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Kick drum mic placement?


ian1642605905

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Assuming you are using mics (such as an AKG D-112) that use a cardiod pickup (polarity) pattern, you would want the mics to be back to back in the direction they face ... for the optimum separation.

 

The back side of the mic is the 'dead spot' on a cardiod pattern; rejecting sound from the rear. A SHURE SM-57 is an excellent example of a cardiod pattern; with proper placement, you can mic your snare and NOT have hi-hat bleed.

 

I don't know if you really need to go this far for two kick drums, but if you have some bleeding problems, facing the mics in opposite directions will be the best you can do.

 

I'm assuming you know the following, but in case you don't ... and for all the newbies out there ... here's a little tip for general mic placement on a kick drum.

 

You never want to point the kick mic so that it's perpendicular to the kick drumhead. You want to place the mic slightly "off axis". By this I mean that the mic should not be directly in front of the beater and should be tilted to the side (as much as 45 degrees). This will eliminate potential air popping from the wind rush past the diaphragm of the mic, keep you from overdriving the diaphragm, plus put you right in the meat & potatoes of the cardiod pattern. For more "click" and "punch" in your sound, put the mic several inches from the head. To catch more of the "body" of the drum, pull the mic back so that it is (at least) in the middle of the drum shell or further. Experiment using different front resonant drumheads; small ported, large ported, no hole ... micking just in front of the drum. I've even micked the kick drum from the backside (batter side), but you have to have a quiet kick pedal to do that.

 

So with this in mind, when using two kick drums, placing the mics off axis, one mic would be facing to the right (towards the snare side of the kit) ... the other to the left (to the low tom side of the kit).

 

Good Luck!

 

------------------

Bart Elliott

http://bartelliott.com

 

This message has been edited by Bartman on 07-05-2001 at 05:31 AM

Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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I'm sorry bartman,

I was looking for using 2 mics on the same kick drum.ie:1 inside and outside the drum...I do understand the whole polarity thing.I've just noticed that a lot of rock drummers are using 2 mics on their kicks.I would like to know if you should use the same type mic or are there different requirements from inside to outside the drum ie:Beta 91 inside and beta 52 outside; and there placement.It's a new concept to me and I'd just like some info!

ian*

ian*
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Ian,

 

It really depends what you're going for, sonically, as far as mic usage and placement. If you're going for that big roomy John Bonham sound then you want to have one mic up near the beater and one further out in the room. What some people do with kick mics is to place a condenser on the inside, up near the shell wall, and then the usual dynamic mic outside the kick near the beater (but pointed slightly away from the beater as Bart says). The condenser picks up a wider frequency range and having it on the inside of the shell picks up a lot of the resonance of the drum. The dynamic mic of course brings out the actual attack of the beater.

 

If you do use a condenser mic inside the drum make sure it's one that can handle high sound pressure levels! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif I use a CAD E-100 which is cheap and deals with drums just great.

 

--Lee

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Okay ... I see what you mean now.

 

The only thing I can say is to experiment so that you don't get phase cancellation.

 

Like Lee said, it depends on what you are going for. Just apply basic mic technique and common sense ... try a few different things until you get what you want. I wouldn't know how to explain how to get a particular sound using two mics because there are too many variables: drumhead, drum shell type, depth of shell, room acoustics, etc.

 

Just experiment.

 

 

 

------------------

Bart Elliott

http://bartelliott.com

Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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Hey guys,

 

check out the Shure website! They have an endorsers archive that lists the endorsers and there mics.

Kenny Aronoff,Chad Smith(chilli peppers),Eric Kretz(STP)and many others all use the Beta 91 and the Beta 52 on there kick drums.

ian*

ian*
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