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KICK DRUM "Problems"
Old 6th September 2019
  #1
KICK DRUM "Problems"

hey folks!

There is this band i work for, they will play a "remember woodstock" show tonight.

Its a 600 capacity venue, i am on a Vi2000.

The drummer plays a vintage ludwig kit,....totally fine with it but the kick is horrible.
it completely empty,....a few weeks ago i already told him that it would be nice to have a hole in it for proper micing.
So he cut a hole in the resonant drumhead,...about 7 cm.

he normally uses a D12 on the outside which turned out to be a pain in the ass because of cymbal leakage and stagenoise.

So i tried a MD441 because it was the only mic that fits in the hole but i also miced up the D12.

its okay but its just a compromise.

any ideas?
try some other mics? try to get him to put some blankets in the kick?

i also have some other mics,....
Beta52 (too big for the hole)
D112 (fits somehow)
MD421, some 57, TG201, etc

any ideas?

thanks
Old 6th September 2019
  #2
Gear Nut
 

You will get tons of options so I will start with mine.

If I were in your shoes I would Not put the mic in the hole but in front of the hole an inch or two.

As for the bleed try using a gate.

Just my .02

PH
Old 6th September 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

You didn't say what the problem was...
Old 6th September 2019
  #4
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Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 

I thought the idea was as accurately as possible amplify the sound he has made his drum to sound like.

What about a mic on the front head and a mic on the beater side. Experiment with flipping polarity on one mic or the other.

Most guys who want that sound will not cut a hole in the front head because they want that particular sound on the kick drum and will not stuff anything inside of the kick. Unless of course the actual tuning of the heads to the drum is all F'd up.
Old 7th September 2019
  #5
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springer's Avatar
 

I have read where the d12 doesn't reject as well as others... maybe try a re20 or md421? I use both of these and both have terrific rejection of what is not directly in front of them.
Old 7th September 2019
  #6
Here for the gear
It sounds to me like this drummer you mention wants a more natural sound, would you agree on that?

I have seen Dave Weckl play at a jazzclub with no hole in the front head and picking it up with a MD441 placed very close to the head.
And it sounded great! This was like 10 or 15 years ago but I think it was dampened a little bit without overdoing it.
The point was that he had a sound fairly close to what it feels like listening to the kit while standing next to it, and not that very "produced" sound where the mic sort of becomes the instrument.

I recall another nice pickup with the Beyerdynamic M88 placed just a little oputside of the hole, at an angle. Try to picture if the mic was a flashlight it would barely not throw the light inside the drum but really light up the area on the outside very close to the hole. Also, the front of the mic was quite close to the border of the hole, so it picked up the sound from the front head pretty good but as you probably understand the wind made quite a "big" impact on the sound too. And of course a fair dose of the bang from batter head will appear too, that's after all a louder sound than the "flap" sound of the front head.
That was a bluesband playing and it was one of the best bassdrum sound I've ever heard live! I have wondered if the also had another mic inside the drum too, but I suppose not. BTW, I wouldn't hesitate to try that placement with a Sennheiser MD421.

I like the Shure Beta 91 a lot, it's quick and not that super mega fat BOOM-sounding as the often seen Shure Beta52 and such. A bit clicksounding but not to the point that it really stands out that way. But it usually goes well inside the drum and would be a one trick pony that way, but I insist on that it's just underrated for kickdrum.
The way i like to see it, if the speakers are fat enough to give a horsekick into the chest you won't need a big/fatsounding mic too. The more the merrier just don't work for all styles of music.

Those transparent sounding mic's like EV RE-20 (or RE-320), or Heil PR30 that someone already mentioned might also be a way to go too. Not shure but the leaksound might actually be a nice leak with such mic's, but I assume that at live venue there is no such thing as a nice leak of the bass cab.

I've been curious about the Heil PR48, it seems not too exaggerated. If you get one, YOU tell ME what it's like!

If you go for a noise gate, better be catious to not overdo it!
Hope this was helpful.

Last edited by El Sueco; 7th September 2019 at 11:36 PM.. Reason: More text (yeah, that kinda like more cowbell...)
Old 8th September 2019
  #7
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cheu78's Avatar
Old ludwig kicks sounds glorious..!

If I were you I'd try to invest some time with that kick and drummer..
That means trying various options 'til you get what you want (or what the genre/style/songs demands).

Might also try to take the front head off and slightly dampend the beater head with a towel or a blanket..
Put a mic on it, move it 'til you're happy..
With or without resonant head I'd try to dampen a little bit, but it really depends what do you need.

I do like the Beta52, so as the new akg D12VR or the beyer m88.. Lots of options today.. (even a 421 if a more raw/woody sound is desired).



Cheu
Old 8th September 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Old ludwig kicks sounds glorious..!

If I were you I'd try to invest some time with that kick and drummer..
That means trying various options 'til you get what you want (or what the genre/style/songs demands).

Might also try to take the front head off and slightly dampend the beater head with a towel or a blanket..
Put a mic on it, move it 'til you're happy..
With or without resonant head I'd try to dampen a little bit, but it really depends what do you need.

I do like the Beta52, so as the new akg D12VR or the beyer m88.. Lots of options today.. (even a 421 if a more raw/woody sound is desired).



Cheu
The Beta52 seems to be the most often seen mic at clubs, music fesivals and such, I assume that's for a reason. However I might dislike it a bit for having a little too much hype and a click to it, it makes me fell uncomfortable while playing. If I want that BIG sound that the Beta52 delivers, I kind of like the Sennheiser 602, not very diferent but less agressive.
Old 8th September 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

It appears (to me at least) that the OP has a specific sound that he would like to suck out of this bass drum, but as someone rightly pointed out, it should be patently obvious that when the drummer decides not to dampen the drum and cut a hole in the front head s/he's not going for that basketball bouncing off the court sound. Even if the drummer finally caves in to the PP's requests he may not play in a manner that produces 'that' sound, so what's next....ask him/her to change their playing style too?

In my opinion there is a distinct line technicians should not cross when asking musicians to change or modify their setup and playing style to suite us. I believe technicians are supposed to make those adjustments within reason of course especially since nobody pays to see or hear us...we are supposed to assist the band/musicians, not force them to make our jobs easier. A more experienced and determined drummer might decide that it would be easier/better to change the sound mixer than change his playing style and the sound of his kit. Just saying.
Old 10th September 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
I find D12s work just fine live - there's a bit of bleed, but I wouldn't say it's unworkable.

Is the D12 working correctly? Many have a problem with a loss of low end, which would end up with a relatively quiet kick.


A bit of damping inside the kick might help. What, exactly, is wrong with the sound?

Chris
Old 11th September 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
I find D12s work just fine live - there's a bit of bleed, but I wouldn't say it's unworkable.

Is the D12 working correctly? Many have a problem with a loss of low end, which would end up with a relatively quiet kick.


A bit of damping inside the kick might help. What, exactly, is wrong with the sound?

Chris
I asked the same question earlier in the thread....
Old 11th September 2019
  #13
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I don’t think this is a microphone problem....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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JayTee4303's Avatar
Two extremes...

D6, two inches off the beater head, inside, gets me my sound.

Or.. mic up whatever you think might work, and pipe it in the drummers ears or wedge, and ask what HE thinks. Then work from there.

This isn't audio engineering. It is philosophy.

Do you want to give the crowd what you think they want, AND live with the results...

OR...

...do you want to support the band's vision of how they choose to sound?

I find validity in both approaches...in certain situations.

Mega-show that WE'RE paying for, way more bands wanting in than there's time for, catering to a specific crowd for a specific purpose.. I might impose my will.

Showcase for a specific artist, mostly or totally on their dime, he who writes the check makes the rules.

Probably a good idea for an aspiring engineer to master both approaches, along with subtle gradations between, and learn when to use what method.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
Two extremes...

D6, two inches off the beater head, inside, gets me my sound.

Or.. mic up whatever you think might work, and pipe it in the drummers ears or wedge, and ask what HE thinks. Then work from there.

This isn't audio engineering. It is philosophy.

Do you want to give the crowd what you think they want, AND live with the results...

OR...

...do you want to support the band's vision of how they choose to sound?


I find validity in both approaches...in certain situations.

Mega-show that WE'RE paying for, way more bands wanting in than there's time for, catering to a specific crowd for a specific purpose.. I might impose my will.

Showcase for a specific artist, mostly or totally on their dime, he who writes the check makes the rules.

Probably a good idea for an aspiring engineer to master both approaches, along with subtle gradations between, and learn when to use what method.
The big questions are: how do you know what everybody (or even most people) in the crowd wants and didn't they all come to hear the band's vision...after all the band is playing the music.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

In my experience, knowing how to maintain and tune drums makes more difference than any mic ever will:
Drum Tuning Bible (*.pdf)
.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
In my experience, knowing how to maintain and tune drums makes more difference than any mic ever will:
Drum Tuning Bible (*.pdf)
.
Well....yes and no, because after you tune to perfection you still have to amplify the sound of it, so mic choice and positioning is important. Furthermore, drum tuning is the drummers prerogative, unless the mixer is also the drum technician.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Well....yes and no, because after you tune to perfection you still have to amplify the sound of it, so mic choice and positioning is important. Furthermore, drum tuning is the drummers prerogative, unless the mixer is also the drum technician.
You are certainly correct in these observations, and (of course) mic choice and position are certainly critical!

...But the choice, treatment, and tuning of the instrument itself is CRUCIAL!

And you are especially correct that these (crucial) things are not (usually) within the direct control of the engineer.

This is why communication is so important (and why I make sure any drummer I work with knows about the Drum Tuning Bible).

Just stick a "good ol' '57" in a sane place near a great sounding kick, and it'll sound better than fussing with mics and placements on a kick that sounds like ass.
.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
The big questions are: how do you know what everybody (or even most people) in the crowd wants and didn't they all come to hear the band's vision...after all the band is playing the music.
Isn’t the big question: wtf is that person doing at FOH if they don’t know how to make it sound good? Good live sound is only so subjective.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Live sound is as subjective as the people producing it want it to be, the band decides what's "good" for them, and my job is to represent what they want. The people I mix for usually have a damn good idea how they want to sound, and since their audience pay to see and hear them I'm going to represent their vision as best as I can. Everybody else can do what they want when the band hires them to mix.

It's always interesting for people to come on a forum and say what and how they would do things until they have to do it for real...at a certain level you don't get to dictate things, the band is either happy with what you're doing or they're not.

Last edited by Samc; 4 weeks ago at 12:14 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
The big questions are: how do you know what everybody (or even most people) in the crowd wants and didn't they all come to hear the band's vision...after all the band is playing the music.
Ask a better question or stay in the dark. I covered this at an level appropriate for readers of this forum and see no need to dumb it down any.

Or to respond to **** I clearly and deliberately avoided saying.

Yawn.

:-)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
Ask a better question or stay in the dark. I covered this at an level appropriate for readers of this forum and see no need to dumb it down any.

Or to respond to **** I clearly and deliberately avoided saying.

Yawn.
A level that's appropriate for readers of this forum.......what level is that pray tell, and what is the better question?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Well....yes and no, because after you tune to perfection you still have to amplify the sound of it, so mic choice and positioning is important. Furthermore, drum tuning is the drummers prerogative, unless the mixer is also the drum technician.
I 90 percent agree with this. A well tuned and maintained drum will sound better and cause less hassle for the engineers in charge.

yeah but still, proper miking still needed. but on my exp, tuning is no 1
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jordyzzz View Post
I 90 percent agree with this. A well tuned and maintained drum will sound better and cause less hassle for the engineers in charge.

yeah but still, proper miking still needed. but on my exp, tuning is no 1
I don’t disagree about tuning, but as was stated, mixers Are not usually responsible for the choice of instruments and their tuning. The only things we control is how to amplify the sound of the instrument, and in the scheme of live sound reinforcement, both are equally important.

Schooling musicians on how to tune their instruments is not part of my job description, I’ve never presented a tuning manual to a musician and have no intention to do so anytime soon. Generally speaking the musicians I work with are professionals and tuning is not something I have to worry about.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
A level that's appropriate for readers of this forum.......what level is that pray tell, and what is the better question?
A level where most readers (but clearly not all) know the difference between defining a range of possibilities, and recommending either endpoint.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
A level where most readers (but clearly not all) know the difference between defining a range of possibilities, and recommending either endpoint.
I just assumed that the possibilities would have to be reasonable to be considered in the first place. Nobody has ever given a reasonable explanation how they know what kind of mix the 200 or 20,000 people in the audience wants, or why they would default to that instead of just mixing what the band wants...nobody!

I also know that in many cases when the band knows and dictate how they want to sound, you either give them what they want or get replaced...quickly and easily. At least thats how things work here on Mars, its probably not the same on other planets.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

From the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tape_attack!!! View Post

KICK DRUM "Problems":
[...] The drummer plays a vintage ludwig kit ...totally fine with it but the kick is horrible.
No mic will EVER fix that problem!

If it is already horrible before you start, it shall forever remain so!
(Unless you fix it at the source.)
.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 

now what's the goal: to get a sound you think is appropriate or to get across the sound of the instrument as it is? i assume the former as you already talked the drummer into cutting a hole into the resonant head... - not sure i'd like this sound better under any circumstances.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
It appears (to me at least) that the OP has a specific sound that he would like to suck out of this bass drum, but as someone rightly pointed out, it should be patently obvious that when the drummer decides not to dampen the drum and cut a hole in the front head s/he's not going for that basketball bouncing off the court sound. Even if the drummer finally caves in to the PP's requests he may not play in a manner that produces 'that' sound, so what's next....ask him/her to change their playing style too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
now what's the goal: to get a sound you think is appropriate or to get accross the sound of the instrument as it is? i assume the former as you already talked the drummer into cutting a hole into the resonant head...
This is where things get interesting, because as a few posters have already pointed out, drummers who do not put a hole in the front head and/or stuff pillows into the bass drum are decidedly going for a different sound than the (generic) hole and pillow sound that so many sound mixers know and always try to get regardless of the music and playing style of the drummer. Plus, the no hole and no pillow sound would correspond to the Woodstock era drum sounds too, and the OP haven't really said what is supposedly "horrible" about the sound.

It seems the drummer and the OP are aiming for different sounds...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Here's some food for thought:
Check out how Ken Scott dealt with the "hole or no hole problem" for Terry Bozzio
(on the first Missing Persons album):
(From 1:12-3:07)
.
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