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  #1  
Old 06-03-2009, 07:08 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Bass drum muffling

I've been touring for some time with a jazz/pop group and have decided to change my bass drum set-up. Till now I've done the hole in front/blanket inside thing, because it has low-end, punch and articulation, even when playing very quietly. The thing that's always bothered me is there is tone at all, except what's added by the mic, which I don't use in small clubs.
Well, our last tour included some small jazz clubs with 18" or 20" bass drums, with coated heads and no muffling or holes. I rolled up a towel and wedged it tightly between the pedal and batter head and I loved it! The pressure against the head gave it articulation even at a looser tension, and the unmuffled front head provided a nice tone. I only have one problem: I'm constantly worried about the towel falling out of position while playing it and getting that nasty unmuffled rattle sound in the middle of a song. Does anyone have any advice on setting up in a way that keeps the towel in place? I know this is a shot in the dark, since it's an uncommon muffling technique. It's mostly jazz drummers who do this, but I recommend other drummers experiment with this, especially if you're trying to project in an unmiked situation.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:23 PM
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wolfmoon wolfmoon is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Why not use a pre muffled head?
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:41 PM
TheArchitect
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

I think something like an EQ pad would get you there
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:02 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Thank you for the suggestions, but just to be clear- I've had plenty of experience with all kinds of set-ups, and I am DEFINITELY sold on the set-up I've described. It has the jazz thing- very articulate at low volumes, not too much low end, a natural decay. But I don't have to tune it high to get a quick response. Anyway, I was specifically asking how to make this set-up work reliably.
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2009, 08:07 PM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Could you send us a photo??
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2009, 12:09 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Sounds like a job for Captain Duct Tape!
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2009, 02:25 AM
Drifter in the Dark Drifter in the Dark is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

I saw an ad in the back of Modern Drummer for a product called the Muff Bone. It's shaped like a dog bone to enable it to be wedged securely between the pedal and drumhead. I haven't used it personally, but the company got Jeff Hamilton and Peter Erskine to give it the thumbs-up, so it might be worth checking out. http://store.drumbum.com/skuA-173.html
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2009, 07:55 AM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm thinking good ole' duct tape is the thing to try. The "muff bone" is a good idea, but I think I could go to Petco and get the same thing for less than $20. Plus, if my wife sees "muff bone" on the credit card statement, I'll get in trouble for ordering porn.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:16 AM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric View Post
Plus, if my wife sees "muff bone" on the credit card statement, I'll get in trouble for ordering porn.
Best post of the day! I love it! Ha!
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:45 AM
Big_Philly
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Sounds like a job for Captain Duct Tape!
Agreed. Duct tape fixes anything.
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  #11  
Old 06-04-2009, 02:25 PM
TheArchitect
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric View Post
Thank you for the suggestions, but just to be clear- I've had plenty of experience with all kinds of set-ups, and I am DEFINITELY sold on the set-up I've described. It has the jazz thing- very articulate at low volumes, not too much low end, a natural decay. But I don't have to tune it high to get a quick response. Anyway, I was specifically asking how to make this set-up work reliably.
Bring extra towels.....
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2009, 03:44 PM
rootheart rootheart is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

a tipp:
get some of the very thin plastic foil that people use to cover the floor when they paint their walls .
crumble it to like a big loose cloud and stuff it into your BD through the hole in the reso, such loosely filling all the BD with a loose cloud of the foil..
Use 2 pieces of this foil: a big one to loosely fill the whole BD, and a small one to fine tune the sound up to your taste...
Advandage of this method: It will take all the unwanted boom out of our bassdrum, but it really does not "muffle" it in terms of reducing the volume...try it!
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2009, 12:31 AM
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timmdrum timmdrum is offline
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Default Re: Bass drum muffling

I can't imagine why a rolled towel wedged between the pedal and the batter head would fall sideways out of position...? There are no lateral forces acting on the towel.
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