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Author Topic: Best Kick Drum Mic?  (Read 141357 times)

Adam Tews

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Re: Best Kick Drum Mic?
« Reply #230 on: March 26, 2020, 05:36:50 pm »

I signed up just so I could chime in on this one!  :-D

If your drummer is good -- which means he bought good drums, keeps the heads fresh, and knows how to tune them -- your job will be easy.  I've been fortunate to work often with just such a drummer.  I get brilliant sound quality from an RE20.  I typically scoop out 350 Hz, put a narrow boost (bell, not shelf) somewhere between 48-60 Hz depending on the tuning of the drum, and then a bit of a boost around 2-5k for attack (depending on the sound I'm going for).

Playing around with a Sennheiser e945, I found that bumping the front of it with my hand produced a thunderous output from the subs...  I'm really curious to try it on bass drum now! 

If you want that kick in the chest from your kick drum, you don't want subsonic lows.  Center your boost between 50-60 Hz and keep it narrow.  Frequencies below that muddy everything up.  Let the tonal bass instruments go that low.  Perhaps a floor tom for effect if you/the performer want that.  I think sub-kick type devices are silly.  I've never needed one to get a punchy bass drum.  If I'm doing a recording session where I want some subsonics, I'll put an AT4047 in front of the reso head and high-cut it wherever it sounds good and doesn't pick up too much bleed.

I know one live sound engineer who mics a kick with an SM57 and makes it sound good on the PA.  The RE20 is a heavy mic and can be kind of a PITA to work with...  But it sounds so darn good!  It's not plug-and-play, though, so if you're looking for that you'll need one of the aforementioned dedicated kick mics (D6, B52, D112, Senn 902/602).
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Ed Taylor

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Re: Best Kick Drum Mic?
« Reply #231 on: June 08, 2020, 04:51:03 pm »

same here...figured this is as good a thread as any to get started with...and mainly cause you were thoughtful in your freq range comments. There's a number of kick mics in my mic box..from Audix to the Senn e945 you mention. and honestly it can come down to whether the drummer on my stage is a soft foot patter or a serious kicker, what kind of tone he wants..rock, jazz padded, etc. Honestly when doing small gigs (most of my work is semi-pro stuff..so think hotel ball room, wedding band etc.)  I wish I had more cabs on stage that I consider "bass bins"  rather than subs...but you learn to work with what's at hand.  I guess I keep mic options in the box more because other people want them...a drummer might say he "needs" me to mic him with a shure beta52...ok..fine...one of my audio guys is all about that mic too...me...I might grab any number of possibilities and then position, eq it and roll.
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Mac Kerr

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« Reply #232 on: June 08, 2020, 07:54:46 pm »

same here...figured this is as good a thread as any to get started with...k..fine...one of my audio guys is all about that mic too...me...I might grab any number of possibilities and then position, eq it and roll.

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Buddy Logan

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Re: Best Kick Drum Mic?
« Reply #233 on: June 29, 2020, 01:49:19 am »

Ok, for sake of content because maybe some real newbie like myself is going to come on here looking for this.. I am going to for example, start a constructive argument and say...

I use a lot of different kick drum mics, a lot of the pro mics out there sound.. not bad.... My go to mic for a 1 mic application is an Audix D6, I like it's response for a carved out mid range kick drum sound. Lost of sub, punch and click. Good for a modern kick sound. Another good mic is the AKG D112. A different response characteristic but still a good sounding mic to me, it's got fuller lower mid range. I use that for Jazz type acts. A kick mic I stay away from is the Shure Beta52, I never liked it. It's dynamics seem too flabby or something.  All three of those mics I have had for 5 plus years and they haven't missed a beat. So as for durability, there ain't much to break, and the Shure is probably best used as a hammer.

An AKG D112 was the only live mic I used for a long time. Then I tried out a D6, inside the drum, mounted to the shell. To me, the D6 is a lot more full-bodied. I was always messing with the EQ on the AKG to get the sound I wanted, where the D6 made that easy, first time around. In the studio, I perefer the EV RE-20. But it's all subjective. There is no "best". Here is a good rundown of several mics, though, including sound bytes: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/kick-drum-mic-shootout-with-sound-samples/ 
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Ed Taylor

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Re: Best Kick Drum Mic?
« Reply #234 on: July 20, 2020, 02:42:47 pm »

An AKG D112 was the only live mic I used for a long time. Then I tried out a D6, inside the drum, mounted to the shell. To me, the D6 is a lot more full-bodied. I was always messing with the EQ on the AKG to get the sound I wanted, where the D6 made that easy, first time around. In the studio, I perefer the EV RE-20. But it's all subjective. There is no "best". Here is a good rundown of several mics, though, including sound bytes: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/kick-drum-mic-shootout-with-sound-samples/

my audio work is strictly semi-pro. But for over 15 years I also owned a pro level backline biz..so my drum kits would be on stages with top shelf pro level audio companies.  Many of those production guys saw me regularly on stages and they would have favorite drum kits that they were used to me showing up with  (be it DW, Yamaha, Tama, etc) and some of them even knew when I had a 20 vs a 22inch kick on a certain kit..they paid that close attention and they would just come up during line check and smile and say "I always love that kick drum"   now the same kit/brand/model but with a different kick drum size, or head , and i'd watch them struggle to get dialed in...so again, yeah, even at my semi-pro level, I keep a variety of mics cause I know I'm going to be faced with different drum kits, sizes, heads, and players, and of course venues.  and in fairness I can only do so much with a semi-pro PA rig..but when you put the rig in perspective, yeah, you can find a good combination and make things sound nice...200 guests in a motel ballroom, is not the same level as 10,000 at a street festival..and I don't want it to be.. That's an investment level I never intended to go to. I loved pro level backline, but would have never wanted the investment of national stage production audio..however I do thoroughly enjoy the private party market...and source is everything..so yeah good mics in the chain.
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Re: Best Kick Drum Mic?
« Reply #234 on: July 20, 2020, 02:42:47 pm »


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