How To Record Kick Drum With the N22

Audio Samples and Techniques Using the AEA N22

Ribbons have historically excelled at capturing a great kick drum sound; veteran engineers always reach for a ribbon mic when trying to capture a massive, detailed kick sound. The near-field N22 is no exception to that legacy. Its extended top-end, 3k response bump, and balanced low-end make it the perfect tool for capturing a kick drum with limited room reflection.

The near-field N22 delivers balanced sound 2 to 16 inches from the source with the help of internal mechanics which roll off the low-end of a signal before it hits the ribbon. This feature allows for better performance in close-up recording applications than one would achieve with more traditional ribbon mics due to their proximity effect.

The Hand Test

To ensure that the N22’s ribbon will not be damaged by strong blasts of air from your instrument, place your hand near the source and move it away until you can’t feel moving air, then place the N22 in that position.

As an additional precaution, you can tilt the N22 slightly upward, thereby relieving the ribbon of some tension and allowing it to accept slightly greater air impact.

A pop screen between the mic and the source or the NUVO Windscreen is another method for preventing potential ribbon damage.

Ribbon Mics
Close Miking

When recording a kick drum, try positioning the N22 between 1 and 12 inches in front of the kick drum port. Within that range, moving the N22 closer to the kick will increase the bass response while pulling it away or changing the angle will lessen that effect.

The N22 is a figure-of-8 mic and picks up sound on both sides. When positioning the N22, use the nulls to your advantage to block out the sound of the cymbals on the drum kit. Try slightly angling the N22 down so that the top of the mic points directly towards the ride cymbal. If positioned properly, this will cancel out the direct sound of the ride cymbal.

From 3 inches away, the N22 delivers balanced low-end, and moving it just an inch closer produces a softer, pillowy sound ideal for ballads, jazz, or folk projects. Pulling the N22 farther away will capture more room tone and bleed from the rest of the kit, which could ultimately be just what a track needs. Angling the mic slightly downwards effectively limits indirect sound from cymbals and other drum pieces.

Learn How The N22 Can Improve Your Recordings

How To Record Electric Bass With the N22
How To Record Toms, Snare, and Percussion With the N22
Tricks of the Trade
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