Blue Microphones: A Perfectly Tailored 3-Piece Suit
Once upon a time (1960s), only a few mikes were used for recording drums. Technology didn’t allow for more than just a few inputs, and thus engineers had to capture the drums as a whole, rather than miking each drum individually. Although such practice produced amazingly live drum tones, most notably on Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks,” engineers quickly abandoned this minimalist method the minute technology mutated the mixer.
Nowadays, it’s standard practice to mike everything and then some, as almost every session today involves two mikes on the snare, three on the kick, bookending the toms, one on the hi-hat, two overheads, and two room mikes. History proves this method unnecessary for some situations, and Blue Microphones is here to spread the gospel, parading around town with the new Blue Pro Drum Kit Kit, a risqué vintage-style three-mike minimalist drum-recording package.
In The Box
Blue’s new package is the antithesis to the current trend of isolation-style drum recording. It’s a triple threat of some of Blue’s most popular mikes — one Mouse and two Dragonflys, designed to sound best when positioned with the Mouse in front of the kit and the two Dragonflys as overheads. Although these two models are nothing new to the Blue assembly line, this configuration is a revival worthy of mention, as the microphone ménage à trois is blossoming with fidelity.
The gem of the trio, the Mouse, is a large-diaphragm cardioid condenser mike that packs a Mike Tyson punch without biting any ears off. When placed in front of a drum set, it does a superb job of capturing everything, especially the kick, which comes out tight and strong. This is no wonder, as the Mouse is a typical go-to vocal mike for male broadcasting and there’s a pleasantly subtle built-in frequency polishing that boosts slightly at 200Hz and dips at 800Hz. Unless the desired effect is for a Lars-style slap attack, the mouse captures enough beater to satisfy any lead-foot and enough woof to fulfill any featherweight.
The Dragonflys, a matched stereo pair of cardioids, are the trusted eyes in the sky. Similar to the Mouse, these are also large-diaphragm condensers, but they are tailored to handle the higher frequencies with greater detail. Although they may seem a tad brittle at first listen (they capture plenty of stick definition), a minor 2kHz boost rounds them out nicely. They also have moveable heads, which makes for much easier aiming of the microphone.
The kit comes with a reasonably heavy-duty case and its exterior seems like it could take a good wallop, but the itty-bitty latches scream “don’t leave me with a baggage handler!” The set also comes with three sturdy yet sleek shock mounts.
List Price $1,999
Features Comes with a reinforced carrying case and shock mounts.Sequencer: 152k notes, 480 ppq resolution, 2 tracks (16 MIDI channels each).
With a “you get the ankles and I’ll get the wrists” approach, the marriage of Mouse and Dragonflys is a strong foundation for recording drums, as the Mouse is perfect for handling the lower frequencies and the Dragonflys are excellent for capturing the shimmering highs. The set is well worth the sticker price of $2,000, as its three microphones are great for recording drums as well as plenty of other instruments (vocals, acoustic guitars, horns, and strings). While there’s certainly room for a snare mike in this relationship, this is a love triangle with all the right angles.