To stuff of not to stuff?

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I did a few searches on this, because I'm sure it's been discussed somewhere, but I couldn't quite find what I'm looking for.

In my past life, when I was giging I always had a pillow in my kick. It stays there no matter what and for the most part sounded like crap, unless mic'd.

I'll be playing outdoor later this month and we'll be running the drums through a PA. I'm currently running an Aquarian SKI on the batter and Regulator on the reso with no stuffing. I really like the open sound and how I can control how much boom I may want on a song. We're playing a mix of tunes 60s and newer, so the kick will have to be dry at times, yet some songs could really benefit from the openness of the kick without stuffing.

Question is, with a PA and a mic through the reso port, is an open kick going to be tough to control? Should I go for a dryer sound and muffle with my PDP pillow, or will I be fine to control the kick as I have been in practice?

There won't be a sound guy on this gig. Once we do a sound check, things will be left as is, unless something unforeseen happens.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I get my best kick sound by doing three things:

1. Put an EMAD on the batter.

2. Take that extra strip of foam that comes with the EMAD and tape it to the inside of the reso.

3. Take out any pillows.

I've done this on three different kick drums, and they all sounded a ton better. The key is EMAD on the batter.

YMMV.
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
I would say yes, definitely.

I expect someone to apply quite an aggressive gate on it to control it. Otherwise you'll be lost in a sea of low frequency overtones.

I'm not an advocate of an open kick drum, in case you hadn't guessed :)
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I get my best kick sound by doing three things:

1. Put an EMAD on the batter.

2. Take that extra strip of foam that comes with the EMAD and tape it to the inside of the reso.

3. Take out any pillows.

I've done this on three different kick drums, and they all sounded a ton better. The key is EMAD on the batter.

YMMV.
That's pretty much what the Aquarian SKI and Regular are. Lightly dampened on the batter = EMAD with extra strip removed and slightly dampened Reso. Nice and deep with no boing!
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I would say yes, definitely.

I expect someone to apply quite an aggressive gate on it to control it. Otherwise you'll be lost in a sea of low frequency overtones.

I'm not an advocate of an open kick drum, in case you hadn't guessed :)
It's the no sound man part that got me to asking. I'm not sure what the PA will be like and what we could do with gating. I may just arrive with the dampening pillow mounted and see how it goes. If too dead, I can remove it. If too boomy....well, guess the bass player won't have to work as hard, but I'd really prefer to just get on and off stage as fast as I can. My stuff is likely going to suffer a terrible detuning due to the excessive heat of the day, so I'll likely be struggling with the snare and toms already!
 

DHA

Member
I did a few searches on this, because I'm sure it's been discussed somewhere, but I couldn't quite find what I'm looking for.

In my past life, when I was giging I always had a pillow in my kick. It stays there no matter what and for the most part sounded like crap, unless mic'd.

I'll be playing outdoor later this month and we'll be running the drums through a PA. I'm currently running an Aquarian SKI on the batter and Regulator on the reso with no stuffing. I really like the open sound and how I can control how much boom I may want on a song. We're playing a mix of tunes 60s and newer, so the kick will have to be dry at times, yet some songs could really benefit from the openness of the kick without stuffing.

Question is, with a PA and a mic through the reso port, is an open kick going to be tough to control? Should I go for a dryer sound and muffle with my PDP pillow, or will I be fine to control the kick as I have been in practice?

There won't be a sound guy on this gig. Once we do a sound check, things will be left as is, unless something unforeseen happens.
The SKI and Regulator should stop things from getting too out of control without needing the pillow.

I'd take the pillow along just in case though.... test it out with no stuffing during soundcheck, and keep an ear on how it sounds (you could ask someone to play your kick and stand in the audience). Different PA setups can perform very differently - depending on the mics, speakers ( especially subs), mixing desk options, etc, you may just decide to put the pillow in.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
In my experience the SK1 is so muted that no padding is needed for any kick.
The 'boomy' bass drum is only ever an issue within a few feet, from a distance it sounds awesome. In fact it works great for outdoors.
 

lildrumr

Member
I'd start with the bassdrum the way you like it best. Bring the pillow or maybe even something lighter, like some old t-shirts. If the unmuffled drum needs some muffling, then start gently and see if that does the trick. Anyway, you won't know until you get there, and the best starting point is with the best sounding drum.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
In my experience the SK1 is so muted that no padding is needed for any kick.
The 'boomy' bass drum is only ever an issue within a few feet, from a distance it sounds awesome. In fact it works great for outdoors.

So true.
Nothing inside should do. Take an old sweater to muffle the reso skin just in case it's needed. When micked ; I only dampen a bit the reso with a t shirt inside so that it doesn't "sing" in the microphone.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Thanks for the tips guys. I'll take a hoody and t-shirt along too. I'm really hoping I can leave the BD open as it is. I love the sound of it and there are at least two songs, where letting the head ring out will add a ton of body to the song, vs chocked. The others I can regulate by burying the beater a bit if I need to.

I'll take the suggested supplies along just in case, but I'm really shooting for full open sound all around without moongel or tape on anything, so I can pull the sound out when I need to. The sightly muffled BD will be perfect, if the PA isn't too boomy.
 

DHA

Member
Thanks for the tips guys. I'll take a hoody and t-shirt along too. I'm really hoping I can leave the BD open as it is. I love the sound of it and there are at least two songs, where letting the head ring out will add a ton of body to the song, vs chocked. The others I can regulate by burying the beater a bit if I need to.

I'll take the suggested supplies along just in case, but I'm really shooting for full open sound all around without moongel or tape on anything, so I can pull the sound out when I need to. The sightly muffled BD will be perfect, if the PA isn't too boomy.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I use muffled heads like the superkick or emad stuff. That's usually all that's required but for recording or sound guys who need it I also have a bath towel (don't forget to bring a towel!) that I'll place against the reso head via the port.
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
I'll take a hoody and t-shirt along too.
Good idea to be prepared for any mic'ing hardships. A hoody should definitely be sufficient to kill any head rumble weirdness.

I use muffled heads like the superkick or emad stuff. That's usually all that's required but for recording or sound guys who need it I also have a bath towel (don't forget to bring a towel!) that I'll place against the reso head via the port.
Yes, the reso head is definitely the one that causes the most problems when trying to get the perfect sound out of a wide open kick, both in terms of tuning and mic position.
 

Rosemarydrumco

Senior Member
The emad sounds like an emad....and there's little you can do to it make it not sound like an emad. For some drums this is great but for others it's very limiting. I like to start with a setup that allows for the most flexibility and work my way backwards with muffling so I have complete control. Coated ambassador front and back on 20 or less and PS3 batter with single ply reso on 22 and up. Rolled up towels touching each head if needed
 
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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
The emad sounds like an emad....and there's little you can do to it make it sound like an emad. For some drums this is great but for others it's very limiting. I like to start with a setup that allows for the most flexibility and work my way backwards with muffling so I have complete control. Coated ambassador front and back on 20 or less and PS3 batter with single ply reso on 22 and up. Rolled up towels touching each head if needed
Maybe they stopped doing this, but my emads have the dampening rings in a little plastic holder so they can be easily removed.
 

Tone Laborer

Senior Member
With the Aquarian SK/Regulator combo, I found one old tee shirt to be perfect. Against which head, that seems to vary as the heads have settled in.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
We're playing a mix of tunes 60s and newer, so the kick will have to be dry at times
Who says that? Play whatever you like and think fits the music. I play 60's and 70s songs with an unmuffled 22x16 bassdrum, no holes, whatsoever. Just a front head a batter head, some good tuning, that's it. Nobody ever complained.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Who says that? Play whatever you like and think fits the music. I play 60's and 70s songs with an unmuffled 22x16 bassdrum, no holes, whatsoever. Just a front head a batter head, some good tuning, that's it. Nobody ever complained.
Good to know. Since it's a mix of songs, I'd prefer to control the boom manually and keep the kick open. We'll see what it all sounds like when I get there. Hopefully not too boomy through the PA.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
So, I ended up having a hoodie and towel, etc. handy for the BD, but the biggest issue were the other drums. The board didn't have gates, so the toms and snare were the ones I had to work with. I figured my Mapex Sledgehammer would be the best candidate for an outdoor venue, so that's the one I went with. That snare isn't as dry as my Starphonic Bubinga, but the mic made it sound like a timbale at first. I've always played that one open, but a piece of moongel on that one and the sound guy and I were both happy. I was kinda surprised that the toms were a tad pingy too. I wasn't hearing it on stage, but a piece of moongel balanced between the rim and head and there was very little difference in sustain, but the ping was gone there too.

For the second night I backed out each lug maybe a 16th of a turn each and the ping was gone, so something with that environment that needed a tad of attention, but worked out nicely. Initially the sound guy wanted to put gaphers tape all over everything, but there was no way I was having any part of that. Adhesive anything on drumheads in temps of 107 F. would be an absolute mess...I told him to just give me a few minutes and things settled down nicely. Glad I figured that one out. That could have been ugly!

BD sounded nice. Solid and deep, so while this thread was originally about the BD, it ended up being the least problematic of all.

A couple of additional points...The Sledgehammer is freaking loud, even outdoors. Nothing seems to deaden that snare at all. This was also the first time I'd played my HHX Evolutions live, much less outdoors. They worked out better than I expected. They weren't quite as dark in this environment, but certainly not bright either. What I was most impressed with though, is how well they worked out for the lighter, quieter songs. They open up super easy, so they always had their voice without me having to work too hard for them.

Thanks all for chiming in on this thread earlier. It definitely helped to be prepared. :)
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Did you let somebody else play your kit to be able to figure it out from the audience point of view ?
It's always tricky ; I played on a nice stage last week, great sound from my player point of view, but people complained a bit about overall balance, and a friend of mine told me my drums sounded "muted" which was good - to him - but not to me ! Bass drum almost empty (T shirt against front head), G1 clear on toms, G1 on snare, absolutely no moon gel !!! I was really surprised. He also told me my 13" tom sounded like a 16" and my 16 sounded like a 18" :: Better :)
 
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