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Author Topic: "Magic" kick drum  (Read 26145 times)

Ondrej Gratz

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"Magic" kick drum
« on: January 04, 2005, 08:58:59 pm »

Hi there,
 
which of the mics, in your opinion, would get better sound from a kick drum (live) ?

Audio-technica AE2500
or
Electro-Voice RE20.

Perhaps it's an inaccurate question. Better question would be: "How do they sound ?" or "What's the difference ?"

Thanks.
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Sincerely
Ondrej Gratz

Tom Reid

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2005, 09:16:25 pm »

RE20 low end rolls off at 45Hz, the AT claims 20Hz on the condenser side, 30Hz on the dynamic element.
Although kick is right around 60 to 80Hz, harmonics are important.

I would say the AT 2500 is much more adjustable for the kick.
The magic comes from a properly tuned drum.

A well tuned drum with a well placed 58 will sound better then a badly placed 2500 and a grossly ignored kick drum.
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Geri O'Neil

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2005, 11:31:49 pm »

No magic answer here, mate. Kick drums vary wildy between drummers and there's no single perfect mic for every case. Our mic inventory has RE-20s, AKG D-112s, 421s, B-91s (??), B-52s (admittedly becoming my least favorite at the moment), with an Audix D6 and the aforementioned AT2500. One size does NOT fit all in this case...
Geri O
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Ondrej Gratz

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2005, 06:15:36 am »

Thanks for your replies.


The egg (112) is VERY uncomfortable for me when I want to place the mic inside the kick (should I ? I've seen people who don't. Where's the "sweet spot" when using D-112 ? Inside/Outside ?).

The Audix seems to suffer the same problem as above for me. Doesn't it ? (I've seen it only on a picture.)

AT2500 gives a lot of extra work (thus extra time) placing it to the right position and with the extra input channel in the beast.

RE20 is heavy and expensive.

It's hard to choose one, isn't it. A trade-off mic is waiting to be invented... Go for it manufacturers, I'm looking forward to it.
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Ondrej Gratz

Dan Timon

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2005, 10:40:51 am »

Ondrej Gratz wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 06:15

Thanks for your replies.


The egg (112) is VERY uncomfortable for me when I want to place the mic inside the kick (should I ? I've seen people who don't. Where's the "sweet spot" when using D-112 ? Inside/Outside ?).

The Audix seems to suffer the same problem as above for me. Doesn't it ? (I've seen it only on a picture.)

AT2500 gives a lot of extra work (thus extra time) placing it to the right position and with the extra input channel in the beast.

RE20 is heavy and expensive.

It's hard to choose one, isn't it. A trade-off mic is waiting to be invented... Go for it manufacturers, I'm looking forward to it.


For me, the trade-off mic you refer to is the Audix D-6 or the EV 868. The D-6 is very light and can be mounted so it can point straight at the beater head inside a hole if you wish to use that location. But we recently switched from our new favorite AT 2500 to one of my old RE 20s on a Yamaha kick. Things change, including our moods. That is why I have a bunch of kick mics.

How do you find the sweet spot?

1. Buy a Shure FP 22 or some other device that will let you monitor a mic signal through headphones.
http://www.shure.com/mixers/models/fp22.asp

2. Loop the FP 22 into the mic line to the kick drum, don your headphones, plug them into the FP 22, have an assistant beat on the kick drum while you move the mic around. When it sounds good in your phones you have found a sweet spot. You will be surprised how much difference 2 cm can make in the sound.

The FP 22 is indispensable to me when I need to quickly find the best location for a mic-whether it be on a kick, snare, string bass or something else that is missing something.

Good luck.

Dan Timon
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Ondrej Gratz

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2005, 11:18:19 am »

Thanks Dan,
 that's a great idea. And the FP22 operates with a 9V battery !! Fantastic.
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Ondrej Gratz

John Chiara

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2005, 02:50:17 pm »

Geri O wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 04:31

No magic answer here, mate. Kick drums vary wildy between drummers and there's no single perfect mic for every case. Our mic inventory has RE-20s, AKG D-112s, 421s, B-91s (??), B-52s (admittedly becoming my least favorite at the moment), with an Audix D6 and the aforementioned AT2500. One size does NOT fit all in this case...
Geri O


My stock answer these days..pick a decent mic and get an SPL Transient Desginer. I use a D6 and most kicks can be made to sound very good with a few knob twists.


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Andy Peters

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2005, 03:08:34 pm »

Ondrej Gratz wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 04:15

The egg (112) is VERY uncomfortable for me when I want to place the mic inside the kick (should I ? I've seen people who don't. Where's the "sweet spot" when using D-112 ? Inside/Outside ?).


IMHO, the sweet spot for the D112 is inside the drum, maybe 6" from the beater, in the middle.  That's where you get the beater attack.  Move it off-center, or aim it off-center, and you lessen the attack and maybe get a bit more thump.  Proper tuning is a MUST (for ALL mics!).

Of course, this assumes that the hole in the drummer's head (ha ha ha ha ... we all love this joke) makes getting the mic in place possible.  I'm convinced that most drummers have no idea how or why to cut a hole in the resonant head.  It's either off to the side, too small, who knows what else.

I've gotten real good results with a well-tuned drum is to mic the kick drum as you would a tom.  In other words, put the mic near the rim of the drum and aim it sorta to the middle.  Experiment with angle to get the best trade-off between click and thump.

Quote:

The Audix seems to suffer the same problem as above for me. Doesn't it ? (I've seen it only on a picture.)


Audix D6 is smaller than the D112 and since you can aim it like an SM57, it's a lot easier to position.

Quote:

It's hard to choose one, isn't it. A trade-off mic is waiting to be invented... Go for it manufacturers, I'm looking forward to it.


Yeah, right.  Every manufacturer markets their kick drum mic as the "Best sounding all-around no-trade-offs kick drum mic."

-a
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Brian Adams

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2005, 04:53:56 pm »

I really like the D6.  It's got a solid bottom end with nice highs.  I have no trouble getting nice thump and good beater out of this mic.  I've tried it inside the drum, and it worked pretty well there, but I like it best halfway in the port.  Although I did a band the other day who's kick drum didn't have a head, and I just stuck the mic inside the drum, roughly in the middle, and it worked great there too.

So far, it's my favorite kick mic that I've used.
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Rob Burgess

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2005, 05:14:06 pm »

B. Adams wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 16:53

Although I did a band the other day who's kick drum didn't have a head, and I just stuck the mic inside the drum, roughly in the middle, and it worked great there too.


    I'm guessing (hoping) that you meant "didn't have a front head"  Shocked

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