularly something I am unfamiliar with.

Those e22s look amazing, but that's a lot to shell out for a pair of tom mics. maybe in 10 years?

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by losthighway » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:02 pm

That makes sense. My Shures won't be any easier to place than your Oktavas. Again, those Josephsons look awesome.

I'll tell you what though, if you ever see a used Sennheiser e604 maybe give it a whirl. They can clip on, or do the stand thing, they're tiny and they're great for any drum. $150 each, or $300 for a 3 pack new. I just saw a bunch of single mics starting at $85 used over at evil bay. They're ubiquitous so I'd assume this is the standard situation.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by vvv » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:23 pm

The e604 is great for placement (with a great mount), but I'll mention I read some guys use the Senn 609 for that reason, also. Altho' I've no idear how well it rejects from the back, and as I think onnit, I've actually used it backwards on an amp ...

Cad TSM411 and Audix F10 are also very small tom mic's that are ... useable, but the 604 is superior, and the formers lack the cool mount. I went through them, BTW, and stopped with that Senn.
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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by permanent hearing damage » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:42 am

to each their own, but i especially dislike those sennheisers - excluding the e602, i don't think i like anything in that series. i've had at my disposal e609, e906, e604 for years and found them all pretty meh at best. worth noting - i generally dislike moving coil mics on toms.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by vvv » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:18 pm

They definitely lack resonance and seem more like a live sound than a hi-fi sound.

What is why I like 'em.
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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by cgarges » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:45 pm

I've used almost all the ones you've mentioned. Oktavas were my favorites in my own collection for about 15 years. I got the ATM450s when they came out and I do like them, but I do also generally prefer the MC012s (especially with hypercardioid caps) when I have the space to put them around the kit. I do think they sound best with a little distance between the drumhead and the capsule because their proximity effect is so strong. But that's generally the case with U87s and 414s, too. Although I have on occasion had 414s sound really good pretty close to the drum and totally parallel to the head. (I've also had that sound terrible.) So, for 15 years, Oktavas were USUALLY my first choice, except where the 450s were better for physical space considerations. I've had good luck with AT 4047s (big, but sound pretty good kind of close to the drum) and AKG 451s (the older ones and I have the super-handy swivel joints for mine).

In the interest of full disclosure, I did finally cave and buy three E22s about a year and a half ago and all my worries have gone away-- except when I need more than three E22s.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by drumsound » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:08 pm

I'm generally a dynamics on toms guy, but Garges reminded me of a record where I used 4047s and the did sound good. I sold my pair in a moment of weakness (i.e. I was poor as shit...)

I did an experiment when I got my pair of sE T2 and used a U87 on my 16" (third tom). The T2 were nice, but the 87 was AMAZING.

I think I used Pro 37s on toms once. I should try that again.

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Re: Redux: Condensers on toms

Post by Brett Siler » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:08 am

Oktava mk012s on toms are still sick. I have 5 of them and plan on getting a 6th. The 450’s are meh. I had to eq them too much compared to the Oktava. Too much cardboard midrange for toms imo.

The 12 guage blue 12’s actually sound good on toms and are easy to fit in tight spaces. Tonally they sound bigger and have more attack than a Shure beta98 (which I was comparing them too) but they pick up quite a bit of bleed. That may or may not be a issue for you...

Like someone else mentioned earlier Cad M179s are great on toms too.

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