OT: mic'ing the pit

What are good mic's to use for  the mallet instruments.  I tried sm57's but I didnt get a good sound. Any suggestions? Thanks

-darryl jones
You didn't get a good sound with the sm57?

They are obviously defective.  Put them back in the boxes, and send them to me.

:)
Seriously though, I'd like to hear what people are using on the field (not just in theory).  We're just using the 57s.
The sm57's I have are pretty old , so that could be the problem.....But I would also like to know what everone else is using.

darryl jones
Try Shure Beta 98H/C's for the keyboards.  Use two for marimbas - one for the lower end and one for the upper end.  Use one for vibes - position directly in the middle of the board.  The 98H/C's can be mounted to the cross-bar underneath the bars and will give you a great sound (in my opinion...)

Just my 2 cents...
Along with Dave's Comment... You need to think about the positioning and number per kayboard. I have a Studio Engineer from Houston come in when we have a stadium rehearsal and have him stand up at the top and listen and then mix. We talk about the balance and blend to the ensemble and then go to mixing. He usually gives me 2-3 different mixes and I choose the one I like and best fits the ensemble. I take pictures off ALL the equipment specifically the mic positions and the board settings. I print the pictures and a diagram of the levels per channel of the mixers with the correct settings inside of the mixer box and make the students check the settings to the pictures while the band is warming up. In regards to what microphones to use...I've only used the SM58 and 57's both wireless and wired. You might want to look at what you are using behind the mic.....I.E. speakers and mixer.

I know that bluecoats last year used something like the Beta 98 H/C but instead of mounting it on the board they put the mic on the actual player. Placing the wireless mic on the player and making a cut in the marching uniform so that the mic sticks out to catch the sound minus frame noise and susp cym overload. (very smart I think) I personally don't know the verdict on that set-up but I didn't have any complaints.

I highly recommend hiring a audio engineer to mix everything! It was well worth the investment!

It would be great if Jim would chime in on this topic. :) I'm sure you have alot to offer on this topic. I know you have a well thought out section of this in the Jim Duet book ";Up front"; but I am sure technology and technique has changed since then.
I used a wireless pack with a lav. microphone a year ago while playing Rosauro's Cadencia para Berimbau.  I ran the cord out and clipped the mic. on my sleeve similar to the setup that was used in Blast (just one mic. though).  It worked well, and really brought out the open tones (it was on my left hand).  I would think that a dual setup ala Blast would provide a level of redundancy and give great microphone placement.

- David
I'm starting to think that on the player is a valid option. I'm going to do some research again... (BLAH...) and see what I can dig up on what other corps were using this summer. (I will post what I can as i get it)
Very good point on the mounting to the body.  I tried that approach last year and I could not get the (for lack of a better word) ";pick-up zone"; wide enough to adequately get all the marimba notes the kid was playing.  There was one specific passage where the phrase jumped around on the board and the mic mounted to the body just didn't pick up all the notes.  I am trying the mounting to the support bar underneath the bars this year as I saw that is what Cavs were using and I liked the sound from there.  I am in NO WAY trying to compare my kids to Cavs pit - pretty far from it actually but I figured they have messed around with a few set-ups and found one that worked with them - hence my copying the idea...

again, great discussion and the ideas above are just my 2 cents to the conversation...
I wonder if we could lobby shure or another pro-audio company to design a line of mics specifically for outdoor and indoor percussion instruments? Where to position the mic with attachements for ALL lines of keyboards.

Need a vibe mic....the blah blah mic is specifically designed for making your vibes sound great with the lush...blah blah blah.

you know the routine.

I would just feel better purchasing something that I know has been researched for me and I would gladly pay for it.
I've heard about mounting on the body, though I'm not sure how much noise you might get from body motion and clothing since there's usually a considerable amount of movement in a typical band/drumline show.

At Cavaliers, I believe we used the Shure Beta 90 H/C for marimbas and vibes as Dave outlined (2 on marimbas 1 on vibes). They're nice and small. I'll second the notion that hiring a professional audio engineer is well worth the investment. Our engineer is outstanding, and by creating a logical setup with the wiring, and proper EQ'ing in the mixer, it makes for a fairly hassle free setup. This sort of thing is its own artform - often requiring skills beyond the mind of the typical percussion instructor (spoken from experience). :)
I saw a school mic there pit from above. They had boom stands connected to the keyboard and the mic was facing down to the keys...What would be the pro's and con's of mic'ing it that way
[quote author=djones link=topic=1307.msg5764#msg5764 date=1155794185]
I saw a school mic there pit from above. They had boom stands connected to the keyboard and the mic was facing down to the keys...What would be the pro's and con's of mic'ing it that way
[/quote]

Wind would be the biggest con that I can think of.  Also, if they have cymbals on the keyboards, those might sound pretty harsh when the mic picks them up.

On the plus side, you get a truer sound from the instrument.

I still think the Cavalier method is the most efficient and sounds the best.
[quote author=drumcorpbc link=topic=1307.msg5765#msg5765 date=1155798559]
[quote author=djones link=topic=1307.msg5764#msg5764 date=1155794185]
I saw a school mic there pit from above. They had boom stands connected to the keyboard and the mic was facing down to the keys...What would be the pro's and con's of mic'ing it that way
[/quote]

Wind would be the biggest con that I can think of.  Also, if they have cymbals on the keyboards, those might sound pretty harsh when the mic picks them up.

On the plus side, you get a truer sound from the instrument.

I still think the Cavalier method is the most efficient and sounds the best.
[/quote]

All good points. I'm guessing that there weren't any problems in hearing the articulation of the mallet when the mics were placed below the instrument?

I really like the idea of the mic placed on the player's body. It conceivably reduces the amount of mics needed (and thus channels on the mixer needed) and would hopefully reduce the ";cable-age"; running across the pit (assuming you are using wireless mics).

How did this work for Bluecoats this year? I missed them this year, but am sure they were stellar.

ER
[quote author=erath link=topic=1307.msg5767#msg5767 date=1155855934]
How did this work for Bluecoats this year? I missed them this year, but am sure they were stellar.
[/quote]

You are correct sir - Bluecoats were pretty slamin this year both up front and on the field percussively speaking...
I'm calling my friend Brad over at Bluecoats and get the skinny on this...will post tomorrow.
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