This drum mic set has been serving me well for about a year now. It consists of four PL35 supercardioid snare/tom mics; four DRC-1 drum rim clamps; one supercardioid PL33 kick drum mic; one SAPL-2 mic clip; and a semi-rigid, foam-compartmented briefcase covered in heavy-duty nylon. Each PL35 has a hinged mic clip integral to its squat body, which is angled to facilitate tight placement over the edge of a drum head. In addition, the DRC-1 clamp allows direct mounting of the PL35 on the drum. The SAPL-2 clip attaches the PL33 to any standard mic stand or boom.

The rim clamps were really problematic in the first session. The drummer and I could not figure out how to attach them to the rims, and the instruction sheet was not specific. Each clamp is made of one, seemingly-unbendable piece of super-plastic. We were afraid to press too hard for fear of bending the rims. I ended up using boom stands without the rim clamps. A web search offered one other person asking the same question, with the sole reply of an "LOL" and no answer. Electro-Voice did not answer my email. The second session cleared this up. The drummer said, "You're not going to bend the rims." And he proceeded to crank really hard on the clamps. They snapped into place. They were easier to attach to rims after that, but some hints from E-V would have been nice.

I worried about having mics directly coupled to the drums, but I never had a problem. There is arguably an advantage to having the mic move with the drum, as long as it's not picking up resonances mechanically from kit. The PL35 seems to be well damped from such interference. It handles all the sound pressure required of it so far, sounds really good, and isolates really well.

I auditioned the PL33 against an AKG D 112, and while I still like and will use the D 112 on occasion, I think the PL33 is a little more natural and open sounding, with slightly more in-the- chest punch. I compared the PL35 to a Shure SM57 and a Sennheiser MD 421-U-5 on snare and toms. The PL35 has a similar sound but more clarity than the SM57, but could not compete with the punch and energy transmission of the MD 421 on toms. The differences became clear when I tried the same trio of mics on distorted rock guitar amp. The PL35 has a high- end rise compared to the other mics. The MD 421 has a huge bottom end by comparison. The SM57 had neither, but sounded the best for rhythm that day. For leads, the PL35 won, probably for the clarity provided by the high-end rise, which also made it really nice on snare.

Similarity to the SM57 caused me to try a PL35 on male voice, where it sounded surprisingly good. It would be a good choice when a clear, breathy, but slightly narrow-band, hi-fi radio-ish voice is needed.

I really like this kit. For a little more than the price of four SM57s, you get four snare/tom mics, a great kick drum mic, a nice case, and rim clamps that alleviate the need for mic stands.

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