Hey all, here are some more responses to questions in this thread.
I've been using the Songs for the Deaf drum sounds as a benchmark for a while now, and I was hoping that I could ask you specifically about the kick drum sound you got on that record? The way the bottom end feels like it's rooted to the floor is really cool - how did you approach this?
I'm guessing we're talking about the drum sound that represents the majority of the more aggressive rock songs on the record (No One Knows, Go With The Flow, Millionaire..... etc.) All those songs were recorded in the booth shown in the pictures in this thread. On most of the songs and specifically 'No One Knows', The kick drum is a Sonor 24" 9 ply birch phonic plus. I was using a combination of a Kick mic (most likely a 47fet or a PL20) recorded on one track and the NS10
speaker trick on another track. I do the NS10
speaker trick a little differently than most. I actually setup 2 of them, one still mounted in the speaker box and one ns10
woofer with no speaker box. In my experience this dual NS10
speaker trick is the easiest fastest way to get some really perfect punchy low end for your kick drum. The phasing has to be right between the 2 speakers one way really sucks and the other immediately sounds great. I usually high pass the actual kick mic, use it for the attack and only use the low end from the pair of NS10s
. Also, the guitar sound on those rough mixes is very cool - would you be able to share some of your methods for how this was captured?
I apologize I am not sure what rough mixes you are referring to. Matt Grabe
I read in another thread that you like to use a coated batter head on the kick drum. I'd imagine this largely contributes to that sound over a clear head, correct? Do you have a certain type of pedal beater that you like for rock projects?
I do prefer coated batter heads for kick drums. I find them to have a pleasant airy overtone to them. Clear heads to my ears sound to much like plastic. I mostly like to use all felt beaters. They sound the most balanced to me. Occasionally, the DW style beater with the felt strip on one side has worked when the drummer isn't playing the kick drum hard enough and a more aggressive attack is needed. using the plastic side of the beater has always generated a weird disembodied clicking sound and has never really worked for me. Winey
I had heard that you used a sdc close to the bass drum beater with another mic on the resonant side.
I do like to use a mic on the batter side of the kick drum. I usually call it the "K/S" mic, because it also ends up getting a good amount of bottom snr sound as well. the SDC being referred to was probably a Sony ECM-50 lapel mic. I first starting doing this with a U87
sitting under the snare but pointing right at the kick batter head in cardioid. This U87
version I originally heard about from Jacquire King because he had seen David Bianco using it. It was one of those techniques that became a permanent fixture for me after trying it one time. I have experimented with a bunch of different mics for it ECM-50, PZM, CMV3, Beyer 160, Royer 121, senn MD409. They all work in their own way. The 87 version probably still gets used the most. Lately I have been enjoying the version where the mic is up higher and gets more of the top side of the snare drum (like the setup shown in this thread). I think you consistently get a great and very unique bass drum sound and was a little curious if the U67 on bass drum is a new thing for you?
The U67 thing on the kick drum is a bit newer for me. I have a pair of U67s that are a more recent part of my mic collection. They were modified by Toby Foster to extend the low frequency response. Toby says the that those mics have a HP filter that is active all the time intended to account for proximity effect. He simply removes that from the circuit. I've found that it can work really great for a very natural open drum sound that has little or no gating. All the bleed (cymbals, room ambience etc) that gets into the U67 when it sits a few feet in front of the kick drum sounds good because the U67 is such an open natural full range mic. The song 'By The Sword' on the Slash solo record is a good example of that. Also is a full resonant head your preference still?
I do prefer a resonant head on kick drums. My solution for the bouncy feel is to only put a very small hole (1" - 2" in diameter) in the resonant head. a small hole off to one side is enough to let the air from inside the drum to have somewhere to go and dramatically reduce the bouncy feel. the small hole doesn't seem to ruin the sound of the resonant head and offers some additional flexibility in micing.
Thanks for the interest and questions, hope the info is useful