One of the coolest things I saw at the AES show this past October is this little inline XLR barrel that's both a pad and EQ designed for kick drum mic'ing. For rock drums my go-to scenario is an AKG D 112 into a Millenia Media Origin STT-1. It always sounds great, but the mic usually overloads the STT-1's preamp, so I need to put a pad in at the snake. The beauty of the KickPadTM (and its polished surface really is beautiful) is that in addition to attenuating the signal enough to not clip the mic-pre input, there is also an EQ circuit that cuts the low mids I always want to cut anyway. The KickPad'sTM contoured lo-mid cut eliminates or minimizes the need for EQ, leaving a full bottom-end and nice attack on the top end. Every engineer who's been in my studio over the past month and heard the KickPadTM has ended up using it on their session. The story behind the KickPadTM is that it was developed as part of a kickdrum mic that Earthworks was developing. They decided that it was limiting the functionality of the mic to put the circuitry in the mic, so they made it an optional barrel plug so the mic will function full-range for other uses. They also found that the KickPadTM worked well with just about any mic put on a kick drum. The KickPadTM is sold separately but is also part of Earthworks' new three-mic drum-mic'ing kit that Andy Hong will be reviewing in a future issue. The KickPadTM is proof that good things do come in small packages. You can get a free demo CD and hear KickPadTM for yourself on Earthwork's web site. ($96 MAP;

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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