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Author Topic: Kick Drum in Sub  (Read 5072 times)

Isaac South

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Kick Drum in Sub
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:23:40 pm »

Martin CDD12 mains
Martin CSX 212 sub
60’x80’ room
Dynacord amps
QU-32 board
DW Collector series drums
Beta 52 kick drum mic

Our bass guitar sounds really good in the house (a church). Fills the room wonderful.

But our kick drum mic sounds terrible. It’s like we can hear the top end of the kick coming through the sub and not nearly enough low end. The DSP was done in the power amps. I would imagine that a crossover was applied to the system. But why are we not getting enough low end out of the kick? Btw, the kick sounds amazing if you are standing next to it. The whole kit does.

When we stand next to the sub, no matter how much we turn up or how much we eq the kick, we cannot “feel” it like we should out of that sub.

What am I missing?
What should I investigate?

Thank you


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John L Nobile

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 12:38:01 pm »

Martin CDD12 mains
Martin CSX 212 sub
60’x80’ room
Dynacord amps
QU-32 board
DW Collector series drums
Beta 52 kick drum mic

Our bass guitar sounds really good in the house (a church). Fills the room wonderful.

But our kick drum mic sounds terrible. It’s like we can hear the top end of the kick coming through the sub and not nearly enough low end. The DSP was done in the power amps. I would imagine that a crossover was applied to the system. But why are we not getting enough low end out of the kick? Btw, the kick sounds amazing if you are standing next to it. The whole kit does.

When we stand next to the sub, no matter how much we turn up or how much we eq the kick, we cannot “feel” it like we should out of that sub.

What am I missing?
What should I investigate?

Thank you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

How does the mic sound when you talk into it? Have you tried another mic?

And I've seen this one. Are you sure the mic is plugged into the right channel? If the tom and kick inputs are reversed, that's what you'll hear.
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John Daniluk (JD)

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 12:58:56 pm »

Check to see if you have a low cut enabled on the channel, it should not be enabled.  Also try phase reverse on the channel.   Is the sub on an aux? Does the system sound good when playing music in the house?  Stage monitors should be off doing this test. There should be no eq applied to the channel playing the test music. Are you running a gate or compression? 

jd

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Isaac South

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 01:05:52 pm »

How does the mic sound when you talk into it? Have you tried another mic?

And I've seen this one. Are you sure the mic is plugged into the right channel? If the tom and kick inputs are reversed, that's what you'll hear.

I'm not sure.  I'll talk into it tonight and see what happens.

I will also double check the inputs.  So you're saying the floor tom (example) is plugged into the stage box kick channel.  And visa versa?

At FOH, I'm seeing signal on the kick, when the drummer is kicking it.
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Isaac South

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 01:08:27 pm »

Check to see if you have a low cut enabled on the channel, it should not be enabled.  Also try phase reverse on the channel.   Is the sub on an aux? Does the system sound good when playing music in the house?  Stage monitors should be off doing this test. There should be no eq applied to the channel playing the test music. Are you running a gate or compression? 

jd

I did check to make sure the HPF was off.  And it is off.

Aux - I don't think the sub is on an Aux.  How can I check this?

Phase reverse - I'm not sure how to do that on my board.  I'll try to investigate it.  Can you explain that one a little?  Just so I can learn...

Gate=NO
Compression:  Yes, if I'm not mistaken, the compressor was engaged on the kick channel last night.  Should it be?
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Kim Guibord

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 01:19:27 pm »

I did check to make sure the HPF was off. 
Aux - I don't think the sub is on an Aux.  How can I check this?

Phase reverse - I'm not sure how to do that on my board.  I'll try to investigate it.  Can you explain that one a little?  Just so I can learn...

Gate=NO
Compression:  Yes, if I'm not mistaken, the compressor was engaged on the kick channel last night.  Should it be?
Sub is on an aux
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Steve Garris

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 01:33:11 pm »

I did check to make sure the HPF was off.  And it is off.

Aux - I don't think the sub is on an Aux.  How can I check this?

Phase reverse - I'm not sure how to do that on my board.  I'll try to investigate it.  Can you explain that one a little?  Just so I can learn...

Gate=NO
Compression:  Yes, if I'm not mistaken, the compressor was engaged on the kick channel last night.  Should it be?

For troubleshooting try turning the comp off. Have you tried different mic positions?
Also, can you turn off or unplug one side of your mains? That might help determine what's going on. Is the lack of "thump" everywhere in the room?
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Luke Geis

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 01:35:07 pm »

While the CSX212 sub is pretty good, it is not a gut rumbler. It's -3db range is between 48hz up to 120hz. The modern kick drum sound is heavy in the 50-60hz area and this sub is likely going to have some excursion protection going on in that realm. While 50hz should be a pretty good smack to the chest, a single sub is not going to do it. The sub is rated for 132db continuous, which is really good, but I doubt the sub will allow you to actually get much more than that in reality.

Not knowing what type of compression you have going on with the kick and if you are utilizing a subs on aux type system setup, I can only suggest a couple options. First is that if you want to really be able to tune how much thump is coming from the kick, a subs on aux is the only way to go. Next is compression tricks.

For a punchy kick sound you need to use a low ratio compressor setting. 2:1 to 2.5:1 is a pretty good point. You want to adjust the attack so that you use as little as is needed to have the kicks batter sound be apparent. This can be as little as 10ms to as long as 50ms. Shorter attack times reduce the amount of batter you hear in the PA. Next is release times. You want to try and set the release so it is fully released for every beat. So song tempo will effect this setting. 100-150ms is usually a good starting point. The threshold setting is where the magic comes. The amount of compression is going to be based on the attack. Shorter attack times will have more compression at any given threshold setting. Longer attack times will have less compression at any given threshold setting. You are shooting for between 6-10db of compression. So if at 10db of compression you loose too much attack, you will need to lengthen your attack time. This will reduce overall compression, so you will have to lower teh threshold again to get 6-10db of compression. Be sure the compressor is releasing all the way between basic hits. A double kick will obviously not release all the way. If you need less attach from the kick shorten the attack time. As you do this you should notice the amount of compression goes up, so adjust the threshold as needed. Lastly is the knee setting. This one is not as esoteric. Ideally you want a trigger setting, so a low knee setting of 1-2 is a good starting point. However the drummers ability to hit the same every time will effect this. A larger knee setting of 4-5 ( or whatever is the softest knee setting for your compressor ) will get more of every beat into the threshold and can even start to pull in the attack with it. So the ideal knee setting is one that gets the threshold met with every kick without the attack being affected. This usually means a hard to medium knee setting in order to make it more of a trigger. It should be that every time there is a kick, you have 6-10db of compression and the attack is always there.

I also like to put the compressor before the channel EQ. Then I adjust EQ for flavor of sound. If you need more low end, put it in there either by EQing it in or by pushing more to the subs send. I try and keep the mids out of the way and will make a large cut around 250hz or wherever it seems to have the most resonance. Too much mids in a kick is not helpful for a mix. As for attack, I try and allow or emphasize the click sound. Usually between 2khz and 4khz. Some times you get too much of that and you have to cut it instead. In either case you want to have an apparent click somewhere in that region. The compressors job is to simply make the kick punch. This is done by allowing just enough initial attack through and then clamping down on the low end  so it is tighter and compressed enough that when turned up, it won't send cones out the front of the subs. This is why 6-10db is ideal. It turns the kick more into a sample. It doesn't really make the kick have any extra bottom end, but controls is so that you can manipulate it to be there. This is a great way to make the kick apparent when you don't have a lot of sub energy available.
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I don't understand how you can't hear your self

Isaac South

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 01:36:05 pm »

Sub is on an aux

What makes you think that?
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David Winners

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Re: Kick Drum in Sub
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 01:40:00 pm »

I would start with troubleshooting 101 and follow the signal all the way from the mic to the sub. Turn off any processing along the way. Shut off the top FOH cabinets and isolate the sub. This will allow you to see the path the kick takes through the mixer and then out to your speakers.
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