So I’m not quite sure how this passed me by in terms of not reviewing it sooner as it’s been out for some time, but anyway…
The Kelly Shu is an integrated shock mount isolation system for bass drum microphones. It sounds fairly unexciting in that respect, but if you’re someone who mics their bass drum all the time and needs a consistent approach to this, then the opposite is more likely to be true.
If you play in tight spaces as many of us do, a bass drum microphone stand can be an absolute pain. It takes time to set up and invariably gets knocked about, no matter how tight in you place the legs. The Kelly Shu system mounts either internally or externally to your bass drum and removes any need for a stand. There’s also no drilling involved.
The main design/model is horse shoe in shape and it comes in both aluminium (the Pro version) and a cheaper composite model. This is the version I have been using. If you’re more into using the Shure SM91 microphone – it’s the flat ‘pyramid’ mic for those who don’t know – Kelly Shu also do a version, the Flatz, which accommodates this too.
The principle behind the Kelly Shu is simple; it shock mounts the microphone and allows you to place it wherever you want.
Setting up the Kelly Shu takes a few minutes. You could probably do it in ten minutes if you’re efficient enough, but it took me about fifteen.
Once you measure out the rubber cord and cut it to the desired length according to where you want to place the microphone, you put the plastic hooks on each end. Then it’s a matter of unscrewing six of the internal bass drum lug screws (or alternatively unscrewing some of the tension rods if you’re mounting the system externally), hooking it all together, and you’re done.
Mounting a microphone on the Kelly Shu is easy. You just take a regular mic holder and screw it in to the adapter which is part of the Kelly Shu system. If the mic has the adapter built in, then it just goes straight on.
I’ve been gigging with one of these for ages and it is great. It’s consistent and easy to deal with.
My microphone is placed centred inside the drum near the resonant head, facing where the beater strikes. I have a short XLR lead coming down from the microphone and out the hole which allows me to quickly and easily connect to the main cable that goes out to my mixer. This permanently connected short cable (which just wraps back up in the drum for travel) means I don’t have to fiddle around with plugging anything in at the gig.
Setting up live takes seconds. Gone are the days of taking the microphone, screwing in on to the stand, placing the stand and then connecting it all up. Neat, simple and tidy. And, best of all, there’s no mic stand getting kicked about and moving the mic inside the drum. In addition, because the microphone is mounted on top of the mounting system (the horse shoe is facing up), the microphone can’t come lose as they sometimes do on a stand.
I’m completely sold on this.
Whilst it’s not the only option on the market – I also looked at a more rigid microphone mount a while back and there are others too – it supports the microphone well both in use and in travel. This includes more top heavy microphones like the Shure Beta 52.
I’m yet to have any issue with it in any way and have just bought a second one to use between some of my other bass drums, other than my main gigging kit. Best of all, the composite version (I simply don’t know the prices of the other two models) are quite reasonably priced too.
All in all, an absolute winner for the gigging drummer at any level.
More info at http://www.kellyshu.com