Originally Posted by TTNW
The rig I played on did not have the kick signal coming back to the ButtKicker from the board. It utilized a trigger on the bass drum that ran directly to the ButtKicker.
Bermuda, how does your help you in playing situations? Is it more about the thump for when you can't hear well or for other reasons?
I'm not sure how triggering
the ButtKicker works. I use the kick's audio send from my mixer with audio, so there's dynamics as well as the vibe of the kick. If it's tightly padded, there's a concise thump, if there's any resonance or decay, that also translates.
The purpose is to use it as a monitor for a very intimate, accurate, and undeniable sense of the kick, which for me is the heart of the groove. I went beyond physical monitors about 10-15 years ago when they simply got out of hand because I wasn't hearing/feeling enough kick. My own monitors were competing with foh, and that's not good. They were blowing everyone else away, except me
. I was too close to actually benefit from the wave the monitors were generating, and smaller more 'efficient' monitors didn't give me enough of what I wanted: to really feel the kick.
Granted, I've been playing some large venues and hitting hard, so the kick has to be the most present aspect of my mix. Not sheer volume, but the 'loudest' thing to me. With a ButtKicker, I pretty much become the kick, and can tell with compklete accuracy how my dynamics are, and where each beat is placed, without clogging my headphone mix further with a loud kick. I do hve some kick click in my phones, and that makes for a very complete kick sensation. Also, I run only the kick in my seat. I don't need to feel the bass or have it make other thumps in my seat when I'm not also playing them. that's a personal preference of course, but that's part of what makes the kick so perfect for me.
I'm sure I don't have to explain how crucial a mix is to one's performance. Imagine playing drums, and even having the tactile sensation of making contact with heads, your foot feeling when the hats close, etc... but you can't hear
any of it. Could you play well? No - you have to hear
what you're playing. Obviously that's an xtreme example, but anything in between a greatt mix and not being able to tell what you're doing is a hindrance to your performance. Because of the kick's lower frequency and generally poor monitor situations, the kick is usually the least-heard of all the drums, so it needs the most help to balance it in the mix. Perhaps I prefer it a bit 'louder' than most, and the ButtKicker has been the only way to achieve that without huring my ears, the ears of others, and the overall mix of the band.
No, it's not for every situation. I don't really miss it in most club situations, because I'm not playing so hard that I can't hear the kick. And yes, a ButtKicker and amp are an added expense. But it's a pro-level piece of gear that's become indispensable to those who demand more kick in their 'mix' for a better performance.