Which BD-mic?

Hello folks! I got a problem with recording quick doublepedal bassdrum. We recorded some weeks ago with a borrowed mic (can’t remember its name but it was supposed to be a bassdrum mic). The overhead, toms and snare-tracks sound pretty good but I’ve tried and tried to get a good distinct sound out of the bd-track, seems impossible. It hasn’t got enough energy, the mic was probably meant for some less intensive music style. We’ll have to do it all over again…

So three questions:
1) what (inexpensive) mic can you suggest for this type of bassdrum?
2) How critical is the mic placement in this situation, what do you recommend?
3) what are the most common things that go wrong when recording bd?

Often the problem is not the mic but how it is used. There are so many ways to record BD…

Does the drum have the outside head on or not? What kind of sound do you want?

If the BD doesn’t have enough “energy”, perhaps it’s because it’s meant to record HIGHER energy playing. Generally, something that’s intended for lighter play will be more sensitive and will clip when you blast it.

Like Tom says, there are many ways to mike a bass drum, and you have to do a lot of experimentation to get the sound you want. Regardless of the mike, you can’t expect to just stick it there, set the levels, and get a great sound.

Well, there are a lot of kick drum specific mics out there… Shure Beta 52, Audix D6, AKG D112, Audio Technica ATM25. The problem they all have is that you actually have to tune the drum and place them in a good spot. I would say 50% of the kick drum sound is the drum itself, how it is tuned, what heads you use. (It’s funny, a poopy sounding drum recorded sounds, well, poopy… :) )Another 35% is due to the mic placement. The remaining 15% is the mic, preamps, etc. Really take your time in getting a great drum sound before recording anything. Move the mic, screw with tuning, damping, what room you are in, etc. Then, once the drum sounds great on its own, move the mic all over. You might be surprised where it sounds best. Sometimes micing the side of the kick works best. Sometime on the batter head, sometimes on the resonant head. Sometimes from the front, sometimes from the back. Sometimes in the center. Sometimes on the edge. I can give you some rules to get a decent electric guitar sound 85% of the time. But drums, you gotta experiment.

Thanks for the tips, you all! I discovered one thing that might help me out - the drumtrigger. It seems to work in N, but I must tweak the envelopes pretty much to get every pedal stroke to fit its amplitude tresholds and filter out everything except the critical frequencies to get the bd into midi format. This isn’t exactly a replacement for real bassdrum but considering the heavy metal style, it won’t be so no-no to use it :)

Try Toby Bear’s Peak Freak and save the money you would spend on a MIDI trigger

Drum Bible

Drum Bible in PDF form

That’s a great one, phoo, I printed that out last time you posted the link - “it takes work to tune a drum” - oh my goodness, a truer word was never spoken…:slight_smile: