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Kick drum feedback.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by 73jbass, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Saturday during sound check I was getting low end feedback from the kick drum. My board has 4 band variable mid eq on each channel,so I was able to find the offending frequency.But,cutting that frequency also killed the sound of the drum. The drummer insists that I'm doing something wrong,but the only variable was that he played a different drumkit than usual. I could touch the front head on the drum and the resonance went away. Finally got it where it was just usable and we got through the gig ok. He doesn't have a proper set of drum mics, so I'm going to start there. Any ideas on how to prevent this happening,or fix it if it does happen again?
  2. bobbybass85


    Dec 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Put a gate on the kick drum mic. We run into this at our church on occasion. I'm not sure the details of the gate they use, but when it's off a small bit of the bass getting caught in the drum will turn into a devastating roar in just a second or two. Scared the $^% out of me the first time it happened
  3. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    This is where having a gate inserted on the kick channel is handy, or at the very least a parametric eq you can insert so that you can take a very narrow cut at the offending frequency. The channel strip EQ's are going to take a pretty wide swath of frequencies, which is why you experienced it having a big impact on the drum sound. Alternately, if there's an offending resonance in the drum itselft (which there is), he could help you out by tuning it. Generally I would start with having him tune the drum but this doesn't sound promising in this guy's case, so get a good gate, parametric EQ, or both and you can attack the issue more precisely than hacking away on the channel strip.
  4. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Gates and drums, drums and gates ... Are made for each other... Sounds like that kick needs some damping along with tuning probably.

    I have occasionally been able to mic the kick from behind and lose some ring. Maybe the front head is too loose ? Or there is a port hole and it is the wrong size for the drum ? Not really sure as I am not a drummer and don't tune drums. moving the mic around on the drum can change things dramatically. It might just save yer bacon once in a while...Do all that, then apply the gate...

    One thing I am sure if, a well tuned kit is way easier to mic. If the kit doesn't sound good acoustically mic'ing it will be a chore and it still won't sound great when you're done.
  5. Meyatch


    Nov 25, 2007
    Tune the drumset. My drummer uses no gates, and runs a professional sound company. Best sounding drums I've ever played with.
  6. Chromer


    Nov 28, 2012
    Stuff a blanket inside the drum, against the front head.
  7. Definitely start with the drums. If there is a resonance in the kit before it's miked, you won't be able to fix it in the mix properly.

    Next is mic and placement. If you put the mic inside the drum, closer to the head, you get more smack, and less boom. Putting your mic outside the front head, or in a port hole, will give a big boom.

    Gates can be helpful on a kit for cleaning up overspill from mic to mic, and taking out backline bleed, but as with Meyatch's friend, I don't often use them.
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008

    Sometimes a hybred drum set with an acoustic snare, hihat, and cymbols, and a digital kick and digital toms will work good. It saves having to mike the kick and toms.

    I played with a loud band back in 2001 and the drummer had the kick miked but no gate. I would play certain notes on bass and some of them would reverberate inside the bass drum ... bummer ...
  9. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    Does your board have a low pass filter on the kick channel? I have expereinced this after playing outdoor gigs then coming back indoors at the next gig.Hit the low pass then re EQ. its the real deep LOW,s
  10. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    One thing that happens sometimes is that the stage is big hollow box and rings like a bell, and these vibrations travel up the kick mic stand (and others as well) to close the loop.
  11. feedback destroyer! that's what those things are for.
    That, or like others said, gate + notch filter.

    And yes, tune those drums! very easy to do if you learn proper technique and use your ears.
    Another thing that really helped me when I started playing drums. Now, I tune other guys' kits because they are having a hard time getting, "the sound."
    Then I show them that the resonant heads are way too tight or whatever, and the sound opens right up.
  12. grenadilla


    Aug 22, 2011
    Tap around the edge of the front head with a stick and listen for the pitch; the note. Find that note on your bass guitar and remember what it is. Go around the rim and where the note is higher, loosen that lug. When the note is lower , tighten that lug. The head will give a clear boom. Then decide if it should be higher or lower. Usually it should be exactly the same note as the batter head. A lot of drummers don't hear the note . A bass player can make some sense out of a rumbley sound.
  13. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    It was the drum after all. Last weekend he brought a nice set of maple shelled Gretsch drums to the gig. I set the kick eq flat,brought up the gain,and it sounded great. No howling or feedback. A slight tweak of the eq and it was good to go. I took the feedback suppressor out of the signal chain on the mains. Much nicer. I love being right! :hyper:
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If an instrument doesn't sound good acoustically, mic'ing it won't make things better.
  15. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Most guys tune the drums too high, and they don't dampen them enough. They need to be tuned to sound good through mics, not to the drummer.

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