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-   -   Silly question about kick drum depth (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103651)

beatsMcGee 01-30-2013 10:23 PM

Silly question about kick drum depth
So im am in love with my 24'' kick drums... the feel, the sound, the look etc. The only thing I hate about them is how difficult they are to haul around if they arent really shallow (ie 14'' deep).

Now ive noticed that when a kick drum is shallow, to my ear, it seems to have less presence or "cut" through the mix/song almost like its "weak" sounding. Is that more down to how its mic'ed up, or does the shallow depth really make the drum less prominent because it has less boom. I really like to hear the kick drum in my music.

Im not sure if this makes sense but hopefully someone understands what I mean lol.

KarlCrafton 01-30-2013 11:25 PM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
I have a 14x24 and it always sounds great, but the deeper shells do have more presence within the music. It's more of something you feel in the music, than notice hearing it.
Micing is important, but how the drum is set up is important too. If there are muffled heads, and it's JAW, how's that going to be heard through guitars, bass, maybe keyboards? Goes for toms too, but that's another thread.

I mainly use 26's, and have 16-18 and 2 with a 20" depth. I use the same Coated Ambassador batter, smooth white front on all of them. I don't use pre-muffled heads, they aren't for me. I use a small piece of foam at the bottom of the shell to soak up the sound bouncing around the shell.

The 16 has great sound/feel etc..., but the 18 has that, but more overall presence in the music. It's not 'louder", or, more "boomy", it's just makes everything more full sounding.
I really like this size drum. I also like an 18x24 very much--wish I had one :-)

The 20" depth bass drums have a great balance of tone, punch, articulation of the beater hitting the head, and a full sound. It records easily, and sounds full, but not over the top, where you just hear bass drum over everything. Just a nice balance of boom and punch. It's kind of a "magic" depth IMO.
I like a 20" depth on just about any size bass drum, but it is a pain to carry unless you have a van or truck. The good thing is, I can use the same case for any size 26 I'm using.

bermuda 01-31-2013 12:41 AM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
I dunno, I find greater presence and attack (and playability) in those "shallow" kicks. And I get plenty of low end as well, even in a 14x20. Miking, tuning/heads, floor and room acoustics have a lot to do with the sound of course.

I have 29 kicks ranging from 18-26". 20 of them are 14" deep, and the other 9 are 16". I've never had a problem getting the sound and feel I need without the 'benefit' of the added depth.


opentune 01-31-2013 01:08 AM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
For all other factors the same (diameter, wood type, shell type, edges, heads, room, mic'ed, unmic'ed...etc)........

IMO The 14 depth has more punch, definition, less resonance, shorter decay. None of those are bad things. They help give the bass a 'note' in a mix even if they don't stand out immediately to your ears or win in the loudness game

Greater depths have more resonance, longer decay, so the note lasts longer, is fuller, and the boom lasts longer, but there is loss of definition. Nothing wrong with that either.

I don't own 29 kick drums but having experimented with quite a few, my personal preference is the 14 depth.

IMO a 14 x 20 is great on recordings. Some pretty monstrous sounding drummers used a 14 x 20 (Phil Collins for one).

Aeolian 01-31-2013 07:41 AM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
The fashion or conventional wisdom on this forum is in favor of shallower kicks. It is the difference between focus on the heads or the air volume in the shell. The larger the air volume in the shell (the deeper the shell) the more it's behavior as a resonant cavity dominates. Shallow kicks "speak" predominately from the heads. Deeper kicks resonate as a system. It depends on how the various resonant frequencies of the heads (tuning and head design) work with the shell for a particular sound. Sometimes, one attribute will fight another and you get comments like deep kicks are slow, or shallow kicks have less punch. The trick is finding the combination that works for the sound you are after. Which is also highly affected by the room.

Bo Eder 01-31-2013 07:51 AM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
Alot of old skool hit recordings were made with bass drums that were 14" in depth, so I don't believe the problem is there. How you tune, what heads you use, how you mic, how you play, are all factors in how the drum should sound. I've owned 14" to 18" deep bass drums (now I have two: 16x22 and 16x26) and 16" deep is as deep as I need for practical purposes. When I had a 18x22, it was just too deep and took up too much room on the bandstand and was a pain to load into a car (you definitely need a truck at a certain point in your gigging career). The 16" depth isn't that much deeper so it's easier to handle. I've always like my 20" bass drums to be 14" deep, though. Too long and it looks tubular. My 16x26 looks like a 14x22 on steroids.

beatsMcGee 01-31-2013 01:20 PM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
The debate for me is definitely between a 16 or 14 depth. I have a 24x20 now and it's overkill and a pain in the ass to move. So basically I can get a very prominent bass sound out if a 14 if I just mess with some if the variables.

opentune 01-31-2013 06:08 PM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth

Originally Posted by beatsMcGee (Post 1105641)
So basically I can get a very prominent bass sound out if a 14 if I just mess with some if the variables.

So much of the sound is head choice and tuning.
but 'very prominent' ..... Thats subjective. Ultimately it will be your taste. But as pointed out above, the depth of the drum in effect becomes its footprint on the bandstand, and lugging it around too.

Mad About Drums 01-31-2013 06:15 PM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
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KarlCrafton 01-31-2013 08:45 PM

Re: Silly question about kick drum depth
They need a sliding mount on that bass drum. What a way to cheap out shessh!!
Now they'll have extra holes! Dang!!

It's funny that everyone here seems to prefer the more shallow depth on the bass drum, but, not long ago, when I provided the kit for a benefit, I brought my 16" depth bass drum, and 4 of the 5 other drummers were bummed that I didn't bring the deeper one haha!

I'll agree that for practicality, the shorted depths are easier to deal with for lugging around, and for sure, you CAN get a great sound with a 14" depth drum. I never had a problem with my 14x24.
It's all in what you want for whatever music/group you are playing, and some people just don't care either way.

For one of my bands, the deep drum just doesn't seem "right", so I use the 18" depth shell, and I like it much more for the sound and vibe over the deep one.
I'd use the 16" depth for that band too, but I'd have to change the front logo heads between 2 different bands using that drum, and I'm lazy :-)

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