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QUESTION: Ok, well my problem is i want to trigger my drums (snare,bass,toms,floor toms,) but i want to use overhead mics to capture the sound of the cymbals. i want a way to capture everything at the same time instead of over dubbing the cymbals into the rest of the drums.
Could you tell me what i need?

Also if i wanted to trigger and microphone my drums at the same time what would i need.
list the products please.
Thank you

ANSWER: Hi Cole - 'Tis an art combining the use of drum triggers AND real drums at the same time.  Let's start with your first question:  Overhead cymbals; 2 mics for stereo, 1 mike for stage use (unless you're the Who with giant stage applications, who knows/cares about mono or sterereo?).  I prefer large diaphragm condenser mics for overheads.

Drum triggers used to be transducers in the olden days of my employ (25+ years). Now I believe mics are used instead.  I prefer dynamic mics for this application for all the drums.  Later, I will include my favorite list of mics for you.

I preferred miking drums with dynamic mics.  Shure SM57s on all drums.  If done properly, no overhead mics are necessary.  All drums should have top and bottom heads except the kick (in rock setups), as the mic should be close to the beater (1-2")inside and pillowed.  Also with something like a mic stand for weight on top of the pillow so as not to move.  Thuddy, sweeten to taste (ear-wise).  All toms, including the snare should be miked approx. 2" at the top.  There's room for the drummer, if proper planning is ensured.  No mic is needed for the hat, as this died out in the disco days (also known as “pee soup, pee soup” etc.). Leakage from the snare will usually suffice.  

Of course, tuning each to is the fun part.  For each tom,the bottom head should resonate with the top head (sympathetic vibration). I started with the first tom, then moved to the second, etc.  I tried to keep them tuned down to a 4th interval from each other.  We used tape, towels, even Kotex etc. for deadening if necessary.  Some toms may interfere with others, because of sympathetic vibrations.  Not to worry, but be patient.  This can be maddening!

After all that, now it's time for the console.  As each board differs with the eq, I can only suggest to roll off 450-500 hz. in the mid range.  The top end add 10khz.  At this point, you'll notice each tom "breathing" as for the cymbals!  Chose your pan... r to l, or from the drummer's point of view vice versa.  A little hint, after recording try that same eq again to see what happens.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: can you give me a list of everything i need
thank you

ANSWER: Hi again Cole - What specifically do you want?  I thought I listed all the mics.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Oh sorry, just like what kind of mixer and what kind of program and what i need to record like do i need a midi or something or what do i all need
sorry to bother
just really confused

because i want to mic and trigger all of my drums
so i can balance the two noises out

Hi Cole - There aare plenty of mixers out there.  Tascam, Behringer, Peavey, Carvin to name a few.  a PA mixer is not the same as a recording mixer, as a PA mixer has only stereo (left & right) busses.  A recording mixer has, 4, 8, 16 or 24 busses.  Sweeetwater or Musicians Friend are two catalogs that sell mixers as well as pro gear.  I watch Ebay and look in local pawn shops for deals.

In mixers, I search for a minimum of a 3 band eq frequency range (hi med. and low... typical in most pro mixers).

I hope this info helps you.  Best of luck in your mission!


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Larry A. Staffen


I worked in Hollywood Ca. for 17 years as a recording engineer/musician. My forte is in analog recording (such as tape editing, bias, record/repro alignment, multi-track, mixing, so much more). As a musician, I also played guitar, keyboards, vocals, music arranging and occasional trumpet. I was quite busy! But due to health problems... here I am! I can respond in one to two days. Care to all, Larry


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Cup-a-music, ascap for a Chubby Checker song, '82

2 years associates degree in music, 2 years engineering school Sherwood Oaks experiamental college.

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Credits: Lionel Richie, Donna Summer, James Ingram, Burt Bacharach, Delaney Bramlett, Marvin Hamlisch, Edwin Starr, Bill Conti, Franco Zeffirelli (film director)more.

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