Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Let's talk about kits and mics, new and old. What are you using? What do you want? What's the difference?

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Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Lee Cardan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:16 pm

What you like, and how you like it?
pictures are cool :-B

Mostly I'm curious how you like to get your NON-metal / heavy rock kicks
(It's an open discussion though of course so by all means, discuss what you wish!)

Here's what I really like at the moment:

Beyer M88 inside - gives me a super tight midrange 'knock' if you will. I really enjoy the tone I get out of it, and I think it's pretty obvious when you hit the sweet spot with this mic (usually 1-2" inside the hole, usually pointing straight ahead, maybe a touch towards the beater). But the stray 'excited!' kicks tends to get really pokey and loose that nice roundness they have when the drummer is being mindful, so I find I have to keep a real close ear out for these and either bring the volume down a bit individually or replace the odd one if it sounded really choked - is that a common thing for inside kick (similarly snare?) - I never really learned how to 'engineer' properly, but this sounds good to me. I can usually get away without compressing this way which I really enjoy, because then I can pay much more attention to shaping my transient the way I want (usually with a pultec style EQ and transient designer, and probably some nice long attack compression and getting my release to groove).

Other inside kick mics I have here are RE-20, 421, 441, D112, D12, SM7 and plenty more of the usual suspects, but I just don't enjoy any as much as I enjoy the M88. Perhaps the new Telefunken M82 will give it a run for it's money!

I'm open to other inside kick suggestions / approaches which is probably my main motivation for this thread

Outside kick I like to have a lot of fun with though!
For rocky stuff it's inevitably the U47 FET, man does that thing just deliver (although I always feel a little dirty afterwards..!) - but the 47fet really does it's thing almost dead center and 6-12" back. Bock 195 comes very very close but it's just never as thick as the fet gets which is where the real magic of the fet is. Bock goes super subby low though.. but It's rare that I'd really want a kick all the way down there - I love a kick that sits, kicks a bit in the chest, pops out where it should and isn't easily mistaken for stick clicks (as I said, I'm not a rock guy!)

But for non-rock, gee it can really be anything!
Usually position is as if I were mic'ing a tom, but resonant head of course

* If it's a kick with no hole then it almost always ends up being the AKG D12, what a cool mic

* If it's got a hole, then it's a Gefell UM70 (also my favourite bass cab mic)

I've also played recently with the Gefell CMV-563 with an M7 capsule, but it's maybe a little too warm and slow (?) for this purpose, but if the tone's right (it's pretty particular so it's gotta be great for something) and it's the behaviour that's a little off, then transient designer is a true champ

That's kind of where I'm at
I'll try and dig up some pictures and audio samples


Oh, and vintage LA2A on kick ! and a pultec EQ
pretty hard to go wrong, but if it needs to come up a touch in the spot that it sits then LA3A does the trick!

that's enough for now
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby ChrisW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:57 pm

I'm definitely not a metal kick lover so......
Almost always D12 just inside hole, with a U47fet in front of the kick.
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby mylesgm » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:57 am

depends of course but I like...

D6 almost against the head with 72hz pushed to give weight, this is for kick tone that sits and is unobtrusive but has some solid low end.

I dig the 692/um70 combo at a little distance above centre (sometimes omni), lots of great tone, rest of the kit sounds good too so easy to blend into the drum set.

the AT mic that has both dynamic and condenser heads, sounds pretty sweet for pop, sounds little bit proud but in a good way without being annoying. Stick it outside just off centre and move it back and forth to find the right spot for both heads to work.

M88 is fine doesn't always float my boat but always works either in or out depending on whether its a one mic kick setup or not.

MD441 inside, lots of click and midrange without sub, useful for getting a 70s folk rock sounds which I dig in the right track.

u47FET, great and versatile too depending on distance and kick tuning. Have used it for rock, punk and jazz(!) with good results.

tlm103 kind of does the u47FET but with less authority, needs a bit of EQ to get it sounding good but mid scoop and 65-75hz pushed and it's a very useful sound.
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Drumstruck » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:54 am

One of my favourite topics :ymhug: and a pair of M88s is one of my desires .......

RE320s are my go-tos for BD front - a third of the way out from the centre of the front skin and oriented about 1-2" out from the beater impact point - bass switch on for big and boomy, off for less of that...

Heil PR40s are also good for a brighter and clickier sound - oriented at the vent they give a shorter / naturally compressed sound, but there's more tom spill there......

SM57s for BD batter - oriented at the beater impact point - they fit really neatly and out of the way on those little gooseneck stands and give extra click ...

I'll have to try the MD441s - but the cymbals have a firm grip on these and won't let go.

No holes or missing skins - tops and bottoms on all and dynamics? not on my kit baby ....... well, sometimes a limiter/gate to control peaks and noise floor....
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Barney Loveland » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:38 pm

My fav at the moment is an earthworks SR25 with the EW kick pad. Neve or API style pre for modern sound or trimax tube pre for super fat and vintage. Although i did have trouble with a Sleishman kick that just seemed to pound the daylights out of mic and sound like bollocks. Others on hand are D6, 421, PR40, RE20, D112 the usual suspects. One day i'll find a FET47 at the op shop........
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby GlennS » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:04 am

I really like using the AT AE2500 & using the balance between the condenser & dynamic capsules instead of EQ, sometimes with no compression at all. The room and/or overhead mics usually give me the rest of what I need.
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby rightintheface » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:07 am

I took a pair of broken headphones and glued one of the drivers and it's surround into an empty (washed) can of mushrooms. Bolted that to a dodgy old clamping light (the kind that clip onto your office desk etc) and I have a miniature subkick that can clamp onto the kick drum rim. Sounds killer and takes EQ very well. Gets some funny looks though :ymhug:
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Gian » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:39 am

rightintheface wrote:I took a pair of broken headphones and glued one of the drivers and it's surround into an empty (washed) can of mushrooms. Bolted that to a dodgy old clamping light (the kind that clip onto your office desk etc) and I have a miniature subkick that can clamp onto the kick drum rim. Sounds killer and takes EQ very well. Gets some funny looks though :ymhug:


Is the type of mushrooms important? *wink*
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby andygriffiths » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:44 pm

For me, I just use a beta 52 mainly. I line the blue ring up with hole in the kick drum skin. If I want more of a click sound I move it inside the drum. Then I put a large diapham condenser outside the drum lined up about 5-10cm from the head. But I always check for phase. My other favourite mic is a sennheiser 902 just inside the hole. But it just depends on the size of the drum, heads & shell type as to what works best. For me the beta52 is a good all rounder & a good place to start.
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Drumstruck » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:17 pm

I tried a couple of different ribbons as BD outside last night - just for interest sake.... and the single ribbon model put a smile on my dial - warm as a summer evening :ymhug:
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby headman » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:05 pm

Plus one on the AT AE2500

One mic is enough for me

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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Drumstruck » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:12 pm

http://recordinghacks.com/2012/06/08/ki ... -shootout/

In that comparison I liked the D112 best, then RE320, RE20 and PR40.


fwiw on my kit currently I have M88s with Evans EMADs (rocky) and RE320s with coated Ambassadors (jazzy).
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Paul Maybury » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:17 pm

For me it's an Re 20 or AKG D12. Never a d112. Sometimes a 421.
For big, early rock sounds with resonant drums, I like a d12 on the reso skin (not in the hole) and another d12 on the batter. MASSIVE!
90% of the time, however, it's a single re20, positioned to get the balance between attack and fat that I need for the track. Sometimes I like an arse or front of kick mic, which lately is an EV 665, but anything goes here.
Drum tuning is paramount, If the tone changes a lot with how hard the drum is hit, tune it!
Most drummers that play live a lot tune the drums way too low. If they are also using clear skins, you will be in trouble.
Cheers,
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby number1son » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:36 am

For kick, my secret weapon is Sony C37 valve, about 6 feet away, crank the lows at about 70-80 Hz, boy oh boy. The Sony's renowned for it's top end, and of course i use it for that too, but who knew such hugeness was possible down there?
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby ftdrummer » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:48 am

Arguably the most important factor straight up is the heads and tuning. I'm liking the 52a and D6 most of the time for a rock sound, but I've been mucking around lately with an M88 and 421 for a more 70s sound, depending on the drum. One of my favourite kick and guitar sounds was recorded with nothing but an AT4050 fig 8 about 1.5m FOK between the kick drum and guitar amp, bump in the low end EQ and a bit of compression. This is a one mic only improv. recording:

https://soundcloud.com/the-tonearms/pretty-polly
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby rick » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:52 pm

I have had reason to try out most of my mics on kick recently , just to see whats what with the new kit ( DW 25th anniversary timeless timber kit ) .

I tried ribbons , pzm and dynamics and a bunch of tubes and even small diaphrams and ended up where I always end up
fet 47 out back as usual and a get 47 on front skin outside next to the pedal tom side ,
still looking for an internal front mic , i am wondering about those internal mic mounts

I have done a couple of sessions with the kit with and without pultec eq , with and without api ,
I am feeling its still a fet 47 world for me .
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Damien » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:29 am

I have a lot of kick Mics. My current favorites are akg d112vr, and a fet47.
Live replace the fet with the Sennheiser plate ( or the original sm91a, with the click eq'd out).

My othe kick Mics include d12, heil pr40, d6, m88, Sm 91,beta 91, Sennheiser plate, re20, 421, 441,

I hate the. BETA 52 and d112 or almost any other " egg" the AT dual thing is horrible
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Zarven Kara » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:47 pm

I always go with three mic's now. Sm7b right next to the beater. A d12 just inside and a 47fet outside about a 70 cm away. Between those three you pretty much cover everything you need. More click go with the 7b. If you need something not so aggressive for a more acoustic sound just use the 47 fet. Plenty to choose from. Sometimes you get a super light low end from the 7b on the beater, just eq in some 60-70hz on that and it can really give you some punch...
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Re: Lets talk Kick Drum mics

Postby Dave77 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:44 pm

I have been using m88 or 421 or AKG D12 or D112 on kick in, sometimes a beater mic, which due to laziness is usually just a 57 then I eq and shape away on.
Although I would like to experiment with better options on batter side but usually it's a last minute add on when the drummer has an empty vintage style kick drum to chase more attack.

On kick out I've been religiously using a Fet 47, although the only real success I've had with this is to have it over the resonant drum head and not over the hole or further back from the hole in front of the drum, it only sounds good over the drum head capturing the resonance of the drum and blended with the punch of the kick in..

Be interested to know if others have had the same result.

I would go as far as to say anywhere other than over the resonant head and it sounds like shit and to leave it there in front of the hole is just hoping for the best and sounds like an ugly close room mic.
I'm always happy once it lands back over the head with none of the direct sound from the hole reaching it.
I move it around until I have a nice kick out that adds body to my kick in..

Maybe it'll change over time but that's the little old story of the vintage Fet 47 and me thus far :-?
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