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Author Topic: "Magic" kick drum  (Read 25893 times)

Bob gardam

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2005, 05:50:49 am »

Anyone using triggers on Kick?.. I've always thought they would be great for working with bands that wouldn't neccesarily have great kick tunning.

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Mike Caldwell

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2005, 11:17:04 am »

Hello
Time for a short rant.....
Why are there SO many post on getting the perfect kick
drum sound when there are so many other factors in getting
and maintaining a good mix. Yes a good kick and bass guitar
sound is important but I have heard way too many mixes where it seems that is all they are interested in dialing in and everything else is a distant second! For what it's worth I use the older series of Crown PZM's for kick.

Mike Caldwell

Tom Reid

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2005, 05:21:04 pm »

I'll second that rant, and raise a fuss.

I've been out a lot recently, hearing these kids mix now-a-days.
I can't remember the source of the quote but it goes something like "No one goes home singing the kick drum" or something like that.

Why is it these kids today, when asked about their PA say "I got 10KW!" ...only they're 20x40 horns and I only cover half the room, the SPL above 100hz is minimal, but I can rattle the glasses off the shelf.

Folks, we are the modern day equivalent of a conductor.  We take the raw talent and make it move people (no ...not brown notes).  We calm things down when they're too hot, we try to make a cohesive team (or not) create rapture (not Blondie) for a modern day audience.

This ain't the NHRA where raw horespower and a quick ET gets us a trophy.  If we've done our job right, no one knows.  But do it wrong ...all eyes are on you.

Good bass is your best friend.  Too many friends leave me broke and feeling like shit in the morning.

tom


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John Chiara

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2005, 08:29:34 pm »

Mike Caldwell wrote on Sun, 09 October 2005 11:17

Hello
Time for a short rant.....
Why are there SO many post on getting the perfect kick
drum sound when there are so many other factors in getting
and maintaining a good mix. Yes a good kick and bass guitar
sound is important but I have heard way too many mixes where it seems that is all they are interested in dialing in and everything else is a distant second! For what it's worth I use the older series of Crown PZM's for kick.

Mike Caldwell



I'll second your rant..and raise you..I think we need a section on the PSW strictly for discussing mixing. We have a lot of useful sections..but for music mixers there is no place to actually exchange ideas..unless they are "certain" ideas. I believe that knowing more about anything is always good..it encourages excellence..and exposes sameness and mediocrity.
Not all of us here are providers for large scale corporate or touring gigs..but you can learn to mix at a local club or county fair..it's all about doing the best mix for the act and the audience... the discussion of "big picture" mix viewpoints is very important and mostly lacking.

Rant off...for now.


I think the reason is this. Most "sound people" learn from others..many of whom..in my personal experience..think that if the kick is loud and punchy the band sounds good. . This has even changed recently around my area..everything seems to sound distant..which I think comes from all the bottom feeder/underpaid companies..finally realizing that they are not making any profit... wanting to not damage any gear..too bad for the band's mix. I see a ton of kick and vocal mixes. In reality, a good drum/bass groove is THE most important foundational element..and one that is many times lacking. I record a lot of bands..if the drummer and bass player are good and tight..pretty much anything else can be "fixed."
Most mixers also lack a clear reference for a balanced mix..kind of like having the raw ingredients for a cake..but never having actually made a cake..they just start mixing shit together..not sure of what they are trying to make...which makes it hard to even know when you are going in the right direction..let alone learn and hone a practical skill.
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"mix is a verb, not a noun" Sooo, as Aunt Bea would say.."Get to it!!!"

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Adam Mottley

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2005, 10:35:07 pm »

Mike Caldwell wrote on Sun, 09 October 2005 11:17

Why are there SO many post on getting the perfect kick
drum sound when there are so many other factors in getting
and maintaining a good mix. Yes a good kick and bass guitar
sound is important but I have heard way too many mixes where it seems that is all they are interested in dialing in and everything else is a distant second!


John Chiara wrote on Wed, 12 October 2005 19:29

 I think we need a section on the PSW strictly for discussing mixing. We have a lot of useful sections..but for music mixers there is no place to actually exchange ideas..unless they are "certain" ideas. I believe that knowing more about anything is always good..it encourages excellence..and exposes sameness and mediocrity. Not all of us here are providers for large scale corporate or touring gigs..but you can learn to mix at a local club or county fair..it's all about doing the best mix for the act and the audience... the discussion of "big picture" mix viewpoints is very important and mostly lacking.

I think the reason is this. Most "sound people" learn from others..many of whom..in my personal experience..think that if the kick is loud and punchy the band sounds good. . This has even changed recently around my area..everything seems to sound distant..which I think comes from all the bottom feeder/underpaid companies..finally realizing that they are not making any profit... wanting to not damage any gear..too bad for the band's mix. I see a ton of kick and vocal mixes. In reality, a good drum/bass groove is THE most important foundational element..and one that is many times lacking. I record a lot of bands..if the drummer and bass player are good and tight..pretty much anything else can be "fixed."
Most mixers also lack a clear reference for a balanced mix..kind of like having the raw ingredients for a cake..but never having actually made a cake..they just start mixing shit together..not sure of what they are trying to make...which makes it hard to even know when you are going in the right direction..let alone learn and hone a practical skill.



Mike & John,

Well stated.

IMHO, a great mix is an appropriate sum of it's ingredients. The cake example is perfect. Even if a baker has the best sugars, butters, eggs, spices, flours, pans, and stoves, there still exists the distinct possibility of baking a very ill-tasting cake given the wrong recipe and/or cooking method/inattention. A 'little of this" is often better than "a lot of that", in many instances. A correctly pre-heated stove helps a great deal as well (eg: a properly tuned/deployed PA).

The reference to the recording aspect gives us a bit of insight too. How many times have you seen/heard a producer/engineer (or worse, a band member) obsess over one particular "solo-ed" sound, tweaking it to "perfection", only to have it sit in the mix like a "log in your ear" ? Or mixes that sound "great" in the control room but like a** in the car ? These examples are easily transmuted to SR (in fact, they go hand-in-hand). A section on PSW covering basic as well as advanced mixing techniques would certainly help mixers/cooks of all experience levels perfect their craft. I know I will always be learning.... I don't want to reach a point where I perceive there is nothing left to learn in such a creative field.

One area that comes to my mind is the SR system/venue as compared to studio reference monitors/control room. Just as a pair of the finest Genelecs (name your favorite) in a crappily designed control room will give a flawed performance, an SR system improperly deployed and/or in an awful room will not give an accurate reflection of what is actually happening at the board's outputs. This is one area of many SR systems that needs addressing: accuracy. It may cost a fair amount of time/money/research effort, but I firmly believe that having an accurate system (and enough of it to do the job without stressing the gear) is extremely important. YMMV. My opinion only. I have grown tired of fighting rigs as well as doing combat with the room. It's kinda like fighting with one hand tied behind my back by the system. The resources/people here on PSW make things a bit easier to learn/read about, but implementation is still on the users' (my) shoulders. This is something everyone should peruse.

Once a system is capable of accurately producing what the mixer's actions dictate (and room modes are dealt with with some degree of success), a good mix then becomes much like cooking. Just as Grandma never used a "cookbook", but got great results, so too can the SR guy behind the board. Just as she did, in many ways... intuitively. All of the really good SR engineers I have known try to the utmost to ensure that the system is sounding good before ever beginning to mix the act(s). If the members within the act(s) are good players and have decent sounding instruments/backline, the gig may just begin to "mix itself". Once the show starts rolling, the talented SR dudes make things look seamless... "easy as pie". What people don't see/hear is the years of experience that these guys have spent perfecting their craft (just like Grandma). It is these insights of the professionals that a "mixing" subforum might very well address.

Another example that comes to mind when discussing mixing relates to keyboard workstations. There are many workstations to choose from: new, old, good quality, and bad. One of the best selling workstations of all time is the Korg Triton series. Does it have the best "individual" sounds ? IMHO, no. As a matter of fact , when auditioned, the individual sounds within the average Triton kinda suck. "Wimpy" comes to mind. When compared to other comparable workstations, the individual sounds in the Triton lack "balls" (Roland gear, on the other hand [eg: JV/XV series], will literally knock you down when auditioning individual sounds in a lot of cases [IMHO]). BUT. The big BUT. The Korg engineers knew that the strong point of a workstation was it's ability to sound good as an ENSEMBLE. So they designed a board that had a lot of sounds that "played together" well, had a decent sequencer, and a good mixing engine/effects section. The result: A workstation that is found literally everywhere. The Korg team, knowingly or not, drew on a basic mixing principle in regards to the Triton. The individual "sound" or "tone" is not the key issue, it is the appropriate "summation" of these sounds that is paramount. This is something that applies to mixing a live act, only more so, IMHO.

I do not presume to "preach to the choir" in this post. Many of the respondents to the OP have many years of experience in the SR field and other related areas. I can only aspire to know as much as some of the folks around here. What I do know; however, is that when searching for that "magical" individual sound (think "solo" button), it is often not that sound alone that defines what one ultimately hears at FOH. This goes back to Grandma in the kitchen: "Well, I used a little of this, and a lil' less o' that, stirred it up real good, smelled of it, and cooked it fer a spell... sometimes I'll-a peep in on it to see if it's a-risin' good, but othah dan dat, I's jest leaves it be". When you are trying for that elusive "sound" or "groove", try to listen for the "big picture" instead of focusing on one or two elements within the mix.

It helps to have an accurate system.

Hope this helps,

Adam

[edit] In fairness to the OP, since the thread is now a lil' bit hijacked, I find that I rarely use my RE-20 live anymore. I like the Shure 91 for pop kits, Audix D6 for rock kits (D-4 is a good lil' mic too). The AKG D-112 is too tempermental for me (I have one that is a "mystery" mic...because it's a mystery as to how it will sound or respond in a given situation [it may be defective/need repair]... seems that many of the D-112's I've used exhibit this characteristic, but it could be me). With all of these mics, placement is critical. This mic review is IMHO, YMMV.
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Franz Francis

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2005, 12:34:29 pm »

I have....My solution, any microphone, Klark Teknik DN520 gate, use the MIDI out of the gate to trigger an electronic drum machine, keyboard or any other MIDI device with drum samples. Some small EQ dialing and you get the sound you want. Works for me all the time especially in small rooms and small PA...

Franz
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Scott Van Den Elzen

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2005, 03:23:36 pm »

Franz Francis wrote on Thu, 24 November 2005 09:34

I have....My solution, any microphone, Klark Teknik DN520 gate, use the MIDI out of the gate to trigger an electronic drum machine, keyboard or any other MIDI device with drum samples. Some small EQ dialing and you get the sound you want. Works for me all the time especially in small rooms and small PA...

Franz


I can't think of a band I've worked with that would go for this.  My job is to reproduce the sound on stage, not make up my own.  I'd call what you're describing the equivalent of lip-syncing for drums.  Yuck!
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Antone Atmarama Bajor

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2005, 03:25:46 pm »

     I think a lot of people do it though.

Antone-
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Jim Smith

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2005, 11:22:59 pm »

We use a combination of mic & processing.
I don't have the luxury of a huge mic closet so for now the default mic is a Beta52.Then we take a direct out from that channel to another & insert an Alesis D4 in it.
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Eric Nelson

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Re: "Magic" kick drum
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2005, 03:30:59 am »

Hey fellow audio enthusiasts, I have always loved this site. Just wanted to put in my two cents. I personally use a combination of the Shure Beta 52 and the Beta 91 to get the tubby sound of the 52, and the attack and definition and extreme lowend from the beta 91. I have been doing this for years (Mainly because I grew up on boards without sweepable eq's.) but now that I get to play with higher end boards, (Yamaha PM-3500, Yamaha PM-5D, Midas Heritage 3000, Midas XL-4's etc) it is a GREAT combination. Another awesome combination to play with is the Evolution series (E-901 and E-902) Kick mics. They are great too! Hope to hear your input etc...
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