Anyone play Hard Rock or Metal with a large unported kick?

Bull

Gold Member
I know a lot of you guys play unported but I am talking about in a high volume/mic'd situation.

I want to keep my kit old school, when this project starts playing out. I love the sound and the feel. I can get a great un-mic'd sound at rehearsals. I have always been decent at tuning but i know sound guys are going to balk at this idea. Are there any tuning tips that will make it easier for them? Is sounding good to me enough or should I tune differently for the mic?
 

Dirtcity

Member
I play in a high volume stoner metal/rock band, and I have a 24" 3 ply kick with no port. They'll find a way to mic the drum in my experience. Sure, having a hole in the head may make it a little easier on them, but if I'm the one playing I want the drum to sound and feel right to me first and foremost. I've never had an actual sound guy give me grief for it, only one club owner who thought he was a live sound engineer.
 

digibird

Senior Member
In my experience, if you tune the drum to sound good to your ear, and the soundman places the mic a few inches from the front head where he would expect the hole to be, you'll both be happy. The soundman may have to EQ the bass drum a little bit differently than he usually does when the mic is inside the drum, but if he can't do that, or is unwilling to do that, he's no pro. Make yourself happy - unported is a great sound. The sound guys that worked with Bonham seemed to do just fine with it, right? :)
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I know a lot of you guys play unported but I am talking about in a high volume/mic'd situation.

I want to keep my kit old school, when this project starts playing out. I love the sound and the feel. I can get a great un-mic'd sound at rehearsals. I have always been decent at tuning but i know sound guys are going to balk at this idea. Are there any tuning tips that will make it easier for them? Is sounding good to me enough or should I tune differently for the mic?
Have you tried a fake drumport made from solid air?

Have a look, they're cheap :) http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1044279#post1044279
 

mrmike

Silver Member
You might try mounting a mic inside the drum like Simon Phillips does. This will give you more attack and click from the beater that might be useful in metal. The overall sound of the rest of the band should come into play as to what kind of bass drum sound will sound best. If there is lots of space in the music then an inside mic might not be necessary.
 

Nuka

Senior Member
I've seen plenty of drummers shred their skins in a gig... doesn't change the sound as such coming from the audience, but ah well.

All up to your taste I suppose?
 

sXeDanimalsXe

Senior Member
I play(ed) in metal/hardcore bands and I LOVED the sound of a solid front head. Here is what I would do, I tuned my kick a little higher than most people, the batter head I like tighter than some for a few reasons. One is better response with the pedal. Really lose heads the beater just sinks in. The higher tuned kick drums project really well. Now the front head I CRANK UP! It's way tighter than you would think a kick head should be. The really tight front head gives you a really solid full sound, and it really projects. As far as sound guys, a lot of them look at you like you are crazy when you don't have a hole. Well that's when you separate the real sound guys from the weekend worrier sound guys. Any decent kick mic should work fine for a bass drum with a solid front head.

Also as someone else said, having a mic mounted inside the drum would be a great idea too. I have always wanted to do that, just I don't play enough anymore to justify the cost and the work.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
I play(ed) in metal/hardcore bands and I LOVED the sound of a solid front head. Here is what I would do, I tuned my kick a little higher than most people, the batter head I like tighter than some for a few reasons. One is better response with the pedal. Really lose heads the beater just sinks in. The higher tuned kick drums project really well. Now the front head I CRANK UP! It's way tighter than you would think a kick head should be. The really tight front head gives you a really solid full sound, and it really projects. As far as sound guys, a lot of them look at you like you are crazy when you don't have a hole. Well that's when you separate the real sound guys from the weekend worrier sound guys. Any decent kick mic should work fine for a bass drum with a solid front head.

Also as someone else said, having a mic mounted inside the drum would be a great idea too. I have always wanted to do that, just I don't play enough anymore to justify the cost and the work.
I recently started tuning my bass drums higher on both sides for the exact reasons you give. I was tuning everything really loose for a while and never liked the sound OR feel on the pedal.

I too want to keep my front head in tact on my new kit and I've never done a gig without a porthole. On one hand, I want to do it anyway and make the soundman figure it out. On the other hand, it's usually never a good idea to piss off a soundman. You could be sounding like crap all night.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
As long as (all) the drums sounds good, you shouldn't have a problem at all.
I use my 16 and 18x26 with no hole, and it's no problem. I use a D112.
Others like the Beta 52, but I find it too "boofy" for the larger bass drum to my ear. The D112 has a cleaner sound to my ear, and captures the sound of the bigger drum really well. It's personal opinion, so whatever works for you. I just like bringing my own mic.

I set it a few inches in from the edge, and at the center lug (not center of head itself) on the 26.
The mic goes an inch or so away and it's a great sound. It's not like the hole is magic, and the 10 mil of drum head is stopping the sound from getting to the mic.

A 14" up to 18" depth IME is OK with no hole, but the 20" depth I found needs one so the mic can go into the (4") hole just slightly because of the depth to make the drum sinc up with the bass guitar like it should.
I hesitated doing it, but I heard the difference for myself after I talked to one of the FOH guy's at a venue I have played at a lot.
He had no problem micing, and getting a great sound easily from the drum un-ported, but he said that the overall sound would be more solid between the bass drum and bass player with a hole on that particular drum. I put in a 4" hole, and he was right, and the drum still sounds (and feels) awesome.

Good luck!
 

Bretton

Silver Member
if your bass drum has a hole for a tom holder, you can get a small tabletop mic stand:

unscrew the base, and mount it upside down inside the drum. the trouble will be getting the XLR in and out, you might have to remove an XLR head off of a short XLR, feed the cable through the vent hole, and re-solder the head back on. or if you have a double tom mount on the kick, just up through the other hole.
 

Bull

Gold Member
Thanks!! I am still playing around and experimenting. It takes time when each head experiment costs about $100. Rocking the SK2/Regulator right now. I think I am gonna go back to the old Emp/Amb/felt strip combo.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
The less "pre-Muffled" you go, the better the results IMO/E.
Don't be afraid of a little more sound/resonance.

I'd also suggest trying a hard beater (wood or plastic) if you don't already use one. Played harder, you get what you'd expect, and played softer, you just get a little more solid overall sound. The harder beater helps when you don't have a mic shoved inside a drum by the batter head.

"Plain" heads, and the felt strip will get great results (as it always did back in the day).

Regular heads are less expensive too, so that's an extra bonus :)

That's my 2 cents--
 

Bull

Gold Member
I'd also suggest trying a hard beater (wood or plastic) if you don't already use one. Played harder, you get what you'd expect, and played softer, you just get a little more solid overall sound. The harder beater helps when you don't have a mic shoved inside a drum by the batter head.
I had stayed away from wood/plastic beaters for fear of too much click. I used them in my thrashier days. As you suggested,I tried the plastic side of my Eliminator beaters at rehearsal tonight.I think it might be what I was missing.
 

Bull

Gold Member
We tried recording a few songs the other day. My guitarist is having fits a about the lack of a port. He said he can't gate all the cymbals out of the kick mic. He wants it inside the drum. I do not want that kind of sound! This is going to be a pain in the ass.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
We tried recording a few songs the other day. My guitarist is having fits a about the lack of a port. He said he can't gate all the cymbals out of the kick mic. He wants it inside the drum. I do not want that kind of sound! This is going to be a pain in the ass.
Ask him to learn the fundamentals of microphone placement and how the correct microphone is the one to use on any particular job. If the correct microphone is used and it's placed according to it's plotted polar pattern in relation to the cymbals, runaway cymbals will never be a problem. If you're recording inside a smallish size room, there's always blankets and gobos. I rarely ever have to use gates. He can't gate it, lol.

Dennis
 
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