bass drum mic - front or back?

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
losthighway
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2127
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by losthighway » Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:50 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:20 pm
losthighway wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:43 pm
Also as a side note, can everyone who's using the term "woofy" try and define it for me. I used to have a couple regular clients who used the term frequently when critiquing a mix, and I'm not sure I totally know what they mean. Just that we got it to go away.
Woofy, to me, and how I've heard it used, is too much mid low end, think 150-360 Hz. It is the "exhale" of the kick drum through the port,and
if you have a mic there, it will pick that up. The larger the kick drum, the lower that frequency is.
Thanks for clarifying. I assume this is a somewhat universal way of hearing woofy.

That's the trickiest part of the spectrum in a mix for me (150-360). So easy for it to build up and get muddy. I've been eq'ing away woofy all of this time and didn't know it.

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 7022
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by drumsound » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:21 pm

losthighway wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:43 pm

Also as a side note, can everyone who's using the term "woofy" try and define it for me. I used to have a couple regular clients who used the term frequently when critiquing a mix, and I'm not sure I totally know what they mean. Just that we got it to go away.
For me, woofy is too much low and low mid that gets it the way of what's actually musically relevant. It can occur in BD, but also bass, bass guitar, guitar, organ, keys of all sorts.

User avatar
Rodgre
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1682
Joined: Fri May 30, 2003 3:19 am
Location: Central MA
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by Rodgre » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:30 am

drumsound wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:21 pm
losthighway wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:43 pm

Also as a side note, can everyone who's using the term "woofy" try and define it for me. I used to have a couple regular clients who used the term frequently when critiquing a mix, and I'm not sure I totally know what they mean. Just that we got it to go away.
For me, woofy is too much low and low mid that gets it the way of what's actually musically relevant. It can occur in BD, but also bass, bass guitar, guitar, organ, keys of all sorts.
Agree. To me, it's both a blurriness in the low-mids/lows and a lack of clarity in the high-mids/highs. It's a topic for another thread, but it's definitely worth discussing as it's a real tricky area to deal with. There is so much that happens in those frequencies that needs to sit just right and not get cluttered and our ears are sometimes less tuned to that area, compared to what we notice in "detail" in the high-mids/highs. Woof. Murk. Mud. It's all that frequency range in my eyes (ears).

Back to the OP, I have always done the traditional front mic setup (dynamic in the hole or on the front head if there is no hole, and a ribbon or condenser 15" inches in front). I have occasionally mic'd the rear head with a pencil condenser for more "slap" or "click", but pretty much only when I have a smaller, jazz-style kick with no front hole and I want a little more impact/definition to add clarity to the "boom" of the front head. I will sometimes put a condenser on the shell of the kick, facing the shell, positioned where the 2nd tom would be if this was the 80s. This mic tends to be my "glue" mic and picks up a pretty nice blend of everything in the kit, but more specifically, it adds a nice midrange punch and throatiness to the bass drum that kind of goes against the usual scooped-midrange of something like a Beta52/D112, both which instantly give you that smile-curve hard rock kick drum sound. Getting some midrange in there makes for a nice punch to the kick sometimes.

WAY back in the early 90's, my go-to kick drum mic technique was a Radio Shack/Crown PZM mic with a 9v battery instead of a AA (more headroom), sitting inside the kick on a pillow, run into the board with a Paia Parametric EQ inserted on it, to tape. The EQ was preset to a slight sharp boost in the the 60-80Hz range and somewhat of a lift up on the top end. The PZM was pretty great, to be honest. It picked up a nice "shell" tone inside the kick. I should try that again and see if it has aged well.

Roger

User avatar
Studiodawg
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:19 am
Location: USA

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by Studiodawg » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:55 am

The rectangular mic I referred to in a previous post is the Shure 819.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9179
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by vvv » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:47 am

Yeah, I have a Shure of some kind, and an AT. If I recall, one I have is unbalanced, the other has some kinda mini XLR.

I believe those are called boundary mic's because you place them on boundaries, ex., walls, floor, etc. I think they are also called, PZM's, as Rodgre referenced above. See:
https://tapeop.com/interviews/1/pzm/

They were trendy about 15 years ago. I recall something about mounting 'em on a piece of plywood and placing 'em on the floor to capture drums.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
Scodiddly
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3586
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Mundelein, IL, USA
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by Scodiddly » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:08 pm

vvv wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:47 am
Yeah, I have a Shure of some kind, and an AT. If I recall, one I have is unbalanced, the other has some kinda mini XLR.

I believe those are called boundary mic's because you place them on boundaries, ex., walls, floor, etc. I think they are also called, PZM's, as Rodgre referenced above. See:
https://tapeop.com/interviews/1/pzm/

They were trendy about 15 years ago. I recall something about mounting 'em on a piece of plywood and placing 'em on the floor to capture drums.
Shure SM98 / Beta98 is still a popular mic to throw inside the kick drum in some genres. Cardioid boundary mic.

Oh yeah - as a live guy it's 99.9% of the time front head, mostly so you can keep an eye on it. I still like to use a CAD E100.

User avatar
Studiodawg
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:19 am
Location: USA

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by Studiodawg » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:23 pm

I never liked the CAD e100 on the bass drum. I liked it better on the hi-hat, but don't usually mic the hi-hat cuz I get plenty in the overhead(s). I sold my e100 last year. I'm thinking about putting 2 CAD e300s in cardioid overhead in xy config. I have the CAD Trion 7000 ribbons in spaced-pair as overheads currently. Warm & fast.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9179
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by vvv » Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:22 pm

I love those Trions! I actually saw a review compared 'em to Royer. I have one, it's on amps, switch it out with a Shiny Box 23L for room or put the Trion 6" from the amp.

I have a older CAD tube mic, also, and it's sweet on vocals and room - the one with the lolli and the rubberized finish - 6000?

Also forgot to mention, 1 mic in a hurry is Senn 603II just off the front head whether it's there or not, angled if there's a hole. It always works.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 7022
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by drumsound » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:46 am

vvv wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:22 pm
I love those Trions! I actually saw a review compared 'em to Royer. I have one, it's on amps, switch it out with a Shiny Box 23L for room or put the Trion 6" from the amp.

I have a older CAD tube mic, also, and it's sweet on vocals and room - the one with the lolli and the rubberized finish - 6000?

Also forgot to mention, 1 mic in a hurry is Senn 603II just off the front head whether it's there or not, angled if there's a hole. It always works.
e602II typo?

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9179
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by vvv » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:03 am

:oops:

Yes! E602II

Gonna fire my transcriptionist ...
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
digitaldrummer
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2501
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:35 am

and this is how I would describe Zomby Woofiness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksnwEsPKO5s
Mike
www.studiodrumtracks.com -- Drum tracks starting at $50!
www.doubledogrecording.com

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 7022
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by drumsound » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:11 am

digitaldrummer wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:35 am
and this is how I would describe Zomby Woofiness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksnwEsPKO5s
NIIIIIICE!

User avatar
Brett Siler
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2509
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:16 pm
Location: Evansville, IN
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by Brett Siler » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:58 pm

If I had to pick just one side, I would pick the resonant side. Especially if the resonant side has a port you can easily get excellent kick drum sounds with the right mic and placement. Micing just the beater side sounds kinda crazy from my experience.

User avatar
Snarl 12/8
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3417
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:01 pm
Location: Right Cheer
Contact:

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:22 pm

One of my favorite things is to mic the beater side and the resonant side (if no hole) and hard pan them. It's like having your head inside the kick drum. In a good way.
Carl Keil

Almost forgot: Please steal my drum tracks. and more.

User avatar
Studiodawg
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:19 am
Location: USA

Re: bass drum mic - front or back?

Post by Studiodawg » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:30 am

This sounds like something I'd like to try!
Snarl 12/8 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:22 pm
One of my favorite things is to mic the beater side and the resonant side (if no hole) and hard pan them. It's like having your head inside the kick drum. In a good way.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 79 guests