Microphones optimized for kick drums are going to sound dramatically different from a standard vocal or instrument microphone. They have more low-end response and can handle higher sound pressure levels. Most, if not all of your favorite drum recordings have used a kick drum microphone to dial in the tone of the drum and make it sound the way it does. To get a great sounding kick drum, we highly recommend getting a specific microphone that does the job really well. Having that microphone will give you control over volume, EQ and other parameters that are essential to a great sounding live performance or studio recording.
Some things to keep in mind...
Frequency ResponseFrequency response is a fancy expression that translates to, "the range of frequencies/pitches that a microphone can pickup." The microphone's diaphragm is what picks up the sound. The materials and size of the diaphragm determine the frequency response and ultimately what the microphone sounds like. Kick drum mics need to capture lots of low end energy, so they need to have a frequency response that can capture that and in many cases, accentuate it. Depending on the style of music, you may want a certain amount of high end slap/click. EQ can help, but finding a microphone with a frequency response tailored to your style of music will help give it the extra push it needs without adding EQ, which can lead to more cymbal bleed.
Polar PatternPolar patterns on drum mics are much more important than many engineers realize. Other than placement, it determines how much bleed you will get from the cymbals and other drums. When you get huge amounts of cymbal bleed in your tom, kick and snare tracks, gating and compressing them while maintaining a natural sound becomes nearly impossible. For this reason, some of the top engineers in the industry go with hypercardioid, or even super cardioid mics for a tighter pickup pattern. That said, it is definitely possible to make a great recording or live performance with a cardioid microphone, they just tend to have more bleed.
Primary and Supplemental MicrophonesIt is important to get a great sound with your main kick drum mic, but sometimes, one isn't enough. What many engineers do is get a punchy sound with lots of attack by putting the main microphone up by the beater head. That close to the beater in many cases will yield in a less-than-impressive low end. In order to compensate, a sub-kick microphone like the Solomon LoFReQ is placed on the outside of the kick, very close to the resonant head. This will bring out the best in the low end while staying out of the way of the high end attack.