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  #1  
Old 11-30-2015, 01:19 PM
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Default There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

Over the past few months I've rehearsed on different kits in different rehearsal rooms and played on various kits at gigs. One thing that continues to baffle me is the number of times I've sat down to play only to realize that the bass drum head is a flappy load of mush and the beater sinks into it hardly bouncing back. Firstly I think it produces a sound like a pole vaulter landing on a crash mat and second it makes it almost impossible to do quick single footed doubles. Seeing as I've sat down very often at kits with the BD skin so loose, there must be someone who likes it like that. Are you one of these people? And if so, why?
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

I used to because it gives that "clicky" sound us metal drummers love oh so much. But then I realized I wasn't getting any rebound so I tightened it up.
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:58 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

Perhaps with the practice room kits its cos they get constantly hammered all night by loads of drummers, and, like you, no one thought to tune it up cos they thought thats how it was intended. Tune it up to what you prefer.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

I tune my bass drum low, perhaps not as slack as you're describing but pretty low. I like the way it sounds and I'm used to the feel it has. I like the head to have some give. But it's not so low as to not have a tone at all.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

There's a generation of (young) drummers that believes that's how you tune a kick. Same goes for toms. Not sure where that comes from, the days of padded, attack-y, no-decay toms and kicks - the studio sound - were over by the '80s. I doubt that it's a nostalgic thing, though. Most drummers who look back are digging open, more natural sounds.

Guitar Center kits are usually 'tuned' flappy, so it's obvious that the staff is part of that generation. :)

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Old 11-30-2015, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

I saw a bar band one time where the drummer had a nice vintage Slingerland kit. His bass drum was stuffed wit clean (maybe) laundry and the toms were filled with styrofoam packing peanuts. It sounded like he was playing on one of the old hard plastic Simmons kits - with no amplification.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

I'm sure to a jazz player, my drums sound loose and dead. To an 80's metal player, they probably sound like they are tuned too high.

Sometimes, if you have a crummy kick drum and/or head, you have to just work with what's in front of you. Maybe that flappy sound is what sounds good whenever it's miked, or maybe like someone else said, no one has bothered to mess with it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

Have had the exact same experience as the OP in last few months subbing here and there and playing with others' rehearsal space kits. I am forever amazed at how poorly kept and tuned some people's kits are. Sad really. But I always take the time to tune up before playing on anybody's kit.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Perhaps with the practice room kits its cos they get constantly hammered all night by loads of drummers, and, like you, no one thought to tune it up cos they thought thats how it was intended. Tune it up to what you prefer.
I do tune it up to how I prefer and it only takes a minute. I was just remarking on how often (almost always) I find the BD so saggy. I understand that metal drummers like that clicky sound, but you can get that with a clear head and a smooth hard beater without creasing it up. What I've found very often when I sit down at a kit is a sound that doesn't even resemble a drum, more like a wooden ball slamming against the tarpaulin at the back of a coconut shy. Was just curious to know if there are people who really like it like that or as Mikel says, the practice room owner feels that a looser BD head is less likely to break and many drummers aren't picky about their sound and don't bother tuning it up. Some good points guys.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

I always go for flabby and maybe 1/3 full of pillow to! I've been known to stuff my coat into house kits. I like completely dead impact, no rebound at all. This actually helps me control the pedal better at high speed. Also, using a double pedal on a single 'dead' kick is allot easier to gate. Sometimes i'm down to 5ms on the gate, just to pull out the fast stuff. I still REFUSE to trigger. With the right skin tension, gates/comp/mic, clarity isn't an issue.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

I like my head tension like I like booty. Tight but with some bounce.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

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Originally Posted by Malleus Man View Post
I always go for flabby and maybe 1/3 full of pillow to! I've been known to stuff my coat into house kits. I like completely dead impact, no rebound at all. This actually helps me control the pedal better at high speed. Also, using a double pedal on a single 'dead' kick is allot easier to gate. Sometimes i'm down to 5ms on the gate, just to pull out the fast stuff. I still REFUSE to trigger. With the right skin tension, gates/comp/mic, clarity isn't an issue.
Interesting. I must say that I have generally been around hard rock/punk/metal circles over the past year so this could be the reason why I've come across so many loose BD heads. As in most cases, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way, I was just curious to know why I've seen so many loose ones, especially in the last year, so thanks for the insight.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:52 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I'm sure to a jazz player, my drums sound loose and dead. To an 80's metal player, they probably sound like they are tuned too high. .
Amen, as a jazz, pretty much every bass seems low and saggy to me, the same with the toms.

That being said I had a rock guy play my kit once and he though everything was high and had too much bounce. (he also didn't understand why my snare was tilted away from me, but that's for a different thread).
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

I'd imagine that most of the people doing this are just aiming to get a sound that is pleasant to their ears from where they sit, likely not at all thinking of how it would sound under a mic or to an audience. Just ignorance/lack of experience. Most players have been there, myself included.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

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Originally Posted by calan View Post
I'd imagine that most of the people doing this are just aiming to get a sound that is pleasant to their ears from where they sit, likely not at all thinking of how it would sound under a mic or to an audience. Just ignorance/lack of experience. Most players have been there, myself included.
Okay, this is irritating. People who like their drums tuned a certain way do not necessarily "lack experience". Low batter tuning gives punch especially mic'ed up. Experience taught me that a long time ago. Those who like their kick tuned up high, have at it, it's your preference. Why is a different preference "ignorance/lack of experience"?
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:55 AM
calan calan is offline
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Default Re: There must be someone who likes flabby saggy bass drum heads

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Originally Posted by drumdevil9 View Post
Okay, this is irritating. People who like their drums tuned a certain way do not necessarily "lack experience". Low batter tuning gives punch especially mic'ed up. Experience taught me that a long time ago. Those who like their kick tuned up high, have at it, it's your preference. Why is a different preference "ignorance/lack of experience"?
don't be irritated. Most is not all. Low is also a subjective definition. It's not like we're all going off of a specific tension or note.

I don't consider my tuning low, but I know with my preferred Mic and tuning I get a nice fundamental around 75hz and pronounced attack at 4k, which I would certainly consider punchy. I consider low beyond that; where the low end is mushy and undefined, and combines with bass guitar to make mud. Some people go for that on purpose, in fact some of my favorite bands do (electric wizard, windhand, etc), but in my experience, most people I encounter with that sound aren't doing it with I tent, they're doing it accidentally and/or out of context.
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