bass drum THUD

Discussion in 'Drums' started by flindark, Oct 25, 2001.

  1. flindark

    flindark Guest

    Maybe just an ignorant question, but how do the "pros" get that full thud from the recorded kick? i can't seem to get that quality that you always hear on the radio. it seems to blend in so well, yet still stand out. I record mainly rock/punk, alternative, etc. even heavy compression, mad EQing, doubling, or various effects don't seem to do the trick. could it have something to do with ducking? thank's for the help. hope the question is not too vague! -Chris
  2. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    I'd guess it could be program compression taking a bite out of the kick. If you're doing heavy gain reduction on your whole mix, the kick transients are likely triggering the reduction, making it lie down in the mix.

    If you have a side chain input on the compressor, split the audio(usually easiest at your patchbay), and on one side use a high pass filter or eq out the bass and feed this to the side chain in, and feed the unaltered signal to the audio in. Suddenly the low end doesn't trigger gain reduction and life is good. Hope that helps.

  3. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    That thud starts with the kick. Try a felt beater and fairly loose heads. The front head can even have a little wrinkle in it. I tend to like Powerstroke 3's or an Evans EQ3 on the beater side and newer heads help. Make sure the drum is damped a little. A towel or shirt touching both heads is usually just enough, I use an old pillow case. At this point when you strike the drum you should hear a solid "smack" and a small low tone that resonates for a 1/4 second. Smaller drums sound better for this then a large 24x18.

    At this point the goal is to get it on tape without ^#$%ing it up. I'll start with one mic halfway inside the hole. If that isn't working I'll try and figure out what it is. Sometimes I need to move the mic, change the mic or add a second mic. If I go with two mics it's usually a 421 inside to grab the smack and an AT4047 outside for the boom but a 57 and D112 can work just as well. I'll cover the drum in a packing blanket and print both mics to different tracks so I can blend them while mixing. Make sure the mics are in phase. If you loose the bottom the mics are wicked out and need to be moved.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Just to add to the above: if you're not hearing the sound you want with your ears in the room, it's going to be hard to get that sound to tape. Sometimes the thud never really blossoms until you get farther away from the kick. In addition to your close kick mic, add a large diaphragm condenser at least 10 feet in front of the kit aimed at the kick. Move around the room listening with one ear until you are hearing the kick sound you want, and that's where to put the mic. (You will probably end up heavily compressing this mic as well). The blend of the close mic and the room mic may give you just the sound you want. Sometimes you also need to get a light-footed drummer to kick harder.
  5. jo

    jo Active Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Home Page:
    I use two mics (as above) and a Yamaha Recording Custom (I really love this drum set).
  6. flindark

    flindark Guest

    Thank's a lot for the help, guys. I haven't really worked much with the 2 mic method, other than one in the kick and another aimed at the point of beater impact outside the batter head. I'll try the suggestions, and see what I can do! -Chris
  7. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    When I mix, sometimes what's on tape just plain sucks. Live drums overdubs aren't popular for a reason: they are a pain in the arse.
    If I need more "thud", I'll use either my f-16 or soundreplacer to trigger a sample I made of me throwing a basketball against the control room window. (I hear Bob Clearmountain has one of these on one of his sample cd's). If it's a tone that you are missing, you can always trigger a frequency generator (I use Gen X in protools) & a keyed gate to add anything you are missing.

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