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Applikationsguide: sådan miker du et trommesæt op med DPA

Overhead miking (kort) med DPA-mikrofoner

Overhead miking with DPA microphonesThere are many different ways to mic a drum kit. You can use overheads just to compliment the tight mics and produce the cymbal sound for the rest of the drumkit, or one pair of strategically placed overheads can capture the entire drum kit. One can consider each cymbal and drum as a separate instrument, and close- mic these accordingly, ending up with nine or more microphones. In the multi-mic approach the final sound is often more in the hands of the recording engineer and producer than of the drummer, but nevertheless this technique is widely used. The simpler approach of using an overhead pair that "sees" the whole drum kit puts the dynamics of playing much more in the hands of the drummer. The two overhead mics are further supported by one mic at the snare and one for the bass drum, although this one can often be omitted.

Depending on the size of the drum kit and the style of music being performed, several choices are possible.

Cardioid microphones

Two 4011As4011Cs, 2011As or 2011Cs give you the choice of stereo in XY, ORTF, DIN, and NOS or simply a spaced placement. Remember that the cymbals are bi-directional devices and produce the most balanced sound at the side middle of the cymbal and not from the top. Top miking yields more stick sound and a lot of us like that but it's not the only way.

DPA accessories feature easy and convenient ways to set up two compact 4011C microphones in either XY or ORTF stereo using only one microphone stand.

Omnidirectional microphones

Two 4006A omnis yield a different type of sound. The stereo technique is known as AB or spaced omnis. You will notice that the omnis in the over-head, front, or under-head position will pick up the bass drum with no problem. This is because omnis are more phase correct at lower frequencies and have a perfect impulse response compared to a cardioid. Furthermore, omnis do not suffer from bass loss at a distance (proximity effect). If you like to brighten up your cymbal sound while mixing we suggest you lay the sound to tape or hard disc pre-equalized acoustically with the black protection grid, DD0297 which has a 6 dB boost at 15 kHz.

Best suited for high volume SPL drumming, the DPA 4007 reference mics are in a SPL class of their own. Use the same stereo techniques as with the 4006As. The 4007s sound great with reputable drummers as mid over-heads. Set them about one foot in front of the drum kit just above the toms and at the mid point of the cymbals. Again, the bass drum will be picked up accurately from this position. The snare and hat will be placed exactly as they are physically placed. Fader and pan manipulation can move the snare, hat, and floor tom more to the centre of the mix if desired.

A three-microphone technique (could be a Decca Tree configuration), often used in jazz recordings, gives a very natural sound and also puts the skills of the drummer up front. The stereo pair should be panned left/right and the third mic in the middle. Avoid placing the overheads too close, it will make the sound wander from the left to the right speaker. An XY, ORTF, DIN, or NOS pair of cardioids is sometimes used too, but it generally gives a less open sound than with spaced omnis. The spot mic does exactly what it sounds like it does: it intensifies a spot or one drum. After placing one spot mic, if you still feel the need for more intensification, you should move to the multiple miking mentioned earlier. At this point you have qualified the drummer's lack of ability to balance or tune drums. Multi-miking is perfect for this situation. The engineer should now be in charge of the drum sound, just don't let the drummer know.