Hands-On Review: Nady Drum Microphones

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Making music a little easier for drummers

By Lonnie Stewart

Nady DM70 Drum and Instrument Microphone

We drummers are basically selfless superhumans who carry the greater burden with noble dignity and equanimity. Who in the band has to put out more brute physical energy? Who has to own and haul more gear? Who has the longest setup and tear down? Who has to sit at the back of the band, hidden behind cymbals, while everyone else gets to prance and pose out front? Who has to hold down the groove and keep it all together no matter how out-there the rest of the band gets? Yes, we drummers do have it rough, but do we ask for the double share of the gig bones we deserve? No. Fortunately, there are those out there who do their best to make life easier for the drummer. Nady is one.

Microphones are just another problem for drummers. Singers need one mic. The guitar player may need two, one for his amp and one for vocals. But when a drummer wants to mic his kit, he has to have a bunch of mics - four, five, or likely more, depending on his kit, and he needs different specialized kinds. When you need five to seven mics to cover your kit, you're running up a pretty big bill. It can cost you nearly as much as it did to buy the kit in the first place. It's not fair but that's just the way it is.

This is where Nady comes in. Everyone has known of Nady as the "affordable" gear company for years, primarily makers of wireless mic systems. What you may not know is that Nady has greatly expanded its audio line in recent years - amps, mixers, EQs, processors - the works. It has also widened its microphone offerings to include the full spectrum of stage and studio mics.

Among these are a series of microphones specifically designed for miking drums. These include bass drum mics and mics optimized for snares, for toms, and overhead miking of cymbals. All are tailored to their specific task. All have specs that rival the models of industry leaders. All perform to high professional standards. And most importantly, all are very affordable. Nady even combines various models into sets that are quantity discounted to make miking the whole kit even more affordable. Besides the savings, there is also the advantage of having a matched set of dedicated microphones. It makes the miking so much easier.

The DM-80

If you only one mic for your whole kit, you'd put it on the kick drum. It is the most important drum to have miked because it puts the heart beat into the music. The bass drum is actually one of the easiest drums to mic, as long as you have the proper microphone. Too often it gets the leftover mic, one that has trouble with bass drum frequencies and pressure levels. Thuddiness is the result. Nady's DM-80 is a mic perfectly tailored to bass drum applications. It is small and short, perfect for close placement. Its cardioid pattern allows close miking without bleed-through. Its 30Hz - 15kHz frequency response handles the low-end punch with exceptional clarity. It short it captures the full tone of your kick and has an SPL capacity of up to 145dB, so it won't be overwhelmed when you put your foot down hard.

Other features enhance this important mic's performance: a neodymium element for maximum output, gold-plated connectors for maximum conductivity, a transformerless moving-coil dynamic design for enhanced bass and fast transient response. It even includes a rubber shockmount holder so floor vibration problems are minimized. This is the essential drum mic and is included in all of Nady's drum kit miking sets.

The DM70

The hardest drum in the kit to mic properly is the snare. It is the drum the audience hears most clearly and its range of sounds, from light taps to loud hits to sharp rim shots, is the greatest. Nady's DM70 makes the miking easy. It has the same short profile as the DM80 - perfect for close placement in tight spaces - and the same pro features. Where it differs is in frequency response. Its range from 70Hz to 16kHz makes it perfectly suited for reproducing the full range of tones and high SPL snares produce. It is also quite suitable for miking rack toms and high-hats, especially in live situations. This is the most general-use of Nady's drum mics, so their kit sets include a number of them.

Nady CM 90 Cardioid Condenser Mic

The CM88 and CM90

For hi-hats and overheads you may want condenser mics. Nady's line gives you a choice of two, the CM88 and CM90. Both are small-diaphragm condenser mics with extended smooth, full frequency response and high SPL capability, perfect for many stage instrument miking applications. For drummers, both are great for miking overheads, hi-hats, or even toms.

The Kit Kits

Basically Nady offers four sets of mics for use on kits. They range from a minimalist three-mic setup (two DM70s and a DM80) to five-mic and seven-mic sets. The seven-mic sets give you four DM70s, a DM80, and two of either the CM88 or CM90. Both sets will provide most drummers (all but you double bass guys) all the mics you need for a fully miked kit. They come in cases for easy transport. And the prices are remarkably affordable. Even the top-end seven-mic kit with the CM90s goes for just $200.00 from The Friend. Easy. Especially compared to what an equivalent set of leading-name mics would set you back.

For the Studio

These mics are intended primarily for stage use but they can also serve well for a band's home recording projects. If more serious recording is what you have in mind, Nady has you covered there too. Nady has a number of studio condenser mics and a vacuum tube mic for raising your sound reproduction to studio-level quality. And each one sells for a price that knocks the socks off the big name brands. If you're a drummer or studio guy with limited resources but big intentions, think of Nady. It has become a serious player in the stage and studio mic arena.

Having a matched set of mics for your kit is a great advantage for any drummer and Nady makes it easy. Check out the sets we carry on the next page. You'll be amazed by our Musician's Friend prices. Order the set you need to cover your kit today.

Tags: Microphones

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