Bass drum muffling

Eric

Senior Member
I've been touring for some time with a jazz/pop group and have decided to change my bass drum set-up. Till now I've done the hole in front/blanket inside thing, because it has low-end, punch and articulation, even when playing very quietly. The thing that's always bothered me is there is tone at all, except what's added by the mic, which I don't use in small clubs.
Well, our last tour included some small jazz clubs with 18" or 20" bass drums, with coated heads and no muffling or holes. I rolled up a towel and wedged it tightly between the pedal and batter head and I loved it! The pressure against the head gave it articulation even at a looser tension, and the unmuffled front head provided a nice tone. I only have one problem: I'm constantly worried about the towel falling out of position while playing it and getting that nasty unmuffled rattle sound in the middle of a song. Does anyone have any advice on setting up in a way that keeps the towel in place? I know this is a shot in the dark, since it's an uncommon muffling technique. It's mostly jazz drummers who do this, but I recommend other drummers experiment with this, especially if you're trying to project in an unmiked situation.
 
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TheArchitect

Guest
I think something like an EQ pad would get you there
 

Eric

Senior Member
Thank you for the suggestions, but just to be clear- I've had plenty of experience with all kinds of set-ups, and I am DEFINITELY sold on the set-up I've described. It has the jazz thing- very articulate at low volumes, not too much low end, a natural decay. But I don't have to tune it high to get a quick response. Anyway, I was specifically asking how to make this set-up work reliably.
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
I saw an ad in the back of Modern Drummer for a product called the Muff Bone. It's shaped like a dog bone to enable it to be wedged securely between the pedal and drumhead. I haven't used it personally, but the company got Jeff Hamilton and Peter Erskine to give it the thumbs-up, so it might be worth checking out. http://store.drumbum.com/skuA-173.html
 

Eric

Senior Member
Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm thinking good ole' duct tape is the thing to try. The "muff bone" is a good idea, but I think I could go to Petco and get the same thing for less than $20. Plus, if my wife sees "muff bone" on the credit card statement, I'll get in trouble for ordering porn.
 
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TheArchitect

Guest
Thank you for the suggestions, but just to be clear- I've had plenty of experience with all kinds of set-ups, and I am DEFINITELY sold on the set-up I've described. It has the jazz thing- very articulate at low volumes, not too much low end, a natural decay. But I don't have to tune it high to get a quick response. Anyway, I was specifically asking how to make this set-up work reliably.
Bring extra towels.....
 

rootheart

Senior Member
a tipp:
get some of the very thin plastic foil that people use to cover the floor when they paint their walls .
crumble it to like a big loose cloud and stuff it into your BD through the hole in the reso, such loosely filling all the BD with a loose cloud of the foil..
Use 2 pieces of this foil: a big one to loosely fill the whole BD, and a small one to fine tune the sound up to your taste...
Advandage of this method: It will take all the unwanted boom out of our bassdrum, but it really does not "muffle" it in terms of reducing the volume...try it!
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I can't imagine why a rolled towel wedged between the pedal and the batter head would fall sideways out of position...? There are no lateral forces acting on the towel.
 
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