Tight Bass Head

Hey Guys,

I've read a few related topics but couldn't find the answer i was looking for.

I played a gig yesterday and used another drummers kit. He had just picked up a beautiful used Truth kit.
We put a pillow in it before micing up, when i played it ,the skin was really tight and i found it so much better to play, i could feel every hit, i found it very easy to double kick and go quite fast because it was so bouncy. I absolutely loved it and i want to have my bass drum like that.
However, it sounded quite normal sounding, or in other words, it didn't sound too high tuned.

The previous owner had a rubber half circle pad taped onto the bottom third of the head. I am not sure if this made a difference to the sound or the bounciness of the head, but help me? :)

I currently have a Evans GMAD head as my batter and a coated ambassador as my reso (i think). Would tightening the batter head give me this bounce im looking for? would having this rubber pad help the sound or tight bounce? is there anything else i should be putting/doing to it?

Help would be greatly appreciated :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
There are numerous ways to setup and tune a bass drum. I am also a fan of tight tuning. I use several different head combinations and I sometimes use a pillow and a porthole. My choice depends on several things such as the music that I am playing, the drum kit that I am playing, the heads that I am using, If I am mic-ing or not, etc. Many factors influence my choices.
I suggest that you experiment for yourself until you find what you like.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
We put a pillow in it before micing up, when i played it ,the skin was really tight and i found it so much better to play, i could feel every hit, i found it very easy to double kick and go quite fast because it was so bouncy. I absolutely loved it and i want to have my bass drum like that.
'the 'feel' of your pedal, beater ...everything, changes with the pillow inside, which I am guessing abutted somewhat against the batter head, thus making it firmer, tighter in effect

in an open unstuffed bass drum, a tighter batter would be required for the same 'feel', and a more open resonant sound, but that may not give you the sound you are looking for.
 

porter

Platinum Member
Was it your pedal? How was the reso tuned? There are a lot of factors here. The taped item should just muffle that head much like the pillow was doing. You could try simply tuning up your batter head, and if you find the kick too high in pitch, tuning down the reso. Or, obviously, increasing your spring tension or switching to a harder beater.
 
nah it wasnt my pedals.
i use dw9000 with just the normal beaters it comes with.

is using a single ply head or double ply head going to change anything?
i have just a regular bed pillow inside mine with a porthole.

okay ill try giving the batter a tune up and tightening it. and tbh i didnt know about using a higher spring tension on my pedals would change the sound :/

i have experimented with having a pillow pressed up on the inside of the batter and i liked it but it just moved all the time, and ive played on kits that have the same effect without a pillow against the batter
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
An Evans EQ bass drum pillow comes with hook and loop fasteners that allow you to secure the pillow where you like it within your bass drum. You may want to try one of those. I own two of them.
 

porter

Platinum Member
nah it wasnt my pedals.
i use dw9000 with just the normal beaters it comes with.

okay ill try giving the batter a tune up and tightening it. and tbh i didnt know about using a higher spring tension on my pedals would change the sound :/
I meant "were you playing on your pedals when you had this experience", which it seems you were.

I was speaking to playability. A tighter spring tension will change the feel of the pedal and maybe get you closer to the feel of that other bass drum.

An Evans EQ bass drum pillow comes with hook and loop fasteners that allow you to secure the pillow where you like it within your bass drum. You may want to try one of those. I own two of them.
They are great!
 
I meant "were you playing on your pedals when you had this experience", which it seems you were.

I was speaking to playability. A tighter spring tension will change the feel of the pedal and maybe get you closer to the feel of that other bass drum.
Haha sorry mate just mis-understood

I had abit of a play around tuning wise last night and might have made it heaps better but cant really tell until i play it properly :)
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Hey Guys,

I've read a few related topics but couldn't find the answer i was looking for.

I played a gig yesterday and used another drummers kit. He had just picked up a beautiful used Truth kit.
We put a pillow in it before micing up, when i played it ,the skin was really tight and i found it so much better to play, i could feel every hit, i found it very easy to double kick and go quite fast because it was so bouncy. I absolutely loved it and i want to have my bass drum like that.
However, it sounded quite normal sounding, or in other words, it didn't sound too high tuned.

The previous owner had a rubber half circle pad taped onto the bottom third of the head. I am not sure if this made a difference to the sound or the bounciness of the head, but help me? :)

I currently have a Evans GMAD head as my batter and a coated ambassador as my reso (i think). Would tightening the batter head give me this bounce im looking for? would having this rubber pad help the sound or tight bounce? is there anything else i should be putting/doing to it?

Help would be greatly appreciated :)
I have a Gmad on my batter and took off both foam rings and tore 13 of the smallest one off and placed the rest in the slot and have my head fairly tight. Not sure where the just above wrinkle started but my drum sounds real bad that loose.
 

ThumperJim

Senior Member
I was speaking to playability. A tighter spring tension will change the feel of the pedal and maybe get you closer to the feel of that other bass drum.
I dont think higher pedal spring tension will get the same effect he is looking to duplicate, as spring tension starts to have effect a considerable amount of travel before the beater strikes the head, and that will just result in leg/foot strain, and, he would have to get used to his pedal again.
A tighter than usual(just above wrinkle) Batter head will not necessarily be a bad thing. I have found that tighter tuning(within reason) actually provides a lower percieved sound on the audience side, due to the increase in resonance.
I say leave the pedal settings alone, and crank the batter head up until you have the feel you prefer. The outer muffling pad as described may be just right to cut down the overtones that may show up, but allowing the un muffled interior space to remain open, will give the full capacity of the drum, and may also increase attack a wee bit, due to the full shell being available to reflect the impact of the beater.
As a reference, Charlie Benante from Anthrax cranks the crap out of his bass drum heads, and has a great sound for the music he plays.
 

JD7

Senior Member
I played a metal fest in the 90s and experienced this same thing with the backline kit. In my case it was an example of the batter being tighter than I'd normally do, plus the firm pillow leaning against a decent portion of the batter head, eliminating much of the travel that the head would have normally had.
 
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