Another Micing Question


Senior Member
All drum mics that I have seen attach to the batter side of the drum, except for the bass drum. Has anyone ever recorded a bass drum from the batter side? If so, what were the results?
We did some recordings last summer (with the bass drum mic in the front) and I wasn't happy with the sound. Ijust want some feedback before I begin experimenting.


Senior Member
This is not quite answering your question but when you recorded with the mic by the reso head did you have a port-hole in your bass drum?

I say this because in my bands first recording my bass drum sounded really dull and lifeless, as soon as I wacked a port-holed head on there, we re-recorded, basically put the mic so it was partially inside the porthole and the results were incredible, it sounded like a totally different drum.

In the industry I've actually seen bass drums mic'd from the batter, resonant and inside all at the same time (3 mics on bass alone), although in the real world that isnt always possible.

I would suggest experimenting with some different tunings, possibly taking the reso head off totally, and as you said maybe even mic'ing the bass from the batter head.


Ant :)


Senior Member
I dedicated a bunch of time last summer to bass drum micing. Every possible head combo, ported/not ported, mufflle/no muffle, 1 or 2 mics. This is my set up....

Heads: Evans EMAD batter w/ large ring, Gretsch logo reso with 4" port.
Small pillow inside touching reso head only. Batter head tuned mid/low tension, reso a little higher.
Mic: 1 Audix D6 on batter side, half way between beater and rim, about 1 1/2" from head. Angled about 45 degrees away from beater.

Great attack and the angle of the mic gets a little more resonance out of the drum. Play with the angle, more square=less reso. For a great open jazz sound take out the EMAD ring.



Platinum Member
I'd guess most albums are recorded with the mic inside the bass drum or in front of the bass drum (and sometimes both).

While recording from the batter side isn't done very often, it's not unheard of.

But really, there are no rules. So many albums have been recorded in so many different ways, that whatever works to get the sound you want is what works.


Senior Member
I am playing with a 4" port-hole (that's how we recorded last summer). I do like the idea of muffling toward the reso. side. Any other "tricks"?


Senior Member
Beaters have an impact on sound. Plastic/wood is going to give you more attack/slap, felt less so. Also the use of beater "patches" may extend the life of the head they do deaden the sound. Don't automatically put one one, listen to the sound w/o first.


Senior Member
Putting the microphone near the batter head of the bass drum (on the drummers side) will pick more clicking as the beater hits the head or even the rubbing as the beater buries itself in the head. Make sure that your pedals are well lubricated or you will also hear more squeaking. It will be drier sounding with less natural resonance.



More than 99% of my recordings, or live work for that matter, consists of this type of miking. Full resonant head with No port hole, an Electrovoice RE20 microphone off to one side, but looking across the diameter of the resonant head and little if any EQ. If you're not familiar with miking a bass drum head, it's best to have someone hit the drum while you listen with a set of headphones for the sweet spot on the head. I get a tremendous low note with very controlled and precise pedal rebound with not having the port hole. I control the bass drum's pitch with the tensioning of the resonant head.

The microphone used for the bass drum pick up is very important, but more so the placement of that microphone. I usually use the RE20 because it has Very little proximity effect, (the emphasising of lower frequencies when a directional microphone is used very close to a sound source). This gives me very clean audio from the bass drum without the muddy sound that I usually hear from other miking techniques.



Junior Member
Just to touch on this, I know its an old thread and I realize I could probably come up with something else with a little search. But I'm on my phone and this came up on google so I
Imagine this is if not but one of few thread about micing questions.

I have seen toms mic'ed from the reso side, and most on batter, is batter better? I would of
Thought with most of the sound coming from the reso side that might be better....?


Silver Member
For a really tight popping bass sound I put the mic half way inside my bass drum and point
the mic directly at the beater. Make sure you use the hard side of the beater not the felt side.