BUT IS THAT REALLY SO?
Here the speech becomes a little more interesting and less romantic.
It’s all nice what I’ve written so far, but in reality, there are a lot of rumors that go a little against the official versions (read so far).
I state that I report them for completeness, to you the final judgment.
According to some authoritative technicians in the sector, the speaker would not actually be able to pick up frequencies that a conventional microphone cannot pick up. In fact, if you read the technical data sheets of the AKG D112 MKII and the Shure Beta 52, which are two of the most widely used microphones for the case and not too expensive, in theory, they cover a frequency range up to 20 Hz. I would say very interesting considering that the keynote of a battery case is in the region between 60 and 90 Hz, therefore within the range of a conventional microphone.
Many argue that the size of the microphone diaphragm is irrelevant when it comes to the LF response (it can affect the HF response instead). The reason is that a microphone works like a pressure detector by detecting air pressure at a point in space.
Without going into too much detail (I refer you to the technical datasheets for more details), the low frequencies ” captured ” by the Subkick, would not be frequencies that unlike a normal microphone this system manages to capture, but a ” decaying oscillation ” that generates an extended low-frequency signal, exchanged for lost mystic frequencies .
SO IS IT NOT MY CASE THAT HAS THAT SOUND?
Technically not. At least according to these sound engineers.
It would, therefore, be a fake sound, it is not your case that emits those frequencies.
In reality, the Subkick output signal would not be related to the harmonic structure of the case but a resonance characteristic of the speaker due to the diaphragm that cannot return to its rest position without swinging back and forth.
Now it happens that the size and natural resonance of the NS10 case are very well integrated with the fundamental of the bass drum, offering a very interesting low-end tail.
Having said that, according to these technicians it is perfectly fine to use it, as it perfectly completes the sound of the case, but it is not necessary to have the idea of being capturing something real that escapes the other microphones.
WHO HAS THOUGHT US FIRST?
I believe that if we talk about innovations in the field of music, there are few who boast many and important ones and among them, there are certainly: The Beatles.
You may like them or not like them, but no one will take away the merit of having started so many innovations and revolutions in the field of studio recordings. True pioneers of modern music.
It is therefore said that it was Paul Mc Cartney who, while recording Paperback Writer in 1966, was not at all satisfied with how his bass came out.
He then decided, with the reasoning I explained above, to place a speaker in front of his amplifier, in reverse, all this without knowing exactly how the sub kick works.
In fact, the ” trick ” was already known to many recording studios that in fact retrieved woofers from studio boxes and used them to capture low frequencies. Mc Cartney was the first to use it also for the bass sound.
At that time the speakers of the Yamaha NS10 were often used because due to a defect of the tweeters they were unusable for listening after a short time.
WHY IS A SPEAKER SEEMING A SMALL ROLLER?
Selling a loudspeaker mounted on iron support probably would not have had that hoped appeal, so it was provided (in the case of Yamaha) with custom-made Philippine 7-layer birch and mahogany stem, mounted on a special stand. Very nice to see, but costing around 300 €.
It’s the marketing gentlemen.
CAN I BUILD A SUBKICK ONLY?
Yes, you can build a Subkick by yourself and it’s pretty easy to do it.
Obviously we must first understand how the sub kick works and how to assemble it.
There are dozens of tutorials on how to get a Subkick at home and cheaply, but it’s not the subject of this post and therefore I won’t go into details, also because I’m really a disaster with DIY.
In conclusion, it is clear that the Subkick helps. It doesn’t really matter which frequencies the other microphones don’t capture or more likely the frequencies that are generated by the loudspeaker.
What is more important is that when you put it forward at the checkout, you notice an improvement in the capture of low frequencies and help to have a better cash sound.
It is proved that it is not only an advantage for those who play at high volumes but also those who have a light touch and use a felt pad can benefit from using the Subkick.
Obviously the tastes and the ear of every musician will then give the final judgment, but if the purpose of the article was to understand what it is for and how the sub kick works, I think I have given an answer.
It is equally obvious that you don’t have to choose a Subkick (like any other tool or accessory) just because an artist you like fits it. Often those are commercial agreements and not real needs. Some of them might see this accessory mounted without even knowing exactly how the sub kick works. So as with all the articles I review this time, I ask you to listen with your ears before making the purchase.
The fact that I focused on the Yamaha is a case due to the widespread use of the model produced by the Japanese company, but there are many artisanal ones, also of good quality, and it is also relatively simple to build one with a limited cost (especially if you are already in possession of the loudspeaker).
Have you tried one? Do you have anything else to add or something to correct? Write to me in the comments.