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  #1  
Old 08-30-2013, 03:15 PM
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maxhammerstrike maxhammerstrike is offline
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Default Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Hey guys ,
How are you setting your PA up for live shows to get that nice tight fat, non ringing, bass drum sound without loading it up and choking the drum with pillows ? Are you using just EQ or Compression, Gates, ?? I am using a D112 mic with just a basic board with 15band stereo EQ.
Thanks for any tips or ideas
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:35 PM
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TColumbia37 TColumbia37 is offline
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Default Re: Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Well, your first step is to get the bass drum sounding as close to that as possible on its own. Meaning, you'll probably have to add dampening. Then, I would just boost around 60-100Hz, and 3-5KHz, and add some compression if you have it. Maybe cut around 500-600Hz. Then you should get a great sound that cuts through with no issues.

I wouldn't use a gate in a live drum micing situation. It leaves too much room for error. You'll still get that ring if you don't use some extra dampening, though. Although, a lot of times, that ring can get lost in the live mix, and won't be very audible.

EDIT: Also, make sure your bass drum is tuned appropriately. I would wager to guess that JAW tuning would work best for the sound you want.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:45 PM
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maxhammerstrike maxhammerstrike is offline
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Default Re: Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Thanks for the response ! so do you run a seperate eq for your drum mic? I'm running an EMAD3 batter with an EMAD reso, tuned loose, I have a small blanket inside with a small section of foam under it, not touching either head. The bass is a 22x18 Saturn IV. Right now I am just using the 3 eq controls on the board.... I'm tuned pretty loose on batter, do you think I should have reso tight or loose ?
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:53 PM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhammerstrike View Post
Thanks for the response ! so do you run a seperate eq for your drum mic? I'm running an EMAD3 batter with an EMAD reso, tuned loose, I have a small blanket inside with a small section of foam under it, not touching either head. The bass is a 22x18 Saturn IV. Right now I am just using the 3 eq controls on the board.... I'm tuned pretty loose on batter, do you think I should have reso tight or loose ?
In my experience, a tighter reso will give you a fatter sound.

As for gates, I often use gates live on the bass drum and toms, if it is a loud gig with close-mic'd drums. Set up properly so they don't produce any noticable unnatural artifacts, they can really clean up the sound for someone like me who doesn't dampen the toms. The gates take the non-specific "rumble" out of the mix that close-micing can pick up. Just my .02.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:55 PM
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BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
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Default Re: Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhammerstrike View Post
Thanks for the response ! so do you run a seperate eq for your drum mic? I'm running an EMAD3 batter with an EMAD reso, tuned loose, I have a small blanket inside with a small section of foam under it, not touching either head. The bass is a 22x18 Saturn IV. Right now I am just using the 3 eq controls on the board.... I'm tuned pretty loose on batter, do you think I should have reso tight or loose ?
I use the Emad2 w/ large ring and the Emad batter, and I like the resonant head tighter that the batter with the batter a little bit tighter than JAW (but not much). The amount of air moving will give the thump and the tighter resonant head prevents that "flapping" sound. I also have my Audix D6 on a Kelly Shu mount directly in the center of the drum such that the capsule is a little closer to the batter than the resonant head. No other muffling needed.

Is your EQ parametric? That means you have an an additional knob for each frequency range that allows you to adjust the frequency of where the boost/cut happens. If you just have 3 knobs, then it's probably fixed frequency. Cut out the middle knob a few dB and boost the high knob a bit.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhammerstrike View Post
Thanks for the response ! so do you run a seperate eq for your drum mic? I'm running an EMAD3 batter with an EMAD reso, tuned loose, I have a small blanket inside with a small section of foam under it, not touching either head. The bass is a 22x18 Saturn IV. Right now I am just using the 3 eq controls on the board.... I'm tuned pretty loose on batter, do you think I should have reso tight or loose ?
I would keep both the batter and reso pretty loose, but that's just how I tune my kick.

If you have the ability to run drums through a separate EQ, I would definitely do so if you're micing everything. If it's just the kick drum, I would use the same EQ.

I would put the mic just inside of the port, pointed a little off-center of the beater, and if you're just using the EQ on the board, I would bump the low end and the high end a little, and drop the mids. If you have a mid-scoop type control, I would set that so your mids target that 500Hz area.

I'll tell you how my kick drum is set up if it is of any help. Yamaha Rock Tour 22 x 18, Remo PS3 on both sides with Remo Muff'l rings on either side for dampening, a Kickport on the reso head, everything tuned JAW, and a pillow inside, not touching either head. I normally leave the pillow out, but I was doing some recording and needed some extra dampening. I played two shows within the past week with the kick setup this way. At the first show, it was miced, and it sounded just awesome. At the second show, it wasn't miced, and it just didn't cut through. There was too much dampening. I should have taken the pillow out for that show, but I didn't even think about it.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2013, 07:35 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Do some reading on live sound reinforcement.

Noise gates and compressors are common in live sound rigs, for exactly the reasons you mention, and will really help to shape the sound of the drums. If you're not willing to get a gate/comp unit, or a mixer that has these effects built in, then, yes, you'll have to rely on a degree of muffling and choice of drum head.

One of these would do nicely.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:22 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: Bass Drum PA set up for Tight Fat Sound

Gates are very handy on bass drums. I took the comp out of my kick channel on my live rig and just put a gate and parametric in the insert. Comps are for flattening the volume. They can change the attack but not that much for the better. I have a DBX160 at home in my recording rig. I run it on the kick when I intend to have the kick further down in the mix. For things where the kick is going to be more prominent, I turn it way down. Maybe just a little off the peaks.

Gates in a live situation will tighten up flabby subs, boomy rooms as well as tame the drum. They will also limit feedback in the monitors if you have a healthy drum monitor going. That will cause the kick and close mic'd floor toms to ring more than they would normally and even set up a rumbling feedback if cranked too high. The gate cleans all that up.

If you want an open booming sound, then you have to be a bit more judicious with the gate settings. But for a tight sound, it's much better than stuffing the snot out of the drum and then trying to restore some attack and tone with the PA. Cut if short with a gate and let the subs and room fill in the sustain. Unless you have some amazingly tuned d&b Technik PA, your subs will have plenty of overhang and sound like an undamped kick in a smaller room.
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