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Versatile bass drum mic on a budget
Old 13th December 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

Versatile bass drum mic on a budget

Hi guys,

I'm looking for a mic to primarily record kick in the home studio, but will also be appropriate for live use as and when.

I am a drummer myself, and want to be able to get as much as possible from one mic for the time being (without asking too much!!). I'm just after a good, traditional bass drum sound. Not silly amounts of 'click', or unnecessary lows, but fairly neutral. I usually play a tight 20" Gretsch as my default kick, but sometimes use an 18" for jazz stuff.

Although I'm sure a specific kick mic (D112, D6, 52A etc) would work well enough for the more poppy sounding kick, it would be near useless on the 18" I'm guessing? I'd rather buy something more versatile but hopefully under £200.

Any suggestions?
Old 13th December 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Audio technica ATM 250
Old 13th December 2012
  #3
Look for a used RE20. Great on kicks and lots of other things.
Old 13th December 2012
  #4
Gear Addict
 

My drummer is a big fan of the Heil PR48 I picked up, definitely worth a look.
Old 13th December 2012
  #5
Beyer m88. Great on bass drum, snare and Gtr amps if necessary.
Old 13th December 2012
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I really like the Avantone Mondo.. and the price is hard to beat
Old 13th December 2012
  #7
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I've had good luck with the N/D868
Old 13th December 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Famous Yard View Post
Beyer m88. Great on bass drum, snare and Gtr amps if necessary.
I second that.
Old 13th December 2012
  #9
"Versatile bass drum mix on a budget"

What is: RE-20?

Ding ding ding!!

I'll keep going with obvious microphone choices for 1,000, Mr. Trebek!
Old 13th December 2012
  #10
Gear Addict
 
TeamContra's Avatar
He's comes a curve ball. 57.....
Old 13th December 2012
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Famous Yard View Post
Beyer m88. Great on bass drum, snare and Gtr amps if necessary.
My favorite, but I find that mine needs to be rebuilt every 3 or 4 years or so.
Old 13th December 2012
  #12
Gear Head
 

Cheers guys,

The three that I were considering have all come up which is useful! The ATM250, RE20 and M88. How do these three compare from people that have used some of them?

Keep throwing new suggestions too if I've missed anything!
Old 13th December 2012
  #13
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_chisholm View Post
Cheers guys,

The three that I were considering have all come up which is useful! The ATM250, RE20 and M88. How do these three compare from people that have used some of them?
!
Of the 3, I would say the RE-20 is the most versatile. It is not only 'usable' on things like horns, singers and voice-overs, it is a standard for them. For kick, you will almost certainly need to EQ it quite a bit, but its very punchy.

Of course, it is also the most expensive of the 3. OTOH, it could save you buying another dynamic later on for vocals etc. so there is that to consider.

I have only used the M-88 on kick once. It sounded fine, but it did not 'wow' me. You should be warned there are numerous reports of them breaking from being in such high SPLs. People say things like don't use it inside the drum, or use a pop filter, etc. That is enough to make me say never mind.

I have an ATM-25, now-discontinued precursor to the ATM-250. You can find them on eBay for under $200. Actually one of my favorite kick drum mics.

Is it versatile!? You can use it to record red kick drums, blue kick drums, even champagne sparkle kick drums! I have also used it on floor tom and bass amp! Seriously, I rarely tried it on anything else, but my feeling is that it a "kick drum mic" with that 'tailored' sound.
Old 13th December 2012
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
My favorite, but I find that mine needs to be rebuilt every 3 or 4 years or so.
Rebuilt?? What are you doing to the poor thing? Seriously though, what goes wrong? I've never had a problem although my 2 do sound different.
Old 13th December 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
frans's Avatar
If the mic has too much flavour on it's own, it's not going to be versatile, so most pre-eq'd kick mics won't fit your needs.
Beyer M88 or EV PL20, RE20 or anything else from that series (RE27, RE38...) and as not all kickdrums and drummers are alike, the M88 will either stand the pressure.. or not. Our M88 has survived 10 years of duty on a stage, but I know people whose M88 has been damaged in a kickdrum.
Old 13th December 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Although I own a D12 and a D20, the mic I use most often on kick, actually I prefer to say
BASS drum, is the AKG D-112.

It just sounds right but you have to remember that any low frequency needs room to build up - putting the mic too close to the beater skin will give you that dreaded basketball sound.
Old 13th December 2012
  #17
Here for the gear
 
Troy6120's Avatar
 

I found myself recently recording drums with no specific kick mic at my disposal. I ended up using an AT 2035 about a foot away from the hole in the drum, and fashioned a makeshift "tunnel" with a mic stand, tool box, safety pins, and blankets around the mic. Came out pretty good, for me and as far as my past efforts go. I was impressed.
Old 13th December 2012
  #18
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audiogeek's Avatar
 

There is only one choice.

ElectroVoice RE20

Should be able to find one used that fits in your budget.

Old 13th December 2012
  #19
Gear Addict
 

I'm in a similar situation as you....

I have 10,000 things I need beyond a kick drum mic, yet I still need one.

I have encountered an Apex 325 kick drum mic at a local NYC store that they sell for $69.95.

I can't find any information or reviews but for $70 I'm praying it's useful enough for my purposes....
Old 13th December 2012
  #20
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Of the 3, I would say the RE-20 is the most versatile. It is not only 'usable' on things like horns, singers and voice-overs, it is a standard for them. For kick, you will almost certainly need to EQ it quite a bit, but its very punchy.

Of course, it is also the most expensive of the 3. OTOH, it could save you buying another dynamic later on for vocals etc. so there is that to consider.

I have only used the M-88 on kick once. It sounded fine, but it did not 'wow' me. You should be warned there are numerous reports of them breaking from being in such high SPLs. People say things like don't use it inside the drum, or use a pop filter, etc. That is enough to make me say never mind.

I have an ATM-25, now-discontinued precursor to the ATM-250. You can find them on eBay for under $200. Actually one of my favorite kick drum mics.

Is it versatile!? You can use it to record red kick drums, blue kick drums, even champagne sparkle kick drums! I have also used it on floor tom and bass amp! Seriously, I rarely tried it on anything else, but my feeling is that it a "kick drum mic" with that 'tailored' sound.
Ha, good job I have a champagne sparkle kick drum then!! I gathered it is really a tailored bass drum mic, but would you say it has a more neutral sound than the more scooped sounding ones? D6, 52A etc...

Also, how about the 91A?
Old 13th December 2012
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiogeek View Post
There is only one choice.

ElectroVoice RE20

Should be able to find one used that fits in your budget.

It's definitely my favourite contender, although new it is outside my budget! Like you say, I'll keep an eye out for a used one, but they do seem to go like hot cakes! Plus I need to buy fairly soon so couldn't wait for one to come around unfortunately!
Old 13th December 2012
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Songwriter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electricity17 View Post
My drummer is a big fan of the Heil PR48 I picked up, definitely worth a look.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutz View Post
I really like the Avantone Mondo.. and the price is hard to beat
Aren´t these two extremely scooped mics? The OP wanted something "fairly neutral".
Old 13th December 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
NeoHippy's Avatar
 

md441?!

cheers
Old 13th December 2012
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Either an RE20 or M88 would likely be the best candidates if you're looking for versatile!
Old 13th December 2012
  #25
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_chisholm View Post
I gathered it is really a tailored bass drum mic, but would you say it has a more neutral sound than the more scooped sounding ones? D6, 52A etc...

Also, how about the 91A?
The way I look at it, things like the RE-20 and the M-88 are versatile dynamics that can be used in kick drums.

Many of these other mics are "kick drum mics". Some of those kick drum mics have other uses, but the 'other uses' are often limited to stuff like floor tom, bass cabinet, and tuba! The point of them, IMO, is that you get your 'instant sound' without a lot of processing.

I would not call the ATM-25 "really tailored" but I have not found it particularly versatile for mid-pitched instruments, either. But I really like it on kick drum.

It is more tailored than an RE-20 or the M-88. But less tailored than say a D112. I would consider the AKG D112 the least versatile, because it makes every drum sound "like a D112". You could stick it in a cardboard box and it would sound like a kick drum.

But it is a very popular 'sound', so a quick way to get you there. A good mic to 'have'.

I don't have experience with the D6 or the 52 so I couldn't say. I also really like the ElectroVoice ND 868 for a kick drum mic that gets a 'natural' sound, but still sounds big. Again, you are not going to use this on a VoiceOver, but it really is worth checking out for kick.
Old 14th December 2012
  #26
Gear Head
 

Thanks for all your replies. I must say I'm now swinging mostly towards the EV N/D868. I gather it is still largely a "bass drum mic", but a more natural sounding, less scooped one? I think the EV RE20 would be the perfect choice but it is simply outside my budget at this time! The M88 is another tempting one. I guess what I will do is use a 868 for the more traditional kick sound and just a standard LDC I have spare for if I require a jazz kick. Suppose the bass drum really isn't that prominent in jazz anyway! Does that sound suitable?
Old 14th December 2012
  #27
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_chisholm View Post
Thanks for all your replies. I must say I'm now swinging mostly towards the EV N/D868. I gather it is still largely a "bass drum mic", but a more natural sounding, less scooped one? I think the EV RE20 would be the perfect choice but it is simply outside my budget at this time! The M88 is another tempting one. I guess what I will do is use a 868 for the more traditional kick sound and just a standard LDC I have spare for if I require a jazz kick. Suppose the bass drum really isn't that prominent in jazz anyway! Does that sound suitable?
the 868 always has sounded "natural" to me on bass drum, and with the pleasant benefit of always having a large low end, which I like. I bet it would work great for jazz mixes. I am actually selling my PL20 (RE20) because I don't need it since I already own an SM7B, MD441, and M88TG. I just think it's a bit redundant with all those, and it's not my favorite on the specific sources I like the others on. I will be buying a D112 however, for "that" sound. I think the N/D868 is a great "sleeper" deserving more of a reputation than it has compared to the "standards."

If anyone wants to buy my PL20 I'd sell it for $320 shipped. The old foam has been replaced with new foam so it's good to go.
Old 14th December 2012
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songwriter View Post
Aren´t these two extremely scooped mics? The OP wanted something "fairly neutral".
The PR48 doesn't sound scooped to me, it has some EQ built into the circuit but it sounds fairly natural to my ears, not clicky or thin. Reading the OP's post, it sounded like versatility meant being able to use it in the studio and live. You can definitely get something more flexible than a dedicated kick mic, but I do think it works equally well live and in the studio for that job.
Old 14th December 2012
  #29
Gear Head
 

D112/D20 would give you a great versatile sound.

MD441/MD421 for a more jazzy sound.
Old 14th December 2012
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Tejan's Avatar
 

The Audio Technica ATM 250DE is really versatile in my experience. It's only very gently eq'd for kick and the dual element configuration gives lots of tonal options -- you can even choose to use the Dynamic element or the condenser alone rather than combined. I actually use it on bass amp and snare more than kick. I've even used it on guitar amp and vocals when other options didn't seem quite right. It's definitely worth looking into.
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