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  #1  
Old 03-23-2010, 11:25 PM
conman013 conman013 is offline
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Default A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

To spare myself time and the money required trying out bass drum heads, I thought I would ask a few quesions on here about bass drum heads and muffling. I am in need of some new heads, both resonant and batter. First of all, I have only used Remo PS3 heads. I was thinking about a PS4, but does the extra ply really make that much of a difference? As of the moment I am using two Large Towels as internal muffling along with a Remo PS3 reso (ported) and batter. I was thinking of making the move to using a different style of muffling using foam rings as in the Remo Powersonic, and Evans EMAD, and eliminate the towels altogether, as it looks better, and it eliminates me having to re-adjust the towels every time after moving my drums from gig to gig. My next question is, will the Powersonic or EMAD heads get me the same feel and sound as using the towels? I once heard that they are two different types of muffling that will give two different kinds of sounds. Is that true, or can you achieve the same sound with both types of muffling? Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:26 PM
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drumtechdad drumtechdad is offline
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

The first question you have to ask is whether you play out miked or unmiked, because each requires a very different setup.

For unmiked you need sustain for the drum to be heard. (You hear the sustain at the kit, but the audience doesn't--they just hear a louder drum.) For sustain you need lightly muffled heads (PS3s are good, EMADs usable), no port in the reso, and no muffling in the drum. If you use PS3s, tune the reso a little higher than JAW, up to where the head begins to have some bottom end and sustain. Then tune the batter a smidge higher. If you use severely muffled heads such as the SKs your bass drum will never be heard.

For miked you need more muffling and a port in the reso. (Good and experienced sound guys are adept at miking an unported bass drum, but they are rare. Just port the drum and be done with it.) You can use heads with more muffling built-in. Tune down to JAW and add enough muffling to give you a short thud.

As it happens, I use PS3s in both cases. For unmiked I use them front and rear, no port, and nothing in the drum. For miked I substitute a ported PS3 reso and muffle with an Evans EQ pad on the batter and a small rolled-up towel against the reso.

As to your other questions--IMO and YMMV--I think it's best to add muffling to lightly-muffled heads rather than use severely muffled heads, because you can always remove the muffling if you need to. Also, this way you can add as much or as little muffling as you like. I dislike 2-ply bass drum heads because they rob the drum of too much tone. Finally, the Powersonic isn't a bass drum head, it's a joke.
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:19 PM
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RollingStone000 RollingStone000 is offline
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumtechdad View Post
Finally, the Powersonic isn't a bass drum head, it's a joke.
It's nice to know I'm not the only who thinks that.

Can't complain about the PS3 at all. If you end up deciding that you want a muffled/more muffled sound... use some felt strips going across the diameter of your bass drum.

At a bout 4sec you see on the reso of the bass head (left side facing the viewer) kind of a thick white section running vertically.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMqHqADnREY
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:58 PM
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sqadan sqadan is offline
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

I'll echo what those above have said and recommend PS3 batters for sure... I've been using them as batter heads on anything larger than 20" in diameter for years.

Single ply lightly muffled heads def. give the best bass drum sound to my ears. You can always add additional muffling to taste later on - but if you go with something already heavily muffled - you're stuck with it.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:45 PM
Drifter in the Dark Drifter in the Dark is offline
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

[quote=RollingStone000;680570] If you end up deciding that you want a muffled/more muffled sound... use some felt strips going across the diameter of your bass drum./QUOTE]

I recently installed felt strips on the batter and resonant side of my 20x17 birch bass drum, and I'm really pleased with the results. It has enough tone to be played unmiked, but enough "thump" to sound good in a miked situation (as an added bonus, I don't have to worry about re-arranging a pillow or towel that comes loose during transport). I'm using a Coated Ambassador resonant with a 5 inch offset hole and a clear Powerstroke 3 on the batter side. The clear PS3 is really the best sounding bass drum head to my ear. I've tried the Aquarian Superkick 1 and Evans EQ3, but they didn't perform as well on my drum.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

The best thing about felt strips--other than the fact that you can get a lifetime supply for a few dollars--is that you can adjust the muffling by where you locate the strip: closer to the edge of the head for less muffling, closer to the center of the head for more.
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2010, 05:21 AM
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Jessiah331 Jessiah331 is offline
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

Alright, so I was eavesdropping, because I've decided that it's time for me to up the important parts of my set. I've been focusing on upgrading my cymbals (which isnt 'bad') and neglecting everything else (which IS bad) so I'm thinkin I'm sold on these PS3 batters (mainly because I'm a Remo sucker).

What would ya'll recommend as a reso head though? I'm needing one with a port because I mic my bass almost all of the time.

Thanks!!!
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2010, 03:20 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

Since you are a Remo user....Remo Smooth White or Ebony reso is my recommendation.
A plain, simple head that always sounds good and never has any issues with foam inserts or any of that stuff.

Use a HOLZ for the port and put it where you want it.
It's easy, inexpensive and looks good.
The 4" is large enough for a mic, and it keeps most of the head resonance.
6" if you want less drum resonance and a more flat thump.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2010, 07:34 PM
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HOUSTON 94 HOUSTON 94 is offline
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Default Re: A Little Help Selecting Bass Drum Heads (and a muffling question)

Get a remo falam patch as well.
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