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Author Topic: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?  (Read 13063 times)

rankus

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Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« on: March 23, 2009, 04:18:51 pm »



Hi all.  We are in the market for some new tom mics, but really can't justify the $500 (Canadian) price tag on Sen 421's...

I'm wondering what other alternatives ya'll have found at lower more reasonable prices?

We're looking at the Heil PR30 perhaps... but are open to any suggestions.

Mostly Rock and Guitar Pop music so we need some punch and a good bottom.

TIA

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compasspnt

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009, 04:34:07 pm »

Almost anything is a better alternative than a 421.

Recently I was very pleased with the ACM310, patched directly into line input.
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rankus

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2009, 08:15:44 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 23 March 2009 13:34

Almost anything is a better alternative than a 421.




Yes, we had a pair parked (almost abandoned) for several years and the owner has taken them home... I was about to go out and buy some replacements but then the reality hit me:  I have never really found a use other than toms for them, and can't really justify the cost for toms alone.

Thanks for the suggestion Terry, but I missed out on the GB.  Damn.  If anyone wants to sell me one or two ACM310's PM me!

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bigbone

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2009, 08:58:07 pm »


Audio technica ATM 25 work great on toms. and they are inexpensive ( about 150 $ )
use on ebay.
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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2009, 09:47:28 pm »

Seconded.  I have four ATM25s that always are first choice for toms.

I have NO idea why they stopped making them.  I seem to recall JJ liking the ultra-cheap CAD drum mics... comparing them favorably to his favorite Sennheisers.  I think he like the Senn e906, too.  Which someone you know can get for you I'm sure.

The tom thread:

 http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/309615/2571/?sr ch=tom#msg_309615

(edit- Hey- you say in that thread that you like the ATM25!  You shoulda bought them then!)

tom

hargerst

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2009, 12:06:47 am »

AT also makes the ATM Pro 25 that's a lower cost drum mic.  I also like the Sennheiser MD E604 or the older 504D.
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organica

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2009, 02:34:30 am »

Audix D2 ?
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el duderino

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2009, 11:38:34 am »

Im not sure which CAD mics JJ was talking about but I have used the TSM411's on toms and they work ok. Not great, but useable. The plus side is they have mounts so no need for stands, and that they cost roughly $140 for 3 of them in addition to some bass drum mic i've never used. imo, about as cheap as it gets for tom mics.
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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2009, 01:03:21 pm »

Those were the ones.  

Here's the thread:

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/6739/0/0/2 571/

marcel

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 04:13:42 pm »

Rick:

I've been using a pair of KEL HM-1s lately, and liking them.

http://www.kelaudio.com/hm1.html

I think JJ Blair posted a shootout with them in it and I liked the clips he posted so I got a pair.  They're also cheap, so if one gets smacked (IME drummers will hit a rack tom mic 10x more than any other on a kit) it's not the end of the world.

PM me if you want to try mine out.  I have never used them for anything but toms, so they're often sitting in the case.
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compasspnt

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 06:57:36 pm »

Yes, the Kel HM-1's are pretty nifty little creatures.

They have worked for me also on guitar effects cabinets, and a few other things.

We all sometimes forget about them.
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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 07:06:12 pm »

Those HM1s are kinda cool... last used mine on cajun accordion...(both sides)...sounded great!

t

maarvold

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2009, 01:32:46 am »

Oktava 219s are nice for budget condensers.  Many--but not all--are Pin 3 = high and, imo, should be changed to Pin 2 = high.  It's easy to do if you are careful and can solder reasonably well.  
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Derek DiFilippo

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2009, 02:06:44 am »

Hi rankus,

Keeping this to dynamics and in decreasing order of cost (and increasingly less than 421s according to sweetwater.com), I've had personal experience and respectable success with:

+ Shure SM7B.  I had a pair of them until I realized I was only ever using them on toms.  So I sold them.
+ Beyerdynamic M201.   Low output, kind of touchy because of pillowy proximity boost (unlike the SM7B), but can be dealt with.  Low profile.  Could be useful for other sources as well, as a bonus.
+ Audix i5.  Least expensive of the lot.  Ugliest off axis-response of the three.  Not as crazy of a proximity boost as the M201.  Pre-eq'ed with a bit of snap/harsh top end... may work well for you, may drive you nuts.   Occasionally useful on guitar amps and snares.  I've recorded some lovely 70's style dry snare with this mic, it just happened to mate with that particular snare.  Somehow the proximity on this mic can really suit some snare drums.  I'm writing the most about this one of the three because I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it.  

I live in Vancouver and could drop off a M201 and Audix i5 sometime if you want to test them out.
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theo mack

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2009, 11:00:05 am »

Audix D4 is a killer dynamic for toms.

Also the shure beta 98 is really more usable than you might think.
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compasspnt

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2009, 11:35:00 am »

Heck, they are only toms.

Surely most of the real sound is coming from more distant microphones.

Just go with the Karma teenie-weenies.

K-Micro Silver Bullet Drum Pak.

7 mics, 7 clips, case, $80, done.

http://www.karmamics.com/products.html


index.php/fa/11744/0/
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Vertigo

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2009, 12:57:33 pm »

Rankus - what tom mic's are you upgrading from (what are you currently using)?

Quote:

Heck, they are only toms.

Surely most of the real sound is coming from more distant microphones.


Another great point as usual! I have plenty of options for toms - 421's, D19C's, D119's, RE20's, e604's, and a Royer-mod tube LDC that makes large floor toms sound as if they're being played by God himself. I find that I can get a great sound of any of them, but while the 604's are certainly the cheapest of all these options, I find that I still use them all the time. They're convenient, they place easily, they can take a beating like a red-headed SM57, they always sound great, and they have this ability to get really good sounds out of really crappy toms.

While the 604's are a bit "vanilla" and more expensive options can produce marginally better results (which may or may not be important depending on the situation), I find that the 604's ALWAYS deliver and I've never had any problem getting great tom sounds out of them. In fact, I think they can compensate for poor quality toms like no other mic's in my collection.

I'm not a fan of Audix drum mic's. To my ears they "self-EQ" so that you always get a good sound from them, but it's always the SAME sound. I think this makes them extremely easy for novice engineers to use, but I think most people would probably tend to outgrow them quickly.

-Lance
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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2009, 02:33:21 pm »

The Audix D3 is the exception in my experience.  A very nice relatively even sounding mic.

t

Fig

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2009, 02:43:07 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 23 March 2009 15:34

Almost anything is a better alternative than a 421.


I think you refer to today's approximation of a 421, Terry??

An early MD-421 is quite impressive on toms (among other things).

But if you are advising against buying a new one - I'd say +1.

For close mic'ing toms - I am still very fond of the SM98, with a Beta98 following close-enough behind.

I just got my hands on a handful of e906s - looking forward to trying them out soon.  I assisted a fella recently who used KM84s on toms.  Original u87s work ok, too.  UM70, etc.  I still like D112 on floor toms.

More often than not, though, my preferred tom sounds are coming from more distant mics.

$0.02,

Fig

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rankus

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2009, 02:55:24 pm »

Hi All.  Thanks for the great input.  I love this place!

I'll try to answer a few of the questions from memory.

I'm upgrading from Sen 421's  which after some soul searching and researching I can honestly say that I think they are completely over rated and over priced.

I agree with Terry when he says "they are only toms".  I'm not really into huge tom sounds and I rarely put much effort into working on them in the mix (I like em pretty natural)

tom eaton wrote on Mon, 23 March 2009 18:47


The tom thread:

   http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/309615/2571/?sr ch=tom#msg_309615

(edit- Hey- you say in that thread that you like the ATM25!  You shoulda bought them then!)

tom


Thanks for the link Tom.  I had tried to find it using search but I'm not so good with the search function.

After revisiting JJ's shootoutI agree with you (and my past self) ... I picked #3 again... and actually found the 57 to sound acceptable.... I wonder if a 57 transformer mod from Oliver may be the route if I can't find any #3's on the bay due to these threads driving up prices grrrr.

I had a drummer bring in a set of those Senn e604 clip on tom mics a year ago and found that despite the price and my prejudice they worked quite well.

So I think those are going to be my three choices for my shortlist for now. With #3 from the shootout being the ones I want the most.

Marcel and Derek,  Thank you for the offer to loan me some mics.  Most appreciated, and I may take you up on it if we don't buy soon, or we change our minds on the shortlisted ones.  



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Vertigo

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2009, 06:00:48 pm »

Quote:

I had a drummer bring in a set of those Senn e604 clip on tom mics a year ago and found that despite the price and my prejudice they worked quite well.


My experience exactly! Clip them on, point them at the center of the tom, and hit record. You'll get a workable sound every time. And despite being far cheaper, I do like them a bit better than my 421's. And they can take a LOT more abuse (I've got a smashed up 421 lying in my workshop now that I'm not quite sure what to do with).

But then again, it's only toms we're talking about here...

-Lance
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MagnetoSound

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2009, 09:58:38 pm »

Only toms, only toms ...!

D'you think they said 'only toms' when they made Dark Side Of The Moon?!


(I'll second the U87 and the 201.)
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bigbone

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2009, 08:50:46 am »



''only toms''......... if there are not important, don't mic them !!!!!
If you choose to mic them, like any other sources, mic them properly
or don't mic them, there are no ''second class'' source of sound.
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organica

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2009, 09:53:34 am »

if the choice boiled down to 57's or or KEL HM-1's , I'd likely go with the 57's for toms . The KEL's do neat things though  .


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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2009, 02:27:27 pm »

I've got a handful of 421's that I use for toms but I will also often use an ATM25 or D112 for a floor.

I do like condensers (recently tried km184s, nt1's, u89) although I have found them to be pretty hot to tape.. Usually necessitating an inline pad.

Cheers,
j
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rankus

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2009, 02:47:02 pm »

rankus wrote on Wed, 25 March 2009 11:55



I had a drummer bring in a set of those Senn e604 clip on tom mics a year ago and found that despite the price and my prejudice they worked quite well.



Well I pulled out this session and had a listen last night.  Seems memory is through rose colored glasses in this case.  Upon a second assessment I think I will not purchase these mics. They are "OK"


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Larry Villella

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2009, 05:13:40 pm »



I personally used MD-421 for decades.

From the feedback I've gotten from clients,
the ADK S-51 is a particularly great Tom Mic.

The original version (A-51s) was used by everyone
from Spyro Gyra to Megadeth for TOM-TOMS.

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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2009, 10:50:14 pm »

So offer to send Rick a pair to try.

Your post otherwise might come across as rather "commercial" in nature.

t

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2009, 11:22:24 am »



Thanks Thomas!

I would, but I don't own the inventory anymore.

I would say my post is more "experiential" than commercial.

Anechdotal evidence from some of the leading drummers that
ADK has recorded, including Joel Rosenblatt and Steve Gadd,
leads me to believe the S-51 is one option for Tom Mics. . .

There are a dozen ADK Dealers that will send folks demo-eval,
but that's up to them, not me.   I'm simply offering my advice
based on 45 years of using and 12 years of building microphones.

Cheers!

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maarvold

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2009, 05:43:24 pm »

Fig wrote on Wed, 25 March 2009 11:43

For close mic'ing toms - I am still very fond of the SM98, with a Beta98 following close-enough behind...


I just discovered the Shure SM98A for toms recently because I was forced into it by lack of space for mic stands.  I bought 5 of the mics and the little rim mount gooseneck stands and I'm really liking them (mics and stands) so far.  Unfortunately, the mics are not so easy to find these days; they've been replaced by the Beta 98.  A friend owns Beta 98s and they are definitely NOT the same animal as the SM98.  The SM98s are more natural/chunky-sounding, whereas the Beta 98s, sonically, are a lot more like a condenser version of the ATM-25: sort of 'pre-EQ'ed-sounding' with lots of bottom and top.  I think, as an ATM25 owner, I would slightly prefer the 25s to the Beta 98s.  But I prefer the SM98s to the ATM25s and, also, to the EV RE15s I bought in the interim on my quest for great tom sounds; the SM98s sort of remind me of a condenser version of those.  

FWIW, the SM98s seem to have a tighter pattern than most condensers I've used--I get somewhat enhanced sense of panning as the guy goes around the drums, similar to a dynamic.  
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Bill_Urick

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2009, 05:54:12 pm »

In my illustrious recording career, I've never used anything but 421's on Toms, (except for that one time) and have always been happy with them.

Which constitutes another strike against them, I suppose...

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hargerst

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2009, 06:23:10 pm »

I should point out that I still use (and obviously still like) 421's on floor toms.
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Andy Peters

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2009, 08:23:45 pm »

maarvold wrote on Sat, 28 March 2009 14:43

FWIW, the SM98s seem to have a tighter pattern than most condensers I've used--I get somewhat enhanced sense of panning as the guy goes around the drums, similar to a dynamic.  


Did you get the little cone-shaped pattern adapters for the 91s? They turn the mics into supercardiods.

-a
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maarvold

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2009, 12:12:25 am »

I did get the hypercardioid pattern adaptors, but I'm not talking about with them--haven't tried that yet.  That might be even better.  
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rankus

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2009, 01:36:11 pm »

hargerst wrote on Sat, 28 March 2009 15:23

I should point out that I still use (and obviously still like) 421's on floor toms.



Hi Harvey,  Yes we still have one 421 in the locker so it will likely see floor tom usage still.  It's just the expense of new 421's (rare as hens teeth used).  

I managed to find an ATM25 so we'll see if that stacks up against the 421 and if so then prolly grab a few more....

Speaking of which I'm wondering if Tom would be willing to sell me one of his?  You can't possibly need all 4 of them Tom... especially when you have a buddy willing to pay  more than original retail  Smile

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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2009, 08:43:59 pm »

Since when was anything about need?

rankus

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2009, 03:35:32 pm »

tom eaton wrote on Sun, 29 March 2009 17:43

Since when was anything about need?




Oh well can't fault me for trying  Razz If your ever looking to make space in your locker remember me and my need  Very Happy

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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2009, 11:41:23 am »

While i like what 421s sound like on most toms I can't stand the sound of the bleed, their off axis tone is horrible to my ears.

Lately whatever my SM2 isn't getting is augmented by AKG 418s and they really work for me 89% of the time.
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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2009, 01:12:53 pm »

try a cascade fathead or one of those nady rsm-5's, off axis.

think outside of dynamics!
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rankus

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2009, 02:53:11 pm »



Update:  I picked up a couple of ATM25's and am digging them. As useful as 421's on toms IMO and just did a conga session where we used them and REALLY liked them in that application.

Thanks all for your input!  Greatly appreciated!

Next item: Find something that won't break the bank for snare drums.  Getting sick of the same old 57 sound!  (May try one of the 25's there tomorrow.)



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C.Cash

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2009, 04:01:10 pm »

PR40, I like it allot on snare.
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hargerst

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2009, 05:32:13 pm »

The Beyer M201 is killer on snare.
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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2009, 10:12:53 pm »

rankus wrote on Fri, 01 May 2009 14:53


Next item: Find something that won't break the bank for snare drums.  Getting sick of the same old 57 sound!  (May try one of the 25's there tomorrow.)



Have you tried Oliver's transformer? Since putting one in my 57, it's been getting used more.

But, for me, the ultimate snare mic is the Sennheiser 441.
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marcel

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2009, 12:10:01 am »

Ryan Slowey wrote on Sat, 02 May 2009 19:12

But, for me, the ultimate snare mic is the Sennheiser 441.


+1

And I love it on a lot of other things, too, guitar amps, some vocals, percussion.

Not exactly cheap, but I think it's one of my best investments, all-in-all.

But that's for another thread...  LOL
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Fibes

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2009, 01:39:16 pm »

themagicmanmdt wrote on Fri, 01 May 2009 13:12

try a cascade fathead or one of those nady rsm-5's, off axis.

think outside of dynamics!


FWIW a ribbon is a dynamic.


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jetbase

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2009, 07:11:26 pm »

rankus wrote on Sat, 02 May 2009 04:53


Next item: Find something that won't break the bank for snare drums.  Getting sick of the same old 57 sound!  (May try one of the 25's there tomorrow.)




Have you tried a condenser on snare yet, maybe something you already have?

For years I had an Oktava MK219 which I never liked & never used. Eventually I cut the grill off, tried it on snare & now it's one of my favourite snare mics. Oktava MC012 isn't too bad either.
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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2009, 11:49:29 pm »

I have at times been absolutely thrilled with a KSM32 on snare.  Sennheiser MD431 can also be brilliant.  I have really come to think of a snare as a vocal in terms of mic choice.

t

Bill_Urick

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2009, 06:12:26 am »

Tom, I was not familiar with the 431 so I did a quick search.

http://www.massenburg.com/cgi-bin/ml/tracking_mics.html?id=Y Dqh2FoE

Quote:


Drums...

OH's: Sanken CU-44x
Snare: Sennheiser MD431
Toms: AKG C414EB
Hat: AKG C-12
Kick: ELA M251
Room: B&K 4003 (fronts removed)



Guess you're in good company.
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tom eaton

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Re: Tom Mics : An Alternative to 421's?
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2009, 07:49:19 am »

I was turned on to the 431 by Dave Mattacks who had just returned from tracking a Mary Chapin Carpenter record with GM.  

t
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