Kick Drum

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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tentacle_joe
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Kick Drum

Post by tentacle_joe » Wed May 07, 2003 11:23 pm

Anybody have any suggestions for getting a good kick drum sound? The sound my drummer is getting in his home studio sounds like a god damn hammer hitting metal. I can't seem to EQ anything good out of it and it always gets lost in the mix.

?

Thanks for any help you can give.

:rockin:

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markpar
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by markpar » Wed May 07, 2003 11:32 pm

What mic are you using? My favorites are a D112 or an MD421. Combine that with a room mic run through a compressor squashing the hell out of it.

Does the kick have the front head removed? I almost always do that 'cause it sounds better that way in my room.

Also, you could try micing the beater head, as well. That can give some pretty cool sounds.

You might also have the drummer change the beater to something softer, if it's not already felt.

If there are a lot of overtones in the sound, put a blanket inside the drum to absorb some of the ring.

How is the mic pointed? Pointing it directly at the beater will give lots of attack and, if the mic is close the beater, not much else. A lot of times, I'll move the mic about 10-15 degrees to the left or right so that it's not pointing directly at the beater. I get the attack of the beater and a bit more oomph at the same time.

That's my $0.02,
-mark

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soundguy
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by soundguy » Wed May 07, 2003 11:33 pm

I think a kick drum, maybe more than a lot of other sources, really benefits from a great mic and a great amp. You can not have the best gear and get a great guitar sound, but the two things I always was in hell with was kick and bass, until I got some decent mics. Ive been recording kick lately with a d112 and a blue dragonly and its like, the kick drum sound I have always been wanting to hear.

what kind of mic is your drummer using?

Ive been thinking alot about that new akg phantom tube mic, it sounds cool and I bet it would work pretty well on a kick drum, and its like $200.

If you start off with a good mic and a good sounding drum, you can always find a way to make it work. But whenever I had to use crummy mics, I was never able to tweak on a good drum sound.

dave

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tactics
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by tactics » Wed May 07, 2003 11:37 pm

Sounds like you're doing a bit of the ancient fine art of turd polishing if you cant "eq anything good out of it".What mic/placement/set-up etc are you using?More info please. :???:
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markpar
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by markpar » Wed May 07, 2003 11:43 pm

Oh yeah, one other thought. You could always do some sample replacement. :) Use something like Drumagog http://www.drumagog.com/. I have friends who have used this to replace some kick and snare with samples from the Bob Clearmountain CDs and it worked great.

-mark

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Re: Kick Drum

Post by djslayerissick » Wed May 07, 2003 11:56 pm

someone suggested this a few months ago - and i swear by it:

take a nice 12" or 15" speaker and plug into a microphone input on your mixer - use it just like a mic. take off the front head of the bass drum and position the speaker about 3 inches away from shell straight on with kick.

best bass drum sound i've ever gotten - and almost zero bleed - nothing but the bass drum has the energy to move that big of a diaphragm.

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tentacle_joe
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by tentacle_joe » Thu May 08, 2003 12:32 am

Hey thanks for the quick responses.

The mics he used were one of those Audix drum mic packages - not sure exactly which models. Funny enough -- he used some SM57's for overheads and that gets a better fuller kit sound than all the close mic tracks he gave me.

The front head is there and the mic is deep inside - I don't believe he put any blankets in there. I'll get more info from him tomorrow and post it but so far I've had some interesting feedback.

thanks!

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heylow
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by heylow » Thu May 08, 2003 12:54 am

I notice you didnt mention what type of sound you were actually TRYING to get and in what context.

I really go for more "WHOOMP" and "BOOM" than "SLAP" and "SMACK". I guess I like it a bit different than most guys.....but the thing that has worked wonders for me on the record I am working on is a Beyer M88 on a closed head kick...say 6 inches off the res head maybe a third of the way in towards the middle. I also tune both heads to "f". This works well for this particular kick, I think.

I hate to say this....but what truly matters most as far as getting a sound you want is to make the kick drum SOUND LIKE you WANT it to sound. I have used a bunch of different pres and mics...great stuff, good stuff AND ok stuff and have gone all throught the phase of "if I get THAT mic, my kick will rule" and I have found that, though I may have my preferences, it is always the source that matters most and makes the real difference.

Unfortunatly....I know lots of drummers that dont even bother tuning kick drums. Some will obsess over toms all day but just NEGLECT the kick.



heylow

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tentacle_joe
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by tentacle_joe » Thu May 08, 2003 12:56 am

"WHOOMP" and "BOOM" is what I am looking for.

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heylow
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by heylow » Thu May 08, 2003 1:08 am

I should also point out that I use VERY little muffling....another rarity, these days.

What I use there is an EVANS EQ pad on the res head and it just kinda sits there touching loosely. When the drum is struck, the pad jumps back and then falls back against the head. I find this to be the best of both worlds....open attack, controlled resonance.

I also use a coated res head and a Force 1 beater head.


Hope this helps,

heylow

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supafuzz
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Re: ultimate Kick Drum sound

Post by supafuzz » Thu May 08, 2003 5:17 am

To me the ultimate kick drum is Dino Danelli of the Rascals in the song
"Come On Up" there's a breakdown about 3/4 of the way thru and the bass drum is just killing me...sounds like they have both heads on and the drum is kinda loose but has a nice note to it...

They probably used some kinda tube mic i would guess and real tube compressors..

I know the Brigatti family and am trying to meet Dino through them [if they're talking to him that is!!!] He's one of my fave drummers of all time.
:twisted:

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uqbar
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by uqbar » Thu May 08, 2003 6:55 am

I use a royer a few feet in front of the kick, sometimes I also mix in a click from the beater (using a RE20). After that I don't really touch it much other than some compression across the drum mix.

Kyle
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by Kyle » Thu May 08, 2003 7:57 am

What kind of heads and batter does he use? Do you like the sound of the kick when you are in the room with him? I've used some of the Audix stuff before and it sounded like the kick I was micking. Each drum and drum head has it's own character. Fighting those characteristics can make your job difficult. Tuning is key. Good mics help a ton, but a good source is the most improtant thing.
Kyle

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heylow
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Re: ultimate Kick Drum sound

Post by heylow » Thu May 08, 2003 1:24 pm

guitarwhore wrote:To me the ultimate kick drum is Dino Danelli of the Rascals in the song
"Come On Up" there's a breakdown about 3/4 of the way thru and the bass drum is just killing me...sounds like they have both heads on and the drum is kinda loose but has a nice note to it...

They probably used some kinda tube mic i would guess and real tube compressors..

I know the Brigatti family and am trying to meet Dino through them [if they're talking to him that is!!!] He's one of my fave drummers of all time.
:twisted:

A SWEEEET kick drum, indeed, sir!! I would have to agree with guess as to the specifics of the sound as well.

heylow

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thunderboy
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Re: Kick Drum

Post by thunderboy » Thu May 08, 2003 1:57 pm

Here's a question:
Are you asking about TRACKING a kick drum, or making a recorded track sound better? From your posts, it sounds like you have received some tracks from your drummer and now you are trying to tweak them.

jt

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