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Please Help With Kick Drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Ting, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Ting

    Ting Guest

    Hi guys,

    I need help in EQing or maybe placing my kick drums. I want a bigger and tighter kick and have a hard time doing this. I mainly remix Dance and House Music so I need the kick drums keeping the rhythm of the music going. I usually star with a Mono kick, then layer it with a stereo Kick that has a different frequency. But still it sounds thin. How can I make my drums Thicker and Bigger?? I appreciate all the help.


  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Welcome to the forum

    I think that's going to be a tough one.
    The first thought is the quality of your samples.
    The whole point of samples is that they're usually already optimized to sound great. There are libraries that cater to Dance music and should sound fine right out of the box.
    There's usually nothing magical about kick samples. Layering could make matters worse however, by smearing the attack portion of the sample.
    Next in line would be something in your system. But if you're playing back other reference material that is giving the required sound, then I'm out of ideas at the moment.
    Others may be along shortly to fill in the gaps.
  3. ABozung

    ABozung Guest

    To get big kick you have to have a big kick. It has to move alot of air so you can capture it. I mic from inside the kick with one Samson Q-Kick mic. Preamp it and mix it with my own recipe. But it starts with a large deep kick.
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    Aug 9, 2005
    From LV but Army brought me to TN
    Have you used any compression? If you are trying to get a big dance club kick sound from an acoustic kick drum, you might want to look into a drum replacement tool such as drumagog, it would workout quite well for ya. If you havent used an compression most software such as cool edit pro (Adobe Audition) or Nuendo have great, very powerful multiband compressors. Let us know what you are working with, and we might be able to help you out a little more.
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Another thought...yes, to get a big kick drum sound, you need a big kick drum. However, don't try mic'ing it the way that most people are accustomed to. That is to say, don't just shove a beta 52 or a D112 into the hole and hope for the best.

    My best bets so far at getting a THUNDEROUS kick have come from using a quality large diaphragm condenser in front of the kick by about 8 inches off axis of the hole but aimed in. This coupled with a mildly slow attack and a long release on a good compressor will make the kick sound about as big as it can get.
  6. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Are you actually mic'ing kick's or are you just mixing samples?

    If you're actually micing... Jeremy's dead on... think about it... LF takes a certain distance to develop into a node. It's like subs in the trunk of a car. You don't hear the LF in the car, but you do two blocks away.

    Go stand in front of the kick until you hear what you are looking for. Put mic there.
  7. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    I'm assuming that when he said:
    "I usually star with a Mono kick, then layer it with a stereo Kick"
    This indicates that he's using samples, as this process is almost impossible (or at least impractical) with live drums. Unless of course you're creating your own samples by recording and sampling a kick drum from scratch. but until more info is provided,for this discussion, I'm assuming that this is not the case.

    I would research the trade mags for sample library's for the style you're trying to mix for. There's a library for everyone it seems.
    Programs like BFD, DKFH or the like will produce the sound of a live drum but will not be processed like dance or Hiphop styles, which are usually processed 'over the top'. They are typically an exagerated abstract of the real thing and not the real thing itself.
    Ebay can also be a great souce of ino.
  8. ABozung

    ABozung Guest

    Big Kick Sound

    I don't use anything other than a Samson Q-Kick mic inside the kick with a front head on and a small hole for the mic cable. It comes down to tuning and mixing. I do have a little deeper kick than standard depth. Check out my samples that is what they are there for. You will hear a big, round kick sound with good upper definition. 8)
  9. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    That's it. Exactly.

    I use an iFET7 for one wallop of a kick place precisely as you mention above. Aside from live sound, I never put a mic in the drum itself, IMO, you loose a lot of tone that disperses from the front. Keep it 5-10" away and you'll hear a world of difference.
  10. separation

    separation Guest

    Do you have a lot of issues with bleeding from the other instruments in your mics placed this way?? Maybe you are covering the mics with thick blankets or something. I'm going to try this very technique this weekend and see what kinda results I can come up with. I personally use a Beta 52 or Audix D6 inside the kick pointed "up" on a 45 degree angle at the beater, but then use a Yamaha subkick on the outside of the head off axis of the whole about an inch or two from the head. I get some pretty good tones but I've recorded mostly metal stuff. The reason I asked about the bleeding is that we have tried putting the kick mic outside the drum pointed at the air hole but got so much bleed from the other toms and cymbals and snare that we had to sample replace all of the kick hits and mix it with the Yamaha subkick to get a good sound. I'd rather not do that in the future PLUS we really haven't got what I would consider a good lowend kick drum sound anyway. There is always room for improvement right?

    I'm assuming my Rode NT2 would be a good large condensor to try for this purpose right? I wouldn't think the SPL's would hurt the mic at that distance from the kick, right?

    thanks for the help in advance. I look forward to testing this.

    CB Smith

  11. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    You can always blanket the kick...put a mic stand or chair out a few feet from the kit and get a big heavy blanket to drape over it, making a tent-like structure for the mic. I, personally, have never really considered a little bleed on the kit to be an issue. Unless, of course, you're picking up the rattle of the still drums. You're never really going to get true isolation on each mic, anyway.

    I have a makeshift foam barrier that I usually put in front of the kit, right behind the kick mic. It helps to quell the room a bit and tighten up the sound. You can see it on my site if you want to take a gander http://www.backinthelab.net/equipment.html (It's in the pic at the bottom of the page) A little fiber-board, some foam, and contact cement and viola'!

    Your NT2 should work fine in that placement.

    BTW, what's your take on the SubKick? Gimmick or does it actually work?
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I'm getting ready to build a sub-kick myself. I've got the driver and all the tinkertoy mounting hardware.....LAZY....yup, thats it.

    BACK-IN-THE-DAY>>> (ya'll are damn tired of hearin that aint cha)...we used to put the big Pioneer floor speaker from the house stereo system right up next to the kick and take a cord off of the input as an output to a DI. Worked fine..It IS a LOW LOW kind of undefined sorta sound so we stuck a 7110 limiter on it for defiition. It was for subs anyway....

    We also (B I T D )...used to lay a bass cabinet on its back out in the main room. We'd stick a snare drum on it, mic the snare and run the snare track out through the speaker. Then layer this back into the snare sound. Try it, its an interesting effect.
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    20 inch beat up bass drum with Sennheiser MD421 into a Neve with a little high pass filter and then into the 1176 followed by the KEPEX1, flip phase, then some more compression, then some more equalization. Oh yes, don't forget the rest of the drums. Killer!

    Not tonight dear, I have a headache
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  14. separation

    separation Guest

    I personally love the subkick. We have even mixed it with a sampled kick just to get some low end from a not so hot sampled kick. I'm no professional or anything but it does sound really nice. Huge difference from when its in the mix and when it is not. It sounds like in what you are explaining that the subkick and the large condensor will do the same thing. Right? I need to get away from using too many mics at this point anyway as it has been my crutch. Mics are like crack! Especially nice ones and you just want to put them on anything. Would you suggest using the NT2 if I already am going to be using a D6 or Beta 52 and the Subkick?? Do you not have any problems with phase being a long distance away from the other kick mic?
  15. separation

    separation Guest

    I seriously HAVE to get a Neve preamp. Remy talks so highly of them and anyone who I run into just speaks as if they are the shiznit! Would you consider an ISA-428 to be a Neve preamp for a mid-grade budget? Seems as if the real neve pre's are very expensive and I don't know if I can swing that kinda money at this point. Just seems so amazing that I have to get one at some point.

    Darn you Remy! Instead of pushing crack your pushing Neve to a junkie! LOL!
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Sorry separation but that ISA-428, sounds like it should do you well but it won't sound like a classic Neve but then it could? After all good old Sir Rupert may have had something to do with that? But there is that certain confident laziness one gets when you know that anything you plug into your desk is going to sound great no matter what kind of microphone or, how bad the talent or lack thereof may be.

    My console is smart. It self mixes, in a manual sort of way. But the damn thing only works well when I'm sitting behind it.
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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