The concept of capturing the low end from a bass drum has been around for ages and started with people reverse-wiring old audio speakers to try and pick up the sound you can possibly more feel than hear.
Over time, this progressed to Yamaha offering a commercial option of this with the Sub Kick some years ago, which was a speaker foam mounted inside a wood drum shell that was in turn mounted to a low stand. It was all very nice but arguably a little bulky (at least to carry about) and wasn’t the cheapest of options. It was also discontinued some time ago.
For those of us not up to rewiring old speakers, the Solomon LoFReQ Sub Microphone steps up where the Sub Kick left off.
As you can see, at 7” round and 3.5” wide it’s small, compact and mounts on a regular microphone stand. The unit is also quite lightweight at 4.1lbs. Sound-wise, the LoFReQ is designed to pick up 25 to 3,000Hz, but for the purpose of using it for a bass drum, this is more likely to be anywhere from 40 to 200Hz for the low end you’re wanting.
The build quality seems fine to me. It’s nothing flashy, but it does the job. The unit is made mostly of hard plastic – rather than metal, although parts of it are metal – and it seems solid enough, although I wasn’t going to drop it to find out. The LoFReQ runs on a standard XLR cable and is available in a few different colours.
Recently I have been using an AKG D12VR as an external mic just to try and get a bit more low end boost from my kick. While I hadn’t been unhappy with the results from this, having now used the Solomon LoFReQ Sub Microphone I can hear what I was missing.
The AKG does provide some extra power and punch when mixed with the internal mic, but the Solomon LoFReQ adds weight to the sound. And, depending on how much the fader on the LoFReQ channel is brought up, you can really add a lot of weight to the sound.
For the purpose of the review, I set up a bass drum with an AKG D112 inside, the Solomon LoFReQ on the front head about an inch away, and for comparison, the AKG D12VR on the other side of the front head also about an inch away.
The D112 inside the drum provides click and punch. That’s all that it is intended to do. Together with the D12VR on the outside, it gives a hard, slightly more punchy sound. However, the D112 together with the LoFReQ provides a deeper weightier sound with more body to it along with that punch.
Whilst something like the Solomon LoFReQ might really only be useful for those either recording or going through a fairly decent PA, for the small outlay that it costs – sub £200 – it seems to me so far that it’s worth the outlay if you’re looking to enhance your bass drum low end a bit more.
More details at – http://www.solomonmics.com/b2pamfzl7wwfy108ygbgjc8ozqrmrv
In the video, all three mics were set at the same level to give some degree of consistency. When watching the video, use some decent quality headphones as you’ll never hear the differences just through phone speakers.