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  #1  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:19 AM
carterHB carterHB is offline
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Default Kick Drum miking help please?

Hey guys, would you please offer me some advice on miking my Yahamaha Tour Custom 18" Maple kick?

I've never miked a kit before and despite the kick being punchy the tone is obviously higher than a bigger KD.

I have a standard Yammy Reso with a 4" port at 5 o'clock and a standard Yammy clear batter. I have a piece of light fibre (not dense) inserted loose inside and touching the batter and reso on the lower inch or so.

We use QSC K-Sub for PA low output.

My ideal output would be a nice deep thud but don't expect this may be possible with an 18". As I'm a newbie to miking I have tried a cheap BD mic and the tone bears little change. I have varied the board EQ with full low and little to no mid and top but it still sounds crap. OK I get that the mic is probably poor quality but am I heading towards a trigger or do you have any advice please?

Thanks in advance guys.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Before you get too hung up on the sound, have somebody play the kick drum while the band plays, and see how the drum sits in the mix.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

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Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Before you get too hung up on the sound, have somebody play the kick drum while the band plays, and see how the drum sits in the mix.
Great advice there. Where are you placing the mic and how are the heads tuned? Try tuning them just above wrinkle (JAW tuning). Loosen all the lugs, put your hand in the middle of the head and push down you will see wrinkles, adjust the tension at each lug until you see those wrinkles disappear while pressing on the head, once they are gone let pressure off and that will be the lowest possible pitch you can get on the drum. Also a quality mic like an Audix D6, Akg D112, Shure Beta 52A will make a difference as well.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Get a good bass drum mic. Can't stress that enough. Especially with a small bass drum. I had a cheap one and it was bloody awful.

I have the Audix D6 which is pretty much idiot proof. Put the bass drum mic just inside the port hole and blend it through the subby with a bit of presence in the tops, job done.

I gig a 16" bass drum and for most smaller sized rooms I don't have to mic it up. I was surprised how it sounded when I stood out front and someone played it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Here's my advice:

1. Buy an 18" EMAD for the batter side.

2. Tune both heads "just above a wrinkle."

3. Use an Audix D6. If not, use a AKG D112. (I've used both and I prefer the D6).

4. Make sure the PA has a decent sub setup before you pass too much judgment.

5. As someone else mentioned, go out in front of the drum set to hear how it sounds. I've only had one 18" kick, and I hated the sound behind the kit; however, if I got out in front of it, it sound pretty darn good (I ended up trading the kit for larger sizes eventually. I couldn't get used to it).

If your kick does not sound good through the PA or out in front of it, you need a new kick.

There are certain mysteries in playing drums, and one of them (to my ears) is this - There's not a lot of difference between the sound of a 22" and a 20" kick. Oh, there IS a difference, but not a ton. However, in my opinion, there is a TON of difference between a 20" kick and an 18" kick. It's like there's this weird little threshold between those sizes.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Firstly thanks to you guys for taking the time to advise me, I do appreciate it.

All great advice and things for me to try. Yes I have JAW tuned and tried the crappy mic in differing positions. I guess the mic I am using is the main root problem so will follow your advice firstly by having a listen out front and also consider one of your mic recommendations. Cheers guys.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post

I have the Audix D6 which is pretty much idiot proof. Put the bass drum mic just inside the port hole and blend it through the subby with a bit of presence in the tops, job done.
I'm a believer in the D6. I was an AKG D112 fanboy (and I still am to a degree), but when I heard a D6 for the first time, I knew immediately that it was the real deal. No fuss, no muss.

Some people criticize the D6 and state that it's a one-tricky pony. I agree with them. However, the one trick that the D6 does is really, really freakin' awesome.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Thanks PorkPieGuy, would you advocate the use of an Evans Hydraulic as opposed to an Emad? (just seen a deal on a hydraulic new £18 GBP)
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I'm a believer in the D6. I was an AKG D112 fanboy (and I still am to a degree), but when I heard a D6 for the first time, I knew immediately that it was the real deal. No fuss, no muss.

Some people criticize the D6 and state that it's a one-tricky pony. I agree with them. However, the one trick that the D6 does is really, really freakin' awesome.
I'm the same. For recording there's better mics out there and sub kicks but for a no fuss on stage stick it by the bass drum inside or out and get a good sound it's the best on the market.

The rest of the audix drum line is the same. I don't have the full set but played a gig where the sound guy used them and they're brilliant.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

People often neglect that where the mic is pointing inside the drum makes a big difference. I've seen new guys think that the distance in or out of the port is the biggest factor, but you have to play around with where the mic is actually "pointing".

I find that starting by pointing at the patch where the beater strikes and then moving is slowly outward while testing each time gives good results and lets you hear the spectrum.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carterHB View Post
Thanks PorkPieGuy, would you advocate the use of an Evans Hydraulic as opposed to an Emad? (just seen a deal on a hydraulic new £18 GBP)
A hydraulic might be a bit too dead for a bass drum head.

An EMAD or a PS3 or even a coated pinstripe would work.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Another factor - I know you are concerned about low end because it's a small drum, but I'd be careful not to roll off too much hi end or midrange. A lot of definition and punch comes from those frequency ranges.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carterHB View Post
Thanks PorkPieGuy, would you advocate the use of an Evans Hydraulic as opposed to an Emad? (just seen a deal on a hydraulic new £18 GBP)
Absolutely not. An Emad is a different animal. I've never heard a better kick drum head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
I'm the same. For recording there's better mics out there and sub kicks but for a no fuss on stage stick it by the bass drum inside or out and get a good sound it's the best on the market.

The rest of the audix drum line is the same. I don't have the full set but played a gig where the sound guy used them and they're brilliant.
I love audix drum mics. My only exception is the Shure 57 on the snare. I've tried a lot of different stuff, and the 57 on the snare is by far my favorite.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post

I love audix drum mics. My only exception is the Shure 57 on the snare. I've tried a lot of different stuff, and the 57 on the snare is by far my favorite.
Have you tried a D1 on the snare? I really like it. It's the only mic I've found that I enjoy as much as the SM57.
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2018, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Have you tried a D1 on the snare? I really like it. It's the only mic I've found that I enjoy as much as the SM57.
I don't remember what all I've tried. I always go back to a 57.

With that said, I don't remember what's on the snare right now at church, but it's not a 57. I don't really worry about it because I trust our sound guy. I think it might be an Audix i5. I'm assuming it sounds good in the house. I wouldn't know because I'm wearing IEM's anyways.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Adding something that hasn't come up yet....

In addition to a good mic (which is key), consider internally mounting it. With an 18", you just lose too much sound porting the reso head and you don't have too much low end to work with in the first place.

By internally mic'ing, you still get the attack benefits of porting without losing the sustain. It's not expensive either... Kelly SHU mount for $50. Not to mention making almost every sound guy and band member on earth happy by saving stage space and just plug'n'play!
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

OP there are many ways to achieve the sound you mention. I am not a fan of the JAW method. My preference for most kick drums is a Remo power stroke 3 batter head tuned medium with a Remo fibre skin tuned the same or just above the batter head. This higher tuning has a lot of character, i then control the level of thud by adjusting the dampening on both batter and resonant heads and adjusting the mics axis inside the drum.

I like my old AKG D112 well inside the kick, my overall recommendation is to tune the kick higher and livelier than your desired end result. Itís very hard to liven a dead raw sound but very easy to shape a moderately lively kick into something palatable.
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  #18  
Old 02-15-2018, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
I'm the same. For recording there's better mics out there and sub kicks but for a no fuss on stage stick it by the bass drum inside or out and get a good sound it's the best on the market.

The rest of the audix drum line is the same. I don't have the full set but played a gig where the sound guy used them and they're brilliant.
Yep the audix line is just tuned right for drums. I have a full DP set and they all sound great! Also have a full DP set on the kit I play at church.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Bigger sound? Don't port the reso on such a small drum.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

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Originally Posted by carterHB View Post
Hey guys, would you please offer me some advice on miking my Yahamaha Tour Custom 18" Maple kick?
There are three ingredients. The drum/tuning, the mic/placement, and the PA.

For live, you end up either ported and 2-4 fists inside the reso facing slightly off the beater, or uncircumcised and 2-4 fists outside the reso facing slightly off center. Pick one and worry about the other two ingredients.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
There are three ingredients. The drum/tuning, the mic/placement, and the PA.

For live, you end up either ported and 2-4 fists inside the reso facing slightly off the beater, or uncircumcised and 2-4 fists outside the reso facing slightly off center. Pick one and worry about the other two ingredients.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carterHB View Post
Yahamaha Tour Custom 18" Maple kick?


We use QSC K-Sub for PA low output.
There's only so much you can do with this combination. Sure, getting the best out of your small deep bass drum is challenge 1, as the source is key to building everything else, but you need to manage expectations. I love QSC gear, but the Ksub is a small unit, & low end is all about moving air.

Right now, you have a small drum where overtones can dominate & doesn't move a lot of air, going through a system that doesn't move a lot of air. Mic'ing the inside of the drum does give you a high degree of control, but through a system with limited low end delivery, & from a small ported drum producing little low end anyhow, it might not provide what you're looking for. Through bigger systems with a ton of headroom, internal delivers live really well (if not a little generic).

Assuming you're not upscaling the sub / subs, go for a single ply Emad (with small ring) on the batter, & a full resonant head with inner control ring (EQ3 works well). Tune the batter head fairly low but still producing a pronounced tone, & the resonant head 50% above that. Use your best low frequency mic about 4" from the batter head - slightly off centre. Take a second mic (57 or similar), & mic the batter side from underneath the bass drum.

If you have compression on your desk or outboard, use that to squash up the signal from your resonant head & EQ to suit. If you have gates, gate the batter side mic to save excessive snare overspill. If you have neither gates nor compression, in a smaller gig, this method will still deliver really well. Pay attention to phasing. Balance the two mic's to offer the desired combination of low end bloom & beater definition.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I love audix drum mics. My only exception is the Shure 57 on the snare. I've tried a lot of different stuff, and the 57 on the snare is by far my favorite.
I'll defo go with that. Probably one of the few things drummers will agree on.

Another point for the OP is does your bass drum have a riser so the beater can hit band in the middle of the head. With small bass drums I find this really helps because you're getting the most out of a small drum.
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

My cheap Yammie 18 has an emad2 batter - the twin ply one. Sounds much deeper than the regular emad or a PS3. The front head is an unported fiberskyn PS3.

I have a mic (EV PL33) suspended by elastic bands in the middle of the drum, and the cable exits through the vent hole. I've used other bass mic's - they all sound good if the drum sound good.

Sounds awesome both acoustically and mic'ed. Not a jazz sound - a deep, punchy, rock sound. Just not as loud as a bigger drum.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
There are three ingredients. The drum/tuning, the mic/placement, and the PA.
I thought it was the gear, the threads, the performance, the groove, and the vocal?

(Some of you will get this...)

;)
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I thought it was the gear, the threads, the performance, the groove, and the vocal?

(Some of you will get this...)

;)
Love the reference.

:)

T.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:06 PM
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Love the reference.

:)

T.

Thanks! I'm here all week...
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Hey Guys,
Big thanks to you all for taking the time to advise me. There's a ton of useful stuff you have given me lots of food for thought.
I found Andy's comments very interesting in terms of 'moving air' with BD and PA. In answer to 'mikyok' yeah I use a Gibraltar riser but I'm not huge on it as the beater strikes the batter at an extended angle if you get what I mean.

Anyway I bought the kit with the reso already ported and it seems there are a few advocating unported on such a small diameter BD.

Im looking at grabbing either an Audix D6 or AKG D112 and see how I get on. I have a PS3 so I'll try that too. Any advocates of internal BD dampening materials? I'm mainly playing smaller live gigs and no recording at the moment.
Cheers guys.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carterHB View Post
In answer to 'mikyok' yeah I use a Gibraltar riser but I'm not huge on it as the beater strikes the batter at an extended angle if you get what I mean.
I get ya, the bottom hoop on mine has a little cutaway on the bottom that stops that.

I can totally understand why you're not using it that would annoy the tits off me!
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

The advice has been very good so far, but I have a different tale to tell. I had a Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz kit for about seven years. Last summer we played at an outdoor music fest in Alexandria, Louisiana, and I used the Gretsch kit with an 18" bass drum.

We miced it with a Sony condenser mic from the 80s. Our PA speakers were Peavey 12" two ways with no subwoofer. We boosted the bass and treble a little, and it sounded great. I had Evans EQ3 heads front and back. A Shure SM57 goes down to 40hz, and makes a good bass drum mic. Of course other mics are better, but SM57's are easy to find.

Peace and goodwill.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carterHB View Post
Any advocates of internal BD dampening materials? I'm mainly playing smaller live gigs and no recording at the moment.
Cheers guys.
If you buy an Emad, you don't need to dampen the batter any more. I've done a variety of things to the reso side.

I have an EMAD on ALL of my batter-side kicks, and NONE of my kick drums have internal muffling sitting on the shell.

In one of my kicks, I have a Remo Muff L ring on the reso side.



In another kick, I took a Remo O-Ring (it was the 14" one) and just taped it to the inside of the reso. This works well.



For another kick, I use an Evans reso. I don't remember the specific model number (possibly an EQ1), but I know it has a control ring around the inside.

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Old 02-16-2018, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum miking help please?

Thanks again, what a font of knowledge you guys are, solid and valuable assistance and you have given me huge help. I'll post how I go on in a while but for now I'm going to change out my batter to the PS3 I already have, look for an EQ3 reso and remove my dampening. If the PS3 doesn't work out I'll get an Emad for the batter. I'll look to grab one of the mic's you have recommended and hopefully I will get nearer to the sound I'm after.
Ciao brothers.
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