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Jeff Macdonald

    I always throw a mic on the hat if I am playing as I have worked for years to not bash the crap out of my hat so I can get a much better snare and the result is it needs a boost in the mix. For other drummers it's worth having it there so you can push the fader on their headphone mix so they don't hit it as loud ;), at least that's what I do so I don't have to use as many samples on the back end. I'm with you on the bottom snare mic, they most often aren't needed in many modern productions, but I once worked with a plumber that told me "I'd rather be looking at it than looking for it" and that stuck. With digital recording I always print too much then start adding to my OHs until it's where I want it. It's a lazy habit, but it's worked for me so far, haha. As for the DBX 160X, they are great - the give you that fish slapped into plywood compression that DBX is known for. I am not lucky enough to have used an original 160VU, but I have seen a pair in every single studio tour Warren has done and in most they are used on drums so I joined the flock. I have some tracks to record this week and I'll make a note to try to get some snare and kick samples with different ratios and GR levels. I think my father (who is also an engineer) just picked up a 166 or 266 unit. I may go grab it and see if I can do some comparison work. He seems to enjoy that unit as a bass compressor to grab peaks on the way in - but he's only had it since boxing day. For the Audix, they just sound pre-eqed to me. I hate toms that go Boooiiiingggg (usually the culprit is equal tuning, or reso head lower than batter) but I find where the 421 is completely flat through the mid range I always have to scoop away and the D series don't have that. They have a slight bump at about 350 but are rather subdued in the 250-350 and 400-800 then have a really exaggerated top. I mean the 421s are industry standard, and if all the pros are using them they have to be great mics but I find them to be more work for my style of recording. The other major advantage is they are 1/4 the price and build like brick-shit-houses. I have hit them hard with 2B hickory drum sticks and they lived to tell about it. After all of this, I am going to give the 421s another shake, they only kicker for me is I like to play 4 toms and they take up so much room!!! 81's are great OH, I've only ever used them live cause I don't own them but I certainly would if I owned some - I don't exactly live in a used gear Mecca, so used equipment acquisition is certainly limited. I'd love to hear what you think of the Mojave as a mono room. I have been playing with mono rooms lately but I rarely use them in mixes as I find I prefer a wider stereo spread on my drums than they allow (again 100% personal preference).