Shure’s Notes contains an article showing some of the best ways to mic drums, from basic techniques to quirky tricks of the trade. Perfect reading for the beginner and seasoned engineer alike.
Don’t forget to check out Shure’s new range of drum mics on our website too!
With a tip of our hat to the tireless Shure Product Development team and a thank you to some great FOH Engineers, as promised here is a special insight into the new Beta mic’s that will be appearing in store soon………….
The ‘new and improved’ additions to the Shure Beta microphone line include the Beta 181 side-address condenser microphone, Beta 91A boundary microphone, Beta 98A miniature instrument microphone, and Beta 98AMP miniature drum microphone.
“We had three goals in mind when we set out to design these new Beta mics,” says Chad Wiggins, Category Director for Wired Products. “To improve sound quality, to improve reliability and durability in the field, and to offer simple, secure mounting and placement. Engineers will love the functional advantage you get with these mics versus their predecessors.”
Let’s take a closer look at each one………..
Side-address Condenser Mic
Beta 181 is an ultra-compact, side-address condenser microphone designed for discreet placement and control in live and studio environments. What’s so great about it? It’s the first wired performance microphone from Shure that features interchangeable polar pattern capsules – cardioid, supercardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional.
Already a winner. Beta 181 earned Pro Audio Review’s Par Excellence Award at the 129th AES Convention in November 2010.
“This mic is aces in tight spaces,” raves Wiggins. “It’s so compact; it can really fit in anywhere, whether it’s under a piano lid or in, around, and over a drum kit. Paired with the interchangeable capsules, musicians and engineers can get really creative with their mic placement, depending on the sounds they’re trying to achieve.”
That’s true. The small diaphragm design provides audio with consistent polar responses in a form factor small enough to get close to the source in the tightest conditions.
“In many applications where a large diaphragm side-address condenser might be a desirable, but impractical choice for live music, the Beta 181 offers a fresh solution,” says renowned front-of-house engineer Roger Lindsay. “It gives a full, rich, well-defined sound in a microphone that goes where many others can’t…impeccable performance in a neat, versatile package.”
Half Cardioid Condenser Boundary Mic
The Beta 91A is a half-cardioid condenser boundary microphone for kick-drum and low frequency applications. Its new cartridge design provides a smoother, more natural response. The Beta 91A’s low-profile design, with integrated preamplifier and XLR connector requires no external hardware to maximize setup efficiency while minimizing stage clutter. It also features a low-mid frequency EQ switch that offers additional tonal flexibility.
Rob Mailman, front-of-house engineer for Santana, has been using the Beta 91A for some of his recent performances and says, “I’m certain I’ll use the Beta 91A until I retire.”
Miniature Cardioid Condenser Mic
The Beta 98A is a miniature cardioid condenser microphone for instrument sound reinforcement and recording applications. High SPL handling makes the Beta 98A a great choice for a variety of acoustic or amplified instruments, including drums, piano, reed, wind, and strings. The newly-designed cartridge features an extremely uniform cardioid polar pattern and provides a natural musical frequency response. It’s available in two variations with either a gooseneck drum mount (Beta 98AD/C) or with a stand mount (Beta 98A/C).
“While trying the new Beta 98A prototypes on the last Pretenders U.S. tour,” noted front of house engineer Roger Lindsay, “I was delighted to discover that Shure has managed to retain the essential character of the original SM98 with the latest advances in design and technology to further improve a much-loved model.”
Flexible Gooseneck with XLR Mic
The Beta 98AMP is a new variation of the Beta 98A that combines the new cartridge with a flexible gooseneck and integrated XLR preamplifier. It ships with the new A75M Universal Microphone Mount for simple, accurate placement in any configuration of toms, snares, or percussion. These new features provide increased control and easier setup.
“Because the Beta 98AMP is a new design, we didn’t have a way to clamp it onto a drum,” says Wiggins. “We developed this very small, versatile mount that can be attached or removed in seconds. The A75M has almost infinite adjustability – it’s so universal that we’re also selling it as a standalone accessory.” The A75M’s dual-jaw, quick release design offers easy mounting to drums, percussion, drum hardware, and stands.”
These mic’s are hitting the UK shores as we speak, so expect to see them available online and in the shops soon.