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  • How to Mic a Kick with no Hole in the Head

    We have a new drummer who doesn't have a port hole in his kick drum head.  Is it possible to get a great/good/decent kick sound if there is no hole?

    I'm afraid we won't have any attack or click of the kick and that it will be a loose, mushy sound.  For our sound, we need punch/thump and attack.

    Yesterday was his first show with us, using our equipment and his kit.  He had a cheap kick mic from some brand I had never heard.  That could have been part of the problem, but I think the lack of a hole was the bigger problem.  We ended up fighting low-end feedback.  We didn't have time to fight the feedback, so we just had to turn the kick down to where it was barely noticeable.

    If we had a Beta52, or D6, or any decent kick mic in that range, would we be able to get any useful sound from this kick?  To me, it would be like amplifying a marching bass drum.

    We may offer to let the band chip in for a new kick head as long as it has a hole in it and our logo on it.  That way, he isn't out any money by cutting a hole in his head.  He's a good drummer that we don't want to lose, but we also can't compromise on our sound quality.

    Thanks


  • #2
    Buy a hole kit. If he's going to be doing any sort of gigging it will only help your sound. It's basically a round sticker you stick on the head then you cut around the inside, creating a hole.

    The kids run oh, $15 maybe for the basic one and around $35 for the port style.

    Like I said. He really needs to do this if he's going to be playing out.
    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

    Comment


    • Tomm Williams
      Tomm Williams commented
      Editing a comment

      I've never had a problem getting a decent sound outside the skin using a good mic.


  • #3

    Take no bigger then a 6" diameter TIN can

    Peal all the paper off of it

    Put the tin can on your stove top and heat the hole side up so its real dam hot 

    Have the kick drum on the floor with the head facing up at you

    Take the tin can and quick now push it right through the head where you want the hole.

    Its will pop through VERY fast.   

    Now you have a perfect hole in your drum head.

    Works like a champ.

    Here is a video you can watch

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P-LtwqeSAA

     

    Comment


    • Unalaska
      Unalaska commented
      Editing a comment
      Tuning is number 1 always!
      Next cut a hole in the head.
      Now the hard part, describe the rest of the PA system...

  • #4

    The hole kit and hot tin can trick are both really good suggestions - if the drummer's willing to put a hole in his front head. However, not all drummers will be agreeable to that, and it does change the sound a bit.


    Miking up a kick that lacks a front head mic hole can be tricky. You normally won't get as much attack, and the drum will tend to be more resonant, and the sustain of the kick will tend to last longer - especially if the drummer isn't using any dampening material (small pillow, etc.) inside the double headed kick drum - you might want to consider adding some damping material to the interior of the drum to help control the decay time if that's an issue in this case, but again, the drummer might not want you to for sonic / preferences reasons. Still, successfully miking it can still be done. Place the mic a few inches away from the front head. That will tend to give a fuller, deeper sound. If you need more attack, you can try miking it from the other side, which puts the mic much closer to the beater. Pedal squeaks can become an issue... keep a can of lubricant on hand to help deal with that issue if it arises.


    This is going to sound a little crazy, but you can also try miking the side of the shell too. Don't laugh until you've tried it sometime...


     


    I think I mentioned double heads / no holes issue in my drum miking basics article.... You might also want to consider the Yamaha Subkick. No, it won't give you a lot of attack, or much of anything over about 600Hz, but it works great on drums with no hole in the front head, and if you boost the heck out of the highs, you can get some attack with it... but ideally, you'd want to use it with the second mic. Use a highpass filter to kill the lows from the D6 or Beta52 so the low end feedback isn't an issue, and use the Subkick on a second channel to fill out the bottom.

    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

    Comment


    • Mogwix
      Mogwix commented
      Editing a comment

      1) Take a mic
      2) Point it at the drum

      optional steps:
      3) gate the f*** out of it


    • Tomm Williams
      Tomm Williams commented
      Editing a comment

      Phil O'Keefe wrote:

      The hole kit and hot tin can trick are both really good suggestions - if the drummer's willing to put a hole in his front head. However, not all drummers will be agreeable to that, and it does change the sound a bit.

      Miking up a kick that lacks a front head mic hole can be tricky. You normally won't get as much attack, and the drum will tend to be more resonant, and the sustain of the kick will tend to last longer - especially if the drummer isn't using any dampening material (small pillow, etc.) inside the double headed kick drum - you might want to consider adding some damping material to the interior of the drum to help control the decay time if that's an issue in this case, but again, the drummer might not want you to for sonic / preferences reasons. Still, successfully miking it can still be done. Place the mic a few inches away from the front head. That will tend to give a fuller, deeper sound. If you need more attack, you can try miking it from the other side, which puts the mic much closer to the beater. Pedal squeaks can become an issue... keep a can of lubricant on hand to help deal with that issue if it arises.

      This is going to sound a little crazy, but you can also try miking the side of the shell too. Don't laugh until you've tried it sometime...

       

      I think I mentioned double heads / no holes issue in my drum miking basics article.... You might also want to consider the Yamaha Subkick. No, it won't give you a lot of attack, or much of anything over about 600Hz, but it works great on drums with no hole in the front head, and if you boost the heck out of the highs, you can get some attack with it... but ideally, you'd want to use it with the second mic. Use a highpass filter to kill the lows from the D6 or Beta52 so the low end feedback isn't an issue, and use the Subkick on a second channel to fill out the bottom.



      I read somewhere that during the "Abbey Road" recordings, Ringo's snare was miked from the side.


  • #5
    Buy a skin, make a hole, problem solved. I like the Sennheiser e602 II.

    This one comes with a cord for $160.


    Sennheiser e602II e602 II Dynamic Cardioid Kick Drum and Bass Instrument Mic+XLR

    http://bit.ly/YTMfDh
    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

    Comment



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