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Kick drum microphones...


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Here are a few comments on the kick drum mics I've used:

 

-AKG D112, woofy- always needs lots of sculpting to sound "normal"

-Audix f10, f12, D4, D6... I love the D6- great attack, all the rest are "meh"

-Senn md421, nice attack, I prefer it to the D112

-Shure Beta 52, pretty nice- maybe my 2nd favorite after D6

-Shure SM57, it can work, not my favorite

-Yamaha Subkick, gets all the lows, sounds great paired with the D6

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Any comments on the EV N/D868 on a kick? I'm just getting back into doing some recording after an absence of MANY years and recently picked up one of these for the kick drum. The studio that I used to work out of MANY years ago had an RE-20 that I normally used on kick. I experimented with the AKG D12E when it first came out, but by then had left the recording end of things and moved on to the pro audio business, so I didn't gain lots of experience with it.

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D6 is prefab. If you like that sound, its great. But you are stuck with that sound.

Beta 52 is more to my liking for a pre-eq'ed kick mike.

RE20 remains my favorite cause I've got all options open to me, since it is, in effect, a flat dynamic. Not even a proximity effect. Sometime I want that early 70's full fidelity kick. If not, it's easy to cut the boxy out exactly where I want it out and not where Audix says I should...

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I tried a D112, but could never dial out that 'basketball' sound; I was about to put it up on craigslist, when I booked some sessions that offered an opportunity to use it on the bass cab.

Wow.

So, the D112 stays for now. Someday I might even try it on the floor tom, as I've seen pictures of that, but for now (and for me) bass cab only.

 

At a friend's studio the other night; he's got a vintage Slingerland kit--maybe early 80's--and every drum on that kit sounds f*****g HUGE. He played me some tracks we'd recorded last time I was down there, and the kick sound was incredible. The mic? D112. Go figure.

 

Years ago, I had an original D12. It sort of disappeared--I have an idea where it went, but getting it back has been a long slow process. :(

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I tried a D112, but could never dial out that 'basketball' sound; I was about to put it up on craigslist, when I booked some sessions that offered an opportunity to use it on the bass cab.

Wow.

 

Yeah, I've heard bass tracks cut with D112's that sounded really nice. IMO, it's much better suited to that application than it is to kick drum. YMMV.

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One of these days I'm going to have to call Bob and see if I can get a loaner to try out for a bit. Ditto that the PR30's, which several people have commented on as being surprisingly good on overheads.

 

 

Yes, I'm one of them who thinks all that above.

 

Remind me when I get over there again to bring the Heil mics if you haven't gotten loaners before then.

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I tried a D112, but could never dial out that 'basketball' sound; I was about to put it up on craigslist, when I booked some sessions that offered an opportunity to use it on the bass cab.

Wow.


Yeah, I've heard bass tracks cut with D112's that sounded really nice. IMO, it's much better suited to that application than it is to kick drum. YMMV.

 

 

I was running sound at a bluegrass festival and one of the bass players insisted I put the D112 on his upright.

 

I must admit it didn't sound bad, although putting a mic on a stand in front of an upright bass on a live stage is difficult at best unless I glue the player to the stage.

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I used a D112 for a bass cabinet a long time ago and don't remember liking it because it had too much bottom end, but who knows, maybe I can try it again someday. Right now, I use the Heil PR40, which sounds wonderful.

 

 

I'm seriously considering getting a PR40 to use as a "stuff" mic on an upright bass. I hear great things about them.

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For bass amp... I cant' think of a better mic than an RE20. It gets all the low end but keeps the growl. And you don't get fizz or accentuated clack. If you've got a great sound on the amp, those scooped kick mics are the worst. They completely destroy what is rocking the bass amp in the first place.

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That's interesting, as I heard a couple of people refer to the Heil mic as a "poor man's RE20". I have no idea if that's true or not since I've only had someone use an RE20 on my stuff as a musician, not as an engineer.

 

 

 

I haven't used the Heil's but from all accounts they are RE20 like. I'm sure they're great for bass amps as well. My point was that people putting scooped kick mikes on nice sounding sources are destroying the fidelity of those sources.

 

That scoop is great on a kick, but anywhere else? Yikes. Except for the occasional floor tom I can't imagine using a scoop mic for anything.

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FWIW I've been in the market for a kick mic for a while. Found a deal the other day and picked up a used D4 and a D6. Haven't got to use them yet, but am looking forward to it. I've been looking around at most of the mics mentioned here. I know a drummer with a AKG D112 and have used it a lot. Not that I like it, it's just what was available. I completely agree with the basketball against a chain link fence thing. Anywho I think I'll like both of these much more. Still on the lookout for a Heil PR30 and 40, RE20, and ATM250DE. Not that I need them. Just to have to compare and for flavor. ;) Plus from what I've read those all are pretty useful mics on all kinds of instruments.

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I haven't used the Heil's but from all accounts they are RE20 like. I'm sure they're great for bass amps as well.

 

 

Cool...I've heard that from two people as well, so that's very cool.

 

 

My point was that people putting scooped kick mikes on nice sounding sources are destroying the fidelity of those sources.

 

 

Interesting and good point.

 

 

That scoop is great on a kick, but anywhere else? Yikes. Except for the occasional floor tom I can't imagine using a scoop mic for anything.

 

 

And, as in what CME is interested in, some mics can sound really good on kicks, bass drums, and tons of other things. And the Heils would definitely fall into that.

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The Rode NTK is pretty decent outside of a kick, and it's really good IMHO on upright bass. I've used that pretty much exclusively for all of the bass tracking on Jules Day's stuff, and I've been happy with how it works in that application. But if I am going to put a mic on a bass amp cabinet (and I'm not someplace that has a U47FET), the first thing I normally reach for is the RE20.

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At risk of pointing out the obvious. Tuning is the key. I've got a much better sound since investing in a Tama Tension Watch and learning how to use it.

 

I have an Audix D6. Been fairly impressed with it but haven't used it that many times, so far. Doubt anyone would go too wrong with it if they placed it reasonably well and had naturally good sounding drums. I don't think it has very many different applications though as it didn't sound nice on bass guitar cab so if someone wanted a general studio mic they might be best to look into some form of Large Diaphram Microphone that works nicely on voice and other acoustic instruments.

 

I was actually quite impressed with Behringer B1 LDC that I was using on kick before then. Only problem was, even with the -10dB pad and preamp gain at minimum on my RME Fireface 800 it was still clipping. When I plugged into my Mackie Onyx 800r, the signal level was manageable.

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