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Thread: I need to Get Professional Sounding Drums on a Budget

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    I need to Get Professional Sounding Drums on a Budget

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    I'm on a bit of a budget but I am trying to get drums recorded in the best possible quality for what I am looking to spend. I'm hoping to spend less than 500 on an interface, less than 500 on a set of mics (at least 6), and I'm also curious as to what else I need to include on my list of things to get. I already have a mac mini, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, a drum set, xlr cables, and a room to record in.

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    There are a lot of drum mic setups out there for under $500, I can't tell you how good or bad they are though. My experience with drum mics kind of started with the industry standards and on a $500 budget, I don't think you're going to be spending $100 on your snare mic alone, cheap as that may be. I know Shure has a set for $499 and AKG has one for $399. The Shure set looks nice though, it comes with mounts, clips, cables, a case...the works. Now, I don't know if you'll be able to find an interface for under $500 that has enough inputs to do what you want and if you do, it'll probably be kind of large so I'm assuming it'd be a rack mount. I'd suggest buying a cheap ($200 range) 2 channel interface and a nice little 8 channel board, you'd probably be better served that way anyway.

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    Not sure if you're strictly interested in recording them yourself, but Addictive Drums 2 is an incredible VST that has some of the best live drum sounds ive heard. If you know how to EQ and compress them / distort them you really can get something that sounds fantastic, in any event good luck!

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    Yo if you are on a budget, get like 3 very shitty ribbon mics (like sm 57) and potentially a condenser (for the overheads). Set the ribbon mics to kick, snare, (maybe) somewhere around the toms. Purchase Slate Drum Trigger and voila. You record all the transient information via mics, and just replace the shitty quality with Slate drummer (VERY easy) and you got some professional sounding drums my friend

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    The SM 57 is a classic dynamic microphone. I would advise a decent ribbon, or no ribbon at all.
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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    Quote Originally Posted by rhythmgj View Post
    The SM 57 is a classic dynamic microphone. I would advise a decent ribbon, or no ribbon at all.
    you are so right! I'm so sorry, it's pretty early and I'm sort of losing my mind on this current project. Regardless, decent ribbons run quite a few dollars. Imho, I would stick with a few dynamic mics just to capture transients so that you can trigger them with very nice sounding samples. This is a very soulless approach and *some* may consider unauthentic, but it will give you professional sounding drums, especially if you pair it with the real overheads (for the cymbals and coherency)

    •Producer• Engineer • Artist

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    You really can get a lot out of kick, snare and overheads, or Glynn Johns technique. The difference between that and adding close-miking and a parallel compression buss is pretty big though; when you hear the two side by side, and understand the control you get over each element by adding the close mikes/faders, then you see why these techniques were developed.

    Still, LOTS of great records were done with minimal miking. Problem is, even more than normally so, you need a top-notch kit (or at least well-tuned and prepped), and a great drummer that has some control over their own sound, blending, and dynamics. If you have one of the "cymbal-bashers," you're not going to get anything in the overheads other than white-noise wash...

    There is also the aesthetic of minimal miking and minimally-invasive recording techniques-- taking the flaws as they are and working with them, as engineers in a lot of classic scenarios had to do.

    It all depends on your definition of "professional sound." there are so many ways to go.
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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    Plugins if talking digital. Synthesis and/or sampling leads to those.
    If wanting tradition use a good mic with physical acoustics.

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    Point is that you will need more than one, even if it is "good."
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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    If you can afford it I would rent a few different ones and then go after the one you like the best. Our studio uses shur mics for our drums.

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