Make the kick drum sound good

Discussion in 'Drums' started by tedcrop, May 6, 2005.

  1. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    How do you make the kick drum kick ass?

    Drum--tuning---Mic--pre--recording--mixing--eq---compression--gating. Any other special stuff.

    Just want to get a thread going on recording and mixing the kick drum.
  2. Marching Ant

    Marching Ant Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    most important thing in the chain (IMO) is a good, well tuned drum, and a good drummer. That makes it MUCH easier on the eingineer to get a good sound.
  3. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    I am with you on that one. I have recently had some luck with a well tuned kick then a 421 into API 3124 and I was pumping it up in the mix with the UAD LA2A. I am waiting on a DS404 that I bought about three weeks ago and still has not gotten here. I am looking forward to being able to do some gating with that thing. I am sorta wondering what a real LA2A would do on the kick.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Hell Yeah! I too like the API 3124+ on the kick mic. I need to get a 421 :!:
    Answer to this post would be mic pre! And of course the other already mentioned preferences. I also like a condensor mic on the kit outfront. 3 feet or so in front
    Of course a condensor mic over the kit is REAL nice too!
    But remember, the tight sound & quick release of the components in the API (for instance) are what make the signal so desirable for making a drum sound like it was done just like in the big studios.
    Also don't compress the drums. Matter of fact dont compress sh!t. It will only crush the dynamics of the signal
  5. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    API 560 is handy as well. Get the other stuff sorted first though.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    You'd think those wankers over at A P I would get some of their stuff right by now..................................................wouldnt cha?! :wink:

    Lately I've been working in a little 20" Slingerland kick drum.Its from the late 60's early 70' a great head on it and one of those click pads(very good stuff)A small but very heavy woven blanket in the bottom and covered with a heavy throw rug.An Audix D4 right in on the beater at around 30degrees to the outside....And (and this is the best use I've found for this mic) a Studio Projects B3 down low right in front of the front head(if there was one...there could be Its only going to change the tuning)....this mic in cardioid.With the head off I dont get that 'poof' from the air moving through a hole and since its an LDC, it picks up more area due to its larger pattern ....So far this is `becoming very sweet.No eq and I'm compressing the LDC going in at 2:1 on a DBX 902 in the rack.It just seems to round it out a touch.I would definately like to hear this combo through the A P I ....
  7. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    Ever try those heads with the four port holes in em. I recently got a chance to, it was pretty interesting. The holes are on the resonent side of course, and are maybe 3/8 of inch in diameter. The drummer was so curious, as was I, we spent a good time checking it out. Can't remember too well, but I think DW made them.
  8. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    I was trying the condensor (M147) in front of the kick and it sounded very real but it seemed I was getting to much of the rest of the kit in it. I like using it in the room somewhere. I like the idea of a smaller kick drum. My buddy has a Yamaha recording birch 18x20 that is unbelievable. I may just have to buy that kick drum next.

    I guess I strated using the LA2A plug some because you can just jack it up and "WOW" there it is.
  9. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New Delhi, India
    Which would make for a better kick mic ? The RE20 or the MD421 ?

    i need a kick mic that can do heavy metal as well as blues. I listed these mics because i suppose i can use them for a large variety of other other recordings also, including voice ?

  10. itchy

    itchy Guest

    i recently used a Sennheiser e602 into my focusrite isa 428, and that beat the pants off the sytek i was using. the 428 showed a great low end punch that i just hadn't heard before. sytek has its place, but on your kick mic is not one of them, for me at least.

  11. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    Dec 11, 2004

    I have got good results from a audix d6 just a few inches in the sound hole on the kick, going through a cheap o'l art prochannel and I crank the pre and turn the output down into the compressor and then put in "limit" setting with vari-mu on, and then add some highs at 6k shelf and 4k para. and then depending on the kick i will remove some low mids.

    I have a 421 that I haven't tried on the kick but did try it on my whole kit just to do some very very very basic recording of drums for a demo song and It sounded very good for just one dynamic mic on the drums. It in a way made it sound 3d and full, weird stuff.

    I am looking to rent an api 3124 to see if the $2500 investment is worth it or not.

    I am a huge drum person, I am a drummer and in my eyes the drums always come first.
  12. Digger

    Digger Guest

    With the Kick drum, as with any recording, you are very dependant on the sound of the source. Unlike many instruments, the KIK is one of the least dependant on the player being good. I have heard great kick sounds come from some pretty bad drummers and vice versa.

    The one exception being if you have a Kick with little to no dampening - the drummers touch will make a big difference in this case - but your more likely to find this in Jazz settings where the players have to be of a higher caliber. I would say the main focus has to be on getting the source to sound good.

    Back in the day, people were big on removing the front head and surrounding the drum with with thick moving blankets (to decrease blled) - thankfully it is not taboo to leave your front head on anymore and it is one of my (of many) personal preferences to acheiving a great kick sound.

    As a drummer I have tried and own many of the most noteworthy ( i.e. RE20, 421, D112, Beta52 etc..) dynamic kick drum mics in existence. The difference I get from a Senn 602 is mindblowing and I highly reccomend trying it out. To me it is the clear mic winner and an EV RE20 would by my second choice.

    Other than than that make sure you try different mic positions - inside the shell at various depths, just in front of the front head, pointed at where beater meets the head etc... Each position will highlight a different sound characteristic that will suit the song and music that you are recording.
  13. Kik sounds?

    *Hard rock/metal - Batter head tuned low - almost flapping. Beta 91 laid inside on top of a feather pillow slightly touching both the front and batter heads. Noise gate set to reduce just a bit of the resonance. Compression set at about 4:1 -15/20db reduction. Add about 2-6 db of 4-8Khz and 65-80hz. Pull 200hz down about 2-4db. There you go... Pantera!!! tic tic

    *Jazz - Batter and front head tuned medium. 421 or re20 about 3-5 inches from the front head. Compression only set at 4:1 -10db no gate or EQ... boom boom
  14. Kswiss

    Kswiss Guest

    for rock.... i put a D6 in the soundhole below the beater aimed up at the drummers shin through where the beater hits the batter head. Then i make adjustments until i'm getting that slap sound... you'll hear it when you get it.....the actually sound of the beater slapping the head. Then a LDC about a foot in front faced away from the hole in the head (otherwise it woofs out.) I move this one around until a get more body of the drum. When solo'ed the D6 sounds good on its own and the LDC sounds like crap, but together you get click + body. When mixing, i cut tubbiness in the same area of low mids on both mics, and since i got enough click when tracking i don't have to hype high mids too much. The sound that you are going for should be a hit to your gut, with enough punch and click that every note is completely isolated even when hit in rapid succession. You can get pretty crazy with gate's and comps.... i usually find that gating kick doesn't do much except make it sound lifeless, unless you have a really long release time (300 ms or more) So i prefer to get the sound i want without gating unless i'm using it for effect. With comps i start with a middle of the road setting on everything, 2:1 ratio and -10 threshold, and i drop the threshhold until it hits hardest and then let up a bit to let some dynamics seep through. Then i adjust attack and release to taste. No verb on kicks cuz it muddies up the low end. Thast what i do....

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

Similar Threads
  1. tsunami
  2. therecordingart
  3. cyberspoon
  4. pappadelicious
  5. iivanov

Share This Page