Any tips for eq'ing kick drum?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Yer Blues, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    Right now I'm running a single JBL PRX 718 (with crossover) with a pair of PRX 512 tops and a Carvin CP1644 mixer. This band is the first band I'm running the PA for, so it's kind of OJT. Everything sounds pretty good, except for the kick drum. I've read up some additional EQ and compression would probably help. Money wise I want to get another PRX for monitor duty (using non-powered Yorkvilles now) and then a digital mixer (Mackie DL1608?) so any $ put to the PA I'd rather invest in this stuff than an EQ or outboard effects which I won't be using in another 6 months.

    Short of tweaking the channel EQ (low, mid, mid, high) is there anything I can do with what I've got? Or is just something I'll have to live with unless/until I upgrade.
     
  2. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    #1, does the kick drum sound good on it's own? I've gotten some great kick tones from minimal gear, but the drum sound was great to start with and just needed "more".
     
  3. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    You need a good dedicated kick drum mic. I have an Audix and the kick always sounds good, without EQing.
     
  4. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    Yeah it sounds good on its on. No idea what mic the guy is using. I can try and find out.
     
  5. jim683

    jim683 Member

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    the actual tuning of the kick drum is important (I've encountered a lot of drummers that have no idea how to tune their drums). it all depends, but I try to use the eq to cut somewhere in the 250-400hz range to get rid of some of the boxy sound.

    Some mics will help do part of this for you, I normally use and Audix D6 or Shure Beta 52 on kick drum.
     
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    Another vote for the Audix D6 microphone.
     
  7. griggsterr

    griggsterr Member

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    Yet another vote for the D-6. Part of the trick in todays world of tons of bass. is carving out a place for the Kick in the EQ, and the bass in the EQ.
    This is totally dependent on your gear, and your ear, and the room acoustics.
    often a good starting place is to bump it up around 50hz. and again around 4k.
    alternately bump the bass up around 100-120hz, and again around 2-2200 hz.
    If you have a limiter on that channel, try using it sparingly to tighten up the kick. it will also help protect your subs from getting the speaker over extended.
     
  8. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    You can do without an EQ on the kick drums.

    Walter W runs this system and he gave me some great advice on another system that made my kick drums sound fantastic. I am guessing he will chime in at some point here.

    For starters I would aux feed your subs and be sure to either cross them over correctly or use the "Pan" method to get some click coming out of your tops. Also get a good mic.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    OK, i've been invoked, i might as well speak up :)

    get your sub/top balance right, so that hi-fi music played through the system sounds good and you don't really hear one speaker in the stack more than the other. this is true whether aux-fed or not, with aux-fed subs you still need to find the "zero point" on the aux knob that's essentially "flat", with the subs and tops in balance.

    once that's worked out, and assuming a well-tuned kick with a good kick mic in it, try this for basic kick EQ:

    boost the lows pretty hard, like up to 2 or 3 o'clock.

    scoop the low mids pretty hard, like 9 or 10 o'clock; this is the key to the whole thing, using the sweep-mid control to find and kill the loose, boxy, flappy part of the kick sound, which will be somewhere between like 100Hz and 300Hz. find it and kill it, and you'll be rewarded with a kick drum that hits your chest but sounds tight and clean.

    upper mids and highs you can tweak to taste, mostly boosting; less boost for regular rock or whatever, more boost for click-y metal styles.
     
  10. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    A guy that mixed for one of the area's best funk bands taught me pretty much this same trick years ago at a show I was doing. Had a lot of rental gear on hand and I was struggling to be on time after having a host of other non-sound issues.
    He came up and offered to help and I'm glad I took him up on that.
    :beer
     
  11. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

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    Another way is to cheat. Use a drum trigger and a machine and you'll get a great sound, every time. This was really handy when I used to do a ton of one nighters. Cut down on set up time considerably.
     
  12. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Yup. An Alesis D4 can be had for less than an SM57 and you'll always the best kick sound around. You'll also be able to get away with less gear.
     

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