#1
Hello,

I am wondering if any of you can give some advice on microphones. The school where I work at needs to get some microphones to mic some things up for a musical.

Firstly, I was thinking of getting the Shure PGDMK4 package for miking a standard drum set. I'd use one PG56 on the snare, share another PG56 for the toms and have the third for the floor tom. This kit doesn't include anything for cymbals though. Should I get anything for the high hats and other cymbals or will having any condenser mic overhead do the job for all cymbals? Also, will the sharing of the PG56 between the 2 toms work?

Secondly, I am planning on getting an SM57 for a clarinet and for a violin and I just want to see what you guys have to say about that. I also need to mic up a trumpet, but not sure what mic to get for that. Will an SM57 do?

The rest would be amped using DI boxes for 2 guitars, 1 bass and 1 electric piano.

Also, the school has a few SM58s and PG48s. Could I put them to any use in this situation?

I don't really know much about microphones and this kinda thing, but they've asked me to research into it and as far as I know the ones I've mentioned seem like the best idea.
Any advice is welcome.

Thanks

PS: We need to get the DI boxes as well and I looked into the Samson S-Direct and its plus version. The plus version says it's stereo, but does that mean that I can use it as 2 separate channels? Thanks again
Last edited by igordubai at Nov 16, 2014,
#2
I'd not get a drum mic's kit, the good ones are overpriced and the rest aren't much good.

What to get greeeatly depends on your budget.

On the relatively cheap, my shopping list would be
MD-421's or 441's for the drum toms, you may also use one for each two toms.
An avantone mondo for the bass drum.
A shure sm81 or rode NT5 or neumann km184 for the hi-hat.
A pair of large cardiod large diaphragm condensers for the overheads, say C414 XL II's, or maybe something warmer depending on what results you wanna get.
A pair of schoeps colette's with cardiod capsules for the room, or C414's on the cheaper.

Then you use one of the SM58's for the snare.

For a clarinet you may wanna use a natural sounding or fairly dark condenser, same for the trumpet, and for the violin you wanna use a ribbon mic.
Condenser mic's are not what I'd use for that kinda instruments unless you had to record everything from very close range, like in a live performance.

Yeah the S- direct + is stereo.
Stereo means it has two channels.
#3
^No, I would definitely not do that. That's a lot of money and,based on the price range of the gear he was looking at, there's probably no way his school could afford that. Not many can.

Since it's for a musical, I assume this is to mic live instruments during the performances? Or are you recording them for playback later?

Some sort of budget would help us though.
#4
Yea, it is just for mixing the live instruments, not studio recording

edit: I don't have an idea for the budget, but the mics can't be too expensive on their own because we need to buy enough mics for a drum kit, for a violin, for a trumpet, 2 DI boxes, a snake, 2 guitar amps, 1 bass amp, mic stands and cables. The school knows it will be quite a bit of money, but I'm trying to minimise costs of course.
Last edited by igordubai at Nov 16, 2014,
#5
The PGDMK4 would probably be alright, but I would step up a little to either the DMK57-52 or the Audix FP7. Sharing one mic between toms is far from ideal, but it'll probably work. If you have the money to get one more mic for that tom, I would probably do that. As for overheads, the Audix kit I mentioned comes with them (as well as 3 tom mics), but mostly any pair of condensers will do. Before you get them, however, I would listen to the sound of the cymbals in the room. Some rooms don't need overheads, though it's nice to have them.

In my opinion, SM57s are your best friend. Throw them on snares, toms, trumpets, violins, clarinets and a few other things. They're extremely sturdy and reliable, so there's no worry of mishandling them, which can be a concern in a school environment.

If the guitarists/bassist are playing straight into the amps, then you don't really need a DI for them. Just plug them right into the amp and have them play. Putting a mic on the amps gives you more control in the mix, but not necessary if you're trying to keep costs down. But if you're getting DIs, I would look into Whirlwind IMP 2. A few bucks more than what you were looking at, but very reliable, and I've always had good experiences with them.

The 58s that you already have could be used for the wind/string instruments. 58s and 57s are very similar. I'm not really a fan of the PG48, but you could make it work on one of those instruments as well, or on and voice if you need that.
#6
Any cheap mics will do the job, no need to go spending a fortune if they're for occasional use.

Grab a pair of Behringer C2 pencils and a bunch of cheap dynamics (Prodipe TT1, Red5 RVD30, Samson Q7, that kind of thing). Your school's 58s will probably end up getting used on vocals or something, but they'll work fine too. Don't bother with SM57s, the windshield is a bit fragile compared to most similar mics and any of the cheap ones I listed will do the same job for a third of the price.

If you can aquire a cheap kick drum mic, that's not a bad thing. I my experience even the dirt cheap Chinese ones (Stagg/Nady/whatever) sound fine unless you're running a huge concert stage. All you need is a bit of thud and a bit of click.

A cheap DI box will do (passive or active, doesn't really matter) for the bass. Don't know why on earth you'd want DI boxes for the guitars, mic the amps or use some kind of modelling rig/amp output that goes straight into the mixer.

Use dynamics for the snare and guitar amps.
DI box for the bass.
Kick drum on the kick (duh) - if you can't afford one than any dynamic will do.
Use one of the C2s as a mono drum overhead, and the other for the violin or something.
Don't bother miking the toms, especially if you're on a tight budget.
Stick a dynamic in front of the clarients, trumpets etc.
Eat your vegetables.