Often ignored yet the key to kick tone...

jimb

Member
I think we have all answered our own questions. A mile back in the this thread I wrote the word "Bonham".....we are now talking about one thing only it seems.....see how hugely influenced we all are with
Hmm.. One gig I played, the soundman tuned/engineered the backline bass drum so it would sustain for 5 seconds. I didn't like it, but it was not like I could do anything to change it :(
And out in the audience you were a King for the night. Ive lost track of the times I had a crap sound on stage only for others to say wow you sounded good tonight.....
 

Iristone

Well-known member
And out in the audience you were a King for the night. Ive lost track of the times I had a crap sound on stage only for others to say wow you sounded good tonight.....
The bassist told me along the same lines, "it was how they get the stage effect" I think he said. It was a bit of a pity since I felt he was a bit buried in the PA (again, from my onstage, behind his amp POV), but through our IEM rigs we were able to dial in a good balance. And the audience didn't complain. :)
I personally would prefer a "faster" bass drum though, if I'm buying a kit. The backline kit was a DW Collector with 22x18 bass drum. Maybe I should be glad enough to have DW Collectors as backline, and I didn't even need to pay for it. 😂
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
see what i dont get about sound men is this: I play a gig ( pre-covid but still booked every month) where they have a Rogers Holiday kit as a backline. The bass drum is literally full of laundry, maybe even sneakers, and the batter is so loose its like dead paper. The sound guy shows up, throws what looks like a regular round vocal mic through the large 10 inch hole in front of the bass on top of the pile of laundry, turns on the sound and DAMN!!!!! That thing sound killer!! So when I see vid like this, and it is great, I think that it really comes down the the electronic magic of a sound man, not me making it sound what i think is good.
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
see what i dont get about sound men is this: I play a gig ( pre-covid but still booked every month) where they have a Rogers Holiday kit as a backline. The bass drum is literally full of laundry, maybe even sneakers, and the batter is so loose its like dead paper. The sound guy shows up, throws what looks like a regular round vocal mic through the large 10 inch hole in front of the bass on top of the pile of laundry, turns on the sound and DAMN!!!!! That thing sound killer!! So when I see vid like this, and it is great, I think that it really comes down the the electronic magic of a sound man, not me making it sound what i think is good.
Coincidentally, we just filmed a segment on this with an anecdote from a session Cody played a while back. Good sound engineers know how to get great sounds with what they've got. We often look at this as getting a good sound DESPITE the methods rather than specifically because of them. I remember showing up to a session a few years back with an engineer who is known for getting great drum sounds in New York and tends to have a lot of stuff on the drumheads. The floor tom was sounding pretty dead that day though and he was freaking out a bit. So I took some of the tape off and retuned it- boom! Sounded like gold in the both in room and in the monitors. He ran in asking what I did as if I'd worked some mysterious magic. Nope- just me and a drum key. That's why we produce this series- to arm people with actionable insight to help achieve their desired sound(s) through a variety of ways.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Seriously though- tune your reso head! We had a blast putting together this episode exploring a few different intervals between the batter and reso, keeping the batter the same.
Can you speak briefly about the position of your BD mic? Based on training and experience, it appears that you have the BD mic in the turbulent zone on the port, and a fair portion of what you're hearing is air passing over the diaphragm. BD mics should either be "in" the drum via the port, or outside of the drum in the case of non-ported, but not in the windy/turbulent zone (anywhere within 3" of the port). Is this not the case?
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
Can you speak briefly about the position of your BD mic? Based on training and experience, it appears that you have the BD mic in the turbulent zone on the port, and a fair portion of what you're hearing is air passing over the diaphragm. BD mics should either be "in" the drum via the port, or outside of the drum in the case of non-ported, but not in the windy/turbulent zone (anywhere within 3" of the port). Is this not the case?
Some people have questioned and that. I've never had a problem with placing a dynamic mic at the port. Since we're going for as natural of a sonic capture as possible overall, not having the mic inside the kick is preferred. This way allows for a balance between attack and tone. At the end of the day, all we want with the sound in these videos is something that closely resembles the acoustic sound in the room. There may be some turbulence to the D112 but it's not hurting the big picture. Make sense?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
At the end of the day, all we want with the sound in these videos is something that closely resembles the acoustic sound in the room. There may be some turbulence to the D112 but it's not hurting the big picture. Make sense?
Yes and no. When I hear the BD in the video, a consequential portion of what I hear is wind across a microphone. If you want a comparison, grab an unported head, mic both sides of the BD, match the phase, and compare the results. One will sound like an isolated bass drum. The other will sound like a BD in the wind. If you want to know how much of the sound is wind, turn the mic 90 degrees and have a listen.

The entire reason that we port BD heads is to capture the batter side from the front, grab a bit of the internal rumble, and to take advantage of the isolation the BD shell offers. Mic'ing outside the port accomplishes none of that.

My last thought is that close-range dynamic mics aren't typically meant to reproduce acoustic room sound due to their proximity. If you really want the acoustic sound, place an LDC a few feet from the BD and forego the port.

It's as if I watched a video regarding the cabin-noise differences between soft and hard compound tires, but all acoustic measurements were taken with the windows rolled down.
 
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