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Old 28th January 2013, 11:58 AM   #1
nps is offline nps  United Kingdom
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Default Kick drum mic (sub kick)

Using a speaker as a microphone for a kick drum is an old trick with the woofer from a Yamaha NS10 being a favourite of many. Generally the cone is just mounted in air as can be seen below:

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However Yamaha has recently released one packaged in a drum shell:

SKRM-100SFV - Subkick - Acoustic Drum Accessories - Drums - Musical Instruments - Products - Yamaha United States

I was wondering about possible improvements to be had by designing and tuning a cabinet for the mic. Any thoughts?
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Old 28th January 2013, 03:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nps View Post
Using a speaker as a microphone for a kick drum is an old trick with the woofer from a Yamaha NS10 being a favourite of many.
However Yamaha has recently released one packaged in a drum shell:
I was wondering about possible improvements to be had by designing and tuning a cabinet for the mic. Any thoughts?
I thought the Sub Kick had been discontinued years ago, perhaps Yamaha trots it out as "new" every generation or so .

One could mount the transducer in a variable ported enclosure, allowing the "one note" Sub Kick response to become even narrower and tuned to whatever note you prefer to drone on the most.

The Sub Kick encompasses everything that is the worst for live drum reproduction:
Awful transient response
Prone to it's own resonant acoustical feedback
Narrow, peaky frequency response

A speaker used as a microphone made sonic sense in the studio in an age when finding the correct combination of outboard gear to duplicate the effect was costly.

Now, with cheap DSP and a microphone one has the choice of duplicating the Sub Kick sound or making the drum sound as you want it.

Art
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Old 28th January 2013, 04:05 PM   #3
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Maybe an accelerometer would make things worse...
Arduino + Accelerometer == DIY music controller (Gadget Master)
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Old 29th January 2013, 11:09 AM   #4
nps is offline nps  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
I thought the Sub Kick had been discontinued years ago, perhaps Yamaha trots it out as "new" every generation or so .

One could mount the transducer in a variable ported enclosure, allowing the "one note" Sub Kick response to become even narrower and tuned to whatever note you prefer to drone on the most.

The Sub Kick encompasses everything that is the worst for live drum reproduction:
Awful transient response
Prone to it's own resonant acoustical feedback
Narrow, peaky frequency response

A speaker used as a microphone made sonic sense in the studio in an age when finding the correct combination of outboard gear to duplicate the effect was costly.

Now, with cheap DSP and a microphone one has the choice of duplicating the Sub Kick sound or making the drum sound as you want it.

Art
I was thinking live sound rather than the studio, where generally you don't have as much DSP, or more importantly the time required to get each kit dialled in fully. I have found it to be very useful when micing up kicks that don't have a sound hole.

Combining it with something like an AKG D112 on the beater side means you can get the attack and beater sound but still fill out the bottom end. I would never suggest using it by itself but can certainly add something to a mix. As always YMMV depending on the drummer, kit, outboard etc.
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Old 29th January 2013, 01:53 PM   #5
wg_ski is offline wg_ski  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltersys View Post
One could mount the transducer in a variable ported enclosure, allowing the "one note" Sub Kick response to become even narrower and tuned to whatever note you prefer to drone on the most.
So you mean tune it to the one frequency at which the PA subs have maximum efficiency and/or an excursion minimum (so it can be made as loud as possible)?
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Old 8th April 2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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I am actually planning on trying one of them for studio recording purposes. I already have a 6.5" cone so I'd just solder an XLR to it, padded to avoid high voltages, and see what I get. It actually seems to sound quite good combined with a condenser mic inside or near the mouth of the drum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPwHDZbUWpc

I am actually wondering if it would make a difference to fit it inside an enclosure and isolate it from backside radiation, in order to avoid frecuency cancelation?
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Old 25th June 2014, 10:17 PM   #7
Coltpix is offline Coltpix  United States
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It creates a false tone from its own resonance to mix with your drum tone. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes not. A properly tuned drum, good mic and creative Eq yields a better result. Or get a used Alesis D4 or D5, trigger and mix it in. For tons of flexibilty.
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