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Kick drum mic shootout - 11 mics head to head!
Old 21st February 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
daxliniere's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kick drum mic shootout - 11 mics head to head!

Hey guys,
My name's Dax and I run Puzzle Factory Sound Studio in Sydney, Australia.

Fellow engineer and friend of mine, Chad Halford (aka DangerousC), and I were talking about how, for many years, we wished there was a shootout of kick drum mics.
So I said, let's just do it ourselves!
We've both benefitted immensely from other people's shootouts, so this is our chance to give a little lovin' back.

So now, we proudly present to you a shootout of 11 microphones!

Audio:
http://www.kaleidoscopesoundworks.com/kicks/Kickdrum%20mic%2 0shootout%20FLAC.rar

Photos:
http://www.kaleidoscopesoundworks.com/kicks/Kick%20Mic%20Sho otout%20Photos.rar


THE list:
AKG D112 (forward and reversed)
Audio-Technica AE 2500 (2 channels)
Audix D6
Sennheiser e901
Beyer M88
Heil PR30
Heil PR40
JTS NX2 (Beta52 copy)
Sennheiser MD421-U5
Sennheiser MD421-II (vintage)
Shure Beta52

NOTES:
*Tracks recorded were kick, snare and overheads in stereo with no processing.
*Snare mic was Beyer M69
*Overhead mics were Audio-Technica AT4047
*Drumkit used was Brady Fibreglass, with 22" kick
*Recordings were also done with a Yamaha 20" DP Series kick, but it sounded so lousy, we only did a few tests, then abandoned it. (There are 3 samples included)
*Both kick drums were carefully tuned before recording
*D6 & e901 were used simultaneously as this would be a more common usage than e901 alone.
*Sorry, we forgot to take photos of the M88 in use.
*Files are encoded as FLACs - use a host that natively supports them (Samplitude, etc) or convert to WAVs (google: FLAC)

(Please don't complain that your favourite is not on the list. We tried to get as many as we possibly could, some of which we had to hire.)


Thanks to Tom from Kaleidoscope Sound Works for hosting the files.


Enjoy!

Dax Liniere
Professional Samplidude

PUZZLE FACTORY
SOUND STUDIO

Sydney, Aust.
Old 21st February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Awwwwww mannnn my favorite mic isn't on the list... How could u leave off the AKG D112 & not record it Forwards & reverse...Awwww Mannnhehheh
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
daxliniere's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What? AKG D112 is on there.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by daxliniere ➑️
What? AKG D112 is on there.
lol... I know man; I was just messing with u sonce u said, (Please don't complain that your favourite is not on the list.)
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Ry-Fi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don't worry about it, I can't figure that guy out either...

Thanks for the test. I dug the D6 the most, and while I'm a Beta 52 fan, this didn't do it for me. Reason is this: I love it about 2 inches from the beater skin and close to the corner. Through the hole in the reso skin, I'm not a big fan. It really comes to life with the proximity effect boosting the lows. It's nice to know that the D6 DOES sound great through the hole.

Keep up the shootin' out!
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
daxliniere's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEYBEEETSSS ➑️
lol... I know man; I was just messing with u sonce u said, (Please don't complain that your favourite is not on the list.)
Ahh, I'm with you now.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
NickHiebert's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Someone on this forum had said that the D6 was the clickiest kick-drum mic they'd every heard, and I'd have to agree - and I love it. The D112 is a very familiar sound, but it still sounds like a puff of air no matter where you put it on the kick-drum, I always thought the D112 was the best on floor toms, that's just my opinion, though.

I never thought of using the MD421 on a kick-drum before, though I have used it for snares and guitar cabs before. The e901 sounds pretty ballsy, though, I figure you cut some of the low mids out and you have a pretty good tone for metal with that mic. At the very least we all have some pretty cool samples
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Nu-tra's Avatar
The 421 II is my fave on kick only in conjunction with an outside mic.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I will have to add that the D6 will be a purchase for me on 2morrow... I've been a D112 user since I can remember but, my memory will be short lived after 2morrow...
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
seansolo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've loved the D6 or 421 inside with a kick out mic (NT2A or B52 outside) - sometimes with a Yamaha Subkick and then some 47 kick samples to add pizzazz. Neither the D6 nor the 421 has failed me. The D112 isn't bad either - but I also love it on floors (or bottom heads of toms).
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
daxliniere's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Not sure if anyone's been doing this, but I recommend working each direct sound with a bit of EQ. You'll be surprised how some react nicely to EQ and others not so well.
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Infernal Device's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEYBEEETSSS ➑️
I will have to add that the D6 will be a purchase for me on 2morrow... I've been a D112 user since I can remember but, my memory will be short lived after 2morrow...
Let me fill you in on something.....

If you try the D6 on a tom, you will order 4 more.

I push the fader up and I am done. Usually no eq, no compression. FANTASTIC bleed rejection. Just enough bleed to add some life.
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
sweetmojo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great shootout! Thanks! I've had some luck with D6 + e602 together. The e602 is sort of like a 421 EQed for drums (as a teacher of mine at recording school used to say). Also, I love an RE20 right next to the beater with a Beta52 a bit outside the hole.
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infernal Device ➑️
Let me fill you in on something.....

If you try the D6 on a tom, you will order 4 more.

I push the fader up and I am done. Usually no eq, no compression. FANTASTIC bleed rejection. Just enough bleed to add some life.
Yeah man! Thats what I did.
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
msquared's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu-tra ➑️
The 421 II is my fave on kick only in conjunction with an outside mic.
Same here. I bought it to use with snare but absolutely love it on the kick. Instead of a resonant head mic I just use a tube LDC in front of the kit, a couple feet back from the kick (adjusted for phase). I've been tempted to build some kind of subkick clone but I have such good luck without it that I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infernal Device ➑️
Let me fill you in on something.....

If you try the D6 on a tom, you will order 4 more.

I push the fader up and I am done. Usually no eq, no compression. FANTASTIC bleed rejection. Just enough bleed to add some life.
Hey man; I believe u but I tend (in some cases) to stay married to some things such as my pretty white coloured German 421's & just can't let a TOM go by without 421'n him
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Beyersound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickHiebert ➑️
Someone on this forum had said that the D6 was the clickiest kick-drum mic they'd every heard, and I'd have to agree - and I love it. The D112 is a very familiar sound, but it still sounds like a puff of air no matter where you put it on the kick-drum, I always thought the D112 was the best on floor toms, that's just my opinion, though.

I never thought of using the MD421 on a kick-drum before, though I have used it for snares and guitar cabs before. The e901 sounds pretty ballsy, though, I figure you cut some of the low mids out and you have a pretty good tone for metal with that mic. At the very least we all have some pretty cool samples
Clearmountain used the 421 for just about every kick he tracked! I think he engineered one or two hit records.............
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
i love the D6. also great on floor toms and micing bass cabs for nice and punchy tones (ran w/ DI). i've even mixed it up w/ a D6 on acoustic guitar (supplementing 2 km84's/km184's) to give it some weight, mixed in low.

D6 <3
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
D6 is getting alot of love, I'll add to it. Switched from my poofy D112 to my D6 about 3 years ago and haven't looked back. I'll admit it doesn't exactly record a kick drum the way it sounds when you stand in front of it, but I think the D6 makes a kick drum sound the way it should sound. I love it.
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok why ya'll didn't call me & tell me the D6 would "Kick'e'arse" like this...JEEEEZZZZ... Thanks to this thread I picked 1 up & finally cut with it yesterday running it thru my normal kick setup, API A2D & 550b(which I really didn't need)... All I can say is "Ga'DuMete"

I guess the good ole 'D112' will forever sit outside the kick drum from now Onheh On'Eimheh
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
daxliniere's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's funny that everyone loves the D6, I think it's a really limiting mic, palette-wise. It only seems to do one sound.
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by daxliniere ➑️
It's funny that everyone loves the D6, I think it's a really limiting mic, palette-wise. It only seems to do one sound.
Yeah but its the 1 sound the D112 wouldn't make
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
daxliniere's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I dunno guys, I think the D6 sounds very compressed and the in-built EQ sounds peaky.

Having said that, out of the whole bunch, it's probably the only other one I'd buy.
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetmojo ➑️
Great shootout! Thanks! I've had some luck with D6 + e602 together. The e602 is sort of like a 421 EQed for drums (as a teacher of mine at recording school used to say). Also, I love an RE20 right next to the beater with a Beta52 a bit outside the hole.
Up until now, I've always used an e602 on kicks. I've recently acquired a 421 and pretty soon, I should get my hands on an SM7b. Can't wait to A/B/C those guys on a kick...
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
Third Eye's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm a D6/Subkick guy. Been using that combo for a while now and love it. The Beta 52's and D112's just sit in the mic locker!!!
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
D6 + outside mic is great for all kinds of rock. I tend towards a subkick or some kinda LDC. My go-to for heavy stuff.

421 + U47fet (or Soundelux ifet7, which is what we got at work) is classic and EXTREMELY versatile. Put those babies through some 1081s and don't be shy about the EQ to tape, and you can pretty much count on a classic, timeless kick sound. I've been diggin' on this one a LOT lately.

ATM25 + outside mic is great and versatile, too, and probably the least expensive option. Build your own subkick and drop a couple hundred bucks on the 25 and you've gotta really useful and well-rounded kick sound. Just tracked some basics this past weekend with this setup, and it added just the right amount of attack to a very roomy kick sound. We tried every other combo in the book, and none of them poked out naturally enough through all the ambience.

D112 has never worked for me, ever. I just can't seem to make that mic happen. Except on floor toms (I think someone above mentioned that, too!).

RE20 is my favorite "one mic only" mic for kick drums. Especially with the front head pulled off. Instant classic/vintage "thump".

D12 is another mic that conjures up some cool vintage tones, but it's not real forgiving when it comes to placement; you really gotta spend time with that one. I also typically end up using it along with something else, usually on the inside of the drum.
Old 3rd March 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Dan!!!

You got some of the one's I didn't get to test in my shootout. I will study them more when I get out of the session I'm in.

In case you're interested, we tested a few you didn't as well....

Drum Mic Madness!!!!


Cheers!

bp
Old 10th March 2009
  #28
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
No RE-20?!

How could you leave that one out? the D112 and a splash of the RE-20 works real nice.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Something weird is going on, the audio and photo links are the opposite. What program do you use to open the audio files, My mac pro isn't doing it.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
daxliniere's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone ➑️
Something weird is going on, the audio and photo links are the opposite. What program do you use to open the audio files, My mac pro isn't doing it.
"Well" spotted AAT, the links were backwards, but most people know what a jpg file is.

Just google 'FLAC', man! Maybe next time read the whole post or even the included README file.

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