the kick

Discussion in 'Drums' started by pappadelicious, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Second mic condensor frequency for the kick drum.

    I'm don't want to get into calculations or room dimensions (a good meter let's me know outside of the calculator where the actual wave is frequenting)
    So let's say all the works done and you can capture any peak frequency you want.

    Second mic condensor frequency. Is it a tonal quality determined by each different kick drum? Is it used for impact to cut through the bass from other instruments masking like frequencies? Is it best to start by matching tonal qualities of the other low frequency instruments?

    I like almost any frequency under 200 hz mixed with the dedicated kick mic, however when I start working on the entire mix I like to do very little equing, I believe altering the initial frequency with an EQ doesn't mean it can compensate for the velocity those freqencies have when they cut through masking notes that occupy common db levels.
    ( I mean it's sounds better to alter the setting before recording to achieve the desired frequencies)

    So :roll: I hope someone understands and can help me get out of this stupid and I don't even know if its important, rut.


  2. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    To me your post is very confusing and it would seem that you're making things waaayyyy too complicated. I record kick drums in the style of Metal all the time and I've never had to consider what you are considering. So can you maybe simplify your question a little or something?
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I understand what you're asking and at a meter, you're going to be seeing a size difference in the solo'd sound of the kick but not much else in terms of a mix.

    It is very desireable to achieve sonic nirvana BEFORE processing in order to keep the noise floor at a minimum and the frequencies uninhibited. This way at mix, you are dealing with cuts rather than trying to enhance with EQ.Its a much larger soundscape when EQ is used to eliminate rather than add to.

    You are approaching this very scientifically when you should adhere to science as a fact but approach music as an artform requiring no rules in order to exist.
  4. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    wow- yeah, Sounds like you should be designing that mic, not using it.
    If you want to take the least artistic approach and remove the most variables,
    make the drums in the control room sound like the drums out in the studio.
    Sometimes you'll need the 2nd mic, sometimes you won't.
    Once you bring 'art' into the equation, all bets are off. You might think that all kick drums should sound a certain way, but, well, there's Jazz, Rock, Dance, dbl heads, single heads, hard beaters, soft beaters, not so hard beaters, heavy hitters, not so heavy..... etc. They all sound different, and depends what else is going on.
    But you're right about getting the sound corrected at the source first. You'll never get a shell made of cardboard to sound like maple.
    Davedog's got it right.
    Surprisingly, the answer can be'Yes' to all 3 of your questions.

    If it was something that could be dialed in, they could train monkeys to do it.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Some people want to rely on scientific measuring devices because they don't trust their own hearing. To become more intimate with your hearing so that you can trust what you are listening to requires that you procure many top notch recordings by the top producer/engineer/performers in the industry. Listen to them over and over again comparing them to each other. Make mental notes of what you are listening to. Use these recordings as your " scientific references", prior to any of your own recording and mixing sessions. It's always good to give yourself a good sound reference to start from that does not include trying to measure the imaginary references you are referring to.

    Let your ears be your guide and let your fingers do the walking while I do the talking.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Not sure what you’re trying to get at. Maybe I just don’t understand the question. To be honest, I don’t think you quite understand that when you apply eq to a track before it goes to disk, the eq isn’t actually applied to the signal unless you are using an outboard eq as an insert. So if you go ahead and zero the eq on the return channels, you’ve basically nullified anything that you did to the send channels. In a non-destructive DAW as most are now, same thing. Whatever you “apply” during tracking never actually goes to disk even if you use plugin as an insert. As to what frequencies: it all depends on what the mix calls for: In which case subtractive eq is more desirable than additive eq.
  7. I understand the post isn't really a question of practicality, more trying to stimulate a discussion about two mics blending together to produce the kick.
    In my spare time I like to toss around ideas and sometimes it helps to enhance a future recording.

    hueseph, good point your totally right, however I wasn't referring to using an eq to alter the waves. Actually alter the enviroment of the recording to enhance certain frequencies. Why not , it's fun and doesn't take to long.

    I use on outboard before going to DAW if I need an EQ to get the effect I'm looking for.
  8. alimoniack

    alimoniack Guest

    OK, so assuming the drum's skin is in decent condition, is tuned and damped appropriately, is a good bit of wood and is sitting in a reasonable room and being struck well with a beater designed for the required sound etc...

    Whatever mic you're using outside is a matter of what effect you're after and what distance you're using it at, as is any EQ applied. I usually use a single mic on the drum itself and let the ambient mics cover the "bloom" of the kick. Btw, dunno 'bout you but I almost always use an RE20, it requires less EQ to get the right beater attack than a D112 or similar. We're talking METAL here after all. In answer to your question about tonal quality I would say yeah, a different drum/drummer/room/beater etc does mean experimenting with different mics and positions. If you have decent EQ I wouldn't be afraid to use it. It sounds like you want a mic which has a low peak, not sure if it exists so you may have be brave and activate the EQ...

    As far as avoiding EQ'ing to tape goes - sure, using EQ isn't quite as simple/efficient/clean/zen as just having the sound you want coming down the strip without EQ. I recently recorded my own electric guitar parts for an entire album without any EQ on mic signals. We did the work at the source and I was fortunate enough to be able to use my stage settings (I've spent years honing that sound though...!).

    For my own part, I almost always EQ a kit on the way to tape. I think it's good to do a bit on the way down because I reckon you need to capture a sound which is already headed in the direction you're going for at the end of the day. No point recording a drum with an unwanted ringing freq at 400 Hz and then using massive EQ later, right? Or for example if the (metal) band wants a really clicky kick we'll need to put a bit of that on tape. Not many mics will do this to the degree some bands want.

    I try to be conservative and get fairly close to the desired sound, but I don't go too far because I like to leave scope for any sudden changes in sonic direction the band may take at mixdown. Adequate treble is especially critical in my case since I'm using analoge tape and I don't wanna push up hiss later in an attempt to add brightness I knew we always wanted from the get-go anyway. Two stages of moderate EQ, a mixture of corrective and complimentary, once on tracking and again at mix, seems to work for me.

    As a side note, if you are recording live metal drums to disk, in my opinion you still need a reasonable analog EQ, either on a desk or rack of pre's, to do the job properly.

    Bands want a sound on tape which is a good starting point for a mix is already representative of how they want to sound, so I always ask them how they like their drums and I also ask if they think the specific frequency I've adjusted is helping to capture "their" sound as they see it. Metal comes in many flavours these days and one size does not fit all. Above all, like yourself I don't like to feel like we'll end up having to "fix it in the mix".

    Good luck & have fun with it dude,
  9. :cool: :cool: alimoniack

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