Drums are notoriously troublesome to mic. There’s just much more sonic action happening inside a drum than in most different devices, and they create a layering of harmonic overtones with every word. This helps the drums sound good in any key however might be too complicated for a lot of microphones which are fitted to voice or other instruments.
Bass drums particularly are troublesome to mic nicely. The highly effective assault on a bass drum could be an excessive amount of for many microphones to deal with and will come across as distorted should you’re using a microphone with a lower SPL score (sound strain degree score). And once you think about the measurement of a bass drum, many microphones have a troublesome time finding an excellent placement.
To get the highest quality sound, we advocate utilizing a microphone designed with kick drums in mind. There are numerous great bass mics on the market, and a few of them are very reasonably priced. On this article, we go over what you want to find out about recording kick drums and evaluation our decisions for greatest bass mics.
- 1 Greatest Kick Drum Mics: Our Picks
- 2 What to Assume About When Recording Kick Drums
- 3 What to Look For in a Kick Drum Microphone
- 4 Our Reviews of the Greatest Bass Drum Mics
- 5 5 Extra Great Bass Drum Mics to Contemplate
- 6 Conclusion
Greatest Kick Drum Mics: Our Picks
What to Assume About When Recording Kick Drums
Drums add a number of little wrinkles to take into consideration whenever you’re establishing to report. Listed here are some things to take into consideration before making your buy.
Make Positive You Have a High quality, In-tune Drum Package
The sound source is all the time the most necessary a part of the signal chain. You’ll get a greater end result from a great sounding drum set with low cost microphones than you’ll with million dollar mics on a terrible, out of tune, set. In the event you’re going to be recording, I like to recommend utilizing a drum dial or something to get a more accurate tuning.
Verify to Make Positive that Your Drums Aren’t Ringing
Bass drums might be notably problematic right here. There are lots of of various methods to tightening the sound of the bass drum. Some individuals will stuff foam, pillows, or blankets in the shell. Others will place merchandise on the beater head to weigh it down and shorten the vibrations.
Make Positive Your Kick Drum Has a Microphone Access Gap
The perfect sound for a bass drum will come from within the drum. Because of this, you want to have a resonant head that has a microphone access gap. Some individuals even take the resonant head off completely.
Controlling the sound of the drums is an important part of micing. As you’d in all probability anticipate, the strategy to reside sound is totally different than recording.
In reside sound, your main aim is to control the volume. It gained’t make much sense to mic the drums in the event that they’re louder than what finally ends up coming out of the screens. The essential aim is to maintain the acoustics of the drum managed so the sound man can be sure that they arrive by way of evenly from the screens and speakers. For giant venues, this will not be an issue. Should you’re doing reside sound in a small to medium-sized venue, you’ll want to spend money on a drum defend.
In recording, the room you’re in goes to play an enormous part in the high quality of your sound. Usually, you need a room with little or no reverb. When you’re monitoring the drums first, some pure reverb can sound engaging but will start to sound muddy and sloppy if you convey the other instruments in. A room with good dampening could make all the difference when it comes to mixing. Most frequently, drums will probably be recorded in a small room with the door open if potential. This can help to hold the sound tight and avoid echoes.
What to Look For in a Kick Drum Microphone
A strong kick drum microphone takes a variety of abuse. It’s persistently positioned shut to the supply, and it’s exposed to very high SPL’s. If it’s on the street, it’s inevitably going to get dropped or usually mishandled over time.
Sturdiness (Dynamic Mics are Greatest)
Good kick drum microphones must be properly built with robust mounts – options sometimes present in dynamic microphones. Dynamic microphone know-how is stronger than what you will see in condenser microphones or ribbon microphones. A well-made condenser may also work, and condenser mics sometimes have a barely better tone. Utilizing a ribbon microphone for drums is nearly never the proper determination as a result of they’re extremely fragile. There are some ribbon mics that can deal with the abuse however they’re few and far between – and very expensive.
The frequency response of a microphone is an important consideration of choosing your excellent kick drum microphone. Frequency response refers to the pitches a microphone can accurately symbolize. Bass drums can easily attain down to 20Hz, which is the lowest end of human hearing. The traditional “go-to” mic for instrumental recording, the Shure SM57, solely reaches down to 40Hz.
This is the basic drawback when choosing a kick drum microphone. Many dynamic microphones don’t supply correct enough frequency response. A microphone particularly designed for kick drum is basically your greatest guess, and they offer a nice center ground between durability and tonal accuracy.
Sound Strain Degree (SPL)
Concentrate to the sound strain degree (SPL) a microphone can deal with. SPL scores are measure by the quantity of decibels (dB) a mic can deal with earlier than it starts distorting. Decrease frequencies have a tendency to distort ahead of larger frequencies. A kick drum played loudly can exceed 140 dB, which is probably going to distort your common vocal microphone if you’re dealing with frequencies under 100 Hz.
Kick drum microphones sometimes have very high SPL scores so as to create an correct copy of your drum’s sound at low frequencies with high dB scores. Sometimes, dynamic microphones have greater SPL scores than condensers. Condenser microphones function electronic elements that may be overloaded with an excessive amount of power. Dynamic microphones, on the different hand, only start to distort when they’re physically overloaded.
Our Reviews of the Greatest Bass Drum Mics
Shure BETA 52A Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone
Whether you are a professional sound engineer otherwise you’re simply getting your first microphone, you’ve in all probability heard of Shure. Lots of Shure’s microphones, like the venerable SM57 and SM58, are industry requirements.
As far as kick drum mics go, the Shure BETA 52A deserves the similar standing. Shure designed this microphone particularly for use on kick drums, and it definitely does the job nicely. It’s frequency response ranges from 20 Hz to 10,000 Hz, which comfortably captures the tonal spectrum of any bass drum. This mic is designed to have a slight increase around 4 kHz to help the low-end sounds reduce via the combine a bit of extra.
The BETA 52A does have more proximity impact than other bass mics, which works nicely on a kick drum however limits the microphone for being used with different low-end instruments like bass guitars.
This can be a sturdy dynamic microphone that’s constructed like a tank. You gained’t want to fear about the BETA 52 getting broken from consistent use. It additionally has a powerful max SPL of 174 dB, so overpowering this thing is not any straightforward activity. I’ve used this microphone in indoor and outside settings and have never had a problem with distortion.
One great function this mic has is its built-in stand mount, which is straightforward to use and holds up nicely to abuse. Many other bass microphones also function an integrated stand mount, however that is the only one that includes a thumbscrew for fast changes.
Bottom Line: Identical to the iconic SM57/58 microphones, the Shure BETA 52A deserves its spot at the prime. Nice sound and even higher sturdiness make this mic a strong selection.
AKG D112 MkII Skilled Dynamic Bass Drum Microphone
Many think about this microphone to be the industry normal for kick drums. Initially based mostly on the D12, a classic broadcast microphone, the AKG D112 MkII is a microphone that gives slightly extra variety than the others on the record.
To begin with, its frequency spectrum is fairly broad. The D112’s frequency response ranges from 20 HZ- 17 kHz. It’s particularly constructed for kick drums, however its wider frequency vary makes it a robust microphone to use on other low-end instruments.
Like the Shure BETA 52A, it has a boost around four kHz to add definition to low finish instruments. It’s also the lightest microphone on the listing. This will not appear to be a serious function, however should you run out of brief stands and need to use a full-sized growth stand, you’ll be comfortable to have something that doesn’t tip the stand over.
The D112 also has an integrated mic clip, but the clip does not embrace a thumbscrew. This isn’t a serious flaw, nevertheless it means you’ll need a screwdriver to modify it. This mic’s max SPL is 160 Db. And whereas there are some microphones which have slightly larger Db scores, you’re unlikely to ever reach volumes that prime.
Bottom Line: This is an industry-standard kick drum mic with a broad frequency vary that also makes it great for recording different low end devices.
Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone
The Electro Voice RE-20 wasn’t initially designed to be a kick drum microphone, nevertheless it’s grow to be a well-liked selection amongst many drummers and sound engineers. This microphone is most commonly related to broadcasting use, nevertheless it’s a very sturdy mic with some features that set it aside from the other microphones on this record.
In the event you’re on the lookout for a more managed kick drum sound without an excessive amount of bass, this microphone works very properly. Its frequency vary reaches from 45Hz to 18 kHz. It additionally makes use of Electro Voice’s “Variable D” know-how, which makes it immune to proximity impact. This can be a nice function considering how close microphones need to be to a kick drum.
When you’re on the lookout for an enormous, boomy bass sound, this won’t be the greatest microphone for you to work with. However it does very properly in jazz or acoustic settings the place a extra controlled bass sound is the objective. This microphone also works very nicely in myriad other purposes. I’ve seen this microphone used to document rise up bass, vocals, and guitar to great impact.
Bottom Line: If you would like a microphone that data a managed kick drum sound – and can be utilized to document other instruments successfully – the RE-20 is a very good selection.
Sennheiser e602 II Evolution Collection Dynamic Bass-drum Microphone
The Sennheiser e602 II is a dynamic microphone that encompasses a humbucking coil design. For those who’re a guitar participant, you’re in all probability conversant in the time period humbucker. A humbucker is a coil design that bucks, or eliminates, extra hum and electrical noise. This makes the Sennheiser a terrific choice for reside enjoying the place you could be dealing with dangerous wiring in previous venues. The humbucking coil helps hold a clean signal coming from the microphone.
This mic additionally has a reasonably broad frequency response ranging from 20 Hz to 16 kHz, making it versatile sufficient to handle bass cabs, low brass, or other low-pitched sound sources. It also has excellent sound rejection. It’s onerous to discover a kick microphone that doesn’t decide up an excessive amount of from the different elements of the drum set, but this mic does a powerful job retaining the kick remoted. All in all, this is the greatest bass drum mic for stay gigs.
The Sennheiser can also be very sturdy, lightweight (zero.71 lbs), and well-balanced. It may be used on full-sized growth stands with it knocking the stand over, and it could possibly take a beating. Like the AKG D112, you want a screwdriver to tighten the stand mount.
Bottom Line: In case you want a sturdy and versatile mic for reside gigs that provides you clean sound on quite a lot of low devices, this mic is your greatest guess.
CAD Audio D12 Dynamic Microphone
And now for the price range decide, we have now the CAD D12. This microphone could be very reasonably priced, and gives great sound and spectacular frequency response (30Hz to 12kHz) for the worth. This microphone has more growth and a little less depth and articulation than the other microphones on this record, however it still pumps out good tone with a number of energy.
This is the good microphone in the event you’re on the lookout for a price range entry into the world of bass mics. It’s also an incredible selection as a backup microphone or when you don’t need to take something too expensive to a stay gig.
This little mic performs properly reside, nevertheless it struggles a bit with depth and articulation in the studio. Like lots of the different microphones on this listing, the D12 features an built-in mount.
Backside Line: An superior finances kick drum mic that’s an excellent selection for stay enjoying.
5 Extra Great Bass Drum Mics to Contemplate
For those who’re in any respect critical about your music, utilizing your singer’s previous mic to amplify your bass drum simply gained’t reduce it. You want a devoted microphone to capture those drum sounds clearly and with out distortion. And there are many manufacturers that make unimaginable kick drum microphones at costs which might be in all probability decrease than your cymbals.
This listing is a superb start line to enable you to get an concept of what kind of kick drum microphone will fit your wants and genre so you will get the greatest kick drum mic for you. Should you take your time, do your research, and learn our kick drum mic evaluations, you have to be in a position to find a mic that may fit your wants. We all the time advocate demoing microphones when potential, however the mics we record listed here are all the time a protected guess.