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Thread: small mixer for drums

  1. #1

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    Question small mixer for drums

    Until recently I have been using a kick-drum mic but nothing else for live performances. I have just bought a full set of mics - kick-drum, three clip on tom mics, a snare mic, and two overhead mics. But I don't think my band's mixing unit has enough spare inputs.

    So I am thinking of buying a small mixing unit for my drums that would then feed into one input on the band's mixer (or maybe two, since I would probably keep the kick-drum as a separate line). Does this make sense? Has anyone else done this? Any advice on what mixing unit to buy?
    Steve

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  2. #2

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    Not sure what kind of gigs you're playing but i highly suggest running each mic to the sound booth that way they can make adjustments from the prime listening area.
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    Matt...
    Fades Away

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  3. #3

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    I have been searching for a mixer myself for recording and gigging. I have been reading up on recording forums for info, not a bad starting place

  4. #4

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    I do exactly what you're wanting to do there corum- i just send to the main mixer a single channel (maybe send the kick separate as well. I'm just using a little peavey 6 channel mixer- you probably need a bit bigger mixer if you're gonna do all of the drums and overheads as well, works out very well. Sound techs are realistically only going to focus on the kick and snare- a hand signal here and there, and we git'er done in no time. techs like the simplicity of the setup that's for sure, 'cause you're doin most of their work!
    I don't think you need some super high end mixer to accomplish this- you're not doing this in studio, so you'll never hear the difference in a live situation, unless its a real piece of garbage.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by funkyruss View Post
    I do exactly what you're wanting to do there corum- i just send to the main mixer a single channel (maybe send the kick separate as well. I'm just using a little peavey 6 channel mixer- you probably need a bit bigger mixer if you're gonna do all of the drums and overheads as well, works out very well. Sound techs are realistically only going to focus on the kick and snare- a hand signal here and there, and we git'er done in no time. techs like the simplicity of the setup that's for sure, 'cause you're doin most of their work!
    I don't think you need some super high end mixer to accomplish this- you're not doing this in studio, so you'll never hear the difference in a live situation, unless its a real piece of garbage.
    A good engineer will focus on all of the drums as a whole. If yours is not, find a new one. For me I will never use a 2 channel mix for the drums. You just can't get the sound balanced out front, IMHO. With that being said the smallest console I take out is 32 channels. I wouldn't use cheap gear either. You can hear the difference out front. Cheap mics and consoles can only sound so good. I wish more people got this concept. I guess I am being way tooooooooooo picky. I am a drummer and own a production company. I guess I'll stop now.
    Yamaha Absolute Maple - Apple Sparkle Fade
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthdrummer View Post
    A good engineer will focus on all of the drums as a whole. If yours is not, find a new one. For me I will never use a 2 channel mix for the drums. You just can't get the sound balanced out front, IMHO. With that being said the smallest console I take out is 32 channels. I wouldn't use cheap gear either. You can hear the difference out front. Cheap mics and consoles can only sound so good. I wish more people got this concept. I guess I am being way tooooooooooo picky. I am a drummer and own a production company. I guess I'll stop now.
    +1 i agree that a good sound engineer is going to put effort into the whole kit. EQing the toms and even maybe pan the out a little bit to create more room for the lead vocals to sit.
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    Forever I am Forgiven, and Forever, I will Rejoice.


  7. #7

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    The most important thing is that you trust your sound person.
    Providing they work for you it shouldn't be an issue, but if they work
    for someone else...they may be inclined to diminish your sound in
    comparison to the other groups playing that evening.

    I like having a little more control over my own sound. I will pan the
    low-end signals on one channel and the high-end signals the other.
    This limits the chance of someone screwing with my overall sound.
    They can still muddy it up, but it's harder to destroy my sound.
    Last edited by Moktie; 09-20-2009 at 05:46 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8

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    sorry iv totally ignored all the other posts

    untill your band finaly getts a sound tech and a decernt mulicore/mixing desk ect

    another mixing desk seems like the only option for you

  9. #9

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    Default Re: small mixer for drums

    Mackie 1402...

    Plug in in this order and at these levels
    Kick 70%
    snare 70%-50%
    tom1 45%
    tom2(?) 45%
    floor 50%
    floor(?) 50%
    overheads 30% depending on distance from cymbals

    100% being all the way up and 0% being all the way down.

    this should give you a good start, keep in mind the snare will pick up on the toms and overheads unless you have gates (you dont) so that volume can be lowered from 70% to 50%. Record a 2 minute scratch track of you slamming away, then playing pretty, see if it gets too quiet or clips at all.

    make sure if you buy a powered amp (sends a powered signal) you DO NOT feed that into your bands mixer or it will blow the input and ruin your recording for a while...in that case, use the "effect sends"

    Effect sends: like using a loop, you plug the line you want to record with into the effects send jack. now turn up the effects level on your first track on your mixer. the sliders no longer control the sound only the effects 1 knobs do. seems confusing but try it...it works

  10. #10

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    I use dual Behringer 1202FX mixers in my setup. One mixer is strictly for drum mics, the other is for guitar/bass/vocals. Keeps a clean sound going to my little TASCAM 4-track, but the output of that mixer could feed anything you want it to. The 1202FX model has 4 mic inputs and (I think) 4 additional line level inputs, so I'm running the following drum mics: kick drum, snare, and an overhead. I've been looking into those drum mic kits and will probably purchase one here eventually and experiment with the available inputs, but as it is, it already produces a very good sound from my kit. You can tweak the low, mid, and high frequencies, add FX if you desire, set the input gain for the mics, etc., quite versatile for a small mixer.

    Best part of all, they're not expensive. Only about 100 bucks, brand new.
    My Kit: Gretsch Catalina Maple 6 piece (1 up, two down, 1 not used); Pearl 12" Porkpie Snare; Sabian cymbals (except the Zildjian 20" med. ride); Evans EC-2 heads all around with G1 resos; DW-8002b double pedals.

  11. #11

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    not to get off topic, but i would like to know more about the equipment of recording drums, is there a web site with all the basic information about that? and i do mean basic
    Sabian-Remo-PDP

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by El-kevo the drumtech View Post
    Mackie 1402...

    Plug in in this order and at these levels
    Kick 70%
    snare 70%-50%
    tom1 45%
    tom2(?) 45%
    floor 50%
    floor(?) 50%
    overheads 30% depending on distance from cymbals
    I have a Mackie 1402 and it only has 6 XLR channels so you need to decide the most important things to mic. My channel assignments are

    Kick
    Snare
    Hats
    Rack toms
    Floor toms
    Overhead

    It just fits. Of course there are 8 mono or 4 stereo inputs besides the XLR's so if you can use hi impedance mics you can mic more stuff.
    Signature here

  13. #13

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    I use a little Mackie 1202 I have had for years to submix my Drums or Percussion according to my setup. I was doing a gig a few months ago playing percussion with a DJ and would use a Sm57 each on my Conga & Tumba in 2 of the XLR channels and a pair of small condensers on my Bongos on the other 2 XLR inputs. I used one of the stereo channels to plug in a electronic multi drum pad, then out my Master LR into stereo ins of the house system. Worked great. If your running mono in to one channel of your bands system just take it out of the L Master out.
    I know the 1402 is better to mic a full set and if the 6 XLR inputs are not enough you can always buy impedence changers at radio shack for the other Lo Impedence mics if your useing one of those Drum mic kits.
    Last edited by VIbes; 10-20-2009 at 05:22 PM.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: small mixer for drums

    Quote Originally Posted by El-kevo the drumtech View Post
    Mackie 1402...

    Plug in in this order and at these levels
    Kick 70%
    snare 70%-50%
    tom1 45%
    tom2(?) 45%
    floor 50%
    floor(?) 50%
    overheads 30% depending on distance from cymbals

    100% being all the way up and 0% being all the way down.

    this should give you a good start, keep in mind the snare will pick up on the toms and overheads unless you have gates (you dont) so that volume can be lowered from 70% to 50%. Record a 2 minute scratch track of you slamming away, then playing pretty, see if it gets too quiet or clips at all.

    make sure if you buy a powered amp (sends a powered signal) you DO NOT feed that into your bands mixer or it will blow the input and ruin your recording for a while...in that case, use the "effect sends"

    Effect sends: like using a loop, you plug the line you want to record with into the effects send jack. now turn up the effects level on your first track on your mixer. the sliders no longer control the sound only the effects 1 knobs do. seems confusing but try it...it works
    what would happen if you put all the levels at 100%
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    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    what would happen if you put all the levels at 100%
    Then the sound levels would be wrong- your lower percentage drums will be way too loud, and you'll probably get distortion as well.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthdrummer View Post
    A good engineer will focus on all of the drums as a whole. If yours is not, find a new one. For me I will never use a 2 channel mix for the drums. You just can't get the sound balanced out front, IMHO. With that being said the smallest console I take out is 32 channels. I wouldn't use cheap gear either. You can hear the difference out front. Cheap mics and consoles can only sound so good. I wish more people got this concept. I guess I am being way tooooooooooo picky. I am a drummer and own a production company. I guess I'll stop now.
    Truth!

    If you want to gig, just rent a PA. Normally, the venue you play at takes care of that, you just give them your rider (when you are being booked or when you are organising your gig). They then make sure they bring the mics, multicore, FOH mixer and monitormixer, monitors, front audio, etc.

    I know that for small gigs a PA might seem expensive, but you don't really need much for those gigs. A small Midas Venice does the job for FOH and monitor mixing, a 24-channel multicore and a small effects & EQ rack to go with that, a set of decent subs & tops and 4 monitors or so. Shouldn't be that expensive and with a good sound tech, you and the crowd will really be able to enjoy the sound.

    Renting a system like that should defenately not cost more then a venue makes by selling drinks, so you might make an arrangement.

    If you really want to do it yourself, you'll have to compromize on the quality, making gigging a paint in the *ss, because there will ALWAYS be technical difficulties. Feedback that doesn't seem to go away, a broken cable and no spare, ...
    Trust me, I've been there.
    Last edited by Bafke; 11-17-2009 at 09:09 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by funkyruss View Post
    Then the sound levels would be wrong- your lower percentage drums will be way too loud, and you'll probably get distortion as well.
    so like if you have them up too high it cuts out, distorts, or messes up the channels or microphones used in those blasted channels?
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    so like if you have them up too high it cuts out, distorts, or messes up the channels or microphones used in those blasted channels?
    You're forgetting heavy feedback.

    Generally, if you put the drums too loud, it is VERY hard to get Guitars, vocals, ... mixed in. You'll have to put up those channels way to high and they will get distorted, cause feedback, ...

  19. #19

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    If its a really mini-small gig a mic in the kick and another overhead should do the trick, if its a small gig you may use a submixer for drums and just send a pair of high-impedance channels (or XLR?), but, is this the way you want to go? Maybe in the future your band may get their own PA and use that submixer as a Monitor mix. If this is the case consider your band will be in charge of the audio, besides of tuning and other stuff you are already doing. Consider you'll need extra storage space and lot of cases for mics, cables, stands, etc, guess you'll need extra hands within your band.

    I studied electronics with accoustics so I kinda like to run into those issues
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  20. #20
    Larrysperf Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthdrummer View Post
    A good engineer will focus on all of the drums as a whole. If yours is not, find a new one. For me I will never use a 2 channel mix for the drums. You just can't get the sound balanced out front, IMHO. With that being said the smallest console I take out is 32 channels. I wouldn't use cheap gear either. You can hear the difference out front. Cheap mics and consoles can only sound so good. I wish more people got this concept. I guess I am being way tooooooooooo picky. I am a drummer and own a production company. I guess I'll stop now.
    I have heard Russes drums with his set up and it is amazing the sound he gets. So if it works then why spend a fortune. NUFF SAID

  21. #21

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    you are too kind my man! actually it barely responds to the digital camera, i can't wait to get something real in the way of a studio-esque setup so you can actually hear it. a good sounding drum you can still hear faintly even in a bad recording situation in most occasions, but i kinda think the sound i am hearing won't really happen till i have a treated room and a few mics to help voice it better
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

    Forum Rules
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    No metronome?
    The Rudiments

  22. #22
    Larrysperf Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    you are too kind my man! actually it barely responds to the digital camera, i can't wait to get something real in the way of a studio-esque setup so you can actually hear it. a good sounding drum you can still hear faintly even in a bad recording situation in most occasions, but i kinda think the sound i am hearing won't really happen till i have a treated room and a few mics to help voice it better
    I was talking about Funkyruss lol

  23. #23

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    I use a CAD 7pc Mic set, A Shure SM57 on my Snare Drum, and a Behringer 12 channel mixer

    DW Collectors - Zildjian - Sabian - Vic Firth - Pearl - AUDIX

  24. #24
    Larrysperf Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by DWdrumr View Post
    I use a CAD 7pc Mic set, A Shure SM57 on my Snare Drum, and a Behringer 12 channel mixer
    Yea thats why I went Behringer, Plus all have said they have made major improvements in all there mixers. So far mine is amazing

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthdrummer View Post
    A good engineer will focus on all of the drums as a whole. If yours is not, find a new one. For me I will never use a 2 channel mix for the drums. You just can't get the sound balanced out front, IMHO. With that being said the smallest console I take out is 32 channels. I wouldn't use cheap gear either. You can hear the difference out front. Cheap mics and consoles can only sound so good. I wish more people got this concept. I guess I am being way tooooooooooo picky. I am a drummer and own a production company. I guess I'll stop now.
    I fully agree, get a big enough mixer for the whole band. Make em chip in, a Behringer MX9000 isn't a $40,000 mixer but has a better than decent sound and all the options you'll need

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