Two things made it easier to be cramped on a small stage the other night: The bass player had recently showered, and I had an internal microphone set up in my kick. I know they seem inconsequential, but I try to enjoy the small things in life. You see, while the bass player’s recent shower activity speaks for itself, that internal mike in my kick allowed me to move my kit another 8” forward. This prevented a very nasty piece of rigging from poking me in the back during the entire two-hour set! This got me thinking; I’ve had an internal miking system in every one of my kick drums for some 23 years. Randy May personally installed my first one sometime in 1983, using an AKG D-12E. It was so cool — you just had to plug the mike cord into the side of the drum, and it was ready to go! I have been a convert to internal kick mikes ever since.
The May Internal Drum Miking System was first on the scene. Now distributed by DW Drums, the May System offers internal mounts for all types of drums: toms, snares, and kicks. May’s great designs — and patents — have helped this system dominate the market. The May system currently offers two different internal kick-drum mounts — one is shock mounted, one isn’t. Both mount to the inside of the kick without any modification to the drum itself (earlier models required drilling holes in the drum). This is accomplished by using the drum’s lug-mounting screws to mount the internal mike bracket (see Fig. A, shown without a mike mounted). There is enough adjustment between the articulating arm and slotted mounting bracket to get any mike in a good position. Additionally, there is an uber cool, patented cable/XLR jack assembly that mounts in the breather hole, yet still allows air to pass through (Fig. B). This is mandatory when using a front head without a vent hole; otherwise the drum wouldn’t sound right.