How to Get A Huge Kick Drum Sound


ways to mic a kick drum

What does this look like to you? To the average eye, this probably looks like a mess. Clutter. A stack of mattresses maybe? How about the obvious: a drum set and a ton of foam? Whatever the average eye sees, the recording studio enthusiast sees opportunity, promise, and experimentation. This is a drum set and some foam, of course, but why? Because it really is “all about that bass” and how to get a huge kick drum sound. We call it a kick drum tunnel. That massive and super soft looking musical “fort” is one of the exercises that Dark Horse Institute students do in order to hear the differences in acoustic drum recording.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games, since there are around 18 total microphones in the DHI live room to capture every nuance that green monster of a drum set has to offer. In a world where sampled drums are used more than ever before, it’s easy to overlook the necessity for real and authentic sounds. Students get to see, first hand, just how many things factor in to achieving those sounds too. Everything from near, mid, and far room microphones, to the difference between recording directly into Pro Tools vs 2 inch analogue tape, is thrown into the experience of learning audio engineering at Dark Horse Institute.

A while ago (judging by Dave Hagen’s beard now), we demonstrated how to mic a kick drum in the Lodge at Dark Horse Recording. Click HERE to watch that video! While drums aren’t everything at DHI, it’s an integral piece to the puzzle in a pro recording. And teaching these guys how the pro’s do it, is our business!


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