Double bass kit tuning

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
Hello, everyone. This is primarily for double bass kit players, but anyone with experience or knowledge, please, by all means, lend a hand. Ive been tweaking the tuning on my Yamaha Stage Custom double bass kit since I got it about 2 months ago, roughly. I got some advice from a couple of guys that I hang out with who play double bass kits, but Im getting conflicting advice. One guy says both basses need to be tuned identically. The other one says one bass needs to be a half step higher than the other for distinguishing purposes. Im leaning towards the half step higher, just for that reason...the distinguishing purpose. Oh, in case you were wondering, the guys I talked to play Trick drums with 20x20" *triggered* basses(same tuning) and Pearl ELX with 22x18" basses(1/2 step tuning). I dont know if that matters or not.
Has anyone ever encountered this before? What would you do? Thanks!
 

Arky

Platinum Member
That one semitone in pitch difference method was something I read about years ago. Being into drumming, I haven't found anybody recommending this approach on drum forums though. People seem to prefer tuning the bass drums identically (including miking, EQing /processing).

Try both ways and decide what you like most. It's personal thing. And sorry if I wasn't too much help, haha.
 

hvymtlmike

Senior Member
Well from my perspective, here you go. I play metal. The goal of the double bass is to sounds like fast bass drum notes not different drums, therefore the assumption generally is to tune them identical, which I do. Changing the tuning to distinguish one, makes them stand alone more than work together. I have a pearl double bass drum kit. Because of the pain of tuning them identical I decided to shrink down to one bass drum and use a double pedal. The other bass drum has a new head on it, and stays in tune indentical with my other acting as a backup.....best decision I ever made.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
When I did played double bass,my drums were different sizes.I took that que from Ginger Baker,Corkey Lang,Ed Shaunessy,and a few others.Bakers bass drums were 22x11,and 20x11 Ludwig classics,and they sounded different,but thunderous on most Live Cream stuff.Even today,he still uses different sized bass drums.

I personally like the diference in pitch,between different sized drums.Your toms are pitched differently........why not your bass drums?To each their own.

Steve B
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
If you're going to tune them exactly the same, and use the same sizes, then what's the point of having two? Why not just a double pedal? Does it make a huge difference in sound?
 

Chunky

Silver Member
I think it's daft tuning them differently, why tune them differently then trigger them?

I understand some people like the dugg-dugga sound but, even if you tune them as close as possible by ear you'll still get this effect plus, you won't shoot the feel of your drums and have a lop-side technique off playing different rebound all the time.

You could achieve the same effect with EQ but I think two bass drums just sound that way without having to tune them differently.

I'm not a fan of two bass drums, i think they are for show. the only benefit feom having two bass drums would be for individual stroke clarity without it turning into a hum at high speed but, that's only if you're miking it up. To trigger it would just defeat the object as you're getting the same sounds, you're carrying another case to and from the van, miking/triggering, setting up, throwing your hi-hats out of place all for what? a better sound?
Not a chance.

I wouldn't get caught in the d**k measuring contest of 2 bass drums and stick to double pedal.

Sorry this is very negative but, I can't ever get my head around the logic.

I've been known to do drum rolls on my snare from time to time, maybe I should get two 14" snares and tune them the same.
Then trigger them?

Please....

Sorry, that's just my thoughts.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Chunky,
actually there are a few advantages to having 2 bass drums:

- no slave pedal/no lagging/no connection rod, both pedals will feel exactly the same (not counting in the difference in feel/power of one's strong and weak foot)
- If you have a large kit, 2 bass drums might fill out the space in a reasonable way to mount multiple toms and/or other stuff.
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Chunky,
actually there are a few advantages to having 2 bass drums:

- no slave pedal/no lagging/no connection rod, both pedals will feel exactly the same (not counting in the difference in feel/power of one's strong and weak foot)
- If you have a large kit, 2 bass drums might fill out the space in a reasonable way to mount multiple toms and/or other stuff.
I play double pedal pn my real kit and on my e-kit I have 2 singles on two seperate towers and I think there's no difference.

The whole slave weakness is a myth I think. Pedals are so well built these days if you're relying on the excuse of a slave pedal stopping you playing properly then it's obviously your technique which is the weakness.

I'd argue that there's more variables in 2 bass drums than a slave pedal on 1.

2 bass drums may help hold your toms if you don't have a rack, I agree but, as a whole I think 2 bass drums is nonesense
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
The whole slave weakness is a myth I think. Pedals are so well built these days if you're relying on the excuse of a slave pedal stopping you playing properly then it's obviously your technique which is the weakness.

agreed

these double pedals are made so precisely now that you could tap the slave pedal with the tip of a pencil and the left beater will move

complete outdated myth
 

Bretton

Silver Member
I play two kick drums because it looks cool, and why not? I want my kit to look cool, for me, not for anyone else. Even if I took one kick off, I would be down to the 4 piece emo-core setup that's been getting a lot of flak lately.

My system for tuning, and my advice, is "try" and get them the same, and when you're not able to, don't worry about it, a little variation makes it more organic. I also just got triggers, so the triggered sound will be exactly the same, while the sound of actual drum won't, so there will still be some variation hiding underneath the trigger sound.
 

Derek Roddy

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hello Guys....

Well, first off....no 2 separate kicks are ever going to sound the same. You can spend weeks on tuning them. They'll never "sound" the same.
Also, your legs have developed differently. This means they do not "sound" the same.

For instance, my left kick always sounds better than my right. Used to bug me to death. To the point where I switched the drums, pedals, everything around and guess what? The left still sounded better. haha.

The second thing is yes, a double does in fact 'feel" different. This is simply because the beater is striking a surface 2 feet away from where you're playing. That doesn't "feel" the same as... the beater striking right where you are playing.
But, guess what....2 singles don't feel the same either...nor do your legs. You have a dominate one so, the other will always "feel" different. Kick a ball with each foot. Does it 'feel" the same?

Anyway, don't sweat the small stuff. Haha.

You get around these issues by working on your stroke. Don't worry about making the drums sound the same....work on the stroke sounding the same.

D
 

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
First off, thanks everyone for the replys. It was definitely a big difference switching over from a single 24" bass with a double pedal to twin 22" basses. Im still getting used to it lol. And personally, Im going to try to get the 2 basses as close to each other as possible. Derek is right, the strokes are whats going to differentiate the sound, not the tuning, as much. The only plus side for me is that Im using my same Axis X double pedal, just broken down into 2 singles, so I dont have to do too much work on my left leg, and working it back up. So hopefully having the basses mic'd up they will sound close, but not so close as to not being able to distinguish which is which. Prolly not a bad time to grab a Drum Dial, either, hehehehe. Thanks guys. And, Derek, you rock.
 

NPYYZ

Junior Member
Hello Guys....

Well, first off....no 2 separate kicks are ever going to sound the same. You can spend weeks on tuning them. They'll never "sound" the same.
Also, your legs have developed differently. This means they do not "sound" the same.

For instance, my left kick always sounds better than my right. Used to bug me to death. To the point where I switched the drums, pedals, everything around and guess what? The left still sounded better. haha.

The second thing is yes, a double does in fact 'feel" different. This is simply because the beater is striking a surface 2 feet away from where you're playing. That doesn't "feel" the same as... the beater striking right where you are playing.
But, guess what....2 singles don't feel the same either...nor do your legs. You have a dominate one so, the other will always "feel" different. Kick a ball with each foot. Does it 'feel" the same?

Anyway, don't sweat the small stuff. Haha.

You get around these issues by working on your stroke. Don't worry about making the drums sound the same....work on the stroke sounding the same.

D
Good post. I started using two kick drums in 1977. I've always tuned them to what I felt was as close as I could get them to sounding the same. They are close enough so it sounds good both live and when recording.

I prefer two kicks over a double pedal because it feels smoother to me. I don't like all the bounce on one kick when using a double pedal doing fast kick work. I play a large kit also, so two kicks just looks better.
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Come on Derek tell us which set-up you prefer and why! Lol.

I can see the benefits of extra definition on each stroke if you mic them but, triggering seems pointless on two kicks.
It's a feel thing though sonwhatever you prefer is the obvious choice to go for.

I'm just glad I prefer double pedals 'cos I'm too lazy to carry another bass drum!
twice the skin costs and extra mic too! Ouch!
 
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