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  #1  
Old 02-15-2017, 10:56 PM
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Default Kick Drum Miking Question

I've noticed that when I'm recording my drumming and playing more gently, such as when the wife and dog are home, the kick drum sounds great. Very thick with an excellent lower-end thump when listening to what I just played.

When playing at what would be considered normal volume levels however, and hitting the kick harder, I get much more of a POP sound and lacking most of the low-end goodness. Adjusting the gain back really doesn't help much, if at all.

I'm thinking that maybe using a ported reso head may help and sticking the mic inside or just at the opening to the port. Currently mine isn't ported.

The kick mic is a cheaper CAD mic although a ton of drummers have given this mic great reviews. I was thinking about getting a Shure Beta 91A and laying that down inside the kick on the Evans pillow.

Any thoughts much appreciated!
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

Get a ported reso head, and put a kick port in it, or make one yourself with a port ring, an almond roca tin with the ends cut off, and some adhesive. Put your kick mike about 1/2" inthe dead center of the port. You may want to put a pillow in your drum as well. That will give you the sound you want.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by funkutron View Post
Get a ported reso head, and put a kick port in it, or make one yourself with a port ring, an almond roca tin with the ends cut off, and some adhesive. Put your kick mike about 1/2" inthe dead center of the port. You may want to put a pillow in your drum as well. That will give you the sound you want.
I had a feeling lacking a port could be the issue. I do have a pillow in the kick drum now....one of those Evans pillows. Seems to do the job. So you think just a ported reso with a plastic ring would do or one of the KickPort's with that port extension tube into the kick?

I'll probably buy a cut ported reso head and keep my original branded reso on the side in the event I need-want to use it again.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

If you're going to hit your kick hard with an unported reso, angle the mic so it doesn't face directly at the head (~30 deg). Not only does this reduce the SPL, you get a wider range of tone as you're effectively mic'ing more of the head.

Option 2 is to back the mic off another 1-3".

Ultimately, you will own one unported, and one ported head, and switch out depending on the sound you desire.

Last edited by KamaK; 02-15-2017 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post

Option 2 is to back the mic off another 1-3".

Ultimately, you will own one unported, and one ported head, and switch out depending on the sound you desire.
I tried moving the mic back. Didn't make much of a difference. I also tried some angles. This provided a "bit" of difference but nothing to write home about. Guess it's port time. And that reminds me, a nice glass of Port would be nice with dinner tonight. Yes, sometimes I drink wine as well.
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by MoreBeer View Post
When playing at what would be considered normal volume levels however, and hitting the kick harder, I get much more of a POP sound and lacking most of the low-end goodness.
This seems like an obvious potential problem, but the way you're describing the POP sound when you play harder to me suggests that the level is peaking/clipping. Are you sure this isn't the case?
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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This seems like an obvious potential problem, but the way you're describing the POP sound when you play harder to me suggests that the level is peaking/clipping. Are you sure this isn't the case?
Nah...it's not clipping. Checked on that and have tried adjustments with the mic, interface and DAW out the wazoo. It's just not a full, deep bass response when playing with more intensity. And I don't pound the pedal crazy hard, I really don't. So I guess it's a port issue. If I put a condenser well away from the kick drum when playing at normal levels, I get a more appealing recording. Although can't place a dynamic that far back.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

When you play the bass drum softer, it is going to sound different tone-wise, not just quieter.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

A good trick with an unported head is to take a dollar bill and hold it in front of the reso head while someone else hits the drum. Move it around and find the place where the vibration of the head makes the bill suck into the head instead of being pushed away from it. Try the mic there. I play an unported head and we got an excellent bass drum sound using this method and an Audix D6 microphone.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

Mic'ing a ported drum will yield (imo) vastly greater results. Port it and screw that goofy kick port idea. A plastic cone? Get a bigger bass drum if you want some low end thump. The "pop" you're experiencing? I dunno. You'be definitely got something going on there when you kick harder. Just because you can't hear it when your playing doesn't mean it's not there. The more sensitive ear in the room (I mean the mic) can. I can't hear my pedal spring squeak when I play, but an AKG d112 sure can. As far as the Shure 91, meh...Beta 52, Audix d6, AKG d112 are all better choices for a solo kick mic. Two mics, one in one out, is better yet. GL
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

Two headed bass drum? Have you tried mic'ing the batter side?
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
When you play the bass drum softer, it is going to sound different tone-wise, not just quieter.
When I play softer, it sounds like I want it to sound. When hitting harder, its not "all" POP....I just lose that deep, rich, natural low end I get when hitting the pedal with less force. I do realize that I'll lose some of the rich bass tone when hitting it harder. I'd just like to not lose as much.

Many good suggestions here. I think the answer after reading the replies so far is to port the head. Going to order a ported Evans head tomorrow. Probably an EMAD reso with the plastic ring.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

I have a full front reso and I position the mic so it points halfway between the center and the edge, about 12" away. I angle it slightly towards the middle.

I'm not a big fan of positioning it dead center, too much air. Off to one side for sure.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

Just wanted to note that there's clipping (gain exceeds threshold of preamp), and there's clipping (recorded object exceeds the SPL capability of the microphone).

While it is unlikely that you are running into the latter with this current dilemma, you will eventually run into it as you go through permutations of mics, positioning, etc.

For porting, they sell these polyester weave patches with an adhesive side



This will prevent tear-out while allowing the head to flex. It's near-zero weight so it doesn't dampen like a plastic ring or Kickport does.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

I'm not a recording expert by any stretch, but I can say I've never gotten MORE low end tone from porting. More attack and an airier note, yes. I've never experienced the kind of change from low volume to high volume that you're describing.

At one point, I did a recording of nothing but the kick with the mic positioned in different places, with a ported and unported head. I did internal, close to the beater, internal with the mic closer to the reso and angled (these were done with ported and unported heads using a Kelly Shu), mic in various locations and distances from an unported head, and the mic at various depths just inside to outside the port. Also mic on the batter head. I've long since lost the recording, but my favorite sounds were with the internal mic angled, and with the mic on the batter head. With the port, the best sound by far was with the mic peeking just inside, maybe 1/2 inch. Mic was a D6, and all gain levels were approx the same. But at no time did I notice the phenomenon you're describing.

I'm curious to see what your results are with the ported head.
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

With a ported bass drum head, the further in the mic goes, the less boomy it will be and will have more attack. Just the opposite the further it goes back. A lot of times I among others like to use two mics...one for the punch, and one for the boom. Blended together it's a very full sound. I use a d112/Solomon lofreq. I don't think you porting and putting the mic closer is gonna give you less punch tho.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by Ghostnote View Post
I play an unported head and we got an excellent bass drum sound using this method and an Audix D6 microphone.
.
+1 for the D6. And positioned less than center, 5-6 " from the head.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

The CAD bass mic's sound great. I used one live for many years. Changing the mic won't make any difference. You need to try different placements or tuning.

You can lay the mic down inside the drum, on the pad or towel or whatever's in there. Run the mic cable through the vent hole (note - you'll have to solder the xlr plug on the cable after you've run it through the vent.) Then you can keep the front head intact if you wish.

But first, try mic'ing the batter side as suggested earlier. Easy to adjust. You may need to phase reverse the input though, because the drumhead will be moving away from the mic.

Also try changing the reso head tension and see if that helps.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

Audio/Video examples will help tremedously in trouble shooting your issue.
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I have a full front reso and I position the mic so it points halfway between the center and the edge, about 12" away. I angle it slightly towards the middle.

I'm not a big fan of positioning it dead center, too much air. Off to one side for sure.
I just tried this and it helped quite a bit. Thanks for the suggestion. I definitely had the mic dead center and too close. Still ordering the ported head though. Using a ported reso must be the way to go as I was watching a Sweetwater video from the Pearl exhibit at NAMM 2017 and just about all the kick drums had ported heads.

I've also changed my mind about the type of ported reso I'm ordering. Just going with a plain vanilla 5" hole with no plastic ring or other crap. Probably an Evans EQ3 Black.

Someone here mentioned going with 2 kick mics. I looked into that previously, watched a few videos, etc. and it looks like a great idea. The best sound I've heard was a dynamic on the inside and a condenser outside. I'm going to try this as I have two condensers I use in my home office for training videos. So just borrow one of those and try it about 24" away after I get the new head on.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by dcolter View Post
Two headed bass drum? Have you tried mic'ing the batter side?
I'm curious about this method too. That's what I used to do years ago, but haven't mic'd for a while. Anyone using batter side only mic?
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
I'm not a recording expert by any stretch, but I can say I've never gotten MORE low end tone from porting. More attack and an airier note, yes. I've never experienced the kind of change from low volume to high volume that you're describing.

At one point, I did a recording of nothing but the kick with the mic positioned in different places, with a ported and unported head. I did internal, close to the beater, internal with the mic closer to the reso and angled (these were done with ported and unported heads using a Kelly Shu), mic in various locations and distances from an unported head, and the mic at various depths just inside to outside the port. Also mic on the batter head. I've long since lost the recording, but my favorite sounds were with the internal mic angled, and with the mic on the batter head. With the port, the best sound by far was with the mic peeking just inside, maybe 1/2 inch. Mic was a D6, and all gain levels were approx the same. But at no time did I notice the phenomenon you're describing.

I'm curious to see what your results are with the ported head.

Using a Shu system is kind of an apples to oranges comparison. I couldn't imagine any possible gain from porting with an internal system. The one advantage that porting gives is that there are a lot of artificial low frequencies created by the air column as it exits the port. This, to me, is the ideal placement for a mic like the D6. It's pre-eq'd to accentuate attack. Placing it close to the beater is overkill. At the port, with the grill completely inside, it gets ample amounts of attack, but also takes advantage of those artificial sub frequencies.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by MoreBeer View Post
I've noticed that when I'm recording my drumming and playing more gently, such as when the wife and dog are home, the kick drum sounds great. Very thick with an excellent lower-end thump when listening to what I just played.
Are you sure you're not burying the beater when playing loud but feathering it a bit to play quieter? That could account for the tone difference.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
Using a Shu system is kind of an apples to oranges comparison. I couldn't imagine any possible gain from porting with an internal system. The one advantage that porting gives is that there are a lot of artificial low frequencies created by the air column as it exits the port. This, to me, is the ideal placement for a mic like the D6. It's pre-eq'd to accentuate attack. Placing it close to the beater is overkill. At the port, with the grill completely inside, it gets ample amounts of attack, but also takes advantage of those artificial sub frequencies.
I agree. I'm a "show-me" kinda guy, though, so I tried it for myself. I had all the stuff on hand.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
If you're going to hit your kick hard with an unported reso, angle the mic so it doesn't face directly at the head (~30 deg). Not only does this reduce the SPL, you get a wider range of tone as you're effectively mic'ing more of the head.

Option 2 is to back the mic off another 1-3".

Ultimately, you will own one unported, and one ported head, and switch out depending on the sound you desire.
Sorry to derail the thread....I have a related question. My kick isn't ported, and we sometimes seem to be getting some feedback from the kick mic. I'm wondering if this tip mentioned above might help mitigate that feedback, as well? We're using a Beta 52, so the quality of the mic isn't the issue...
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

I run a D6 on a Shu mounted dead center and pointed at the beater. Absolutely slays our subwoofers. The consistency night after night is ridiculous. Any room, any temp, always ready for more. My 22" has a 4" port to access the short cord attached.

Head choice is paramount. I use an Emad and a DrumArt Aquarian Regulator reso. I've got center muffling on the reso where flutter can occur and I've got tone control on the batter where feel and give are critical.

Then a dogbone pillow not touching the heads to absorb reflections. I can take this formula to nearly any size and depth bass drum with near instant success.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

I guess I'm the scream fire in a crowded theatre type of guy. After further experimentation I've got the sound I want at normal playing levels. Mostly due to Larry.

I moved the mic yet further from the reso head, about 14" and just about 1/3 into the edge of the drum but straight on with no angle. Then....the magic happened when increasing the gain a bit further on the drum mic channel to compensate for the added distance. Presto! Smooth, deep, round, defined bass! Holy cow, I feel like an idiot. LMAO!

When playing softer, just move the mic in to about 8" or so and we're all good.

I then started jerking around with the position of the overheads. Moved one more towards the rear and directly above the 21" ride, 18" crash and the 2 floor toms. Right smack in the dead-center of that cluster. The other I positioned somewhat similar on the snare side. I also lowered them about 3" or so and angled them up just ever-so-slightly. The overhead adjustment made a big difference.

The overall sound now is vastly improved and more defined. Still need to experiment further as I'm new to this recording thing.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

New kick mic placement.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

The cAD mics are horrible. Switch to a well known kick mic (I use D6) and your problem will be gone and you'll enjoy a nice kick sound as well.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:24 PM
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The cAD mics are horrible. Switch to a well known kick mic (I use D6) and your problem will be gone and you'll enjoy a nice kick sound as well.
For now, it sounds fine to me. Have been pissing away a ton of cash lately on this new venture. Better mics are down the road for me, maybe this summer. I only do this as a hobby, not professionally. So if my results are okay, and sound good enough for me to enjoy, I'm cool with that....currently, at least.

The kick sounds great (now). I do agree on the CAD mics though. The drums are all using them and they really don't pick them up as well as I'd like. I'm pleased with the overheads however. For cheaper mics, AT2020's, they do a great job. I won't be upgrading those.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MoreBeer View Post
I guess I'm the scream fire in a crowded theatre type of guy. After further experimentation I've got the sound I want at normal playing levels. Mostly due to Larry.

I moved the mic yet further from the reso head, about 14" and just about 1/3 into the edge of the drum but straight on with no angle. Then....the magic happened when increasing the gain a bit further on the drum mic channel to compensate for the added distance. Presto! Smooth, deep, round, defined bass! Holy cow, I feel like an idiot. LMAO!

When playing softer, just move the mic in to about 8" or so and we're all good.

I then started jerking around with the position of the overheads. Moved one more towards the rear and directly above the 21" ride, 18" crash and the 2 floor toms. Right smack in the dead-center of that cluster. The other I positioned somewhat similar on the snare side. I also lowered them about 3" or so and angled them up just ever-so-slightly. The overhead adjustment made a big difference.

The overall sound now is vastly improved and more defined. Still need to experiment further as I'm new to this recording thing.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

New kick mic placement.
I just put my un-ported reso head back on my Renown's. Did a little recording with mic in the middle toward the side were you generally see a port. And get this, how does this compare to what you are getting.
https://soundcloud.com/john-highfiel...renown-walnut2
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MoreBeer View Post
I've also changed my mind about the type of ported reso I'm ordering. Just going with a plain vanilla 5" hole with no plastic ring or other crap. Probably an Evans EQ3 Black.
Some quick info on the EQ3 is the black variety is 10mil and the White ones are 7.5.
I don't know why they mix things up like that with the same name but with a different thickness.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:28 AM
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I just put my un-ported reso head back on my Renown's. Did a little recording with mic in the middle toward the side were you generally see a port. And get this, how does this compare to what you are getting.
https://soundcloud.com/john-highfiel...renown-walnut2

I just checked out your recording (with headphones). The kick seems to have more of a choked, shorter sound than mine, at least as mine sounds now with the mic further back and the gain slightly higher. Prior to that, my kick sounded like crap on a recording when playing with any force. It was basically a pop with a touch of bass.

Yours actually sounds similar to mine prior to making the most recent adjustments on mic distance, placement and gain settings. I’m getting more of a thicker, deeper thump now. It sounds quite good. I still did order the ported head and am going to give that a shot as well. I’ll try and put up an audio file a.s.a.p. and post to this thread. Possibly by Monday.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:48 AM
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I just checked out your recording (with headphones). The kick seems to have more of a choked, shorter sound than mine, at least as mine sounds now with the mic further back and the gain slightly higher. Prior to that, my kick sounded like crap on a recording when playing with any force. It was basically a pop with a touch of bass.

Yours actually sounds similar to mine prior to making the most recent adjustments on mic distance, placement and gain settings. Iím getting more of a thicker, deeper thump now. It sounds quite good. I still did order the ported head and am going to give that a shot as well. Iíll try and put up an audio file a.s.a.p. and post to this thread. Possibly by Monday.
I dont get good results with unported either. Mine was about 3in out, will try your new method tomorrow.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:06 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

Did you do any acoustic treatments to your room yet? Bass trapping will help focus the lower frequencies in your room, undoubtedly improving the sound of your bass drum. Due to the increased mass from installing 3 layers of drywall on both the inner and outer leaves of my room, there are so many low frequencies being reflected back and cancelling each other out that even my 26" bass drum has no low end boom in the room at all, just a flat, plasticky-sounding slap. Floor to ceiling corner superchunk bass traps and heavily treating the ceiling should fix that.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MoreBeer View Post
I guess I'm the scream fire in a crowded theatre type of guy. After further experimentation I've got the sound I want at normal playing levels. Mostly due to Larry.

I moved the mic yet further from the reso head, about 14" and just about 1/3 into the edge of the drum but straight on with no angle. Then....the magic happened when increasing the gain a bit further on the drum mic channel to compensate for the added distance. Presto! Smooth, deep, round, defined bass! Holy cow, I feel like an idiot. LMAO!

When playing softer, just move the mic in to about 8" or so and we're all good.

I then started jerking around with the position of the overheads. Moved one more towards the rear and directly above the 21" ride, 18" crash and the 2 floor toms. Right smack in the dead-center of that cluster. The other I positioned somewhat similar on the snare side. I also lowered them about 3" or so and angled them up just ever-so-slightly. The overhead adjustment made a big difference.

The overall sound now is vastly improved and more defined. Still need to experiment further as I'm new to this recording thing.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

New kick mic placement.
Did you ever try kick side mic'ing? Like I mentioned, it's what I used to do, and it works for other drums. Just curious.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by mike d View Post
I'm curious about this method too. That's what I used to do years ago, but haven't mic'd for a while. Anyone using batter side only mic?
You get a lot of snare bleeding through.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by Destroyer772 View Post
I dont get good results with unported either. Mine was about 3in out, will try your new method tomorrow.
3" off the reso is definitely WAY to close. I discovered the mistakes of too closely miking a non-ported kick drum the hard way and was pounding my head against the wall for days.

Must try different distances, angles, heights, etc. I do have a feeling however that my kick drum mic is somehow, someway, possibly, more sensitive to sound pressure levels than identical mics of the same make. To me, for a dynamic mic, it seems very quirky and "just the right spot" was needed. Who knows? Maybe its just how these particular mics are? Although I doubt it as the subject would have been brought up somewhere at some point.

But now, with it way out in front with increased gain, it sounds great. And if playing more softly, I just move it in somewhat.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:55 AM
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Did you do any acoustic treatments to your room yet? Bass trapping will help focus the lower frequencies in your room, undoubtedly improving the sound of your bass drum.
The acoustics of my room suck. Its very bright and loud as its in an unfinished area of the basement. I have some rugs down, that's about it. I have another new rug I bought last month that is waiting to go on the wall in front of the set. Possibly that'll help a bit more. Also planning on insulating the ceiling joists in the drum area with rock wool when time allows.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Originally Posted by MoreBeer View Post
3" off the reso is definitely WAY to close.
For that particular mic ;-)

Dynamic mics are like old manual focus cameras. You can move them in and out and bring different sonic elements into focus via proximity effect. You can angle them and use rejection to cut out undesirable elements. Gain is like an exposure setting of sorts. Every mic is going to have its own personality and set of quirks.

One of the reasons I went for an e602 (~$100 used) was because it seems to like unported heads at ~4". While I'm sure this is an inaccurate generalization, but it feels more omnidirectional than a B52 or D6. If you ever have the opportunity to borrow one from a friend, give it a spin.


Out of curiosity, which KBM412 do you have?

Frequency Response:25Hz - 15 kHz Sensitivity:-85 dB
or
Frequency Response:30Hz – 12KHz Sensitivity:-66 dBV
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Miking Question

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Mic'ing a ported drum will yield (imo) vastly greater results. Port it and screw that goofy kick port idea. A plastic cone? Get a bigger bass drum if you want some low end thump. The "pop" you're experiencing? I dunno. You'be definitely got something going on there when you kick harder. Just because you can't hear it when your playing doesn't mean it's not there. The more sensitive ear in the room (I mean the mic) can. I can't hear my pedal spring squeak when I play, but an AKG d112 sure can. As far as the Shure 91, meh...Beta 52, Audix d6, AKG d112 are all better choices for a solo kick mic. Two mics, one in one out, is better yet. GL
"Goofy?" Well, I wish I had invented the bloody thing (Kick Port, that is....) I'd be RICH! They really do work, they concentrate the lows coming out of the port.

Also, you guys that want to mike the unported reso head, know this.....when I worked for a pro sound outfit, we had an issue with that, it results in the head being too close to the mike, and the mike wants to "bottom out" more, resulting in distortion. If you do that, put some space between the head and the mike.
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