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Old 02-11-2011, 08:47 PM
MickeyPiedmont MickeyPiedmont is offline
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Default Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

I've currently went back to a minimalist approach to miking the drum set I use. I decided to go back to the old tried & true "Recorderman Method" with the two Oktava MK-012's that I have. The mix has always sounded great with just those two mics - but I want the kick to be a tad more prominent. One of the issues I have is that every mic I place "inside" the bass drum ends up sounding like the inside of a pressured air tank. Placing mics inside bass drums has rarely worked out for me - so I decided to just do away with the method all together for right now, (especially if I'm using mics designed for bass drums). It always just ends up sounding too unnatural & unmusical to me. The kick also becomes too bassy & I figure if I have to drastically lower the EQ to compensate, well then I should probably just use a different microphone all together. I've actually had better luck recording the inside of bass drums with a regular old SM57. But I really inspire towards the sound of the entire "bass drum" instead of just the sound "of the attack". The best way I've been able to capture this sound is by of-course using a microphone on the outside of the bass drum. I've found that microphones sound good at either the batter or resonant OR even both with sometimes the phase reversed (but using both mics has never been necessary). I currently tried mounting a "EV N/D868 to point towards the batter from the outside of the bass drum without a microphone @ the resonant. I find it interesting that this bass drum microphone method worked better for me then any other methods I've tried. I would use something like an "EV RE20" for this method - but I don't own this microphone & I'm out of money - so I'm stuck using the mics I have for right now. (I do have an AT2035 though). Anyway, I understand that a mic like the N/D868 is usually used inside the drum - but I've found the frequency response to be perfect for use on the outside while it also does a spectacular job weaning out the unwanted rest of the drum set. So this is my question: "How many of you out there heard of a mic placed @ the batter as the primary capture of the bass drum sound"? In other words, have any of you guys used a microphone on the outside of the BATTER to capture the overall bass drum "without the use of an additional inside mic OR resonant mic"?
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:27 PM
KarlCrafton's Avatar
KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

I'm no recording expert, but I've seen dozens of photos of Jazz drummers being recorded, and the mic was pointed at the batter head, away from the kit (not right next to the drum).
Seems like they did this a lot for TV as well. You would get a more "total instrument" sound from the kit/bass drum.

Some years ago, I had one bass drum that just could NOT get rid of the "hollow basketball" sound (it was the head--didn't have a different one) when it was mic'd in "the usual spot", so we put it on the batter head instead.

I have to say, it worked and sounded GREAT. That mic was a 421 if I remember correctly. It was pointed between the beater spot and the edge.

I talked to a couple friends that do FOH at a couple venues I play, and asked them about micing the batter side, but they didn't seem to want to try it.

I'd set it up, but, they were always "well...." and would change the subject.
I just think they aren't used to it, besides the hassle if some bozo banged their mic, and what you'd have to do to place it.
But, if someone brings their own mic, and sets it up, what's the big deal?

One thing that gets me is, EVERYONE marvels at the old recordings where they used 2 or 3 mics on kits, but no one these days wants to do it.

Those guy's back then had LESS experience than most of us nowadays in recording, spent way less time in the studio, and did one or 2 albums a year.

Set it up, get a level..."sounds good boy's" ...GO. All right then, that's it, here's your record, done.

And the gear was nothing compared to what someone can have at home for $2,000 (or less).
Now it takes 3 days and 8 sets of heads just to mic a tom, you need 14 snares on an album, and take a year or 3 to make a record.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:39 PM
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keep it simple keep it simple is offline
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Default Re: Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyPiedmont View Post
have any of you guys used a microphone on the outside of the BATTER to capture the overall bass drum "without the use of an additional inside mic OR resonant mic"?
Yes, but I've not recorded that way (will soon), only for live. I use a D112 on the batter. About 8" off the head & pointed half way between the beater strike point & the hoop. That captures the shell sound (thin maple) very well. Much more balanced & clean than the overtone frenzy that is the inside of a drum. Although that's great on it's own, I've recently tried a Yamaha Subkick on the reso side too. Both mic's run flat. I get a lovely clean bottom end from that. Plenty of weight without bass overload. I'm still playing with this, & I'm getting very interesting results in a live rock setting. 20" Kick drum BTW.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:25 AM
audiotech
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:32 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

You mentioned an Electrovoice RE20. These mics are great and what makes them even greater is that they have a very minimal proximity effect. This means they will not muddy up because they are placed in close proximity to the sound source, causing anywhere from a 10 to 20 decibel low frequency bump of lesser cardioid microphones that aren't compensated. This all depends on the type, distance from the sound source and the frequency of the sound source. The bass drum will sound very accurate without all the boominess associated with most other bass drum mics. When I have to get more beater into the mix, I usually mic the batter head with either a dynamic or condenser microphone placed low on a stand under the closest floor tom pointed either right at the beater or slightly to the right of it. What works for me is either an SM57, AKG 451 condenser or if I'm having bleed from the floor tom, a Sennheiser 416 short shotgun. This second bass drum mic will get mixed very lightly with the main reso mic. It's one of those things that you really have to play with the microphone placement to achieve the desired sound. With recording anything, the microphone choice is usually less than 10% of the sound, the correct placement of the microphone is the other 90.



Dennis
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:32 AM
MickeyPiedmont MickeyPiedmont is offline
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Default Re: Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
You mentioned an Electrovoice RE20. These mics are great and what makes them even greater is that they have a very minimal proximity effect. This means they will not muddy up because they are placed in close proximity to the sound source, causing anywhere from a 10 to 20 decibel low frequency bump of lesser cardioid microphones that aren't compensated. This all depends on the type, distance from the sound source and the frequency of the sound source. The bass drum will sound very accurate without all the boominess associated with most other bass drum mics. When I have to get more beater into the mix, I usually mic the batter head with either a dynamic or condenser microphone placed low on a stand under the closest floor tom pointed either right at the beater or slightly to the right of it. What works for me is either an SM57, AKG 451 condenser or if I'm having bleed from the floor tom, a Sennheiser 416 short shotgun. This second bass drum mic will get mixed very lightly with the main reso mic. It's one of those things that you really have to play with the microphone placement to achieve the desired sound. With recording anything, the microphone choice is usually less than 10% of the sound, the correct placement of the microphone is the other 90.



Dennis
Wow... Beautiful setup you got there. Yes.. the trusty RE20 for kick, exactly what I need. I've been using this EV N/D868. I purchased it a few years ago. It brings out way too much bass in my opinion when using it the way its intended to be used (inside bass drum). Allot of people praise this microphone for kick drum use. I just don't get it. Of-course, I'm not after the ultra modern drum sound anymore. I was turned on to this microphone by a salesman at a local music store. If using this microphone to mic the kick, I have to actually cut the low frequency drastically in order to get it anywhere close to the way I would like it to sound. But by the time I cut the lower frequencies that much, it really causes the source to sound unnatural. I guess something like the N/D868 was designed for a different sound then what I'm after. Too bad though... I think it cost me $300. I think I would have been happier with a more traditional microphone for the bass drum. The next microphone I invest in will be the RE20. I realized I might have got my words a little mixed up in my last post. I haven't lost all my faith in miking the resonant side of the bass drum. If I had a RE20, I would most definitely have it placed on the kicks resonant side out in front of the kit like you have yours. Thanks for the great advice my man!
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2011, 05:58 AM
MickeyPiedmont MickeyPiedmont is offline
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Default Re: Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Yes, but I've not recorded that way (will soon), only for live. I use a D112 on the batter. About 8" off the head & pointed half way between the beater strike point & the hoop. That captures the shell sound (thin maple) very well. Much more balanced & clean than the overtone frenzy that is the inside of a drum. Although that's great on it's own, I've recently tried a Yamaha Subkick on the reso side too. Both mic's run flat. I get a lovely clean bottom end from that. Plenty of weight without bass overload. I'm still playing with this, & I'm getting very interesting results in a live rock setting. 20" Kick drum BTW.
You know, I really haven't even tried pointing the mic I'm using anywhere else on the batter other then the center. I guess just pointing it at the batter was such an improvement from the alternatives methods I've used - that I just decided to stop there. But I'm going to try pointing it 1/2 way between the strike point & the hoop like your doing. Maybe this will improve the sound even more. Not that I'm having an issue with too much attack though. But I'll try it out anyway. After all, I'm trying to capture the sound of the shell like you mentioned. I've also often wondered what a D112 would sound like in comparison to the N/D868.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2011, 10:57 AM
TwoCables
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Default Re: Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

Personally, I see nothing wrong with placing mics like the N D868 outside pointed right at the resonant or batter head.

I mean, I have the Beta 52, and I love the sound achieved by placing it outside pointed right at the resonant along with no other mics except two small diaphragm condensers as overheads. I have an Aquarian Super-Kick I batter and a Regulator with no hole as the resonant. I also have a rolled up bath towel inside which is placed against the batter head. I tune my bass drum similar to John Bonham which means I use a higher tension than most people, and the result is a thunderous bass drum sound like a human heartbeat and I also get a wonderful pedal feel. I've never considered pointing the 52 at the batter, but that nice bass drum sound is still captured at the resonant head and it sounds fairly clean to me.

Another thing I like is that the while the overheads are capturing the entire kit, the Beta 52 is capturing the low end of my toms too. So it kinda sounds somewhat similar to having a mic on each of the toms - especially the ones over the bass drum.

Actually, here's a recording I made almost 2 years ago because I was incredibly bored:

http://home.comcast.net/~twocables/Test1.wma (3.34 MB) Please don't judge my playing if you can help it! :P

I can't make any more recordings because I no longer have 24/7 access to my drums. Plus, the room they're in now sounds terrible.


Recording details:
I don't have any photos, so I'll do my best to describe everything. I know I don't have to provide these details, but I am worried that someone might want to know. I know I would.

Mics:
I had two M-Audio Pulsar II's as overheads (I have the "Matched Pair" pack). They were on the included mounting bracket positioned as far apart as possible. Even though this was my only option, I still did my best to position them similar to the way Dave Weckl positions his SM81s (even at a similar height), except I was also trying to capture my toms too. I had the Beta52 pointed directly at the resonant head (no angle) about 2-3 inches away, and it was dead center. I also have my first two toms on a double tom stand over to the left of the bass drum so that I can have the ride in closer. Actually, the entire kit is centered around my snare, kinda like a double bass setup.

Recording equipment:
The mixer is a Peavey PV8: http://www.peavey.com/products/proau...033/index.html

I used the Tape Out on this mixer going directly into the Line-In on my sound card which is an X-Fi XtremeGamer. My software was Sony Sound Forge 7.0. Everything was 100% dry. But I think I EQ'd the mics very slightly to improve the sound to my liking.

Levels:
I got my levels before doing any actual recording by isolating the mics and visually comparing the levels. For this recording, I had a little more of the Beta 52 in the mix than the overheads. I made five other recordings after this just to play around some more, but none of them sound as good to me because I started experimenting with lower levels on the Beta 52, and the result was that the toms had less low end too - especially those first two toms.

Drums and bass drum mic setup:
The drums are Yamaha Stage Customs that were made in 1997. Their sizes are 10"x9", 12"x10", 14"x12", and 22"x16". The toms are retrofitted with RIMS style mounts, and their heads are clear G1s for batter and resonant. The snare is a 14"x5 Ocheltree "Heavy Metals" Carbon Steel with a coated G1 on the batter and a Hazy 300 (Ambassador weight) on the snare side. The sticks are Vic Firth 5ANs, and most of the snare hits are rimshots. The bass drum setup is just as I described above:

"I have the Beta 52, and I love the sound achieved by placing it outside pointed right at the resonant along with no other mics except two small diaphragm condensers as overheads. I have an Aquarian Super-Kick I batter and a Regulator with no hole as the resonant. I also have a rolled up bath towel inside which is placed against the batter head. I tune my bass drum similar to John Bonham which means I use a higher tension than most people, and the result is a thunderous bass drum sound like a human heartbeat and I also get a wonderful pedal feel. I've never considered pointing the 52 at the batter, but that nice bass drum sound is still captured at the resonant head and it sounds fairly clean to me."

I forgot to say that I also have the resonant head tuned a little higher than the batter.

Cymbals:
From left to right, the cymbals were 16" Paiste Sound Formula thin crash, 13" K/Z Dyno Beat Combo hats, 10" A Custom Splash, 14" A Custom Crash, 20" K Custom Medium Ride, 16" A Custom Crash, and an 18" Oriental China "Trash".

Oh, and I have LP's red and blue Jam Blocks on my far left.

Bass drum beater? :)
The bass drum beater is just a standard round felt model that came with my Flying Dragon positioned to hit dead center.

The room:
The room was a 12'x15' with a 12-foot ceiling that had real acoustic tiles (with 3 feet of space above the tiles to the real ceiling). This room was a part of a practice studio complex located in the basement of a large building. So, the floors were cement with high-traffic carpet, and the walls were sheet rock covered in the same high-traffic carpet. I was set up parallel to the 15' wall.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2011, 08:41 PM
MickeyPiedmont MickeyPiedmont is offline
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Posts: 24
Default Re: Capturing bass drum @ batter instead of resonant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
Personally, I see nothing wrong with placing mics like the N D868 outside pointed right at the resonant or batter head.

I mean, I have the Beta 52, and I love the sound achieved by placing it outside pointed right at the resonant along with no other mics except two small diaphragm condensers as overheads. I have an Aquarian Super-Kick I batter and a Regulator with no hole as the resonant. I also have a rolled up bath towel inside which is placed against the batter head. I tune my bass drum similar to John Bonham which means I use a higher tension than most people, and the result is a thunderous bass drum sound like a human heartbeat and I also get a wonderful pedal feel. I've never considered pointing the 52 at the batter, but that nice bass drum sound is still captured at the resonant head and it sounds fairly clean to me.

Another thing I like is that the while the overheads are capturing the entire kit, the Beta 52 is capturing the low end of my toms too. So it kinda sounds somewhat similar to having a mic on each of the toms - especially the ones over the bass drum.

Actually, here's a recording I made almost 2 years ago because I was incredibly bored:

http://home.comcast.net/~twocables/Test1.wma (3.34 MB) Please don't judge my playing if you can help it! :P

I can't make any more recordings because I no longer have 24/7 access to my drums. Plus, the room they're in now sounds terrible.


Recording details:
I don't have any photos, so I'll do my best to describe everything. I know I don't have to provide these details, but I am worried that someone might want to know. I know I would.

Mics:
I had two M-Audio Pulsar II's as overheads (I have the "Matched Pair" pack). They were on the included mounting bracket positioned as far apart as possible. Even though this was my only option, I still did my best to position them similar to the way Dave Weckl positions his SM81s (even at a similar height), except I was also trying to capture my toms too. I had the Beta52 pointed directly at the resonant head (no angle) about 2-3 inches away, and it was dead center. I also have my first two toms on a double tom stand over to the left of the bass drum so that I can have the ride in closer. Actually, the entire kit is centered around my snare, kinda like a double bass setup.

Recording equipment:
The mixer is a Peavey PV8: http://www.peavey.com/products/proau...033/index.html

I used the Tape Out on this mixer going directly into the Line-In on my sound card which is an X-Fi XtremeGamer. My software was Sony Sound Forge 7.0. Everything was 100% dry. But I think I EQ'd the mics very slightly to improve the sound to my liking.

Levels:
I got my levels before doing any actual recording by isolating the mics and visually comparing the levels. For this recording, I had a little more of the Beta 52 in the mix than the overheads. I made five other recordings after this just to play around some more, but none of them sound as good to me because I started experimenting with lower levels on the Beta 52, and the result was that the toms had less low end too - especially those first two toms.

Drums and bass drum mic setup:
The drums are Yamaha Stage Customs that were made in 1997. Their sizes are 10"x9", 12"x10", 14"x12", and 22"x16". The toms are retrofitted with RIMS style mounts, and their heads are clear G1s for batter and resonant. The snare is a 14"x5 Ocheltree "Heavy Metals" Carbon Steel with a coated G1 on the batter and a Hazy 300 (Ambassador weight) on the snare side. The sticks are Vic Firth 5ANs, and most of the snare hits are rimshots. The bass drum setup is just as I described above:

"I have the Beta 52, and I love the sound achieved by placing it outside pointed right at the resonant along with no other mics except two small diaphragm condensers as overheads. I have an Aquarian Super-Kick I batter and a Regulator with no hole as the resonant. I also have a rolled up bath towel inside which is placed against the batter head. I tune my bass drum similar to John Bonham which means I use a higher tension than most people, and the result is a thunderous bass drum sound like a human heartbeat and I also get a wonderful pedal feel. I've never considered pointing the 52 at the batter, but that nice bass drum sound is still captured at the resonant head and it sounds fairly clean to me."

I forgot to say that I also have the resonant head tuned a little higher than the batter.

Cymbals:
From left to right, the cymbals were 16" Paiste Sound Formula thin crash, 13" K/Z Dyno Beat Combo hats, 10" A Custom Splash, 14" A Custom Crash, 20" K Custom Medium Ride, 16" A Custom Crash, and an 18" Oriental China "Trash".

Oh, and I have LP's red and blue Jam Blocks on my far left.

Bass drum beater? :)
The bass drum beater is just a standard round felt model that came with my Flying Dragon positioned to hit dead center.

The room:
The room was a 12'x15' with a 12-foot ceiling that had real acoustic tiles (with 3 feet of space above the tiles to the real ceiling). This room was a part of a practice studio complex located in the basement of a large building. So, the floors were cement with high-traffic carpet, and the walls were sheet rock covered in the same high-traffic carpet. I was set up parallel to the 15' wall.
Wow... Thanks for all your help. I've always found it interesting & pleasing how a bass drum mic like the Beta 52 out in front of the kick can catch the rear/low-end/resonant-side of the toms to. When mic'ed this way, you can really hear if the resonant side of the toms is tighter or looser then the batter. It can give you that 80's tom sound of the note very noticeably going up or down. I agree with you. It's a very effective way of setting up the bass drum mic.
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