Bass drum miking


Which mic do you like the most for kick drum : e602, sm91, MD421 ?

And what do you think about double miking a kick drum?

I'm actually a B52 fan for kicks. I work with a different artist every gig, so I like the reliability of the 52. It sounds the same almost any drum you stick it in, given this isn't always a good thing, but I find it really cuts down on sound check time if most of my board can be preset and what not.

I've never even considered using a MD421 on a kick, I always used them for toms. I never thought they had a big enough capsule to totally get the lows out of the kick if I already had another large diaphragm mic lying around.

As to double micing. Never really had enough mics to play with it too often. But in my experience it's a waste of an input. All the lows are caught by the kick mic as well as lots of the beater, but there's also a crap load of bleed through the toms and overheads.

One experience I've actually had alot of success with is the four mic kit. Two overheads, a snare/hat mic and a kik mic. I even place the kick mic a good foot away from the drum sometimes if it's a blues or folk concert.
I agree, B52's are awsome for kicking mic's, But if i had my way i'd use The SM91. I'm kind of a Shure fan,If you wanted the greatest then you'ld us a Audix D6 it has the most kick EVER! The sound that is make is so clean and beautiful it makes drummers say. "hey i didn't know my bass sounded that good! :eek: " As For Double Micing.....i don't realy see the need too.
For live, I stick with the B52. In the studio, and sometimes live (especially if there's no hole for the mic. in the outer head) I'll sometimes also hang a tiny condenser right above the beater (cable gaff-taped across the top of the drum) to get more of the beater click. Much depends on the type of music and how well-tuned the drum is. Again, room accoustics come into play - in the studio, with a well-tuned drum kit, most of the drum sound I get from the overheads (I have a pair of large-diaphragm tube condensers for that purpose). Mics on individual drums are used to fill-in and balance the sound. On stage, on the other hand, I'm rarely in venues large enough to warrant overheads - the cymbals by themselves are already overbearing and it's hard to EQ them out of the vocal mics without making the vocals sound muddy, so the vocal mics, in effect, become my "overheads." But back to the original question: the B52 gets my vote.

Awsome thing you could do when recording a bass drum. Take a SM-57 a Trojan and a gallon of what. Take the mic put it in the condom and then place the mic in the gallon of water then placing the gallon (with the mic in it) in front of the Kick. Pure Awsome effect!
straight up I would use a Audix D6 if you have one or can get ahold of one, if not use a B52, but for the ture natural kicking sound use a D6 for Audix. for the rest of the drum set use the D Series from Audix. Audix is a bit pricey but if you have a true ear and want the drums to sound real you would but up the money to buy a set of Audix mics.

D.M.G. Productions[/url]
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i do sound quite often for bands and find that one mic does the job fairly well. never really seen many people double mic a kick.
According to a good friend of mine who does a lot of recording, some audio people did a side by side comparison between shure's beta 52 and the PG52 and found that the only difference between the two was the level of the ioutput.

So I'm cheap...I use a PG52. But to get that chest thumpin sound I usually put a little compression on it, and boost the mids. I've found that sweeping the mids until you find the sweet spot works best. For those drummers that don't know how to tune and end up with a kick drum that sounds more like a big bass drum used for a band concert I use a gate to cut off most of that ring. Of course I haven't found a solution for those drummers that tune the life out of their drums, especially the toms, making them not ring at all.
well mr. sound, either your friend does alot of recording or spends alot of time on the shure website, or both. shure reccomends the beta 52 and the PG52 for kick drums, i have been browsing their site lately and have found that its a good resource for info, heres a link to the shure notes for miking a band i would definately reccomend to anyone to look around that site, there is alot of info on different tecniques products and random stuff for just about any pro audio job, shows, houses of worship, bands (recording and live) vocals, and tons of info on which of their products is best for what, its def worth a look at
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I vote the Audix Mic. Often used in Bradcast Recordings, as well as for album cutting.
This is an old thread, but right now I'm looking to pick up my first bass kick mic for an upcoming production with a three piece band (grand piano, upright acoustic bass w/pickups, and acoustic drums) playing show tunes.

Audix D6 seems to be the "bad boy" of the kick mics ... lots of good press
AKG D112 and Shure B52 (beta 52) seem to be the other top picks
e602 and PG52 look to follow.

I've also just seen some very positive comments on the ATM250 ... can anyone compare to the D6?

I imagine I'll be buying a few of these over time and learning how each sounds so I can use them appropriately for shows and bands. Any suggestions on which order I should look to buy?

Thanks. John
Hey J,

I have used a Beta 52/SM91 combo before and it allows for some more creativity. You might also look into a tradition kick drum mic and a small, lav-type mic. There was an article in FOH magazine last year that talked about a 2-or 3-mic combo. I think it was a DPA 4071, but I can't remember the other mic - probably a Beta 52 or similar.

Good luck on your search. I'm going to be experimenting with a grand piano tomorrow morning, so I'll be having some fun! I'll try and get those M-S recordings, too.

The DPA also is around $600 last time I looked. Personally I'm a big fan of the D6; I can get just about every sound I need out of it. Sennheiser MD421 work well too, but I actually prefer the Audix. I can't comment on the others.
Okay, I ordered a D6. Looking forward to trying it out -- I expect I won't be disappointed.

Should I consider a second kick mic? I would be interested in picking up a cheap one for the theater (the D6 will be mine) ... the PG52 is going for about the price of a used SM58 ... worth getting?

Thanks. John
For theatre, I don't think you'll need double mic'd kick. I haven't used the PG52, but the last PG series I used broke the minute I put it on the clip. I vowed never to use them again.

If you do any concerts, look at the Beyer M88 as a second kick mic. It'll definitely go lower smoother than the D6 (in my experience). But again, for theatre, it'd be overkill, unless you're doing JCS, Rent, or anything by Elton John.
I prefer the D6 to the Beta 52, as it requires less gating on kicks that are not properly damped. (The smaller size and much lighter weight are very handy as well.)

The e901 seems very good as well, but I've used it on only 1 kick so far.
I <3 my Beta 52. Granted, I only mix live and never used a d6, but I find it does an excellent job and sounds great (that is, when drummers know how to tune their heads)...I throw a gate and some compression on it, and get a nice consistent punch.
I've fallen in love with the D6 from the moment I first got the chance to hear it.

the clean-sounding quality and sheer quality and longevity of the mic make it an excellent choice, its the next on my list of stuff to buy.
in my experience, and applications, the quality of sound you get from the D6 is only as good as the system sounds, provided you have the right guy behind the sound desk
I too like the D6 but also recommend the AKG D112. I have used the D112 at the port and a SM57 near the beater and got a good mix to please a heavy metal drummer.

Don't forget, proper use of a compressor will give you a better punch.
Don't forget, proper use of a compressor will give you a better punch.

I've always found that compression decreases felt impact. The only time I use one is when the drummer has a really inconsistent hit. I most always find a gate to be a must. If one has no budget, the Behringer units actually work fairly well (the ones with both Release and Hold controls). If one has a few bucks, go an eBay and get a Rane G4 (for anywhere from $350 to $500, depending upon how lucky you get).

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