New Toys: Avantone Pro Kick Microphone

Avantone Pro’s Kick Microphone uses a reproduction of the famed “white cone” speaker woofer mounted inside of a 10-inch tom-tom that’s vertically  positioned on a regular drum tripod stand. Instead of drumheads, there are (sonically) transparent mesh heads to allow sound in. This 18-cm diameter low frequency driver uses a single continuous press-formed cone—the same as used in Avantone’s CLA-10 reference two-way monitor loudspeaker.

The Kick is a moving coil dynamic microphone with a 50Hz to 2kHz frequency response, 6.3-ohm output impedance and a figure-of-eight polar pickup pattern. I liked the male XLR connector mounted out of the way on the bottom side of the birch plywood drum shell.

Kick comes with a stage-ready, fully adjustable double-braced drum stand and drum key. I found this chromed stand nice looking and it matches any drum kit. I did want Kick to adjust a little lower—to line up with the exact center of the 1967 Ludwig 22 X 18-inch bass drum we used. I found that I had to use a sandbag on the stand’s base to   counter-balance the mic’s weight for stability—it is a little precarious on its own.

I recorded an AKG D112 MKII kick drum mic and the Avantone Kick on separate tracks for evaluation later. The Avantone Kick sounds mostly tonal with a subsonic deep tone—like an 808 sample and makes an excellent mixing element to blend along with the D112. Many different, great sounds are possible with the Avantone Kick microphone and next I will try it on a good-sounding bass guitar amp soon! Speakers as microphones worked great for the Beatles back in the day!

Avantone Kick sells for $349 MAP and is a great way to record low frequency instruments.