Mic stand opinions re: tight quarters

Ken Porter

New Member
Yes, I seek opinions. Since this about the sound in the theatre, I imagine there might be one or two...

We have, in our college theatre environment, a small assortment of mic stands, tripods, round base, cheap, slightly less cheap, bits & pieces, parts, etc.

I’d like to build up a useful stock of mic stands, but my quandary is this: What do people reach for when trying to mic a band or orchestra - i.e. when there’s a high density of instruments per square foot? I’ve used both round base & tripods…
We have a few of the ‘stackable round base’ - which seem to be a round base, of almost the same weight, with a fat notch cut out of the base, and I’m thinking perhaps that’s the way to go, and then perhaps invest in some small sandbags or similar to add stability. I’m thinking the notch will help it fit around chair legs, drum cymbal tripods, music stand feed… But these bases also have 6 feet instead of 3, and I’m imagining losing feet and destabilizing bases over time.
I’m not starved for storage space, so efficient storage will be a later concern.

So - what do folks think. do you wrestle with intertwining tripod legs or squeezing heavy discs between musicians?
I've miked up a jazz big band a few times. I only had tripod stands with two segment booms to use, but they worked fine. The trick is to get the music stands put up first, then fit the mic stands around them. Konig and Meyer are the ones that last, and they make replacement parts available. I've got some that are 40 years old and they look worn but still work fine. K&M makes tripod, round base, and stack-able. I never tried the latter two, but I assume they are the same quality.
In the pro audio forums one bit of advice, only buy K & M and Atlas. They last forever unlike most of the cheaper brands. Intermixing tripods and smaller round mic stands can help some. Also those small desktop round base stands with an added gooseneck can be very useful.
Well, this week's jazz club date is a single guitarist in a chair, and that's not going to help you much. :)

Next month I think it is, we have the colleges jazz band in on the day after a jazz club date and one of the two of those will probably be instructive on what the stage looks like. I don't think I have any pictures from previous jazz band concerts laying around, but I'll look.

You use what you have, but are inventory is about 12 stick stands, and 15 or 20 baby booms split between KN and on-stage, and three or four big booms that we use for drum overheads and stuff.

We are the primary Performing Arts stage in that venue for the junior colleges music, theatre, and dance programs, so we are generally a little better stocked than the average bear.
I mainly mic up musical theater pits which get pretty cramped. Here's the bulk of my mic stand order when I put together rentals. I tend to dislike the stackable bases for a lot of things because they fall over too easily, and a sandbag adds bulk. I'll almost always have a few tripods around but only if I need to go really tall or get around a chair leg - I'd say for every 5 round-base stands I order I'll ask for a tripod but the bulk of my setup is done with mic holders and not mic stands.

K&M 260/1 - Cast Iron Round Boom Base Stand
K&M 211/1 - Boom Arm

Atlas DMS7E - Drum Mic Stand (Round Boom base)

K&M 240/5 - Mic Holder, what I'm using on 80% of a drum set and on most close-mic'd percussion, also works great on music stands
K&M 24030 - Drum Mic Holder, good on Snare and Tom
K&M 19715 - Universal Mic Mount - a universal mount but works really well on music stands

Z Rite Stuff Z-Bar - Bass and Guitar Cab Mic Holder
Consider using camera/video gear by Small Rig or Manfrotto, Neewer... there are all kinds of clamps, flex arms, articulated short booms... lots of stuff to put a camera where the DP wants it. You can use the same things for mics with 1/4-20 to 5/8-27 adapters.
Especially for instruments that you can mic low, I add a boom arm to an offset kickdrum mic stand.
I am mostly using the boom for height, so I can get to the bell of a sax, but having an offset base means I don't worry about the weight of a 421 that's slightly angled at the top of a 2' boom falling over.

Also - stereo bars.
Great for stereo micing, but also double micing a guitar, or just saving a mic stand for 2 mics.

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