Q: I’m looking for a microphone that can bring out the bass in my drum, with the Frame Drum Microphone System do that?
*With a truly flat microphone fixed on a pandeiro, one would expect that simply rocking back and forth playing the platinellas would sound just like the platinellas; “chick-chick-chick.” However, there’s an immense amount of low-frequency engery that is absorbed by the frame and the left hand of the player, so low in frequency (and therefore volume) that you would never hear it without a microphone because it dissapates quickly. However, this low-frequency energy travels physically into the microphone and underneath the “chick-chick-cick” there’s a “thud thud thud”. Rejecting the boomy thuds without rejecting the fundamental pitch of the skin is paramount. This can be tricky, because these thuds excite partials, rattles, and overtones too. The result was a combination of a subtle filter cicuit and the physical shock-mounting scheme.
Q: Can I use if for recording?
I never intended this microphone to be a recording microphone, it is designed for live sound reinforcement. It could never compete with the sound of a studio quality condenser microphone shockmounted on a stand a few feet away from the instrument in a good sounding room in terms of sounding ‘natural’. No recording engineer would ever place a microphone so close to a sound’s source nor anchor it so rigidly to the body of the instrument. After all, not even the player listens with his ears so close to the skin. I developed this microphone to solve the problems of amplifying pandeiro in the clubs and stages on which I’ve struggled to be heard (without adding unnecessary weight). While the platinellas come through an overhead mic clearly quite clearly, bass tones dissipate over the distance of a few feet and this microphone was designed with this proportionality in mind.
That said, I’ve been very happy with the extra amount of bass tone that I can get by blending in this microphone with a recording microphone(s) in a controlled studio environment.
Delicious recording recipe: Position a quality studio microphone (or stereo microphone array) in front and overhead 2-4 feet from the drum. (use your ears, this will depend on the critical distance of the room in which your are recording). With this microphone attached to your drum, bring both channels up on your mixer and blend to taste. You can even roll off the highs of the Frame Drum Mic (use it to capture the close bass sound) and roll out the lows of the overhead microphone (using it to pick up the sound of the highs and reflections of the room). You will need take time to listen and adjust the crossover point while adjusting the blend of the two microphones, but the results can be amazing! Just be sure to mind the 3:1 rule of microphone placement which states that the second mic should be three times the distance from the first mic that the first mic is from the source. In this case, it would mean that your second mic should be at least 8 inches away (in most cases, even 8 inches will be to close for playing).
Q: Do you give endorsements?
Q: Why is the external circuitry in a box and not a barrel connector like so many other microphones?
Q: I already have a microphone, can I buy just the clamp mechanism?
Q: I notice that you used to offer choices for cable length and for switchable output modes, why do you no longer offer these options?
Likewise, nearly every order has been for the switchable output modes and it just makes sense that this should be a standard feature. Even if you intend to use your Frame Drum Microphone System with a conventional PA system at the time you order it, eventually you will get curious about running your microphone through a looper, overdrive, or other effects and this will allow you to do so without needing a phantom-power supplying mixing board with direct outs or insert points; you’ll be able to plug it straight in just like an electric guitar/bass.
Q: Why do I need to measure for the maximum shell thickness when ordering your microphone? Can’t the clamp be adjusted to fit any drum?
In the photo below, the large clamp is fitted to a thin shell.
(Notice the two adjustment screws significantly protrude from the clamp)
Q: Why is there a mute switch for the XLR output, but not for the 1/4” output?
A: Generally, if you’re playing through a high-impedence signal chain (1/4” output), you’ll have a series of gain stages where you can attenuate your sound from the stage. Most all pedals and amps will have volume/gain knobs and so there’s no need to have a confusing second mute switch.
However, when you’re working with a FOH engineer who’s not familiar with your music, it may be a lot to ask him to dutifully mute your frame drum at the right moment when you’re switching between instruments (e.g. putting down your frame drum to move over to the drumset) or when changing your microphone from one drum to another (eliminating handling noise). Furthermore, you may find yourself in a situation where you’re essentially doing your own sound (plugging into the house PA and playing with no FOH engineer). In these cases, I’ve found it essential to be able to mute my mic right there from my stage position.