Subwoofer for acoustic kick

56BelAir

Junior Member
I need my own preamp and 12" subwoofer to amplify my kick drum. I need suggestions of something tried and true. I am using a 22" kick. I bought a preamp and a sub from guitar center, there was no punch. Please advise

Paul
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I don't understand the question. Is that all you need? Usually, a subwoofer would be part of the main PA system being used for the entire band and providing sound for the entire house. So in a theoretical sense, I don't understand why you're trying to amplify yourself. Does the band not have its' own PA?

If you were carrying your own PA just for yourself, I would recommend at least 15" subs to compliment the rest of your PA. And lots of times when I'm mixing, the subwoofer get's its' own AUX channel so you can control that separate from the rest of the stereo mix.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
If you’re wanting to amplify your own kick drum for small gigs a bass amp is a good option.

A few years ago I borrowed a 15” + tweeter bass combo that was already in the venue, plugged a mic in (xlr - jack cable) and placed it next to my hhat. Worked surprisingly well to make the drum deeper and louder. It was a Hartke liftback amp, with the aluminium woofer.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Just send some bass drum through the subs on the PA. A personal sub is just gonna be boomy low end on stage that pisses everyone else off.

My band had a dep in for me who had one attached to a trigger and they hated it, total overkill.

A 22" bass drum should be fine unmiced for most situations, without knowing how it's setup I can't give advice on getting a punchy sound.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I need my own preamp and 12" subwoofer to amplify my kick drum. I need suggestions of something tried and true. I am using a 22" kick. I bought a preamp and a sub from guitar center, there was no punch. Please advise

Paul
If you need a subwoofer to help supplement your band's PA.....

1: Yamaha
2: Powered/Active
3: I'd recommend their 15" over their 12".

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/proaudio/speakers/dxs/index.html

You should be able to find a deal on one for a hair over $500
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
A sub really isn't for volume as much as for thump, and there's a difference. And volume isn't always about loudness as much as being heard, and there's a difference there as well.

Simply put, if you want your kick to be heard better in the mix, you need to accentuate its presence and attack (read: its click.) Use a hard beater, maybe a hard patch in acoustic situations, and when miked, have the p.a. work on specific frequencies so that attack pokes through the mix. It may not be technically louder, but it will sound like it is because it's heard more clearly. It's in a better sonic space.

Think of a bass guitar and kick drum competing for low end. It's a nice goal in concept, but may be muddy and undefined from a sonic standpoint. Reduce the extreme low end off of one - I recommend the kick - and suddenly both the bass and kick sound great because they're no longer competing for the same sonic space.

Don't ditch the sub, just know that's not where your volume comes from.

Bermuda
 

56BelAir

Junior Member
I bought an Art Tube MP Studio Mic Preamp and a powered sub. The kick mic went into the preamp and out of the preamp to the sub. I tried a powered sub and passive. The Tube amp has an input and output dial. I found that I had to keep tweeking the input and output of the preamp depending on how I kicked the drum.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/ART/Tube-MP-Studio-Mic-Preamp.gc

for situations with a house PA, I am set. In situations where we bring a PA, we only run vocals and guitar on the PA.

There are scenario's where a 22" kick will suffice and it doesn't need any amplification. For some other scenarios we've played out and I need a little somethin', somethin'.

I would like to find a 12" speaker, some kind of electronics, and get my kick to be heard and felt by the audience. Unfortunately this is something I will have to deliver. I'm cool with buying some kind of amp, compressor, or EQ and sub, but I don't wanna lug anything more than 12". I need suggestions on products to buy, that will work.

Thanks for the responses, I read them and and will take everything into consideration
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
QSC makes a powered sub with two 12 inch speakers inside one cabinet, retails about $900. You might pick one up used.

You could also try the subwoofer unit from one of those Bose PA system (the L1 Base or something). But you'll need the Bose mixer unit in order to operate it. You can't just hook up any old amp to that subwoofer.

The ART preamp can't handle the dynamics of your kick mic, because it's a cheap POS with a gimmicky "tube" in it. A bad tube might actually be the problem. Even the preamps in Behringer mixers are probably better (since Behringer bought Midas, they've really improved).

Just get a small, 2-channel mixer, that has some EQ control, and be done with it.

If you do use a powered sub, or a powered speaker of some kind, let us know how it goes!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
for situations with a house PA, I am set. In situations where we bring a PA, we only run vocals and guitar on the PA.

There are scenario's where a 22" kick will suffice and it doesn't need any amplification. For some other scenarios we've played out and I need a little somethin', somethin'.

I would like to find a 12" speaker, some kind of electronics, and get my kick to be heard and felt by the audience.
This is where you buy an active subwoofer, plug it into your PA's LFE or Aux out, set the X-over point, and mic your kit (or kick) just like a house PA.

Again, I implore you to look at 15's. 12" speakers have about 110" of surface area. 15" speakers have about 175" of surface area. It is a major difference in low end and provides a great deal of headroom. Yes, you can make do with a 12" in a pinch, but you're going to constantly exceed (or be on the edge of) its capabilities.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Is this a decent sub to buy? Or is it too cheap considering it's price?

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Kustom-PA/PA112-SC-12-Powered-Subwoofer.gc

Secondly,

Does it matter what kind of 2 channel mixer I use as long as it has XLR input? Do I need phantom power?
Yes, this would work.

There are 2 kinds of mixers. Most are just mixers, and don't have an amp built-in. You would connect the XLR output of this to the input of a powered subwoofer.

There are powered mixers. The amp is built-in, and you're supposed to connect the outputs to unpowered (i.e. passive) speakers.

Do NOT connect powered outputs to your powered subwoofer (or any other kind of powered speaker!

Yes, you can make do with a 12" in a pinch, but you're going to constantly exceed (or be on the edge of) its capabilities.
This is the common wisdom, for sure. You might be pushing that 12" powered sub to its limit, and shorten its life. But, modern powered speakers have come pretty far in the last 5 years or so. That Kustom looks like it might be exactly what you need. And for under $300, it's probably worth a shot.
 

56BelAir

Junior Member
Brentcn,

I have a super fantastic passive 18" sub with solid Ashly amp. I just don't wanna lug it around. It's perfect for the job. I'm just not the right guy to hump it around.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Brentcn,

I have a super fantastic passive 18" sub with solid Ashly amp. I just don't wanna lug it around. It's perfect for the job. I'm just not the right guy to hump it around.
Check out the Yamaha CW115V. It's passive, but you have an amp. It's 500W program and 1000W max. The weight is about 63 pounds. Yes it's bigger than a 12, but that 12 you linked is 200W program and 400W max. The Yamaha will far outperform it, and one can be had for around $400.. It has a top-hat so you can pole mount mains on it if needed.

There is also a carpeted version, SW115V.

https://www.fullcompass.com/prod/168341-yamaha-cw115v-15-passive-subwoofer-500w
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
A 12" speaker just can't move the amount of air the way a 15" or 18" speaker can (given all things equal). A 12" will give the kick some presence in the PA, but the frequency just can't "get under" a bass guitar that well from my experience.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Brentcn,

I have a super fantastic passive 18" sub with solid Ashly amp. I just don't wanna lug it around. It's perfect for the job. I'm just not the right guy to hump it around.
For sure. I have a QSC 181 (powered) that just rules. But it's heavy, and not appropriate for some smaller rooms. That Yamaha 15" would be easily adequate, but it also weighs 61 lbs. I think that Kustom 12" is worth the gamble. I'm curious to know if it works out. It's a good price, and modern class D electronics have improved powered speakers (and bass amps) significantly.

But, you'll need a small mixer with EQ to dial in a usable tone. Don't just blindly trust the built-in crossover on the sub -- EQ the kick mic as you would if you were plugging into a normal PA, and maybe even subtract more low mids than normal, if the EQ permits it.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
But, you'll need a small mixer with EQ to dial in a usable tone. Don't just blindly trust the built-in crossover on the sub -- EQ the kick mic as you would if you were plugging into a normal PA, and maybe even subtract more low mids than normal, if the EQ permits it.
Why not just plug the sub into the PA's LFE (or Aux), and use the mixer's channel strip to EQ?

My greatest fear about the 12" sub is that the OP will end up desiring two of them.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Why not just plug the sub into the PA's LFE (or Aux), and use the mixer's channel strip to EQ?

My greatest fear about the 12" sub is that the OP will end up desiring two of them.
Could work, but the mixer may not have an available aux, or the channels may already be occupied by vocal mics.

Agreed, one 12" sub might not provide enough "oomph". But how else are you going to find out? The thing can be returned if it's not sufficient.
 

OSDrums

Active member
This my choice 12" subwoofer to amplify :
View attachment 87270
That’s a decent tool to amplify a kickdrum in a live setting... not really! :)

One 15“ sub added to the existing PA and you’re set. One 12“ sub you operate yourself is probably burned money. Ever tried to get a decent kick from a 12“ monitor on stage? It simply doesn’t work...

BTW: you need Phantom Power for condenser mics - the usual kick mics are dynamics and don’t need it. Only if you want to use a boundary mic, but that’s not needed for your intended use. I‘d say what you need is a decent parametric EQ to tailor the signal, at least a semiparametric mids to remove unwanted muddiness around 200-500 Hz.

Edit: I stand corrected, if you’re really willing to invest there are 12“ subs from the pro department: https://www.thomann.de/de/qsc_ks212c.htm
 
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