using a mic on the BD batter head?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Rog, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Rog

    Rog Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I always mic the front of the bass drum but, out of curiosity, I was wondering if people have had any success miking the batter head - does it help with phase? what kind of sound do you get? maybe mic both and invert the phase of one mic?

    I'm assuming there would be more 'punch' from the beater and phase would be more accurate? I'll experiment over the weekend but any tips would be appreciated! :)
  2. bradmcgowan

    bradmcgowan Guest

    I did this once. The drummer had a closed kick and wanted to get a lot of attack out of his drum. I ended up putting a Royer R-121 about a foot out in front of the drum and then a 421 on the batter side about 3 or 4 inches away from the head aiming at the spot where the beater makes contact. The mic was at a funky angle...but it was trick to even get it down there. I believe I flipped the phase of the beater mic. The drummer really liked the sound when blended--think punchy closed jazz kick sound if that makes any sense.

  3. dbock

    dbock Distinguished Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    1)As a starting point, the foot and chair noise of the batter side of a kick drum usually prohibits use of this side. I've even seen that noise prohibit use of a mic in the shell. So if you're looking for that close up special effects type sound, put it in the shell.
    2) Double headed kicks can have attack too. I just used a ELUX 251 6" from the head and a E47 6' from the kit and was shocked at the clarity of the attack on the kick.
    3) How are you going to get a mic on the batter side?
    4) Try it, but I doubt you'll like it.
  4. DanKennedy

    DanKennedy Guest

    Actually, #4 is the best reply.

    Try it. You'll like it or not, and learn
    from the experience.

    All the ideas that float around are interesting
    and should be tried if you haven't. Catalog
    them so you can pull them out when your stuck
    some other time.
  5. waitgoiter

    waitgoiter Guest

    Check out the photographs in the cd book of Einsturzende Neubauten's "Tabula Rasa" record.

    There's a splendid photo of a RE-20 on the "batter head" of a huge kick-drum-like-object and a speed king that's just been cracked in half.

    So yes, batter head mic can be useful sometimes, but place it where the ape can't kick it.
  6. I agree with Brad,
    A double headed jazz kick can sometimes benefit from a mic on the batter head. Correct polarity is absolutely essential. If used sparingly it can add more attack. I've had good luck with a Beyer 201 aimed down near the beater and trying to get maximum rejection from the snare, but its tough to get positioned properly. Another approach is a figure of 8 pattern (414, 4050 etc. w pad) aimed to pick up the batter head AND the bottom of the snare. This can add depth and attack to both kick and snare if done properly. Obviously the drum hardware has to be free from sqeaks and rattles to even try it. Having said all this, the overheads and a room mic is still usually 85% of the sound on a jazz kit for me, but having options is nice if the song calls for a tighter drum sound. Good luck

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice