Opinions please

kick drum mics

I have a little extra in my paycheck this wee, and I get to buy a proper kick drum mic. I have considered:

The Audix D-6
AKG D112
BLUE Kickball
Shure Beta 52



I haven’t used the Blue Kickball, but all the other mics you listed plus the Sennheiser E602 work very well. Placement might be more important than which of these mics you actually choose.

Personally, I’m partial to the D112 and the Beta 52, I’ve had very good results with using the D112 inside the kick drum, and the Beta 52 in the sound hole. I would recommend the D112 over the 52 however, the 52 has more boom and low frequency content, whereas the D112 has a much more defined beater sound and a sharper attack. This maybe a result of placement more than mic characteristics.

I would recommend either of them.


I just got myself a kick mic after doing a lot of homework. Some of those mics you mentioned are only good for one type of sound. I opted for the Audio Technica ATM25 instead of some more expensive ones, and it wasn’tbecause I wanted to save the money. Do some homework and you’ll see while I chose that.

thanks guys!

I was looking at the ATM25, but wasn’t sure. What made you go for it, Soul&folk?

I kinda want to get the BLUE just so I can say that I have it. Bad reason, eh? :)

wherever I looked on google groups that covered a range of a few years, people had only good things to say about it. Some very verybig people use it even though theycanafford much more. The thing I was most impressed with is that it’s the mic many switched to after they thought they needed an akg d112. This mic offer a range of different tones, not just hyped lower frequencies.

One of the things that looks cool about the Kickball is that it has a 3 way roll off - also useful perhaps for different tones?

OK, I will add the 25 to the list, and demote the D112 - really wonder if there is a way I could try them all… :)

Another recommendation for the ATM-25 here, Tom. I use this one a majority of the time for kick, and prefer it so much over the D112 I had that I got rid of the AKG. The AKG was kinda “woofy” in the lows, and has a pronounced and sharp, almost “clicky” high end that doesn’t work at all for the jazz and alt-country kinda stuff that is the mainstay of our place. The AKG is nice for a club because of that boom and click, but I hated it in the studio and it was even worse at home. The size of it makes it hard to place too. The ATM-25 has never given me the placement fits (due to size or sound) that the D112 did, and it’s a cheaper mic to boot. Good also on floor tom and some guitar cabs, and it’s a hyper-cardioid so it rejects stuff like cymbals and snare better than the AKG.

Here’s one you may not have thought of either that gets used around our place with some success: MXL2001. Seriously. Used to be you could get one with a 603 for about $200 including shock mounts for each and a pair of cables (not great cables, but serviceable). I bit on that deal once specifically do perform the Mojave Audio mods, but never got around to contacting Dave Royer about the mod kits. Turns out I didn’t really need to spend the extra dough to make the MXL’s useful anyway. It can’t hurt to have some cheaper condensors around either. Some may question the LDC on a kick but my response is to remind folks that the “big boys” generally say the Neumann 47FET was the historic choice for kick. A $3000 mic is a bit out of reach for me just now unfortunately…

Be gentle, but have you tried one of your RCA’s on kick? I’ll put a Coles there sometimes. Just something to think about…


I was looking at the ATM25, but wasn’t sure. What made you go for it, Soul&folk?

I’ve got one too, but I only picked it up because I was at a garage sale where the guy was selling off all his old recording and live equipment. If you need that d112 click sound, you can get it with a bit of eq on the 25. I think it’s a good mic to check out.

I personally want to try my NT1 on kick, from about 3 feet away in a tunnel. Someone here was doing that, might have been Tom Hicks.

I have two of the cheap mxl LD mics, the 70 dollar one and the one the fiend had for 30 bucks - and they both sounded good to me until I stuck the rode ntk in front of everything. Now they both sound sort of cardboardy, if you know what I mean. Really a big difference. I figure that now I’m in a position to get some quality equipment, and darn it all I’m going to do it while I still have a little hair on my head. With all those recs, from you guys who I know know what you are talking about, for the AT mic I am going to take a good long look at one tomorrow morning.

OF course, last time I went to guitar satan to get a cheap mic my wife made me get the NTK. I love my wife. :D

Ages ago, Mac recommended trying a 12" or larger speaker inside the kick drum, facing upwards and wired to a pre, acting like a mic with a huge diaphragm.

I tried that recently and although the sound is not useable by itself alone due to limited bandwidth (I got about 50-500 Hz freq response off a late 50s blue Jensen 12"er) it does make an excellant addition to what you are using now for extra low “whomp” blended in.

A few experiments with this technique have convinced me to add it to my regular bag of tricks.

I have several speaker mics, from 8-15 inch, adn I have tried some as small as 2 inches. Bandwidth is always narrow, but center varies by size. I settled on a 10 inch. :)

beta 52

AKG D12, if you can find one or D112. I notice a little more presence with the AKG’s than the Shures and agree with toms about the rode’s. I’ve been putting my NT2 on omni down there in front of the kick. Gives a little more of that Ringo room sound :)

Well, there I was at guitar satan, they don’t carry the ATM25 and when I asked about it the mic guy said he wouldn’t use an AT mic of any kind unless he absolutely had no choice. I was looking at the D112 as well, and he recommened it pretty strongly, ain’t it funny how people have such diffferent ideas of these things? Anyway, they had the kickball, the beta 52, the audix D6 and the AKG D112, and offered to haul a kick drum over from teh drum room and try them all out, when I had the time. I think I will have the time tomorrow morning. :)

That’s pretty cool, I think.

guitar satan - good choice of words. I wouldn’t say that everybody there is a pro. And they will only push the brands that they’ve got a special corporate deal with.

D6,D6,D6,D6,D6,D6,D6,D6,D6… Err, I like the Audix D6. :) Not only is it great on kicks… but it gets the sweetest bass tracks you ever done heard. Here is a link to a recent project I did for some folks using the D6 on an Ampeg 1x12 solid state combo and an Ibanez EDB500 bass in my living room. Sorry, no kick tracks yet. Gimmie a week…


Thanks bubba - I will listen tomorrow when I get to work and something more than dialup!

So…um…what’dya think of the D6 anyway? :)


the mic guy said he wouldn’t use an AT mic of any kind unless he absolutely had no choice

then he’s an idiot, and an uniformed one too. The 4030 and 4050 are high class products and are in regular use at real studios all across the country.

Nice of them to set you up with a test rig though. Try to go early in the day; maybe there’ll be few customers and less background noise. Make sure you get a drum that’s the same size and head type as yours. Better yet, take your drum. Also see if you can record some files on one of their “hot, new digital systems”…you know, the one you’re (wink wink) interested in purchasing… to take home and listen to on your monitors. Give you a chance to play with them and try EQ settings, and look at spectrographs and whatnot…