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Closed head kick drums....
Old 8th October 2002
Gear Head
heylow's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Closed head kick drums....

What about micing closed head kick drums....any favorite techniques? I'm in the process of experimenting. I am finding that "that" sound comes from a more distant mic, where as closer micing gets "thuddy".

The only problem with that is that there is more bleed in the kick drum so it's got me thinking that one almost has to use a minimal mic setup and a good room. (since too many mics and bleed in kick mics only make more cymbals...yuck!)

I have thought about trying to isolate the kick a bit more with a blanket or something but i'm concerned that will screw with possibility of using more of the room mics because of the coloration and loss of clear projection outside of the blanket. Would it all work out in the end, anyway?

It's like I want to use a more minimalist micing technique but I want the close ones there to save my ass if it doesnt come out right.

Closed kicks seem to make the whole kit a different you have to think of the kit more as a whole rather than a bunch of drums.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions/favorite techniques? Straighten me out here!

Old 8th October 2002
Jules's Avatar
Not to be forgotten - is the potential to place a mic inside the drum before putting the heads on... Often there is a whole big enough to pass a wire through..

Thats just theory BTW.

I aint never done it to be honest.

Obviously finding a drummer, kit & room to make the sound fabulous is favorite.... However.

Old 9th October 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Didn't I see this somewhere else a little while ago? Whatever.

Dealing with a closed kick is pretty easy. Make a mental image of dividing the batter head into three equal circles. I'll place the mic in the middle circle and keep it about three fingers off the front of the drum. From there the big problem is finding the right mic for that spot and making sure the drum sounds good. If it sounds bad, your kind of ****ed. I like it when there's a little bit of tone to it and not just a short, choked "bap". Dealing with that or something that sounds like an 808 can be a nightmare.

If you need more attack you can try putting a mic on batter head right next to the beater. It's usually a tough thing to do because it's pretty tight but it works. Also, then you really need to listen for phase problems with the overheads. Like Fibes said, phase on drums is what seperates the men from the boys.

If neither of those is working and you want the mic farther out in the room then you become very dependant on the system. What's the system? Player, kit, room, mic choice and placement. You'll spend a lot of time fine tuning those to make it work. Also, Even if I end up with a mic farther away from the drum I still like to have a close mic printed just in case. It's saved my ass a few times, even if it's just so people can hear the kick better while doing overdubs.
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