Friday, June 26, 2015

Building a Home Recording Studio | Part 5

We've covered some basics on what mics to purchase. Then we discussed some options for recording drums. Today I'd like to focus just on the kick drum. The biggest drum seems like the easiest drum to mic, but this big fella can be tricky at times. You really have to pay attention to the music. The tone of the kick drum needs to match the tone of the music. This requires selecting and placing the right mic in the right spot to capture the tone that you need.

There are a few options I recommend. The Shure Beta 52 is a rock solid mic for any recording. It provides depth, punch, clarity, and snap that works well with virtually every recording. You can never go wrong when using this microphone to record your kick drum. I've tracked many rock & metal bands with this mic and the results are exactly what I wanted. With the right placement, this mic can record kick drums that don't need much EQ and compression to sit well in a mix.
At a modest price of $189, this mic is affordable and will be worth every penny you spend on it.

My backup mic is the AKG D112. This egg-shaped mic is versatile for many recording applications, so it's an excellent choice for those of you on a tight budget. This mic is great for tracking a lighter kick drum sound. Blues & Jazz music seems to bloom naturally when this mic is on the kick. Besides kick drum tracks, this mic works well for recording any instrument that has a lot of low-end detail. I've used this microphone to record congas, bass guitar, trumpets, horns, and vocals. So for the $199 price tag this mic carries, it's well worth the investment.

The third microphone that I recommend is a little unorthodox. The RODE NTK is a secret weapon that I like to use when I need a bit more slap in the kick drum. It's a tube-based condenser that has a magical sound when placed in just the right spot. Usually I find that spot slightly off-center in front of the drum head. The $529 price on this mic does put it in the slightly expensive category, but this mic can do it all. From vocals to acoustic guitar, this mic is excellent on almost any recording.

Hope this helps you get better kick drum recordings. Please leave comments and questions here and we'll start up the discussion. Happy tracking.