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Bass drum sound. . .

Discussion in 'Bass' started by gretschdrummer, May 23, 2005.

  1. I currently own a Gretsch Birch kit and Taye Basswood/Birch kit. I use a Shure Beta 52. My bass drum sounds awesome acoustically (deep, warm, punchy), but when I mic it, I'm not getting the same sound out of the speakers. The sound is real open and too sustained. It has the depth, but not the punchy sound I'm looking for. I'm not running any EQ on the kick. Will that make a big difference? Do I need a compressor? From what I know, a compressor is used to keep your speakers safe, but will it affect the sound, or will some EQ be enough? I know a little about sound and how it works, but I'm a drummer, not an engineer, so any advice is welcomed. Thanks
    - Matt
  2. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member


    if it sounds good in the room then i suggest a large diaphram condensor mic that can pick up that sound a lot easyer and more accurate, that beta 52 is scooped and "pre eqed" so that may be affecting your sound, plus it depends on the sound you're going for.

    How are you micing it? what style music is this for? how's your room sound? what are you recording onto/preamps being used/ and what other mics do you have avalible to you?

    until then
  3. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    A compressor really isn't used to keep your speakers safe, well sure, maybe. It's mostly to bring up low levels and push down higher levels. On a bass drum, YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED A COMPRESSOR. 0 attack, and play with the release. It will make a HUGE difference in sound with the right settings.
  4. Thanks for the advice. Let me clarify just a little. This is for live sound. I haven't started recording yet. I just need some advice to improve the sound of my bass drum for live performance. Sorry for the confusion.

    Bob - I probably don't have the money for a nice condensor mic. The band plays a lot of rock music, but nothing really heavy. I have a 4" hole on the front of the drum, and the mic is placed barely inside of it - no more than an inch. The room sounds fine. I'm not using any preamps, and I have no other mics to use, except some SM57's and 58's.

    I'm looking into buying a compressor for the bass drum, and probably an equalizer. From what I have read, those will help out a lot as far as getting the sound I want from the drum. Am I right? Any other advice? Thanks
    - Matt
  5. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member


    You are not going to get the exact sound of the kick by putting it in the drum, you are going to get the sound of inside the kit. Where is this that you are playing? is it a club, arena, practice space, coffee house. If you are playing out live, the sound man usually has their own mics and mixer that they can control the sound of the kick.

    I just need a bit more info.
  6. dynomike

    dynomike Guest

    This is a recording forum so bobbo gave you some recording advice. I wouldn't go to a condenser for live.. here's some tips though.

    Your sound is TOO boomy, long and ringy with not enough beater slap right?

    So, a compressor set at 0 attack is only gonna make that worse.. that will basically cut off the attack (beater slap) and give you MORE sustain. You could set a compressor (when you get one) at a slower attack, say, 10ms, and the release at a bit longer to cut down the sustain a bit and accentuate the attack - this is what I would do first if I couldn't MOVE THE MIC. You could also use a gate to limit the sustain.

    So, I noted that you should move the mic. This makes a much bigger difference than screwing with eq, etc... especially when you don't know what you're doing, its easy to ruin things with eq. So, try moving the mic. If you want more slap, you should generally move the mic inwards - further from the reso head, closer to the batter head - and also towards the edge of the head. You'll get more high frequencies and possibly less BOOM by the edges.

    The beta 52 is a fine mic. If you move it around you should be fine. You might want to dampen the drum a bit more than usual to reduce the boom too if you can't solve the problem otherwise. Do you not have any simple high/low eq's on your board (mixer,console,pa) etc? If you're still getting too much boom, cut the lows a bit I guess. A compressor will help a lot, but make sure you can't solve the problem with placement before you spend $$. A good drum compressor for really cheap is the alesis microlimiter.
  7. Thanks for the advice dynomike. That should definately help out quite a bit.

    bobbo - The band plays at a variety of different places. We have 4 or 5 church camps lined out for the summer, and we've had our share of coffee house gigs. We bring our own system with us (nothing huge - two 18's, two 15's, two horns), set it up, and normally have a sound tech with us. He knows how to mix the full band, with no expertise on particular instruments, expecially drums. I'm just experimenting, trying to get the best sound possible from my drums. I hope this is enough information. Thanks again for the interest in the topic and advice.
  8. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member


    well good luck dude,

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