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My kick sound is not very natual sounds dull any suggestions
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phatbeatstudio
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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My kick sound is not very natual sounds dull any suggestions

My kick sound is not very natual , sounds dull and dry with no real mojo at all the beta 91 im using seems like it has a more natural sound than my 52 or D6 any suggestions. I have Shure Beta52 or Audix D6 going into PORTICO 2 or MILLENNIA STT1 preamp to a HDi/o converter to HDX through BAREFOOT mm27s with all the best MOGAMI GOLD studio cables there is. I just cant seem to get a sound thats natual , It sounds way colour,d even through the Millennia. This does not make any sense at all to me I can EQ a decent sound out of it but its not a quality sound that my gear should have. Even though my pres are channel strips I track,d with no EQ then used the strip as a hardware insert for EQ. It does sound better but not the way I belive it is supposed to. If anybody has a clip of some un EQ,d outside kick sounds I could hear I would very much be greatfull maybe im just expecting to much. Suggestions about how to remeady this would be great . THANKS
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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getting the inevitable type of reply out of the way:
First, do you like the way the drum itself sounds in the room? Does it have one head or 2? (one head will sound shorter, 2 heads is more resonant)
Even if you do, a close mic is going to give you a dry sound, which is only part of what makes the kick sound in a mix. How does it sound together with the overheads and/or room mic(s)?
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21st March 2012
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No I do not like the sound of the drum either sounds very flat. I just got the Beta 52 and 91 so I dont know if I will like it with the over heads yet. It does seem to be a way more focus,d sound though. I moved the mic back by using the three finger guide line and now that I have a BETA 91 I dont need all the attack from the BETA 52 . I do like the sound way way better than anything Iv got heard ftom me before . I am just a litlle confuzzleld about the lack of pure tone before I do anything to it. After EQ and 91 togther seems good but just the 52 has a old school vibe to it . It does sound decent after all is said and done though but not what I expected. (It has 2 heads with a small port in the center)
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21st March 2012
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Are you saying you don't like the sound of the drum just hearing it in the room with your ears? If so, work on the sound of the drum before you get to the recording of the drum.
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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it's not the gear

sounds like it could be the drum or the player here. you should be able to get a natural sound with any chain, certainly with your setup.

what drum size? heads? tuning? muffling? beater?

and what is "natural" to you? open jazz sound? dead funk drums?
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
No I do not like the sound of the drum either sounds very flat
Bingo.

If the drum sounds crappy, then it doesn't matter how many thousands of pounds worth of gear you throw at it, it'll still sound crappy.

I'd recommend new/better heads, spend some time tuning it properly, experiment with getting the right amount of muffling. If necessary get a better player. You can't polish a turd.

Just my $0.02
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21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olliejohn View Post
Bingo.

If the drum sounds crappy, then it doesn't matter how many thousands of pounds worth of gear you throw at it, it'll still sound crappy.

I'd recommend new/better heads, spend some time tuning it properly, experiment with getting the right amount of muffling. If necessary get a better player. You can't polish a turd.

Just my $0.02
The skins are fairly new not many playing hours less than 4 . The sound is more of a wack than thump or thud or boom . I know are not actual ways to descibe a sound but its the best I can think of. the kit is a DW 22/18 . I realized the sounds I dont like are all dynamics ,outside kick and both sides of the snare. I really like all the others and they all happen to be condensers. The dynamics on those instruments sound low fi and unclear unlike every other instument on the kit . tom overheads , hihats ride and inside kick. Is it possible I just preffer the clarity of condenser to dynamic . Dynamic seems to have more umph but are less defined and condensers sound way more hifi with less umph .

I am just doing a pre sound check getting quallity tones im not tracking or mixing yet so the potentail turd has not yet crapped out.
Like I said I track,d with no EQ and I like every other accept what has dynamics on it . Could this just be a preference thing.
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21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
The skins are fairly new not many playing hours less than 4 .
Yeah...But it could be so much more that is causing the problem.

*tuning could be wrong
*maybe too little or (more likely) too much dampening. Is there an entire closet full of towels stuffed in there?
*bad drummer. Is the drummer hitting weakly? Hitting too hard to let it sing? Burying the beater when the song wants it to rebound or vise-versa?
*Is the beater the right material?
*Is the front head hole too big/too small? Should there be any hole? Should there be a front head at all?
*Is the kit in the right place in the room?
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21st March 2012
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Can you post a clip of what you are getting?
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21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCruiser View Post
Can you post a clip of what you are getting?
I dont know how to post a clip I would if I knew how. Thats why I ask,d if somebody else would post a clip of a good sound so I could compair and see how far off I really am.
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21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Yeah...But it could be so much more that is causing the problem.

*tuning could be wrong
*maybe too little or (more likely) too much dampening. Is there an entire closet full of towels stuffed in there?
*bad drummer. Is the drummer hitting weakly? Hitting too hard to let it sing? Burying the beater when the song wants it to rebound or vise-versa?
*Is the beater the right material?
*Is the front head hole too big/too small? Should there be any hole? Should there be a front head at all?
*Is the kit in the right place in the room?
*Yes
*To little but very dry anyway asingle vic firth verythin damper
* I play,d so yes the drummer suck,d
*I dont know DW 9000 beater kinda wore out
*those plastic rings that go into the front skin its the biggest size there was but still only twice the diameter of the mic
* probably deffinatly not . my room is horrible but its a mic 3 inch,s or so from the kick how much difference could it make.
I know im gonna get school,d for saying that

The skin is tuned way to tight and its a Aquarian super kick that isnt a very energetic lively sound to begin with. almost no dampning at all but sounds the exact opposite.

I dont play drums so I dont know how to tune them or what dampining is apropriate. Im trying to get a decent all around rock punk metal sound . Something that resonates a little with some umph and attack
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
I dont know how to post a clip I would if I knew how. Thats why I ask,d if somebody else would post a clip of a good sound so I could compair and see how far off I really am.

"good" is all subjective. Most kicks sound pretty shitty until they are processed. I recorded this track a couple of days ago. 4 mic's on the kit. One Beta 52 inside the kick. Is it good? I dunno.

I'm also attaching a clip of just the raw kick mic. Nothing spectacular.

Last edited by NYCruiser; 21st March 2012 at 11:57 PM.. Reason: adding clip f
#13
22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
dynamics... inside kick
well, there's at least part of it. putting a mic inside a drum is a surefire way to get a shitty sounding recording.

and since i'm saying it, no way an 18" depth drum is ever going to sound good.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
*Yes
The skin is tuned way to tight and its a Aquarian super kick that isnt a very energetic lively sound to begin with. almost no dampning at all but sounds the exact opposite.

I dont play drums so I dont know how to tune them or what dampining is apropriate. Im trying to get a decent all around rock punk metal sound . Something that resonates a little with some umph and attack
The Aquarian Super Kick is, in my opinion (and that of most of the drummers I know), one of the best kick heads in existance, and as an owner of a DW kit, I can attest to how easy it is to get a good sound out of them. Drums are my fourth instrument, and I'm by no means a tuning expert, but to be honest, it's quite hard to make a DW drum sound crappy. There is no excuse for not being able to get a good sound with that gear.

If you don't know how to tune then it's time you learnt. Read as much of this as you have time to. It get's posted on just about every thread with drum tuning issues.

With a DW drum and an Aquarian head well tuned, you should be able to get an amazing sounding kick with a $5 radio shack mic going into a Tascam tape portastudio.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Very confusing. Your writing, that is... First:

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
I realized the sounds I dont like are all condencers
Then:

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
I really like all the others and they all happen to be condensers.
I re-read your posts many times, and I gathered you prefer condensers to dynamics. I could be wrong, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
Is it possible I just preffer the clarity of condenser to dynamic .

Could this just be a preference thing.
Yes, and it probably is. Condensers respond better to transients than dynamics, generally. Your combo has both, B91 (cond.) + B52 (dynamic) for best of both worlds -usage.

As stated above, make your drum sound good in the room before you pick up any mics. It could be the tuning of the drum, the playing itself (i.e. going for a weighty heavy metal kick sound, you really need to lay into it), the acoustics of the room (too much uncontrolled reverb, flutter echoes or too dead a space) etc. Sort it out first, then get out your mics.

With your setup, and the goal being a modern heavy kick with punch (as the 22" x 18" drum size would suggest), I would probably do the following as a starting point (from which I would almost invariably tweak on):

-Heads in good shape. Change if needed. A hole (5" dia.) on the resonant head, off center (to not let the fundamentals escape).

-Get the drum in tune. Both heads loose to fairly loose, but without wrinkles. Resonant head probably only slightly higher in tuning than the batter head. A small towel folded up (just touching both heads) inside the drum to dampen unwanted resonance.

-Adjust the beater, so that it hits pretty close to center. Choose the optimal beater material for clear "beater click" of preferred type. No "Falam Slam" or similar things (while reinforcing the point-of-contact, I find they kill the attack and/or make the sound funny)

-Listen to the drum. Tune out any weird resonances, and get rid of the infamous "high-bass (circa 100Hz) ringing" of resonant head either by tuning and / or adjusting muffling. Opt for both power and clarity.

-Once it sounds good in the room (both close up and further away), put up some mics. B91 inside on the towel, slightly closer to resonant head, B52 peeking inside through the hole in the front head.

-Adjust B52 positioning until it sounds decent (B52 is not my fave at all. I find it sounds woolly nearly always), and their phasing matches as much as possible.

-Listen through monitors. Unless being very close to goal, go through some or all of the above.

-Listen again. If good, apply some low mid cut to the B52 to cut the mud a bit. Make sure the change is for good.

-Track on separate tracks

-Adjust the two mics for optimum phase later, if need be.

You can't make sh**ty playing / player sound good, so adjust accordingly. Remember that a lot of the sound comes from overheads (in the case of kick drum, not very much) and room mics (room mics contribute a lot to size).
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Don't worry about your playing, at least as it pertains to the kick drum. You're just stepping on a pedal.

Un-EQ'd kicks aren't supposed to sound good. Every kick drum sound reference point you have from records you like are heavily EQd and compressed.

You might want to point your inside kick mic off axis, so that it's over to the right or left side of the beater, and picking up more of the boomy resonance of the shell.

Tuning ain't hard. Turn the tension rods down to the point where they're loose and flimsy, and then use your fingers to tighten until the point where they won't budge. That's called "finger tight." Do that with both heads. Record it. Then tune up each rod a 1/4 turn. Record it again. Repeat that until you realize you've gone way too high. When you listen back to your clips you will see that your drum only has a very limited sweet spot. It's probably going to be pretty low. Go back to that and stay there.

Then you need to EQ. Use a spectrum analyzer to see where the drum's fundamental is (probably around 80). Boost that maybe. And then play around with a hi-pass filter. This will give you a fat and punchy sound. Then maybe you can fool around with EQing the high freqs.

Compress to taste.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Don't worry about your playing, at least as it pertains to the kick drum. You're just stepping on a pedal.
Or, and maybe this is just me being crazy, do worry about your playing so it ends up sounding good.

Quote:
Un-EQ'd kicks aren't supposed to sound good.
The kick certainly can sound good before you do anything to it. That being said, a natural kick sound is almost never the goal in many genres of music, so it won't sound like "that kick" until you mess with it a bit.
#18
22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Don't worry about your playing, at least as it pertains to the kick drum. You're just stepping on a pedal.
That's probably the most misguided thing I've ever read on Gearslutz. The playing is 95% - if you get that wrong you stand NO chance. And as far as "just stepping on a pedal," if you said that to any good drummer, they'd probably laugh in your face - I know some that would probably punch you in the face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Un-EQ'd kicks aren't supposed to sound good.
Whilst this may be true for a Stagg kick, we're talking about DW here - a DW kick drum on it's own costs over £1000 and it sounds like it too. They're designed to sound good, and, if you tune them, they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Tuning ain't hard.
I will, however, +1 this. Tuning isn't hard ,and it should be the first thing you do when recording a kit - not an after thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
Then you need to EQ. Use a spectrum analyzer to see where the drum's fundamental is (probably around 80). Boost that maybe. And then play around with a hi-pass filter. This will give you a fat and punchy sound. Then maybe you can fool around with EQing the high freqs.

Compress to taste.
My only gripe with this bit, is that, instead of using a spectrum analyzer to eq and then comressing to taste, you'll probably get better results if you just do BOTH to taste and forget about analyzers and fundamentals. Mix with your ears, not your eyes.

Just my $0.02
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olliejohn View Post
That's probably the most misguided thing I've ever read on Gearslutz. The playing is 95% - if you get that wrong you stand NO chance. And as far as "just stepping on a pedal," if you said that to any good drummer, they'd probably laugh in your face - I know some that would probably punch you in the face.
The OP is sitting there, stepping on the kick, and trying to get it to sound good. For this very limited purpose, he does not need to know to "play drums". He just needs to know how to step on the pedal. There are only so many variables involved. Whether you bury the beater or not, and how hard you step on it. That's it.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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A DW 22-18 with a superkickII should sound massive. Check out the Bob Gatzen vids on YouTube. Or better yet buy the DVD since you will probably be dealing with poorly tuned drums for most of your career in recording.
There are two ways to tune a SuperkickII. For recording, I have it fairly loose. What is called just above wrinkle. For un mic'd gigs I tune it up a bit so it just rings. That carries better and you can't hear the ring. The front head is a bit tighter than JAW and rings slightly. I'm using an Evans EQ3 which is similar to the stock DW reso head. A SK reso is a bit deader. Off center hole and a Beta 52 at the hole but even with the head. Not sticking into it. There is an Evans pad sitting in the bottom of the drum to kill internal pipe resonances but it's not touching either head. Again, see the Gatzen vids on this and keeping the shell flat with the floor, not tipped up.
OTOH. Folks like Steve Jordan make really good records with dull, thuddy kick sounds.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post
He just needs to know how to step on the pedal. There are only so many variables involved. Whether you bury the beater or not, and how hard you step on it. That's it.

I generally find myself in complete agreement with the things you say, and I dig your take on matters of sound and vibe. On this one, though, I don't know that I could disagree more heartily.

So many times I've stepped into a room and sat at a kit and played, and had engineers or other players express that they had no idea the kit sounded so good... I've lost count. Touch is everything, and it applies to every instrument, and it doesn't matter that it's a pedal vs. a stick any more than the keys and hammers on a piano mean that all you need to know is how hard to push on them. Technique, feel, groove, pocket, dynamics... all of this add up to what we call 'sound'.

The nuances and musicality that can be coaxed out of a kick, good lord... maybe you just don't know.

In a thread where OP doesn't like the sound of his drum in the room so he starts asking about mics, shifting the focus to the drum and the player is (imo) not only warranted, it's the only sane approach.


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22nd March 2012
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OP, try to understand too that for most of us and for most styles of music, the sound of the kick comes mostly from the overheads, and if there's a close mic then it's used to fill out the sound, add definition and body, and thicken the tone. But the kick mic on its own is not the overall flavor, it's merely a spice, a layer in a composite.

But really, you gotta like what you're hearing in the room before you set up mics. And if you *really* want to know what a mic is going to hear, put a foam plug in your left ear and play (or have the player play). Mics are not stereo like your ears, so in order to understand what their world sounds like you need to close off half your apparatus.


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22nd March 2012
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If you don't like what you hear in the room, how do you know where to put the mics? You should be listening to what the mic's pick up to decide on final placement. Best you can hope for is that the mic's are catching the source. If the source is shit....guess what? 'nuff said.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
So many times I've stepped into a room and sat at a kit and played, and had engineers or other players express that they had no idea the kit sounded so good... I've lost count. Touch is everything, and it applies to every instrument, and it doesn't matter that it's a pedal vs. a stick any more than the keys and hammers on a piano mean that all you need to know is how hard to push on them. Technique, feel, groove, pocket, dynamics... all of this add up to what we call 'sound'.

The nuances and musicality that can be coaxed out of a kick, good lord... maybe you just don't know.

In a thread where OP doesn't like the sound of his drum in the room so he starts asking about mics, shifting the focus to the drum and the player is (imo) not only warranted, it's the only sane approach.
+1. Couldn't have put it better myself
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Sitting behind a kit, especially when it's in a corner or backed up against a wall, the kick sounds nothing like it does from the front. You need to be out in the room to get an idea of the sound. And have the actual drummer or someone who can approximate his technique play the kick. Does the drummer to be recorded burry the beater (choking off any sustain)? Looser heads, no muffling and a bit of a tighter reso head will get some sound from the shell and front. Someone who gets the beater off the drum will probably need a bit more damping depending on the amount of sustain that the mix needs.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Haven't read through the whole thread, but a few quick tips I'd give are to keep the batter head loose (tighten out any wrinkles), take the reso off (drape a blanket over the open end to cut down on the spillage), use a plastic beater and really play the kick firmly and consistently. In addition, maybe think about building a sub-kick.
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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typo sorry for the confusion I didnt like the DYNAMIC mics. I listened to the tracks after some time out and the snare track is actually pretty good for my standards but the kick is still lacking . I ment I like the sound of everything that has condecers on it.
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_mike View Post
well, there's at least part of it. putting a mic inside a drum is a surefire way to get a shitty sounding recording.

and since i'm saying it, no way an 18" depth drum is ever going to sound good.
I used a Beta 52 outside and a Beta 91 inside . I am pleased with the sound of the 91 but not the outside kick sound.This was the first time I have tried a 91 and it is great . Im not trying to knock the Beta52 I just got it , I have just have never been able to get a good outside kick tone. I have a Audix D6 that iv been useing for years and I rairly get a tone I like , Im not saying I dont like either the D6 or 52 I am just having a very hard time getting a sound I like. Im not trying to blaim the microphone here ,
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23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatbeatstudio View Post
My kick sound is not very natual , sounds dull and dry with no real mojo at all the beta 91 im using seems like it has a more natural sound than my 52 or D6 any suggestions. I have Shure Beta52 or Audix D6 going into PORTICO 2 or MILLENNIA STT1 preamp to a HDi/o converter to HDX through BAREFOOT mm27s with all the best MOGAMI GOLD studio cables there is.
The D6 won't give you anywhere near a natural sound. That thing is designed to provide a modern, clicky, scooped sound; in other words, far from what the drum really sounds like.

The 91 will tend towards a clickier pickup, as well. In particular, note that you're putting it in the drum. Not the place you put a mic if you're aiming for a "natural" sound. Generally, a mic inside the kick is best supplemented with something outside to pick up the actual tone of the drum. FWIW, my default setup is one "Kick In" mic (which may be well inside the drum, or just barely peaking through the front head's port hole), and a "Kick Out" mic placed 2-5 ft in front of the drum, depending on the position that provides the most interesting phase relationship to the inside mic. Note that the further the mic goes out, the more likely I am to set up a kick tunnel or something similar.

Out of the mics listed, a 52 should do the trick best if you're after a natural sound. Just don't cram the mic too far into the drum, and set up some ambient mics to pick up a bit more of the "drum-in-a-room" sound.

Also, if you have a cool, viby mic to stick behind the drummer, that can work wonders at filling out the tone of the kick (as well as adding some cool ambience to the kit as a whole). My goto is either a good ribbon (typically, a 121 or 122, or an AEA R84 or R92, or more recently, a Telefunken U48 in figure 8). The guy who showed me this technique used an Altec 670, which sounded GREAT, but I don't have one of those at my studio.
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phatbeatstudio
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#30
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
Or, and maybe this is just me being crazy, do worry about your playing so it ends up sounding good.


The kick certainly can sound good before you do anything to it. That being said, a natural kick sound is almost never the goal in many genres of music, so it won't sound like "that kick" until you mess with it a bit.
I wont be playing the drums I am just in a position where I have to do everything myself. I can play a bit at about a average high school level so I know to let the beater off the head so it resonates but now that I think about it I wasnt playing at all I was just doing the sound check thing BOOM BOOM BOOM not playing any other part of the kit at all. I think I need to have a real drummer come in. Its possible I just have a lead foot or didnt let the beater off the skin , so give me a day and I will try some stuff and see how it goes.
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