About bass drum amp.

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Hello,
I have a little question about amplification.
With my band, we get some outdoor gigs, where we bring our gear, amps, drums, lights and so forth. Generally we don't have a sound tech nor do we amplify the drums. On stage, since I hit relatively hard, we don't need to amplify the drums, it's, lets say, "enough" - but the bass drum sounds weak and we get a lot of crash / hats.
I miss a boomier bass drum sound. It sounds dry out front.
We're looking for cheap / simplest solution to get more BOOM and less PAC ;). And I'm totally hopeless when it comes to mix / cables and all.
From where I stand :
- A mike in the bass drum, to the mixing table where the singer and the saxophone already are - what equipment do I need for that ? I heard about a compressor too ?
Bringing an independant amp / speaker, a Headrush I already have for an electro kit
The other solution I think of, a closed front bass drum skin and a wood or plastic beater ?
Again, I think on cheap / light side, other wise I would mike up everything, but then again, I wouldn't know how to mix everything in the amps without damaging our equipment and loosing a lot of time.

My equipment :
Premier Signia 22x16, EQ1 batter, EQ3 front with 5"vent.
Iron cobra pedal (power) with felt beater.

Thanks for your advices.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Given that you don't have a sound engineer, mic up and run into whatever you are using as a PA now. Let the bassist handle the boom/lows. You'll have a cleaner mix if you are not competing for the bottom end. Lower hand volume as needed to blend.

If possible, run a kick mic and at least one overhead or di*k mic. This is the minimum I use for every gig to lend some cohesion to the sound coming from the PA.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Another vote for the decent bass drum mic. The Audix D6 is my favourite weapon of choice although there's plenty to choose from. You only need to mic it up for a bit of presence more than anything.

I usually mic the snare up too just to get it to cut through guitars
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Depending on how you differentiate between compression and limiting …

A mic’ed bass drum has an incredible amount of peak to average energy. The way human ears hear “loudness” is based on average energy. So if you choose not to limit then remember that a 100W amp will be clipping before the average power it can put out hits 10W. So if you limit first you can probably get 3x the loudness that you can get if you don’t.

That's not to say that peak signal isn’t important. It is to sound quality/realism. But if you want real than you’ll need at least 10x the power that you would otherwise need to be the same “loudness”. So there is a big tradeoff.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
In this context, which I've experienced myself many times, you just need a little extra oomph, by mic'ing the kick, to bring it into the same zone as the louder snare and cymbals. It doesn't need to be loud, just tickling the PA. To start thinking about fx like compression and limiting would be a nightmare scenario.
I don't even compress or limit when I record kick at home.
 

eamesuser

Silver Member
I have played in bands that didn't need to mic in most cases,but in some rooms the drums sounded boxed in especially the bass drum.I would put an sm 57 in the bass drum,back off the highs and mids and boost the lows a tad and that got the Bass Drum up in the mix and would pick up the snare cymbals and toms and get them to the back of the room.It was just enough to get the drum sound to sit in a good place in the mix.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Has anyone here ever had their own separate bass drum amp? Not going through the PA?
Usually when my bass drum is mic'ed up and going through the PA system it sounds good.
But I'd like to be in complete control of my bass drum sound and volume. What kind of amp should I use?

.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Thank you very much for your answers, I will give a try with a microphone I have. The best for getting more boom than attack is to sit the Mike in front not inside the bass drum isn’t it ?
Anyone agreed with my idea of having a plain front head instead of a vented one on the bass drum head will help to get more bass?
My musician mates are afraid of damaging the PA if I Mike it up the bass drum !
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Thank you very much for your answers, I will give a try with a microphone I have. The best for getting more boom than attack is to sit the Mike in front not inside the bass drum isn’t it ?
Anyone agreed with my idea of having a plain front head instead of a vented one on the bass drum head will help to get more bass?
If you have the mic outside the bass drum you run the risk of it picking up other parts of the kit, and maybe other sounds (guitar etc), which defeats what you are trying to do. Having no port forces you to have the mic outside the bass drum, and also tends to deliver and longer sustaining bass drum, which is not great when amplified.
So, in the studio recording, I would not put a mic right in the drum, but in a live context when you just want a little extra oomph from your kick, I would place an affordable mic on top of a pillow or blanket just inside the front head.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Thank you, I appreciate. I plug the mike directly I the mixing table, equalise without medium and treble and push up progressively the volume till I get enough oomph.
Seems easy enough. 👍👍
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
As an aside, I find that if I only mic the drums in a live situation, that’s really enough. Cymbals and an overhead sound will get picked up by all the other mics on stage and will balance out. In this case, I concur a single bass drum mic inside the drum will suffice mixed in at the main console. Depending on where the speakers are, you S the player may not hear a lot of bass drum, but it will be enough for the audience and the venue.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
The idea is also to add spatial presence since the PA are at both corner of the scene.

We record our shows with a zoom Q2n, the device gives a nice rendering but lows are short. We’re not bad at doing the balance between the instruments but bass drum and sometimes the voice always feel a bit weak.
Last show I share my drum kit, the guys played rockabilly stuff - very well - and out front : almost no bass drum, the guy didn’t play with the same velocity as me ;)
 
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C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Ditch the felt beater for wood or plastic. Felt softens the sound and impact.

A beater weight will also give more oomph to the impact. The harder the drum is hit, the louder it gets.

Beaters are less expensive than amps and mics. I'd start there first.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
.....But I'd like to be in complete control of my bass drum sound and volume. What kind of amp should I use?

If it's just for the bass drum, I'd use a bass guitar amp.
If you want to include the rest of the kit, I'd use a full frequency PA speaker or keyboard amp.

I'd also use a dedicated bass drum mic.
Something like a SM57 won't pick up some of the lower frequencies.
It's rated at 40 to 15K frequency response, but it starts rolling off low end at 200.
Might be OK if you tune your bass drum high though.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
Instead of getting a dedicated amp for the bass drum, why not get 1 sub for the PA and put the kick through the PA?
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Instead of getting a dedicated amp for the bass drum, why not get 1 sub for the PA and put the kick through the PA?

Some small, low rent jobs use individual amps with no board or PA.
But you might not need to be mic'd for those.
I have seen bands play outdoors like that, but the drums tend to get lost if not mic'd.

Two groups that used individual amps come to mind right away.
One had an ear splitting snare that completely overwhelmed everything else,
and another had a bass drum that could be heard way before anything else
while walking towards the stage from a long distance.
"What's that noise - is it thunder?" :ROFLMAO:
 
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