Kick Drum Mic – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Live Sound Engineering Glossary

What is a kick drum mic?

A kick drum mic is a specialized microphone designed to capture the low-frequency sound produced by a kick drum in a drum kit. Also known as a bass drum mic, it is essential for capturing the powerful and punchy sound of the kick drum in a live performance or recording setting.

How does a kick drum mic work?

A kick drum mic works by picking up the vibrations and sound waves produced by the kick drum when it is struck by the drummer’s foot pedal. The mic is positioned close to the drumhead to capture the low-end frequencies and provide a full and rich sound. The design of a kick drum mic typically includes a large diaphragm and a cardioid pickup pattern to focus on the sound coming directly from the drum and reject any unwanted noise from other instruments or sources.

What are the different types of kick drum mics?

There are several types of kick drum mics available on the market, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Some common types include dynamic mics, condenser mics, and boundary mics. Dynamic kick drum mics are popular for their durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels, making them ideal for capturing the powerful sound of a kick drum. Condenser kick drum mics are known for their sensitivity and accuracy in reproducing the low-end frequencies of the drum. Boundary kick drum mics are designed to be placed on the floor near the drum to capture the sound from a different angle.

How to position a kick drum mic for optimal sound?

Positioning a kick drum mic correctly is crucial for capturing the best sound quality from the drum. The mic should be placed inside the drum, near the beater, to capture the attack and low-end frequencies. It is important to experiment with different mic placements to find the optimal position that captures the desired sound. Some common techniques include placing the mic slightly off-center or angling it towards the center of the drumhead to achieve a balanced sound.

What are some popular kick drum mic models?

There are several popular kick drum mic models that are widely used in the music industry for their quality and performance. Some popular choices include the Shure Beta 52A, AKG D112, Sennheiser e602, Audix D6, and Electro-Voice RE20. These mics are known for their ability to capture the low-end frequencies of a kick drum with clarity and precision, making them ideal for live performances and studio recordings.

How to properly EQ a kick drum mic in a live sound setting?

Properly EQing a kick drum mic in a live sound setting is essential for achieving a balanced and powerful sound. Start by cutting any frequencies below 40Hz to eliminate rumble and unwanted low-end noise. Boosting the frequencies around 60-80Hz can enhance the punch and impact of the kick drum. Cutting frequencies around 200-400Hz can reduce muddiness and improve clarity. Finally, adding a slight boost around 2-5kHz can bring out the attack and definition of the kick drum. Experiment with different EQ settings to find the perfect balance that suits the sound of the kick drum in the mix.