The sound of the kick drum is critical to the overall sound of the drums. Today, you'll learn how you can get a great sound from a kick drum without a hole in the resonance head.
Kick drums usually have two heads; the beater head and the resonance head. The beater head is the drum head that's whacked by the foot pedal beater. The resonance head is the head on the opposite side of the drum (and it might have the name of the band in huge letters).
The problem with using a microphone to capture the sound of the kick drum with a resonance head is when a sound hole is not present.
This hole, typically off-center and about the size of your hand, is where you'd put a kick drum microphone. There are a couple of ways you can use a kick drum microphone inside of the drum but in this case, you're looking at mic'ing the drum without that hole.
The most obvious method is to place the microphone just up to the resonance head as close as possible without getting touched by the drum head when it's played. This method works, but from what I've experienced, it's not enough. You can do better.
So it was this weekend when I was mic'ing a kick drum without the hole in the resonance head. I tried it on the outside, like I just mentioned, but I couldn't get the punch that I liked.
A key to drum mic'ing is using microphone placement before using EQ to get the best sound to start.
Looking for that punch and not finding it on the resonance head, I looked towards the beater head.
By placing a dynamic microphone on a small stand and pointing it towards the beater impact zone, on the side of the drummer, I was able to get the sound off the beater head to get the punch I wanted. Using this method, I knew I had to make sure the drummer didn't kick the mic stand with his foot. Therefore, I tucked it to the inside of the kit just out from where he might whack it with his pedal foot.
Over the weekend, when I mentioned the issue of the resonance head without the sound hole, on twitter, the responses were to the effect of "remove the head" and "cut a hole." Images of a cordless drill with a hole bit did dance in my head, however, I found it better to simply look at the problem, the tools I had available, and see what could be accomplished.
Question(s): What drum mic'ing issues have you had? How did you overcome them?