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How many mic's does a drum kit need?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 41144, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi ... Is it me?

    U2 a.jpg

    Saw that pic of U2 in Chicago earlier this week ... Just how many mic's does Larry need for his drum kit?

    Now, tbh, I'm not a fan of U2, I'll just leave that one there, but honestly ... talk about bloated egos!

    I remember seeing a U2 concert and every time 'The Edge', or as someone famously mis-quoted Mr Edge, changed his guitar ... so too did Adam. It's almost like they've all each got their own arms race going on ... who needs most/got the biggest/etc ... all no doubt to try and drag attention away from the super-ego in their midst.

    Compare and contrast to 60's bands playing outdoor arenas, vast crowds and, at least by the late 60's, being heard loud and clear ... just a couple of examples ...

    Free a.jpg Who b.jpg

    OK so, having not played live for getting on towards 20 years and even then having never played more than 400ish in-door crowds (and more usually 1-200 ones) - I'll accept to being out of touch with modern PA etc and, yes, having great nostalgia for the 60's 'live' sound.

    But, none of the major/big name live bands I've seen in recent years, including finnicky/obsseive sound meisters like Roger Waters and Peter Gabriel (or even Foo Fighters/The Cure at the other end of the spectrum for that matter) need a drum rig like that!

    Don't Larry and and Adam and their likes know ... "you two just stand at the back there you bang, thump and occasionally (yes occasionally) go crash, you go thump thump boom and try and keep each other vaguely in time ... so I can get on with the real musicians job here of playing guitar, dealing with all these 'highly technical' effects, being uber cool and distracting attention away from the singer - PLEASE!" :mad:

    Yeah - I know ... without each other we're nothing, it's all about playing together ... etc ... Just saying :rolleyes:

    Discuss ... Best wishes to all ... (including our beloved singers, drummers and bass players :))
     
  2. Welker

    Welker TDPRI Member

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    Does it effect you in anyway? No? Then don't worry about it.
     
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  3. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    Channels were more limited BITD,now many big acts have a separate board for drums, to each his own. I get the results I want with 2-3 but hey if you have the crew, and the gear, live large.
     
  4. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    True ... But boy was it good to get that off my chest :rolleyes:
     
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  5. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    If they can make it work, more power to them. Mic'ing drums ain't easy.
     
  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    11, or 1, or none if the drummer gets his back into his playing.
    I remember music sounding better before every foolin' detail was mic'd, processed, compressed and controlled by some cat(s) off the stage with IPads in their paws.
    Humbug!
    There, got my rant for the day over early!:rolleyes:
     
  7. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Doesn't really seem all that excessive to me for a stadium/arena show. Looks like just a couple of extra overheads beyond what I used to wire up just for rehearsals in small and big rooms alike: Kick, snare (sometimes bottom and top, but usually just one), hat, toms (sometimes individual, sometimes grouped), left & right overheads, sometimes even a centered overhead.
     
  8. HoodieMcFoodie

    HoodieMcFoodie Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd have said 4. One for the kick, one for the snare and a couple of overheads.
     
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  9. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    RE: this thread. Same advice?
     
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  10. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I dont care....thats his problem , not mine , LOL
     
  11. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't doubt it is and I've never had to do it and I did love playing in a band.
    Also, before anyone else chimes in with it - I don't doubt a few drummers and bass players here and there think the guitarist to be a right (insert your own choice of noun here).

    ... it's just that U2 pic struck me as hilarious.

    btw - no love for Simon Kirke or Keith Moon?

    Best wishes again ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  12. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I've gotten a drum sound I liked before on my own recordings with a single overhead and a kick mic, or single overhead/kick/snare. But that's me; I think stereo panned drums sound unrealistic and therefore a mono overhead is okay, as long as it is selected and positioned to capture a good balance across the kit. Then a kick (and maybe a snare) mic can just reinforce that overall mix that the overhead is picking up.

    But that setup likely would not work on the pictured U2 stage. And it would really limit someone with a taste for more tricked-out drum sounds.

    For instance...consider a snare sound like the Wallflower's "One Headlight." Fat, in your face, ringy, but controlled and sits in the mix. I'd need the perfect drum, the perfect room, the perfect player etc. to get that with my two-or-three mic setup; otherwise that takes some distant mics feeding some gates to give a sense of room, but clamp it off before it can ring too long and get messy. It also takes some carefully selected mics, probably multiple channels of compression...that's why the U2 kit has all that stuff around it. Someone wants a bunch of mics backed off of the drum heads for some kind of added ambience.

    Honestly, a lot of music in the last half-decade has drums on it, but the drums don't sound like a regular drum kit being played in any kind of normal room.

    Coming at it from a guitar perspective, consider the rhythm guitar tones in Third Eye Bliind's song "Semi-Charmed Life." That song has some great distorted but controlled, multi-textured guitar in it. It's a bunch of amps blended into a composite sound. Live guitar doesn't sound like that. If you saw that setup on stage, you'd think "Why's the Edge need all that crap?" (Or maybe "Hey, check it out, SRV's playing with U2 tonight!")
     
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  13. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for the v. informative reply and absolutely agree re: some/many guitar players these days and effects (especially racks) not to mention wet-dry rigs etc. :)
     
  14. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I favor simple tools most of the time, most of it's in the hands, yada yada etc. But some people get inspired intricate sonic results that come from some kind of complex technical thing. Fancy drum mics, a wet/dry guitar rig...sometimes chasing that stuff kickstarts the inspiration to play and that justifies it, in my opinion. And sometimes it makes a really unique sound, which supports a particular playing style. Both the guitarist and bassist from King's X took unusual approaches to amplification and have unique sounds. Steve Albini in Shellac does some weird gear stuff and tone too.
     
  15. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

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    I mic my kit for home recording. So it might or might not not apply to a live stage situation. For home recording, some people get great results using 4 mics; kick, snare, and two overheads. I started with that but ended up adding seperate mics for each tom and one on the hat. There were little things I couldn't fix otherwise like uneven response from the toms, etc.
     
  16. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've never played a stadium gig, so I don't know how difficult it would be to create a balanced sound from a drum kit. I've been at concerts where you can't hear every instrument clearly, and some where the bass overpowers everything.
    I would think that the sound designer for a U2 tour would do his best to bring the best sound possible to the audience. I don't agree that it's about a bloated ego. However, I've never met Larry Mullen so perhaps I'm wrong.
     
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  17. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Agreed on that.
    Despite personally being a somewhat conservative/clean player ... I can still appreciate (only wonder at) the 'sonic' craft of players like Robert Fripp, Dave Gilmour, Adrian Belew, David Rhodes ...
     
  18. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    To paraphrase William Munny, "Need's got nothin' to do with it."
     
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  19. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    kelnet hi ... I certainly agree with your sig. line and I really did just post this as a bit of fun.

    Of course I appreciate that Larry and whoever the sound guy is are just trying to recreate a studio sound for the multitude of fans they have.
     
  20. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    The technology in the 60's is nowhere near what we have now. If they had access to it, I would say they would have used it. Ringo was talking about playing at a packed Wrigley field and with all the noise of the crowd and the guitars, everytime he went to do a fill, it was like the drums were gone. U2 is playin packed arenas with a ton of noise. I imagine that micing every little aspect of the kit helps to keep it controllable, and maintain some authenticity to the record. I'm the kind of guy that if it can be mic'd, mic it. If you have a good sound guy that can mix it all together nicely, that will give you the best sound possible.
     
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