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Jazz bass drum

Discussion in 'Bass' started by swesterhus, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. swesterhus

    swesterhus Guest


    I'd be most gratefull if somebody could lend me some advise as how to mic/record a full, un-hyped, very loose skinned bassdrum?
    The problem I seem to get is that I eighter end up with a very american-weighty/very little top end-sounding bassdrum, or something that sounds more like the real bassdrum but without the bottom end. The best result with using just one mic was with a 421, but the low end was not really there, and I had to reach for the EQ too early for my liking.
    Been thinking about a tip I saw here ages ago with the speaker from the NS10's used as a mic. Anybody know how this is done?

    Thanks alot for all advise!

    Stian Westerhus
  2. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't really worry to much about the kick drum in jazz... The center of time in a jazz group comes from the bass player, the ride cymbal and the high hat. The kick is treated by most players like another tom. This is a major difference between drum treatment in jazz and rock.

    I usually use a Sennheiser e602, a 421, or an RE-20 if I mic the kick at all. I usually put a stereo pair in front of the kit and don't use any extra spot mics, though (no snare, no kick). When I do mic the kic, it just goes in front of the kit, not inside the drum ever...

    As for the NS-10 thing, Yamaha has a product that does the same thing on the market called the "sub kick." I haven't used it so I really can't say how good it is...

  3. swesterhus

    swesterhus Guest

    ehem... I think I will worry about the kick drum in jazz. At least the jazz I'm recording. The sound I'm after is a clear bassdrum sound. Not a BASSdrum but more a bass-drum if you see my point.

    guess it's more modern jazz...european... :wink:
  4. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    If you have a D112 or similar, try micing the beater-side. Place a small foam "visor" over the top of the mic to reduce the bleed from the snare. this may work for you, it has for me.

    Play around with the position. More attack? move it closer to the beater. More low-end? point it towards the outside near the rim.

    My .02

  5. Danielle

    Danielle Guest

    Hi Ben, I was wondering what type of config. do you use for the stereo pair in front of the kick? And is it safe to use condensers or ribbon mics for this technique? Thanks!


  6. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    The stereo pair is in front of the KIT, not the kick. I usually use a mid side or x-y pickup with the mic under the cymbals but over the toms "looking" at the snare. If you are careful with your mic placement, you get a wonderfully natural sound on the kit that works in a variety of genres. Heck, I've even done rock kits this way with good results (but I add a kick drum mic).

    Now Stian-

    Since you obviously didn't like what I wrote before, consider another couple of things- First of all, the mics I mention all can work very well for the kick drum. If you want a big low-end on it, I'd suggest using a good large diaphragm condenser a couple feet back, perhaps in a kick tube (tube the size of your kick- it can even be a shell of another drum that has some muffling inside...) If you are very careful, a U47 fet can be great and the Royer Ribbons can also be great. Be aware, I would not recommend other ribbon mics as their ribbons can't take the SPL. To be safe, I'd even consider using a pop screen in front of it. Be aware, though, with any of those mics, you can really screw them up so use them at your own risk.

    My creed with recording is that if you feel like you are having to eq things a lot, you're not getting it right at the record stage. Find a different mic or a different microphone position.

  7. swesterhus

    swesterhus Guest

    Ben, I do apologize for sounding so rude. It was not in my intention at all. Had a really rough day, and things went a little too fast... Sorry.

    Now... Yes agree with you on the "no snare, no bassdrum" but at the moment the music I'm recording is more just avant-garde improvised music, so the kit isn't really played in the same fashion. I should have stated this. And yes; drums can work out really well through a stereo pair. Specially if your dealing with a good drummer with a good overall structure of the volume of the kit. And I never reach for the eq before going to disk, which is why I originally wrote this question. Maybe I should have asked;
    What is generally a good idea to use on the percussion section of a symphony orchestra? What I want is to capture the whole bassdrum. Unhyped in any sort of way. But the bassdrum-sound in use is very often extremely long, noisy and you name it. But they want it that way... :wink:

    thanks though guys for taking the time to share yr tips!

    Stian Westerhus
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