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Title: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Ondrej Gratz 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.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Tom Reid 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.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Geri O'Neil 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
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Ondrej Gratz 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.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Dan Timon 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
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Ondrej Gratz on January 05, 2005, 11:18:19 am
Thanks Dan,
 that's a great idea. And the FP22 operates with a 9V battery !! Fantastic.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: John Chiara 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.


Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Andy Peters 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
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Brian Adams 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.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Rob Burgess 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

--
Rob
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Brian Adams on January 05, 2005, 05:28:58 pm
Well, yeah, I figured that would be obvious...Wink

I wonder how it would have sounded without a beater head.  Probably not as "full". Very Happy
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Bennett Prescott on January 08, 2005, 11:42:25 pm
At least you'd have plenty of beater "thunk".
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Mike of Spitshine on January 14, 2005, 10:51:44 am
B. Adams wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 16:53

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.



I agree about the D6. Excellent sounding Kick mic. I also think it's sweetest spot is half way into the port depending on the port size that is. If it's a large port I tend to place it further in closer to the beater. On heads with no port I place it about 1/2" away from the res-head. I have used the MD421, D112, pv45i, Sm57's and 58's and by far the D6 has sounded the best of all these. I still record with my 421 but for live events the D6 is my favorite.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Michael Strickland on January 17, 2005, 08:54:39 pm
I've found the Sennheiser e602 to be a pretty versatile mic. I can get some attack and thump out of it yet still retain the "tone" of the drum.
Where as the D112 just doesn't cut it for a lot of the modern rock bands, and the often times the B91 will have too much attack and not enough thump, and the B52 will just sound too thin, and the D6 seems like it's peak is a little too high and it doesn't seem to "decay" fast enough (if that makes sense?).
So if I need to pick just 1 for a rock and roll club mic, I go with the Sennheiser.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Rick Boynton on January 20, 2005, 10:07:30 pm
If a kick drum is tuned correctly you should be able to stick an SM57 on it and it should sound fine. TUNING IS KEY!
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Dan Timon on January 20, 2005, 10:39:59 pm
Saxyjazz85 wrote on Thu, 20 January 2005 22:07

If a kick drum is tuned correctly you should be able to stick an SM57 on it and it should sound fine. TUNING IS KEY!


Tuning is one key, and another is that old real estate saying, "Location, location, location." The "perfect" mic, on the most amazing PA will need lots of EQ to be acceptable when it is hearing the wrong sounds.

Regards,

Dan Timon
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Seattle_tech on January 21, 2005, 02:04:07 am
If we are talking live applications, which i think we are, there are so many factors that its really hard to say which mic works better.  

I've been lucky enough to land a FOH gig with a nice installed system, a drummer who knows how to tune his set, and a decent selection of mics to use on the kick.  So far, with this set-up I have enjoyed the 421 the best.  It's a simple mic, but has the best all-around sound compared to the RE20 which seems a little too "whump"-ish for me or the D6, which i really don't have a case against.

Have a nice day.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Andy Peters on January 21, 2005, 06:54:52 pm
Saxyjazz85 wrote on Thu, 20 January 2005 20:07

If a kick drum is tuned correctly you should be able to stick an SM57 on it and it should sound fine. TUNING IS KEY!


Ah, student naivety.

The SM57 doesn't have the LF response of the usual kick-drum mics.  It'll sound "fine" if there are no subs, or if you're looking for a kick-drum sound with little bottom end.

-a
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Andy Peters on January 21, 2005, 06:59:07 pm
Seattle_tech wrote on Fri, 21 January 2005 00:04

I've been lucky enough to land a FOH gig with a nice installed system, a drummer who knows how to tune his set, and a decent selection of mics to use on the kick.  So far, with this set-up I have enjoyed the 421 the best.  It's a simple mic, but has the best all-around sound compared to the RE20 which seems a little too "whump"-ish for me or the D6, which i really don't have a case against.


Just don't break it.

-a
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Adam Robinson on January 27, 2005, 04:24:52 am
I've had the best luck with the Beta 52 and the D6.  I also second the notion that tuning counts for so much.  

I had a post on the LAB that went over my drum mic experience.  The most important thing I've found is that different drums sound better through different mics.  Sure, the B52 and the D6 will do well in more instances than the others in my opinion, but you just never know. For my current gig, I've tried just about everything (91, Beta 52, D6, D112, RE20, 421, Sennheiser e602, Beyer M88, AE25000) and his drum really sounds best through a lone Beta 52.  I've got another friend who's drum sounds strange through the 52 and awesome through an M88.  

So, in the end, my opinion is if you're a venue or a PA company: Beta 52 or D6.  If you're working with a specific artist:  try as many as you can!
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Tim Padrick on January 28, 2005, 03:12:44 am
PDX Mike wrote on Mon, 17 January 2005 19:54

I've found the Sennheiser e602 to be a pretty versatile mic. I can get some attack and thump out of it yet still retain the "tone" of the drum.
Where as the D112 just doesn't cut it for a lot of the modern rock bands, and the often times the B91 will have too much attack and not enough thump, and the B52 will just sound too thin, and the D6 seems like it's peak is a little too high and it doesn't seem to "decay" fast enough (if that makes sense?).
So if I need to pick just 1 for a rock and roll club mic, I go with the Sennheiser.


I think your B52 is broken, as I find it to be very ballsy, and that it needs more gate than a D6 to get a "tight rock kick".  A friend has the Sennie, and he likes it only on kicks without a hole in the resonant head "jazz style sound".  I agree on the B91.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Charlie Jeal on January 29, 2005, 09:08:23 am
Personal preference these days is a D6 and a Beta91 using 2 channels of Drawmer gating with the peakpunch feature either the MX40 or the DS501 and the 2 channels of gates linked this combo seems to work for most things. This is after a considerable amount of experimentation with single mics and combinations thereof, I also own a B52, a D112 and an MD421 so I've got something for every occasion, plus access to the company stock.

Charlie
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Dave S on January 29, 2005, 11:33:30 pm
Just a question on this subject guys. Any thoughts [good/bad] on the AKG D550?
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Charlie Jeal on January 30, 2005, 07:38:42 pm
Avoid it wherever possible. I was working on one of the Soundcraft "Going Live" seminars last year and amongst the bunch of Harman supplied gear was a D550 so I thought I'd give it a try, never again an SM58 makes a much better kick mic !! The D550 just plain sucked, the Shure PG52 sound superb in comparison.

Charlie
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum -Real Life!
Post by: John Chiara on January 31, 2005, 01:08:42 am
Thought I'd add a fresh observation based on a weekend club gig.
Seven piece horn/dance band throw together clusterf*#$.
Old Peavey double 18's, older Yorkville 15"/2" passive boxes...decently QSC PLX powered...Behringer X-over.
Mackie 24x4..also "old"...a fiberglass Ludwig 22" kick..Senn.
E-602 mic..channel insert was the SPL Transient Designer into an older Behringer Auto-com.
I had COMPLETE control of the kick sound, feel and character the whole night..freakin' awesome.
So much so that on some hiphop pop stuff I could just crank the release knob of the SPL and simulate a completely controled "808" type kick. Or turn the attack down and make it seem like that kick is a big fluffy foundation for an acoustic number with no bass player...etc. I am thinking that the Rane C4 I just got with the sidechained digital setup may enhance these effects even more.

A great time for sure.

Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Tom Reid on January 31, 2005, 03:58:44 am
Anyone had a chance to play with a Ludwig plexiglass 24"?
I think it's John Bonahm vintage.

The kid plays with a 4" hole in the resonate head, and anything I stick in there doesn't give me any beater, but I get tons of drum.  Lot's of resonanace lower the 80hz.  We've tried a couple different heads.  The Aquarian gives about best results.

I started mic'ing the beater side to get more attack.  As an added benefit, I get the occasional squeak from the Speed King peadal too.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: drumart on February 04, 2005, 12:08:09 am
As a studio and live drummer I use several mikes, but the best result I get with the Yamaha SUBKICK. A small 'drum' with a speaker inside, placed in front of my res head which picks up all the low end you might not get with a normal mike in your kick. Normally I add another mike for more 'kick' or 'attack'. This Subkick thing really kicks...eeh...bassdrum....
Although the idea (reverse signal through speaker) is very old, Yamaha made a nice 'package' to use it. Also when your kick drum doesn't sound too good that one gig, you still get all your low end through this thing.

Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Tim Padrick on February 05, 2005, 05:28:55 pm
Tom Reid wrote on Mon, 31 January 2005 02:58

Anyone had a chance to play with a Ludwig plexiglass 24"?
I think it's John Bonahm vintage.

The kid plays with a 4" hole in the resonate head, and anything I stick in there doesn't give me any beater, but I get tons of drum.  Lot's of resonanace lower the 80hz.  We've tried a couple different heads.  The Aquarian gives about best results.

I started mic'ing the beater side to get more attack.  As an added benefit, I get the occasional squeak from the Speed King peadal too.


Make sure he does not have a soft pad on the batter head to soften the beater smack.  And make sure he does not have a felt beater.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: mattdale on February 08, 2005, 02:13:38 pm
well it seems that many people overlook the fact of tuning the drum and beater style, by saying, it must be tuned "right".  I understand the topic of this thread is to find an all around good kick mic, but i think we have to define what a good sound is.  Take metal music for example, you want to hear all that double bass work, so you have to have a lot of slap, gotta use hard beaters, and you can't mix in all that kick with sloppy deep low end, it just won't work.   but say for jazz or classic rock you might want more deep drum sound.  match the drum and beater style to the type of music you are amplifying.  I've had to deal with a emo band with a 24" diameter x 24" deep kick.  and he tuned the batter head really loose so that the sound was really fat.  It sounded great behind the kit, but it just wasnt practical to mic all that low end.  I just threw a 52 on there and amped the beater slap and the drum did the rest.  all the companies tell you that their mic is the best, but match your mic to the sound.  52's lack fat bottom, 112s sometimes are too round and not fat.  pg 52s sound slightly better than 58s, audix sometimes used in combination give a rich sound.  but maybe any combination of any or all of these for the particular drum you are using may sound good.  so build up your mic locker and be versatile.
Title: Kick Drum Sound & Lighting
Post by: Nathan Lehouillier on February 15, 2005, 10:23:55 am
I use a D-112 Or a B-52 90% of the time. I have a guy
that uses a 26" slingerland tuned really high and to get
the bottom I crave I use a D-12e. To get that attack
"click" I insert a PQX-572 and tune 3.5-4k . This works
well but if the mic is not inside the drum you will get
alot of cymbals. So beware of crashy cymbals syndrome. Shocked

Regards,
Nathan Kick Drum Sound & Lighting
Title: Re: Kick Drum Sound & Lighting
Post by: Andy Peters on February 15, 2005, 11:14:46 am
KDS&L wrote on Tue, 15 February 2005 08:23

I use a D-112 Or a B-52 90% of the time. I have a guy
that uses a 26" slingerland tuned really high and to get
the bottom I crave I use a D-12e.


What if the drummer doesn't want that "bottom you crave?"

-a
Title: 18" Kick Drum
Post by: Nathan Lehouillier on February 18, 2005, 11:58:02 am
As funny as this sounds He is in a band that plays mostly
80's metal and loves the sound I get. If he were looking
for the sound he as on stage I would use a sm-57. Smile
Just like I do with 18" Kick drums.

Regards,
Captin Kick Drum
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Antone Atmarama Bajor on April 12, 2005, 02:50:41 pm
I prefer just to mount the Mic right in front of the Batter and Just let the drummer pound the Hell out of It,  It works really good if you take the Screen off and just let them smack the Diaphragm Directly. LOL   Laughing
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Eric Snodgrass on April 15, 2005, 10:47:05 pm
For Jazz kick I've used a Shure KSM32 on the resonant head and I must tell you it sounded really good.  It doesn't give you the hyped, floppy low end of a Beta52.  It gives you a pretty tight, round sound.  
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Antone Atmarama Bajor on April 16, 2005, 01:54:47 am
I prefer just to mount the Mic right in front of the Batter and Just let the drummer pound the Hell out of It, It works really good if you take the Screen off and just let them smack the Diaphragm Directly. LOL  Laughing
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: John H. on April 16, 2005, 07:01:58 pm
I don't know a lot about this, but I know I've always read that the best thing to start out is the mic placement and drum tuning. It seems like that's always 90% of the problem with drums. You're usually not going to make up for a bad drum sound with EQ. If you're having major problems, mess with the drums themselves a lot first and experiment.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Dave S on April 18, 2005, 08:06:55 am
I posted on here before about the AKG D550 and was told to stay away from it. I already had the mic, it came in a drum micing set. We played a practice gig at a local club last Saturday and I have to tell you that with the drum tuned well, the mic placed just in the resonant hole and running the sound through an Allen and Heath PA 12CP the sound was VERY professional. I had the 250 hz EQ almost all the way off, the 60 hz flat and the mid and hi bumped up just a little. The kick was tight, clean and thumping without the boom. I understand that things can almost always be improved upon but IMHO I also believe that how you use something is as or more important than what you're using. I am more than satisfied with the kick and the D550.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Nathan Lehouillier on April 18, 2005, 10:28:37 am
I have never used the 550 but I have had BE's from
national acts bash my "Egg" and demand a B-52/91 and
I like the sound of the "Egg" better. Pointed out by
my Dad is that the B-52 is less of a colored sound
then the "Egg" but most of the time it's what I want.
So I think it's all subjective like everything else in
tuning.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Charlie Jeal on April 19, 2005, 06:35:44 pm
Dave I guess it also depends on what type of system you are using the D550  with as well. We were using a system of 4 Vetec 4888's and 2 4880 subs per side with a Soundcraft Series 5 and quality processing and Crown amps and I couldn't get a sound that I was happy with from it and after 20 plus years I've got a pretty good idea how to use things.

Regards

Charlie
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Stuart O'Toole on May 30, 2005, 05:21:26 pm
Hi All

Magic Kick Drum for me wouldnt finish at micselection you can thrown into here what Speaker System are you using and what sort of Equing, Compression, Gates etc.

Currently we are using the BeyerD M88 slightly off axis slightly less beater attack more round sound, Aimed at the non snare side.

Eq,
HPF 30Hz, Save the System
80Hz Boost, Big Sound
250Hz Reduce, Remove the Round Sounds
4Khz Boost, Beater Attack just a little here

Really depends on you rmusic style as well, Metal Loads of 80Hz Slamming Punch, Jazz Rounder Soft Kick.

Personally the money channel isnt the kick drum is the Vocals

Cheers
Stuie
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Bob gardam 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.

Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Mike Caldwell 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

Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Tom Reid 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


Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: John Chiara 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.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Adam Mottley 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.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Franz Francis 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
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Scott Van Den Elzen 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!
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Antone Atmarama Bajor on November 25, 2005, 03:25:46 pm
     I think a lot of people do it though.

Antone-
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Jim Smith 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.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Eric Nelson 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...
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Franz Francis on November 26, 2005, 08:52:27 am
Most time I receive tons of complemnts from the drummer...My Kick drum never sounded so good.

Franz Francis
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Antone Atmarama Bajor on November 26, 2005, 09:20:36 pm
     That seems to be a common practice with some of the guys that work at Ultra sound too.

I think I'm going to try it at my next gig.

Antone-
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Eric Nelson on November 26, 2005, 10:23:49 pm
A lot of the guys running the national rigs seem to use a combo condenser/dynamic kick drum mic type of setup. The FOH Tech for Toby Keith even used a Beta 52, a Beta 91 and a Yamaha Sub kick at We-Fest this last summer in detroit lakes mn. It was a pretty cool mix, I got to chill @ FOH with him, and he was pretty cool. It was an interesting mix to play around with, it was great.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Rickk Kreuzer on November 27, 2005, 09:27:04 pm
Eric Nelson wrote on Sun, 27 November 2005 03:23

A lot of the guys running the national rigs seem to use a combo condenser/dynamic kick drum mic type of setup. The FOH Tech for Toby Keith even used a Beta 52, a Beta 91 and a Yamaha Sub kick at We-Fest this last summer in detroit lakes mn. It was a pretty cool mix, I got to chill @ FOH with him, and he was pretty cool. It was an interesting mix to play around with, it was great.


When they were here in Phoenix a few , he used a D6 just off the beater, a D112 in the hole, and the Yami Sub Kick.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: francois pare on January 13, 2006, 09:38:56 am
Hi all,

I have to say i always use two mics. Beta 91 inside and a Beta 52 or D112 outside in the hole. now obviously you can't polish a turd so tuning is important.

take care
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Sage Plakosh on February 18, 2006, 05:43:53 am
The RE20 is a great mic if you want your kick drum to sound like a monkey beating on a suitcase with a rubber mallet. Laughing  Rolling Eyes

If you want it to sound like a kick drum, go for the Audix D6 or an E602 from sennheiser.
Title: Re: "Magic" kick drum
Post by: Suso Ramallo on February 27, 2006, 09:35:17 am
Hello,

With front open kick drums (Skin with a hole), I usually use inside the kick a omni microphone, for example a TC30K from Earthworks, this offers me better bass extension (You need to tie the sub-bass system), fast response with better definition on the bass than conventional cardioid dinamic mic. With close front (No hole), I get very good results with the Eartworks SR25, with or without the inline kick eq.

Regards