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Recording the Kick Drum

By Lyle Caldwell

 

Bass drum - do you want more click? More boom? Or natural?
To emphasize the attack, you may want to place the mic inside the drum, about 3-4" away from the spot where the beater meets the batter head. Try angling the mic slightly, which allows you to control how much high end is present.

To emphasize the boom, try...

either miking the outside of the resonant head (about 1-4" from the resonant head) or placing the mic just inside the hole in the resonant head, aimed at the beater contact point.

A good trick when miking the resonant head is to light a match, and hold it just to the side of the resonant head. While someone's playing strong quarter notes on the bass drum, bring the match across the face of the resonant head. When the air from the moving head blows out the match, stop and put the mic right there. This is a good place to get a lot of air movement, but not so much it might crap out the microphone.

For a "modern" sound, appropriate for rock/country, etc, the following mics are good choices (but not the only ones): AKG D112, Shure Beta 52, Audio Technica ATM25, Sennheiser MD421, and the EV RE-20.

For Jazz or a more natural sound, try an EV RE-20 or a Beyer M88.

 




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