Monday, January 21, 2013

Kick Drum Trick

We've talked about this drum micing trick on the podcast a couple times so I thought I'd trot it out for our non-listening Brethren of the Knob and Fader. It's pretty common to see two kick drum mics these days both live and in the studio. One picks up the beater click and the other captures the boom. It's nice to be able to tailor the sound based on the performance. But how do you go about getting great kick drum sound if you only have one mic or channel available?
We've used this trick multiple times with a Shure 52 but it should work with almost anything. For it to work the drum needs to have a front head on and a hole in that so you can get the mic inside. Finding the sweet spot in the usual method where you point the mic at the beater and then move it in and out to get a balance between click and boom can be tedious. Instead, turn the mic around and aim it up. Somewhere around four to eight inches in from the front head, looking up at the corner of the rim is what you're going for.
Once you get the hang of it I think you'll find that it gives you a really nice blend of attack and resonance. Because the mic is aimed at the resonant head you may find results vary due to tuning. This won't work so well if the drum is tuned up very tight but you've got bigger problems if that's the case. One of the benefits though is that instead of getting direct beater sound you capture it as it reflects off the internal surfaces. I find the result is very similar to pairing a 52 with a PZM but all you need is the 52 or something similar.

As with anything your results will vary. The nice thing though is that this isn't restricted to just one type of mic. I haven't tried it myself but I have a feeling that an RE-20, D12, D112 or even a humble SM57 would work. Give it a try next time you're micing up a kit and let us know how it works out for you. Hit the comment section or drop us a line of Facebook.

Anth Kosobucki was good enough to whip up a mini podcast with some examples. Take a few minutes and hear how he did it with a D112.

1 comment:

  1. did this with a d6 at a show a couple months ago after hearing the minicast. i'm pretty pleased with it.


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