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The bass drum anchors the band, and along with the snare, provides the pulse of the song. Because it can come in different sizes and can be played with the front head on or off, its sound will vary a lot more than with the other drums. Most of the time you'll get the best sound out of the bass drum for recording if the front head is removed, since this gets rid of any overtones that the combination of the front and rear head might produce. (music playing) In order to mic the bass drum without a front head first place the pillow, some towels, or blanket inside the kick drum so it's just touching the head.
Secure it with the weight or even a brick on the packing material to keep it from slipping. (music playing) If the bass drum rings too much when struck, push the packing tighter on the head. If it's too dead loosen the packing a little bit. A large diaphragm dynamic mic like an AKG D112, Shure B 52, EVRE 20 or 320, or Heil PR40 is typically used in order to obtain the girth and the kick sound that most modern records require, but don't be afraid to try other microphones as well.
The exception is a ribbon mic. Since the blast of air coming off the bass drum head can actually be enough to blow the diaphragm out, so it's best to use that type of mic on other instruments instead. Place the mic on a short boom stand in front of the bass drum and position the head element of the mic about halfway inside the drum. Point it towards the center of the bass drum at about the same height as where the beater hits the head. (music playing) Move the mic back to get a little more bottom and closer to the head to get more definition.
(music playing) Place it where you have the best combination of low-end and definition for the song. (music playing) That's how you mic a bass drum with no front head. To get a tighter, more compact sound place a folded blanket or a pillow on the inside of the drum shell lightly touching the head. Then point the mic towards the center of the drum about 8 to 12 inches away from the inside head at about the same height as were the beater hits the drum.
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