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Crosstalk - Kick drum mic and my rig

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by richntiff, May 7, 2018.

  1. Ok - there has been a weird issue my last couple of gigs. It seems that a few times during a gig, a particular note (low D) will seem to trigger some very low frequency boomy feedback from my drummers kick mic. When it starts, if I mute everything, it will continue until he zeros the kick mic gain. He has turned the mic gain down, which seemed to help, and I've slid my rig a foot or two farther away from the kick - which also seems to help, but there is still a bit of an issue. I'm starting to wonder if a high pass filter might be the trick - could it be there is a sub frequency that's causing the issue, that the HPF would clean up?

    Has anyone ever run into this before? Thoughts on solving the problem?
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Yes.. pretty common with drums.
    Root cause?? Drums not tuned. Resonant frequencies ring.. like toms where you get that [really annoying] "thwoop" ringing sound because the resonant head hasn't been tuned.
    Parametric EQ (or 31-band) and notch out the offending frequency.
    You probably want to do that at practice. It might vary from venue to venue, but should not wander too far from the original frequency.

    Ran sound at a Festival gig weekend before last. EVERY mic (drums, vocals, guitar, etc.) had a ringing at decent gain levels. We tracked it down (using spectrum analyzers - available on phones) and put a 125 Hz notch on EVERY mic for all of the 8 acts/bands.
    No ringing, No feedback..
    Garret Graves and Wisebass like this.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    This is very common when high stage volume is desired.

    Sounds like feedback between the drum mic and a speaker, or perhaps the resonance of an undamped drum. The bass rig has almost nothing to do with the problem other than providing a source of sound to open up the gate holding the feedback in check...or pushing the signal through the system to a level where oscillation becomes self-sustaining.

    Corrective actions (in no particular order) include: changing the distance between bass drum mic and the speaker associated with the feedback loop, applying a notch filter at the offending frequency on the bass drum channel...not a good idea if it's the resonant frequency of the bass drum, tightening up/retuning the gate on the bass drum, retuning the drum, damping the drum, decreasing the level of the monitor speaker that is causing the feedback, and notching the feedback out of the offending monitor mix. I am sure there are other solutions. Basically, the drummer and audio tech need to get their shizzle together. Running a HPF on your rig isn't a bad idea though.
    Stumbo and Wisebass like this.
  4. Thanks!
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Yep - Let the sound engineer run some notches - aka "anti-feedback"
    They can ring it out as part of the soundcheck.

    Drums do have a pitch and sometimes a sound engineer trick is to pitch shift them if they clash with bass notes out front. They also sideband compression and EQ so bass and drums don't clash.
  6. The usual reason for feedback is a feedback loop between a mic and a speaker. Surely you don’t have any kick drum in the monitors, right? If you do, don’t do that. Next up is bass—is there bass in the monitor nearest the kick drum? If so, notch it as previously recommended. Next up is mains—tilt them away from the mic plane. Subs? How close is the sub to the kick drum? Subs notoriously feedback.
    s0c9 and Wisebass like this.
  7. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    :roflmao: Fire the drummer? :laugh::laugh::laugh: and tune the drumset!

    Hi richntiff :)

    Notch filters can help!!!

    Moving the monitors can help too. (a little bit can change a lot!!!!)

    ...or maybe fire them both? :D


  8. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    Well, why the source of the problem may be correct I don't agree with the solution. I definitely like to get the BD in my monitor and if the gig doesn't support IEMs (like o a lot of festivals), that means kick in my monitor. And the drummers I know would not accept it!

    Tuning/damping the drums and careful use of spectrum analyzer plus parametric eq (notch filter) or feedback destroyer is the way to do it.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  9. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    With the right tools and technique, it can definitely be done at a volume that will rattle everyone's bones. With less tools and skill, perhaps one only needs to hear primarily the bass drum attack instead of the boom. As a bass player, I definitely don't want to hear the boom of the bass drum, as the boom will tend to mask the sound of my bass. When running wedges, I prefer for my entire monitor mix to have an HPF at >150HZ unless my bass amp goes kaput.
  10. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    Probably 75% of the acts I mixed had kick in the drum monitor.
  11. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    You have kick in your wedge, plus the drummers? Your bass in his mix? I'm assuming separate mixes here.
  12. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    Sure. Kick plus hihat is what I need from the drummer.
  13. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    I prefer to focus on the snare. Guess it depends on whether you attend a church where they clap on the 1 and 3 or a church where they clap on the 2 and 4.
    Ulf_Hansson and JRA like this.
  14. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Something to consider...the feedback loop can exist between any mic and any speaker. This means the feedback may not have anything to do with the bass drum mic at all. This is why it's a good thing to run the subs off an aux so only low frequency instruments like bass and bass drum are sent to the subs. Also a good reason to run HPF on all channels as high as possible without overly degrading the low frequency response of the signal source...IMHO some rolloff of the low end is actually desired for most sources.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Broughton HPF/LPF on the kick.
    Adjustable from 25-160 on the low end and 20k-330 on the high end.
    Set at about 45 low and 500 on the high, depending.

    HPF on the bass set about 60-80hz.

    That's a start that should work on most gigs as a baseline (no pun intended).

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