Earthworks – KP1 “Kickpad”

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Earthworks Audio website – Kickpad link

Here is the description from the website:

“Just Plug the KickPad™ into the mic line feeding your favorite cardioid kick drum mic and you will experience an incredible instant kick drum sound that is exactly repeatable, every time. The KickPad™ can also be used for vocals and bass. This will work with any device that has a 3-pin XLR. The KickPad™ is a passive device (requiring no Phantom Power) that can be used with either condenser or dynamic microphones. It works for both recording and live performance applications.”

What does it do really???

This evening I setup my measurement rig & patched one channel as a loop out / in with nothing more than a cable. The other channel had the KP1 Kickpad adapter inserted in the middle of two cables. Since I’m demoing Rational Acoustics Smaart 7 at the moment, I made measurements with both Spectra Foo & Smaart 7 to compare the two apps side by side. In case it’s not obvious, the upper trace of both measurements indicate the frequency response. The lower traces indicate the phase response.

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Interestingly this frequency adjustment would be hard if not impossible to accomplish with a console’s channels trip EQ. Even 4 band parametric EQ wouldn’t achieve the same curve because flat filters aren’t typically available on audio consoles. I can think of only (2) flat filter options I’ve seen in the audio DSP world. All based on modern DSP (digital signal processing).

1. Harrison’s EQ plugins for Mixbus is unique in that instead of being able to adjust level, frequency & Q parameters, your interface is the equivalent of a pen:

Harrison Mixbus EQ plugin
Harrison Mixbus EQ – Youtube video
Harrison Mixbus Mastering EQ plugin
Harrison Mixbus Mastering EQ – Youtube video
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2.Lake’s MESA Processing:

Mesa Filter
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Sadly neither of these options are available to the general public in a form that can be added to a kickdrum channel on a live console so for those who want a simple passive EQ / PAD device designed specifically for use with a kick drum mic, VIVA LA KICKPAD!