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again with the kick mic question

Discussion in 'Drums' started by horrahedd, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. horrahedd

    horrahedd Guest

    Whats a good kick mic. How big a difference is there between a jts x2, The d112 and what do the big fella's use. :lol:
  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    My favorite is the Sennheiser e602. Lots of tight low end, a little peak around 3k for definition. A lot of my engineer friends who own RE-20's, d112's, all the usual choices, ask to borrow my 602 all the time. $200US.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    D112 is very popular. The RE 20 also. Newcomers include the Audix D6 and the ATM Pro 25.
  4. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    I think the big boys use mics like the D112 and the RE20. I would strongly suggest looking for either a D112 or a Shure Beta52. If you get anything else you will probably always wonder if your problems are because of your mic. Truth is, there are a lot of mics that can record a kick drum well. I am pretty new to recording but my first few songs I used a 57 for kick with good results. Then my Beta 52 came and things got better for me. Now I also have a D112. I would say that either the 52 or the D112 alone would work for me, but I like both and usually put up both and decide later.

    One other thought... I do not do it, but I understand that many of the pros replace kick with a sample.

    Look for deals on the B52. I got mine for $132 new. On the D112 it might take some time but you can eventually win one for around $125 off ebay.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The 'Big Fellas' use a LOT of different stuff.Its because they can.Theres a lot of U47 kick drum sounds out there combined with a plethora of other mics.The D112 is not my favorite but it allows you to set the mic in the drum without too much positioning and you have a decent drum sound.The aforementioned RE20,D6 Audix,Beta 52,and the ATM25(NOT the Pro25 this is not the same mic) are also all mics which have such a strong character to their sound that they allow someone to attain a decent kick sound without a lot of effort.Really stellar kick sounds come from the room and most times a multiple mic setup as well as quality processing and lest we forget, a very very good kickdrum with great tuning.The best I've ever recorded was a 20"X24"deep custom built maple shell cannon,that I used an old D12 at the beater inside and a U87i off axis out in front with a couple of Hammond covers piled on top and a little riser that was decoupled from the rest of the room.Now I get great results with the ATM25 at the hole in the front head and a D4 Audix at the beater for the click.
  6. krash

    krash Guest

    I'd have to agree about tuning & drum selection. Does the drum sound totally killer by itself in the room? If so then it's easy to record it and get a killer sound on tape, and also coincidentally very easy to screw it up on tape by trying to overdo it on hyped kick drum mic and close-mic technique.

    IMHO these common kick mics inside the drum, multimic setups etc. are all generally a way to get a passable kick drum sound on tape from any drum, no matter what it sounds like in the room. However, you can get a tremendous kick sound with a Behringer ECM8000 ($40 mic) about a foot out in front of the drum, but the drum has to sound good to start with.

    If you can start with a decent sounding drum to begin with, then consider a mic that'll get the bottom end, can handle the SPL without overload or distortion and that captures the tone of the drum in the room. You'll find this is also a mic that's good for other things besides kick drum (unlike a D112 or beta 52). SM7, ATM25, RE20 are all good mics to have around for other things, and will make a good kick drum sound right on tape. You can use them for vocals, electric guitar, etc. PLUS kick drum. Similarly you can get a really great kick drum sound with a LDC, even a cheap one like an Oktava 219, but the drum has to sound good to begin with. Put close enough for some proximity effect, an SM57 or SM58 will do fine on kick drum if you don't absolutely require that bottom octave. If the drum kit is tuned right, then you won't even HAVE to close-mic anything, including the kick.

    Here's my rule of thumb: if you have to put the mic inside the kick to get a usable tone, then the kick drum needs some tuning/heads/different-drum kind of help and you will need a tailored kick drum mic to make a passable recording if you can't replace it or tune it better. If you can get a good tone from a condenser mic 6" or more away from the front head, then the drum sounds good enough that you can select mics based on character (WHICH good tone to get) and not based on just getting a usable tone (can I get ANY good tone?).

    imho of course.
  7. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    A good sounding and well-tuned kit makes your job soooo much easier. I have really been a stickler lately on making sure the drums are well tuned, and the mics are "perfectly" placed. A small movement makes a big difference... Amazing what a difference this makes come mix time!

    btw...I am now using a D6 most of the time inside the kick, and then a Rode NT2 outside the kick in a tunnel made from moving blankets...great combo!
  8. horrahedd

    horrahedd Guest

    thanks for all the ideas, I like the idea of using a multi purpose mic that can be used for other tasks, rather than just kick. is the d112 like the ns 10s of the drum mic world (everyones got one). I record all sorts of drum kits, Some are top notch, with top notch players , some are lame with lame players. I had to use drumagog on the last project. I really dont want to get into that habit. I think I.ll try using room mics more, to capture the whole kit , I've checked out other drum mic threads, and I get the impression that close mic isnt always the pro way to go. As far as tuning kits, I think Im going to have to learn that art. Most drummers I,ve recorded Dont know how to do it. One thing Ive learnt is if the recording is ugly then no matter how many days I stuff it up more, it will stay ugly. While the good kits only have to sniff a mic to sound good. So my conclusion, correct me if its incorrect, Close mic kick with multi purpose mic (but mic known for good kick properties) Blend with room sound, And tune kit (once I've learnt how). I've got a bit of homework once again. Cheers for all your time and help
    Mr Glenn The horrahedd man
  9. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    It was suggested to me that the 112 is good for both poorly tuned drums (makes most of what you have) and really shines on well tuned drums.

    For drum tuning you might want to talk to a guy who teaches drum lessons and ask him for tuning lessons. I suggest it because I bought about 2-3 books on drum tuning and they did not really help much. Best thing I read was the Drum Tuning Bible which is available free on the net (search web.)

    good luck.

  10. nugget

    nugget Guest

    i must agree the d112 pulls a super tone
    the re-20 never fails especially for high spl and top mid definition
    great for kix and dark vox :D
  11. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    You can get a d112 new on e-bay for about $150 and used for about $125- in your local music store they run about $200- Buy a new one on ebay for $150 and you won't have to worry about it being beat up... On the other hand, those audix drum mics are decent enough and sometimes you find deals, 1 kick and 3 toms for a couple hundred on ebay...
  12. krash

    krash Guest

    You brushed onto the idea of drum miking technique and while that's OT, the main suggestion I can make is get a good sound with the overheads FIRST (overheads/room mic/ambient/whatever depending on your chosen technique). THEN add your close-miked sounds AS NEEDED. The close mics should not dramatically alter the overall tone and vibe imho, certainly should not dominate again imho.

    Kick drum tuning is a snap, FWIW, as long as you stick to trued and true head selection etc. Max 5" hole in the resonant (front) head for the mic (bigger hole=bad tone guaranteed), preferably better drum tone happens with no hole. Minimal muffling, get some "tone" from the drum, not just a cardboard sound. I prefer to muffle the drum externally so it can easily be adjusted and leaving maximum airspace inside the drum, plus you don't have to re-tune the drum to adjust the muffling. Anyway, resonant head: Ambassador batter. Batter head: Powerstroke 3. Crank up the resonant head until it's tight and sounds sort of like a timpani... ringy, but coherent. If you don't know how to "tune" a drum, that is, get all of the t-rods tensioned right so the head's in tune with itself, then you won't ever get a good tone. You have to do this without muffling. Batter head: tighten until the wrinkles are out, not much more, maybe 1/2 turn on each t-rod. This should produce an overall good kick tone right off. If you want it deeper, adjust the pitch of the resonant head. Tighter/higher-pitch, tighten resonant head. For muffling, I'd suggest just using some 2" duct tape and add it as needed, but remember that in the mix, you don't hear the ring nearly as much as you do solo, but if you over-muffle then the kick loses body in the mix even though it might sound better solo.

    Alternately a pinstripe resonant head will ring a lot less than an ambassador. For a tighter/jazz kind of tone, Ambassador on the batter side is the way to go, less attack, will have to be tuned to a higher pitch to get the wrinkles out and therefore makes for a smaller-sounding less dominant, more "melodic" drum.

    See ya-
  13. horrahedd

    horrahedd Guest

    You blokes have got some great ideas, Im going to print some of them so they are always on hand in my studio. When Im recording a serious drummer and a serious kit, Im sure he will be very happy to indulge me with all this fine tuning. The $50 drum kit with the $20 drummer will have to do with a drumagog patch up. This has been a great thread and the overheads catching the guts of the sound suits me fine I have always loved the old Blue note sound.
    Mr Glenn the Horrahedd man
  14. Grima

    Grima Guest

    For live stuff i want the kick to sound amazing lot of attack and great bottom end punchy, i use a AKG D112 and if i need to put any muffle in the kick or take anything out please let me know thanks.
  15. FunkGarden

    FunkGarden Guest

    my fav by far is the Shure Beta 52.

    Sounds clean, lots of attack and lowend...

  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    We have at our disposal, ATM25...Beta 52...Audix D4 and D6...SM57(yes they work well)...ATM63(sleeper mic)....and a D112 if needed...the D6 is instant gratification! it does not ever sound bad or wrong..the D4 is an amazing little guy and while I love it on tubby floor toms and bass cabs, it works great deep inside a kick drum...we use it live...The Beta 52 is nice but like the D112 ,it has a very individualistic kind of sound...never bad, just sometimes not quite right....the ATM25 is the best of all of em except for speed metal or other quick hitting and busy kick parts...for those I would use a Sennheiser MD409 or a 421....The 409 is an amazing mic and when my budget gets to where I can afford to look for a couple in pristine shape, I'll get a couple...we had em in the old studio and I love them...The e609 is only like them in shape and color...The Beta52 sounds really good on a 'D' tuned guitar through a 4-12 cab for really heavy and radical stuff..its quick and its limited bandwidth is suited for that kind of wankin...
  17. Thomas_Fodor

    Thomas_Fodor Guest

    Do yourself a favour and get an Audix D6. I love the sound of this mic on a well tuned "generic 13 year old bubble gum punk drummers" kick :D . I personally feel that D112's and Beta's are starting to become a bit dated. The Beyerdynamic opus kick mic is kind nice in its own way too. My advice is to go out and get some demo's to try out in your own room with a few different kits and see which ones "you" like the sound of. Don't believe every magazine review you read and don't believe that you have to spend up big to get good results, believe your ears....I sometimes end up using a crappy JTS NX2 along with my D6 and a 58, Sometimes a beta, sometimes an AKG and yes, sometimes the opus.....I think I will get the ATM25 next....

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