Good day,

can some one please explain how to set up drum micing with two overhead "out of phase SM57"?
Where exactly do I have to place the mics and what's the simplest way to get one of the two's phase reversed? And what's the point of the out of phase thing anyway?

Help would be greatly appreciated (and would probably make me buy a dedicated PAS for my drummer even sooner :-))


PS: Thanks to Bose and all the enthusiastic people here at the forum, I've been reading for a while and found a lot of insightful information here!


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Original Post
Greetings Richard

These are not "overheads" but 57's placed below the cymbals and above the top heads of a small kit. The mics are wired out of phase, basically 2 and 3 reversed on an XLR. There's lots written about this on our forum. But the basic idea is that the pair will cancel onstage bass but pick up local instruments on the kit, in an effort to reduce rebroadcasting onstage bass from the drum mics. This way we get a stronger signal than typical overheads and cleaner bass onstage. To "mix" these, just move the mics closer to the instrument you want to emphasize. Typical setup is on either side of the snare facing the snare. Snare is everywhere and there is no need to put a mic directly on it. It's actually pretty easy to set up and adjust, moving the mics around for a good kit mix. With 3 mics and only 2 inputs on the PS1, we get a really nice amplified sound for our shows. I listened to the output of the pair recently (multitrack recordings of a recent show) and the cancelling thing really works great. Give it a try.
Due to this post I again tried out the Differential 57 approach at a concert with my 4pc church band band last night.

I put one mic just outside and 6" above my floor tom aimed over it and toward the snare.

The floor tom mic picked up both floor and snare nicely, however, I liked the sound thru the PAS when I aimed the floor mic right down at the tom about 1-1/2" from the edge of the head. Big sound! So I mic'd the snare separately, putting the mic between snare and hat aimed at me, not the floor tom.

From the video, I found that the snare was a bit loud in the mix...I probably could have gotten by not micing it at all, but better safe than sorry. I'll know next time.

Anyway Richard, usually I place the mics not aimed directly at the them kit Left and kit right aim over the tops of the drums, below the cymbals. Have also miced above the cymbals and got pretty good sound, but not a deep tom sound, mostly adds shimmer.

All in all, if you really need to mic the overhead drums, I find that a mixer works well for me. The point of the differential preset is to save on inputs and make the mixer unnecessary, but I personally prefer the flexibility of a mixer when I do mic overhead (which is rare).

I'll post some video when i get it finished so you can see.
Howdy boys

Just a little more info here. We tried to use some little AKG fancy clip-on drum mics that the drummer (Marty Richards) brought along to a rehearsal. I thought this would be the ticket but they (inexplicably) had way way too much HF output used in the diff mode. I was amazed. There was so much excessive HF (I guessed over 350dB too much, practically speaking) that we couldn't really EQ them to sound normal. The '57's really work well for us, same for you all I hope.


ps- Kidding re: "350 dB".
Hi Cliff,

Were the fancy AKG mics phantom powered condensers? (419, 420,???) that look like this.

I did some experiments about 7 months back with phantom powered condensers (Neumann KM184s and AKG C451s) for close-micing Acoustic Guitars.

I got some really weird results (too much gain in the high frequencies - but it wasn't consistent) trying to get pairs of mics to work passively-out-of-phase with a cross wired Y cable.

Things were okay with dynamic mics like SM57s though.
I played thru some Sennheiser E604s over the weekend at an outdoor Monster PA party. Nice...although when setting up, one of them was DOA. Great sound though and very easy to use, low profile.

After the church gig, I think I am going to mic my toms close up more often, I really liked the low end tone of my floor tom on stage. I felt like a big time drummer.

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