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Kick Mic Isolation

Discussion in 'Drums' started by JesterMasque, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. JesterMasque

    JesterMasque Active Member

    I have an Audix D6 that I use on the kick. 75% of the time I place it about 2-3" outside the sound hole.
    Lately I have been recording a lot of metal bands that want a clicky bass drum. This leads to compression and frequency boosts between 6-7k.The problem is that there is a lot of cymbal bleed into the mic, which wouldn't normally be a problem except that those frequency boosts bring out a lot of that bleed in the mix.
    I see the solution being to isolate the mic. But the only way I can see to do that is by placing it inside the sound hole. I have seldom been happy with the raw, mixing sound acquired with this setup. Is there a better way to isolate it? How would you mic and mix the kick for a metal band?
    Thanks guys!
     
  2. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    place it 2 to 3 inches inside the sound hole. You will still get that big puffy bass sound, but you will have the shell as isolation.

    Dont be afraid to try it.
     
  3. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Plus you could always gate the kick drum. wile it may not get rid of the issue, it will make it rear its ugly head allot less.
     
  4. the_scort

    the_scort Guest

    There are also all sorts of ways of modifying the sound of the kick drum itself to help with this. Using plastic/wooden beaters, or taping a bank card or using a Danmar Click pad on the head... that way you might increase the level of the beater click relative to the other sources of frequencies in that range meaning less eqing....
     
  5. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    i use the sam mic with pretty desirable results. i usually put the mic about 1-2" inside the drum and aim it at a 45 degree angle towards the beater head. this gets a nice bass/click ratio and aims it away from the snare and hi hat so there is less bleed. for a metal i'd recommend a mid scoop
     
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The D6 demonstrates all the aspects of a hyper-cardioid pattern mic. Use this to your advantage. Get the mic DEEP INSIDE the kick and position it 3 or 4 inches off the batter head. Dont aim it directly at the beater contact point but angle it DOWN so its facing away from anything above the drum. Make sure its the same heighth as the beater contact point, just aimed slightly down .

    This will be your starting point. Manuver it till you LOVE the sound. Have a compressor on hand as well as an inline pad if needed.


    You will never need to EQ while tracking again.



    If you find the lowend is building up, then EQ, but cut only!!... or simply remove the resonant head and begin again.
     
  7. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Once, i used cinder blocks to make a shell around the mic that i was using for the kick. Then, i wrapped those cinder blocks into heavy sheets.

    I have to say, it worked pretty well. I was then able to have the mic outside the kick drum without too much cymbals in there, so i could work on those high frequencies.

    The thing about isolation is the heavier the thing you put between the mic and the thing you want to get rid of, the better the isolation...
     
  8. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I frequently drape a blanket over the kick and mic, works like a charm.
     
  9. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    are you suggesting this technique with the D6 specifically? or with all kick drum mics?

    i'm curious to try it out

    I use the D6 here as an example simply because this was the mic in question. The tighter the patern the better it will work. Theres more 'spill' witha D112 and the AT2500. The Beta 52 is a tight patterned mic but the D6 is the tightest. Like I said...hyper-cardioid.

    This is why we need to learn the size and type of polar patterns our mics exhibit when placing them in a multi-mic recording situation. A drum kit is the best example of this as there will be bleed no matter what you do. However, with well executed placement and selection of mics, we're able to use the bleed as part of the overall sound of the instrument and make it work for us rather than be something we have to do surgery on later on.
     
  10. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Well, it might work as well with any kind of mic...
     
  11. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Another option: use two mics for the kick.

    Put one inside to capture the 'click' and another outside for the 'woomph' (technical term!)

    You can then gate them both, if necessary using the inside mic to trigger the gate for the outside mic.

    You can also roll off the highs on the outside mic to reduce the cymbal bleed, while still retaining the click of the inside mic.

    This is a very common technique for live sound, usually using a boundary mic like a Beta 91 or e901 inside, and a dynamic such as a beta 52 or M88 outside (or in the hole).

    One engineer I have worked with uses a Yamaha 'Sub Kick' outside instead of the conventional dynamic... it sounds great.
     
  12. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    yeah, the yamaha sub kick does work like a charm...
     
  13. JesterMasque

    JesterMasque Active Member

    Thanks so much, everyone, for your responses! Especially Davedog; your advice always inspires me to learn more about what we do here.

    A few of you suggested that I gate the bass drum. Just so you all know, this does not solve the problem when the drummer is riding on a crash and doing speed double bass part.

    Thanks again for everyone's response!
     
  14. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    uh, i didnt type all that part. DaveDogg, did you accidentally press Edit on my post instead of Quote ?? :p

    thanks for the good info, it makes sense of course, i just never thought of it.

    i actually used a d112 over the weekend in a live sound situation, and i set it up following this technique. great results!
     
  15. My advice: try everything you think might improve your sound, despite how silly it may look or sound.

    In our sound booth we put a mic in a corner to pick up extra bass if we need it :)
     
  16. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    so, since i've posted this i've had the chance to use the big 3 ... d6 , d112 , beta52a .. using this technique.

    nice! sometimes it's a pain to get it in there deep enough, but it sounds good. on the specific kick drum that i used the beta52 on, i barely had to do any eq at all! in fact, i almost wanted to turn 400-500Hz UP!!

    wild
     
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