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  #1  
Old 10-19-2011, 10:31 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Kick Mic on Floor Tom

I have a Mapex Saturn kit, which many of you already know puts out a deep, rich tone. To ensure I capture that beautiful tone from the entire kit, I replaced the floor tom mic with a kick drum mic, because the floor tom tone seems to get lost in the mix. Sure enough, the kick drum mic captures the full tone of the floor tom, but it seems I have lost a bit of attack. It doesn't make sense to me, because frequency response range on both mics is exactly the same on the high end (which is where the attack would be picked up), and at the bottom end the kick mic picks an additional 10hz lower that the floor tom mic (which is why it captures the floor tom tone so well).

Interestingly, this same mic inside my kick picks up plenty of attack. I realize the dynamics inside the kick are a different animal, but could it be because the mic inside a kick is on the back side of the batter head, so the attack is pretty much directed right at the mic, whereas on a tom the attack is directed AWAY from the mic? I wouldn't think that would be the culprit, because otherwise attack wouldn't be very good on snares and toms, either.

Also, the mic in the kick is somewhere around 9" away from the batter head, while the kick mic mounted on the floor tom is only 1.5" away from the tom head. Would moving the mic farther away increase attack?

Thoughts, comments, opinions and suggestions from those that are running kick mics on their floor toms would be most welcome. :-)
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2011, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Try having the kick mic closer to the centre of the FT. The closer it sits to the point of attack the greater the result.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2011, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

What is the pickup pattern of each mic? I don't know if it would make a difference, but is something else to consider. Transient response is another thing, from my understanding a smaller diaphragm reacts quicker and I think kick mics probably have a larger diaphragm than say an SM57. I'm pretty amateur when it comes to this stuff.

Inside the kick the head moving inwards is sending a big wave of sound directly at the mic, so yes I'd assume that's why it gets plenty of attack. When it's on the side of the drum you aren't getting that same initial punch.

I used an Audix D6 kick mic on my 16" Saturn floor, did a nice job with the low end but now I think about it, there wasn't much attack, even with the engineer doing some compression. I can't remember how it sounded with a non-kick mic so can't really compare the two in terms of attack.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

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Originally Posted by Netz Ausg View Post
Try having the kick mic closer to the centre of the FT. The closer it sits to the point of attack the greater the result.
This is generally not the case with frequency accentuated microphones because of their increased proximity effect, but I don't have the time right now to explain further.

Dennis
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2011, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

You could always combine a kick mic with a tom mic and mix the 2 for best of both worlds?
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2011, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

what kick mic are you using? try using it underneath your floor and something else on top ie a beta 57?
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2011, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

you know that big deep fullness of danny carey's drums on lateralus? d112's on all the toms.

moving it further wouldn't give you more attack, you should try EQ'ing for more attack.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

What is the mic pointing at? If it's facing down at the edge of the head, try moving it up to face at the centre of the head. This will probably increase the amount of attack you get.
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2011, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

I use a Sennheiser e902 series mic out in front of my kick and it sounds great. It is still getting the forward air push from the reso. I would try placing your kick mic under your floor Tom, aimed right at the middle, a few inches away, just like I do my bass.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Conversely (in relation to Audiotech's advice) moving the mic further from the head by a couple of inches may reduce the proximity effect and give you more attack.
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2011, 07:00 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Thanks, all, for your comments. Based on some of the comments, I'm thinking more details are in order:

1) The frequency response of the tom mic I was using is 30Hz to 15KHz, whereas the kick mic I am now using has a 20Hz - 15KHz apread, so no difference on the top.

2) I usually place tom mics at between 1.5" and 2" from the head, pointed toward the center of the head, unless I want a "rounder" sound with less attack from a given drum, and in this case the mic is pointed at the center. FWIW, I also tried pointing downward more toward the close edge, as well as past center toward the opposite edge.

3) In theory, one might think moving a mic closer to center to where the stick hits would enhance attack, but in practice this does not appear to ring true (like the pun?). :-) In fact, you end up with more "bounce", which I presume is caused by the sound waves bouncing back into the mic, which I can best describe as what you might think happens as sound waves are bonicing back and forth between heads on a drum, if that makes sense. Or, maybe it could be better described as being akin to a phase cancellation effect, I don't know. In either case, contrary to what you might expect, moving the mic closer to the stick contact point almost sounds worse, if you can imagine that.

4) I would think that positioning the mic for the bottom head would probably not enhance the attack, since attack comes from stick contact on the batter head, and more than likely pick up more of the tone of the bottom head, so I have not yet tried that. And, I bet placed under a floor tom, a mic would probably pick up a lot of the kick drum, which might not be a bad thing, but, my fear is that I might end up with some phase cancellation. But, it is definitely worth a shot, if anything, to at least confirm or dispell my belief. ;-)

5) I have tried EQ'ng, and even rolled off up to about 6db at the low end, but it doesn't help. FWIW, I don't like to rely too heavily on EQ, and prefer to get the best overall sound, including attack, from positioning first, for the same reason you want to have a drum tuned well before mic'ing. ;-)

6) After reading Mediocrefunkybeat's post, I seem to recall that when I was using a different set of mic mounts that prevented me from positioning the mics any closer than 3" from the head, I had plenty of attack but not as much tone as I prefer, so I will give a whirl at backing the mic off the tom, because this mic provides plenty of tone. In fact, I do still have attack, it's just that it seem to get swallowed up by the deep resonance of the tom too quickly.

7) One more thing that might be worth mentioning is that I like my batter and reso heads to be tuned the same, because, to me, a drum it emits a "truer" tone this way without a blend of overtones and potentially "off" harmonics. Albeit, this method of tuning requires much more effort, and results in significantly more "clean" sustain/resonance, and I mention this in case any of you think it is remotely possible that this might be contributing to the tone "swallowing up" the attack, before I create too much work for myself, by "de-tuning" the matched tune.

I obviously have some thinking to do. From my experience, I am more partiuclar about the sound I get than the next guy, but I will say that, if push comes to shove, I'd live with the sound I'm getting, as I much prefer the way the kick mic captures the overall tone of this floor tom, and am really hoping that this is simply a matter of dialing in a good balance between tone and attack. Also, if I can help it, I'm never going back to a tom mic on a floor tom again, because this tom/mic combination captures such a full, rich tone that is not normally captured with a tom mic, so if I have to lose a little of the abundance of tone I am now getting while I try to enhance the attack a bit, that would be perfectly fine, because there is now more than enough tone to go around. ;-)
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Last edited by MrLeadFoot; 10-19-2011 at 07:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:07 PM
Soupy Soupy is offline
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

1) Mics don't instantly stop picking up sound when you cross the posted frequency response range. What's the actual sensitivity at 15KHz? It's entirely possible that while the usable frequency range goes up to 15KHz, the kick mic could still be much less sensitive at higher frequencies. You'd need to compare frequency response graphs to get a better idea.

3) I've never heard of "bounce" as a sound, but let me just ask if you're monitoring the sounds from the mics individually, or with overheads mixed in? That could be a source of phase cancelation. Also, the center of drum heads when hit tend to give a more dead sound than on the perimeter, so you might not be getting the same quality of sound that you're expecting.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2011, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom



Josh Mckenzie uses Beta 52's on the floors on his standup rig.
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2011, 01:09 PM
audiotech
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

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Originally Posted by MusiQmaN View Post


Josh Mckenzie uses Beta 52's on the floors on his standup rig.
He also must not like any tone from his drums from the look of all that Moongel.

Dennis
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2011, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Its not that big sizes moongel but Coated pinstripes and mg makes tripple dampening. Must have to do with the sound the band/techs/he wants to achieve.
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2011, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

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Originally Posted by MusiQmaN View Post
Its not that big sizes moongel but Coated pinstripes and mg makes tripple dampening. Must have to do with the sound the band/techs/he wants to achieve.
I think he would like to have a pillow setup but the band didnt think it looked cool.
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2011, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

He is so hot he has two fire extinguishers set up on the far right of his rack. ;)
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2011, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

He obviously likes that sound:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnTY-...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMsXYQzj8h8
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  #19  
Old 10-20-2011, 05:37 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

My hidden agenda at last night's rehearsal was to determine whether or not the I could get more attack from the kick mic on a floor tom, and I planned on trying different things. I started with the mic on the 14 floor, with the mic positioned 1/2" higher than I normally run tom mics (total height was 2.25"), and left the 16 floor to fend for itself in the overheads, intending on eventually progressing to the 16 over the course of the rehearsal. I recorded the band on a single track to try to simulate a live performance. Guess what? I never looked back. Turns out raising the mic an additional 1/2" over the tom head made a quite a difference, similar to how moving a kick mic inside a kick drum just a 1/2" can make a significant difference.

While I originally got the kick mic for my 16 floor, I'm now considering a kick mic for the 14 floor!

Oh, and regarding McKenzie's coated pinstripes and moongels, I can see why he does that. While an open tone sounds good acoustically to the naked ear, it's a WAY different story when it come to close-micing, as open tone often results in a cluttered overall mix, not to mention sympathetic ring is gets picked up very easily by mics that close to a brum head. So, sometimes it's better to dampen to eliminate too much sustain and ring, and let the board do the mix. ;-) Those clips kettles linked to are not very good examples on how his kit probably really sounds when mixed right. Those clips sounded like they were simply recorded with the video camera's mic(s).
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  #20  
Old 10-20-2011, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

I have Sennheiser e904's clipped onto my 15 and 16 floors and they sound great. I don't want them to sound too different from the other toms. I am going to put a e902, there version of a low frequency mic, on my 18 inch elevated floor tom when I have the money.
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  #21  
Old 10-20-2011, 07:08 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

I can see why you'd want a 902 rather than a 904 for your 18", as the 904's range only goes down to 40hz, whereas the 902 goes down to 20hz. My tom mics go down to 30hz which already picks up a lower end than your 904s, and I noticed a big difference moving to a the kick mic, which dips to 20hz, like the 902 does.

Don't do it, Glen. Do NOT get a 902, because my hunch is that once you hear what a 20hz mic does for your 18", you'll try in on your other floor toms, and then end up wanting a 902 for each of them, too! :-)
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

It's not just about frequency numbers, but how the mic pics up the sound.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
My hidden agenda at last night's rehearsal was to determine whether or not the I could get more attack from the kick mic on a floor tom, and I planned on trying different things. I started with the mic on the 14 floor, with the mic positioned 1/2" higher than I normally run tom mics (total height was 2.25"), and left the 16 floor to fend for itself in the overheads, intending on eventually progressing to the 16 over the course of the rehearsal. I recorded the band on a single track to try to simulate a live performance. Guess what? I never looked back. Turns out raising the mic an additional 1/2" over the tom head made a quite a difference, similar to how moving a kick mic inside a kick drum just a 1/2" can make a significant difference.
Ta da! Thank you and goodnight. I'm here all week. Try the venison.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

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I'm here all week.
Don't threaten us. :)
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

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Don't threaten us. :)
I am actually here all week. I have a reading week from my teaching course and then back into the fold, all guns blazing.
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  #26  
Old 10-20-2011, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
Oh, and regarding McKenzie's coated pinstripes and moongels, I can see why he does that. While an open tone sounds good acoustically to the naked ear, it's a WAY different story when it come to close-micing, as open tone often results in a cluttered overall mix, not to mention sympathetic ring is gets picked up very easily by mics that close to a brum head. So, sometimes it's better to dampen to eliminate too much sustain and ring, and let the board do the mix. ;-) Those clips kettles linked to are not very good examples on how his kit probably really sounds when mixed right. Those clips sounded like they were simply recorded with the video camera's mic(s).
I know. I posted them to show he takes a lot of influence from hand percussion, and he probably just digs that drier muffled tone. I know a guy who does the same thing, coated pinstripe on snare with tape/moongels and everything, it's all part of that sound that works for his music
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:43 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Quote:
Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
It's not just about frequency numbers, but how the mic pics up the sound.
Yes, I am aware of that. Just glad it's working out for me, in the end. But, now I am seriously considering getting another one of the kick mics for my other floor tom. Does spending money ever end? :-)

Incidentally, one of my previous guitarists is an area manager for Sennheiser. Glad to hear you're helping him keep food on the table. :-)
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:45 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Kick Mic on Floor Tom

Quote:
Originally Posted by kettles View Post
I know. I posted them to show he takes a lot of influence from hand percussion, and he probably just digs that drier muffled tone. I know a guy who does the same thing, coated pinstripe on snare with tape/moongels and everything, it's all part of that sound that works for his music
Good point about the style of music having an influence on what we all do with our sound. Nice reminder that no single method or application is "right", and that we should all maintain open minds, and do what is necessary to contribute to the overall sound, and TRY to keep our egos in check. ;-)
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