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Posted (edited)

So, when one of you are ""stuck" using one of these often reviled kick mics, how do you use it? For some reason drummers seem to be enamored of putting it just outside or half way in the port. It doesn't seem to pick up enough beater "smack" and too much snare that way?

Edited by RoadRanger

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I actually like the D12 on some things - especially if you're looking for a more old-school kick drum sound. You can put it outside of a double-headed kick that lacks a mic hole, either on the front or on the beater side. Yes, you can put it inside the kick too... I usually prefer other mics in that spot, but if you have only the D12, it can go inside - assuming the hole is large enough to fit it in there. It will give you more beater "thwack" and attack if you move it in a bit, but if you are stuck working with a hole-less kick, if you put it on the beater side of the drum. Also, you can boost a bit of upper-midrange EQ in the ~3.5 kHz region to help bring out the attack a bit more. You may also want to try carving out some of the low mids in the ~250-500 Hz region too. 

 

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Yeah - not the first drummer I've run into who's proud of their D12 because of it price more than the sound. I try not to bum them out and just use them live. Recording it's just not working with that placement. Maybe I should stick one of my shiny new M5's in there? :)

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I never used a AKG D12 before, but like Phil said it gives a more old school type sound. I think if you want more beater or attack then you should place the mic deeper inside the drum. I use an Audix D6 and I place it inside the drum with a couple of inches away from where the beater meets the inside head. This method almost gives me too much attack given the sound profile of the D6. But its probably the most "modern" sounding kick drum mic on the market. Also if you're dealing with snare bleed into the kick mic, then you take it out easily using gate processing. You're probably joking.. (I hope 😆) but a kick drum would probably destroy your shiny new M5. Please don't.. lol

If you really wanna get intricate with kick drum recording, you can always supplement the sound using a 2nd kick mic. Steve Albini's recording method involves hanging a small microphone (can't remember the mic, but you can find it on youtube) outside the drum but next to the beater. He primarily uses it just to get the beater sound.

Here's a photo of how I set up my D6 kick drum mic. Ignore the SM7B.. I don't even use that anymore on drums.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9kgarwJDLV/

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I did try gating but the snare is SO loud in the kick mic that I didn't have any immediate joy 😕 especially if I have to crank the $#@! out of the ~3k to get any thwack. Anyways its easy enough to get a better track to start with. I have the luxury of ir being a couple more sessions off before I need real tracks - plenty of time to get it right :)

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Yeah I can understand the issue you're dealing with. When the kick drum mic isn't deep enough it may pick up more of the overall kit. But if you put it way close to the beater then the kick drum becomes much louder relative to the rest of the kit, which will give you an easier threshold to work the gate. 

If you want a potential bandaid fix then you could always try doing sidechain compression, use the snare track signal to duck the kick drum track. But since you have plenty of time to record it again, I would go back to the recording process and adjust the microphone instead. It's always best to get the sound source right first rather than trying to "fix it in the mix".

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If I had my druthers I'd just use one of my EV PL33 kick mics - nothin' special but old friends :)

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Guys, are you talking about the D12? Really. The D112 is junk but have not read bad things on a D12. Considered those several notches up the line from the reviled D112. I just wanted to be sure we got that right since this thread will guide others. D12 have a storied history as a good solid kick drum mic.

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Posted (edited)

Oops, not my mic and I'll not have access to it until Saturday - but checking out pictures on the web it is a D112, they look quite different.

With the plague and all, we haven't recorded there since although the drummer and I do rehearse with three bands there now.

I did pick up another originals project (less than 2 miles from my house) that has about 20 songs to pick from for their 4th album. We did scratch recordings with a set of CAD mics the drummer owns that worked out OK.

I've got 5 active projects now rehearsing 6 nights a week.

I may have mentioned it on another thread but I picked up a Zoom L-20 and L-8 this year, weird little mixers that are more live sound compatible than their older "recorders" like the R24 (24 tracks but only 8 inputs).

Edited by RoadRanger

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I have totally moved over to triggering the kick. You can get a ddrum4 unit that lets you create whatever kind of kick sound you want, and deliver the same kick sound mp mater what  the drummer has. I purchased 3 of them @ $400 each used. so I have backups. Better than any kick mic out there to me.

Ddrum_4-se.jpg

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I have a plug-in that can replace the kick with any sample you want - but am getting a good sound with a mic in the kick close to the batter head run through the "Debleeder" plug-in https://wilkinsonaudio.com/products/debleeder . Could probably get the same sound with most any gate that has adjustable parameters including a bandpass filter on the trigger.

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Something I do when I don't have a good tuned drum or no way to get a good "Click" is the take the 1 channel that the bass drum microphone is coming in on and assign it to 2 channel strips. (If you have a analog desk get a Y cable and feed 2 channels that way) I eq the lows and extreme highs out of this 2nd channel and get the best paper/click sound I can get and layer it on top of the normal channel. You can experiment with gate and compression if needed.  This brings out plenty of paper, easy to control and layer. On the "Normal" channel you don't have to eq that big boost in the 1.5 to 5k range you may have to for some Dead drums. Works good.  Something that is easy to try and doesn't hurt if its wrong for the "Drum of the Night" you may run into.  In this screen shot I have my Paper channel shown. It is assigned to a DCA so I can layer it as needed. I'm using this layer and these inputs for "Look ahead gate triggers" for my normal channels. 

 

 

 

Paper.PNG

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