Advice on how to make good use of the meters in your DAW and learn how to properly read them.
The biggest drum seems like the easiest drum to mic, but this big fella can be tricky at times. You really have to pay attention to the music. The tone of the kick drum needs to match the tone of the music. This requires selecting and placing the right mic in the right spot to capture the tone that you need.
There are a few options I recommend. The Shure Beta 52 is a rock solid mic for any recording. It provides depth, punch, clarity, and snap that works well with virtually every recording. You can never go wrong when using this microphone to record your kick drum.
My backup mic is the AKG D112. This egg-shaped mic is versatile for many recording applications, so it's an excellent choice for those of you on a tight budget. Besides kick drum tracks, this mic works well for recording any instrument that has a lot of low-end detail. I've used this microphone to record congas, bass guitar, trumpets, horns, and vocals. So for the $199 price tag this mic carries, it's well worth the investment.
The third microphone that I recommend is a little unorthodox. The RODE NTK is a secret weapon that I like to use when I need a bit more slap in the kick drum. It's a tube-based condenser that has a magical sound when placed in just the right spot. Usually I find that spot slightly off-center in front of the drum head. The $499 price on this mic does put it in the slightly expensive category, but this mic can do it all. From vocals to acoustic guitar, this mic is excellent on almost any recording.
Hope this helps you get better kick drum recordings. Happy tracking.
Our pursuit of bigger and better drum mixes is never-ending. There has been a lot of experimentation with acoustic sets, electronic sets, triggers, MIDI samplers, and loops. Though an eclectic combination of all the different sounds has been the best result, a pure acoustic set mic'd up is the ultimate goal. Aside from the obvious option of tracking on a Neve or SSL board, our experiments have led us to use different types of mics. Mics designed for tracking guitar amps have been very useful on toms. Using an AKG D112 on the bottom of the snare has given us some nice deep snare tones.