You might be wondering what are those tilted microphones hanging at the top of a drum set or those microphones that are facing upwards right below a musical instrument, of course, not all of us are knowledgeable about the sound devices that musicians and the crew handling the sound system onstage. This is what they call overhead microphones.

Overhead microphones are very different from the microphone used by the vocalist or the choir onstage because it is specifically developed to enhance the sound of the musical instruments in order for the whole theatre or environment to hear the best sound quality of it.

configure overhead drum microphones

Overhead microphones are also widely used in a studio recording as well as reproducing sound  live sound to amplify the ambient sounds as well as it transients the overall instrumental sound blending to create that perfect, just and rightful sound especially for someone who listens to good music. The most common type of this type of microphone is the overhead drum microphones which are used to enhance the sound quality and the audio strength of the drum set in an onstage or recording performance.

Just like any other sound devices, overhead microphones have also a set of specifications that all of us need to know so that we can determine its performance capacity, weaknesses, and strengths that is why in this article, let us learn the buyers guide to three of the best and ideal place for an overhead drum microphone so that it will work perfectly during live performances and recording.

  1. Configuration- In order to configure overhead drum microphones, you need to determine the placement of X and Y which are two set up cardioids condensers that is enough above the cymbals and above the snare to determine if it is at the center of the instrument to achieve stereo inclination. The perfect placement for X and Y microphones is for the stereo spread and focused sound output.
  2. Placement- Overhead drum microphones must be spaced out to achieve flexibility particularly its condensers that is why when setting up the microphones, it must be a little too high above the cymbals so in that way it can emphasize the focus of the entire drum set. Just a pro tip, when placing the microphones, it must be placed in an equal distance from the kick and the snare to create a perfect stereo imaging meaning the larger the gap between the microphones, the wider stereo imaging it can cover.
  3. ORTF technique- It was first used in the 1960’s in France by the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF) which eventually turned into today’s Radio France. This kind of technique is widely used by sound engineers and sound experts where two cardioids microphones are placed in a mutual and equal angle facing 110-degrees which are spaced between 170-millimeter.
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