Prolific percussionist solidifies his sound with a full kit of beyerdynamic drum mics.

With a never-ending schedule of gigs spanning the classic rock of Neal Schon, the progressive stylings of Todd Rundgren, and the artful excess of The Tubes, drummer Prairie Prince is seldom without a gig. This veteran percussionist and acclaimed visual artist is a founding member of both Journey and The Tubes, so his services are always in demand. And wherever he goes, his collection of beyerdynamic microphones will definitely be with him.

“I’ve been using beyerdynamic microphones for the past six or seven years,” Prince says. “It started on tour with Todd Rundgren, who has an endorsement with beyerdynamic. It was hard not to notice how good my kit sounded, and everyone I talked to said they sound great out in the house as well. We used again last year on the New Cars tour, and I heard the same comments. Getting that kind of consistency when you’re playing on a lot of different projects is like the promised land for a guy like me.”

Prairie Prince’s kit is fairly standard for his rock projects, with three toms (one rack, two floor), kick drum, snare, hi-hat and cymbals. “I use the Opus 88 on the toms and Opus 87 on snare,” he notes. “I love the way they clip on so easily and still stay in place. They stay out of the way but still give me that powerhouse sound. I like them a lot.” Both the Opus 87 and Opus 88 are miniature condenser mics with integrated gooseneck and rim mount. Both feature a cardioid pickup pattern, integrated preamp and shock-mounted capsule to eliminate unwanted sounds while protecting the mics from damage by unintended drumstick hits.

The kick drum is mic’d with an Opus 99, a large diaphragm dynamic mic with powerful neodymium magnet structure tuned for low-frequency, high-SPL pickup and featuring a hypercardioid pattern. The mic also features a unique mic clamp designed to sit stably inside the kick drum without attachments.

For cymbals, Prairie Prince uses traditional condenser mics. The hi-hat is mic’d with an Opus 83, a “stick” type design whose compact, rugged form factor is perfect for the tight spaces within a drum kit. The rest of the cymbals are captured by a pair of MC 930 studio mics in the traditional left-right overhead positions. The MC 930 is a classic small diaphragm condenser with shock mount, with an extended, linear frequency response low-cut filter that make it perfect for this application.

“One thing I’ve learned over the years,” says Prairie, “is that you need the right tools to get the sound you want, both in the monitors and in the house. I’ve used these beyerdynamic mics in all sorts of venues and with different bands, and I’ve got nothing but praise for them.”

That commitment extends to studio work, as well. “I just did a session for a tribute record for the late Sky Saxon of The Seeds,” Prince relates. “We did a song called ‘Summer of Love’ and the drums sound fantastic.”

Prairie Prince’s schedule indicates his beyerdynamic drum mics will be well traveled indeed. Having just completed a short tour with the Neal Schon Band, Prairie will immediately head out on tour with Todd Rundgren before return home to San Francisco for some studio work and visual arts projects before traveling to Bali for three weeks to play as a guest artist with Gamelan Orchestra, one of only three Western musicians to be invited.

After returning home in June, Prairie Prince will be back on the road, playing drums for tours by The Tubes, Todd Rundgren, and Neal Schon Band through the end of 2010. “It’s a tough schedule, but obviously, I like to keep busy,” he says, “and wherever I go, I’ll be carrying my beyerdynamic mics and insist on using them.”

Originally posted 2010-04-15 17:03:28.