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Ok. Sounds a daft question but I need to do an overhaul. Im after a really good sounding kick drum mic on a budget. I have had to sell a load of my gear to pay the deposit on my new house. Now I'm back on track so need to re-stock but have much less money.

I had a Sure kick mic until a few months back and it was a great allrounder but I dont want to spend £150 ($180 at exchange rates I think) t on a new mic really.

Any good suggestions?

Cheers guys.


Davedog Wed, 08/26/2009 - 08:18

Jack ...can you really buy a D12 for that or are we talking a D112? BIG Difference compadre....

Anywho....Audio Technica ATM25....IF you can find one as they no longer make them (Uhhh...a BIG corporate DUH to AT on that one)...This mic will do any kick drum as accurately as the tuning of the drum allows.

Davedog Wed, 08/26/2009 - 12:41

I have access to a D112,a D12, a D6 Audix, an RE20, a sub-kick, and also have an Audix D4 and a Kel HM-1.

They all have their place.

Overall the ATM25 out performs in a general way on any source without a lot of fiddling. Is it the BEST for every source......maybe so maybe no.
....But you'll be hard-pressed to get some any better.

One of these mics through an API type of pre is magical and makes ya go..."Oh, there it is!"

MadMax Sat, 09/05/2009 - 12:03

RonanChrisMurphy wrote: I see the Shure Beta52 go used in the US for a little over $100USD. They are probably my favorite kick drums mics at any price point.


I mean, you ARE kidding, right?

It's a decent live mic, but I have yet to get more than two sessions with a Beta52 that I was really happy with.

To me, the Beta52 yields as much basketball "ring" as a D112. Granted, I prefer a Beta52 over a D112 in a lot of cases, but neither one is really ever giving me the kick sound I really want.

Maybe it's my mic placement?

How do you normally place one?

(The combination of D12 and a Beta91 are a different story altogether)

Kev Sat, 09/05/2009 - 16:40

moonbaby wrote: Damnit, Dave!!! How many times have I BEGGED you to stop recommending that ATM25 for kick ?? You are causing the demand (and thus the pricing) to go up on that puppy....LOL!!

ATM25 is crap

I never use mine all the time
I never use mine at all
that's it

I never use it on toms and never, never use it on Kick

you all believe me
don't you ?

RonanChrisMurphy Sat, 09/05/2009 - 21:36

MadMax wrote: [quote=RonanChrisMurphy]I see the Shure Beta52 go used in the US for a little over $100USD. They are probably my favorite kick drums mics at any price point.


I mean, you ARE kidding, right?

Why would I be joking about this? Placement? I just move it to taste.

Some drummers I have recorded on albums with the Beta52.

Terry Bozzio
Pat Mastelotto
Ralph Humphreys
Gregg Bissonette
Victor Bissetti

soapfloats Sat, 09/05/2009 - 21:47

With a well-tuned and played kick, a Beta52 has been more than adequate in my case. It's been the mic I've used on almost every (budget) recording I've done.
My other choice is another cheapy called the CAD KBM-411. Less definition, more boom.
Not necessarily what I want. Boom? A little. Punch? Yes.

Granted, I'm a toddler compared to some of you - and that's why I come here, to learn.

But, I've never have any problems - and I do work on placement more than ever.

Maybe my kick sound sucks and I just don't realize it?

Anyways, I do not mean to say that the choices the others have suggested are not better choices. I'd like to try them myslef.
Only that the Beta52, is, IMHO, a quality kick drum mic. Great? No. Universally adequate? Probably.

MadMax Sun, 09/06/2009 - 04:13

I dunno... I've been playin' kit for a really long time, and I know what a great sounding kick sounds like live. After 45 years, I darn well ought to, huh?

Granted, most of my work as an AE has been live and mobile tracking... so I don't have the greatest amount of time to get optimal and tweaky with kits.

The Beta52 is indeed a good mic. It's certainly much better than a D6 in most cases... and I guess I should also say that IMHO, there's a huge gap in getting an acceptable kick sound tracked and getting a GREAT kick sound tracked.

I get plenty of acceptable, but so far, not a GREAT, or one that I haven't had to do a good bit of work on to get sounding the way I know a great kick sounds "in person".

Maybe once the new digs are open, I'll have the time to really hone my skills and get that ever sought after "perfect" kick sound.

The closest I've gotten is with a D12e just at the hole and a Beta91 inside.

But yeah, the Beta52 is not a bad mic... it just hasn't given me what I'M looking for.

Davedog Sun, 09/06/2009 - 09:24

Ronan, if you cant get a great kick sound with that bunch of cavemen on the skins with almost ANY mic stuck near the kick, then you're in the wrong business..... :wink:

While I will concur that the Beta series mics are really quite good, lets add the mic pre selection as well as drummers of a level that they pretty much come with extremely great kits, technique, and years and years of experience to this formula. As well as a great tracking room.

This IS in a nutshell, the formula for GREAT drum sounds.

Unfortunately a lot of folks on here simply dont have those resources and must do their best with what they have.

A great universal mic is in order here simply because of the large amount of variables.

Theres a LOT of plug and play kick mics available these days. Remember when all we had was a D12e or a U49fet? Maybe a U87 or sometimes a 57? Man, we suffered so much in those days......... :)

I will say this. ALL of the mics mentioned will do a great job on a great source through a great mic pre. Stick any one of em through an API and you'll go, "Oh, there it is...."

anonymous Sun, 09/06/2009 - 16:49

Well, if you're REALLY on a budget, you could use a 57 inside the kick right up to the front head and try the old "speaker wired as a mic" trick outside the kick for the "boom"
Theoretically it should work, and you probably have a 57 (or equivalent) kicking around already, thus $0 investement.

This thread has been interesting because I have been using an ATM25 for years because I have never gotten around to buying a D112 (which I assumed was a better mic). I guess I will keep the old ATM25 around a little while longer. Of course now I can't pat myself on the back for getting a pretty good kick sound using a really crappy mic!

soapfloats Sun, 09/06/2009 - 21:39

MadMax wrote: I dunno... I've been playin' kit for a really long time, and I know what a great sounding kick sounds like live. After 45 years, I darn well ought to, huh?

That was what I was getting at Max. Great vs. acceptable.
I'd love to have the experience (and the familiarity w/ mics) that you and others have. I believe I will someday. I don't doubt that you're probably right - I can only comment on my own experiences, and they say it can be done w/ some good technique (working on that myself!).

And I can't agree more with Dave.
I think some of my luck w/ the 52 is dependent on the fact that I've had some pretty good drummers on some nice kits come through the church I record in.
I'm not batting 1.000, but I've got some of those criteria going for me.

sammyg Sun, 09/06/2009 - 23:32

everytime davedog mentions the atm25 I cringe because I used to work in a music store and for about a year there was an atm25 which (for some reason) no one wanted, it just sat there collecting dust, I contemplated getting it many many times thinking, ah well, it'll be here tomorrow. Of course, when I did actually want it, it was sold already! ahhh!!!

Anway, i thought these clips may be of some assistance here, I grabbed a E902, B52A and D112 and stuck them in the same kick drum (one at a time of course) in various positions.


D112 very close to beater head:

D112 halfway inside kick drum:

D112 Just inside soundhole:

D112 10cm outside of soundhole:


E902 very close to beater head:

E902 halfway inside kick drum:

E902 just inside soundhole:

E902 10cm outside of soundhole:


B52A very close to beater head:

B52A halfway inside kick drum:

B52A just inside soundhole:

B52A 10cm outside of soundhole:

I tried to place the mics in the same position (one after another), the kick drum was not modified at all between mic changes, no eq or comp, what you hear is off the mics.