Microphones Used: Drums- D2, D4, D6, i5
Gino Banks is a third-generation Nepalese/Indian musician who describes himself as a jazz-rock-fusion drummer, music arranger, Bollywood session artist, and studio owner. "My grandfather was a trumpet player who performed with visiting British big bands that came to India during the years of occupation in the early 1940s," Gino explains. "They encouraged him to select a more European name, hence the surname Banks. My father Louis is a renowned jazz pianist who was named after Louis Armstrong. I am named after Gino Vannelli!"
Gino stays busy touring with jazz, fusion, and rock bands, and works with his father. He is also a first-call session drummer for Bollywood film soundtracks, and operates his own home studio that has hosted such great musicians as John McLaughlin. Gino describes the studio as "a music temple for Indian musicians."
Gino first encountered Audix microphones through Sound.com in Mumbai, one of the largest pro audio suppliers in India. "They had a full set of Audix mics that we used on a gig," says Gino. "I fell in love with the D2 and D4 mics for toms. I was shocked! They reproduced the exact tonality of my drums without the extra ringing overtones picked up by most tom mics. It's a big challenge to capture the true character of toms, which have a big acoustic sound with resonances. They sound great until you put a mic on them, and then it all changes. Audix mics capture the true sound without needing much EQ." Next time Gino was in Dubai, he bought a complete set of Audix D2s, D4s, and a D6!
Gino performs on a large kit that he describes as essentially three kits merged into one. "I have three kick drums, two direct hi-hats and one remote, and three snares including a piccolo snare." Gino uses i5s for the top and bottom of each snare. "I always used the standard snare mic, but now greatly prefer the Audix i5. It seems to have a wider pattern that covers more of the snare head, which provides a more open sound," says Gino.
Gino uses D2s on the rack toms, D4s for the floor toms, and plans to use D6s for the largest floor toms to capture their extended low frequencies. "The D2 captures the exact tonality of the toms without any extra ringing overtones," explains Gino. "Larger drums sound great with the D4, so I expect the D6 to sound brilliant on floor toms larger than 18 inches."
"I had the opportunity to perform with two other drummers using different mics," Gino relates. "Their toms did not sound as tight and clear as mine. Sitting out in the house during their sound checks, I asked the sound man to swap their tom mics with my Audix mics. The difference was remarkable to all of us!"
Gino uses D6s to mic all three kick drums. "The D6 works perfectly on a full kick drum head, ported head, or no head with a pillow inside," says Gino. "Other standard kick mics have too much of the click sound that reminds me of the 80s. I want a more rounded, jazzy tone from the kick drums, even though I do play hard. The D6 with no EQ gives me just the right amount of bass tone and attack." Gino is adding a pair of Audix SCX25As, our large-diaphragm condenser mics, for overheads and to capture a stereo image of the entire drum kit.