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  #1  
Old 10-16-2014, 07:08 PM
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Default Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

I have a 22" Yamaha Oak Custom kick that I'm having a bit of a problem with. Some of you guys may know I can get a bit obsessive with drum sounds, and I've been focusing on really refining my kick lately. I feel like I am at a point in my understanding of the craft that I can get just about any sound I want out of any other drum, but that my kicks are always a step behind.

Anyway, so this drum wide open with no muffling of any kind sounds great with PS3 over PS3 with hole. The attack and impact is absolutely perfect, but of course the thump is a little lacking because of the cancellations that happen in a wide open kick drum. There is also a ring happening after the original sound fades that seems to be about an octave above the fundamental. Like the drum goes BOOOOOMeeeeee. I tried a small pillow in the drum, volume diminished, attack muted down considerably, but it started thumping a lot better. However, that after ring became more pronounced. The more I muffle it, the more pronounced the ring gets.

The drum sounds the best wide open, but it needs something to tone it down just a bit without killing all that attack and body. I have tried even placing a small hand towel, folded into a square, sitting in the middle of the drum not touching either head and it STILL sounds too muffled. What's the deal with this?

I also tried using just a small 1' square piece of cloth rolled up and placed on the outside of the batter head so none of the internals of the shell are getting muted. This sounds worst of any of them because it makes that after ring quite loud by comparison to all the others.

Any of you guys really understand the physics behind the kick drum who can maybe help me maximize the sound of this thing?
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2014, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Do you bury the beater? Is the higher overtone present when you don't bury the beater? Is the higher overtone still there with a full resonant head? Depth of bass drum? General description of tuning please. Answers to these questions will lead me down a path that may help you.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2014, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

I do not bury the beater at all. Beaters are danmar hard felts. I also have rubber, wood, and plastic beaters. Ring is present with all of them. The drum does this no matter how I tune it. I tend to tune my batters a bit above wrinkle. Maybe C2 rim note, with the reso up anywhere from a step to a third depending on how much punch vs boom I want.

Drum is 22"x17" Yamaha Oak Custom. Clear Powerstroke 3 batter, Powerstroke Ebony Reso.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2014, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Also, I've never put an unported reso on this drum, so I wouldn't know. While I love the way they sound to me, the drummer, I am a studio guy and need the access the hole provides.

And I just checked the drum. I have both heads tuned pretty close to a C2 at the moment.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2014, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Sometimes the toms that are mounted to the bass drum can resonate and make things sound funny. Just a thought.

The Yamaha oak bass drums are freaking AWESOME, so I hope you get it sorted and love it!
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2014, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

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Originally Posted by SgtThump View Post
Sometimes the toms that are mounted to the bass drum can resonate and make things sound funny. Just a thought.

The Yamaha oak bass drums are freaking AWESOME, so I hope you get it sorted and love it!
Yes, this is very true. Sometimes they have the opposite effect. The toms will make your bass drum sound like it's nice and boomy, but to the mic it's wimpy nothing. My toms are all in their cases for the moment while I sort out just the bass drum.

Another thing is the snare, if your wires are on, sometimes from the drummer's chair, it makes your kick sound like it has more attack than it really has. My kick is currently sitting in my room with 3 mics on it and overhead and room mics up just for listening purposes while I optimize it.

On another note, I tried an Aquarian Superkick 2 yesterday and the exact same ring was still present. Hated the head though and took it straight off. Wide open it sounded like it had a full load of laundry in it. Easily cut the volume in half or more. Ringing was exactly the same though.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

No physics.. just a tip I picked up from a Russel Kunkel interview a long time ago, where he said he uses a strip of 3" thick foam (about 4" wide) laid across the botom of the kick so it just barely touches both heads. Russ is de man!
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2014, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Not exactly a kick drum physics expert, but I do know that oak shells are known for their great attack, and what we perceive as attack are actually higher frequencies. So it seems that the drum itself may be causing your problem. The good news is that there's a potentially easy fix.

You said you're using a clear PS3 on the batter, and these are also known for having a strong attack. With the high attack of the oak shell coupled with the high attack of the clear PS3, it's no wonder you're getting these high frequencies. Since it seems that you like the sound otherwise, I'd try a coated PS3 or possibly even a coated PS4 to tone down the higher frequencies, yet maintain the same overall sound. The coating will add a bit of warmth to the sound while cutting down on the attack just a bit, which should hopefully do the trick.

BTW, I think we share a similar philosophy on bass drum sounds. I keep mine wide open inside, with PS3s on both ends (coated on the batter side, ported on the resonant side), though I've added a kickport to mine. Love having a little bit of boom to my sound, as opposed to the thud that's so prevalent.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2014, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

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Originally Posted by Drum-El View Post
Also, I've never put an unported reso on this drum, so I wouldn't know. While I love the way they sound to me, the drummer, I am a studio guy and need the access the hole provides.

And I just checked the drum. I have both heads tuned pretty close to a C2 at the moment.
As both heads are similar, if you tune them to the same pitch, you might promote a swelling of higher overtone response, especially on a bright low resonant/rigid shell like oak ply. I don't think that's the source, but it certainly has the potential to exacerbate the problem.

The reason I asked about the full resonant head was not to suggest a change, but to exclude the port from the equation. Sometimes, just the specific position & size of the port can effectively "steer" air movement such that a certain higher overtone is engaged/exaggerated.

On a general note, many studio players I know use a full resonant head, with any additional attack element required being picked up from a batter head mic.

Ok, experiments to play with:

1/ Just to exclude/include the port, fit a non ported head if you can & see if the ring is still there. At a push, tape up the hole (not ideal, but enough to note any affect).

2/ Crank the resonant head up about a fifth to exclude the same tuning pitch affect I described above.

3/ Borrow an Evans Emad batter (single ply) & experiment with/without the external dampening ring. Higher overtones usually propagate around the edge of the head. Again, I'm not suggesting a head change, just including/excluding stuff.

As a general point, I'm fairly surprised that a small section of high density foam placed in the bottom of the drum but not touching the heads didn't at least substantially reduce the issue. That fix almost always works on more rigid bass drum shell forms.

I wish I had your drum here, we'd fix it in no time :)
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2014, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Crank the reso head. A tight reso head will tame an out of control bass drum. Tight like a tympani, boing!

A boingy reso head makes for a great kick tone in my world.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2014, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Might well be your head combo is wrong ..... for the sound you desire. You might want to experiment with felt strips across your batter and/or reso. heads. Maybe change the batter to a pinstripe. Or the reso. to a coated head. Maybe a Fiberskyn reso.
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2014, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Check the reso port. The frequencies that come off a port can be out of proportion to the drum head. One other thing, you mentioned a number of ways that you internally dampened the drum, all of which used linen of some sort. Towel and blankets (and pillows) are designed for household use. Acoustic foam (which is designed for acoustic use) is just a really good way to get rid of unwanted frequencies, and FWIW, different types, ie. depths and patterns, absorb different frequencies. Any who, try some kind of port protector to dampen the vibrations and sympathetic frequencies around the hole.

Last edited by The SunDog; 10-17-2014 at 09:46 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2014, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-El View Post
I do not bury the beater at all. Beaters are danmar hard felts. I also have rubber, wood, and plastic beaters. Ring is present with all of them. The drum does this no matter how I tune it. I tend to tune my batters a bit above wrinkle. Maybe C2 rim note, with the reso up anywhere from a step to a third depending on how much punch vs boom I want.

Drum is 22"x17" Yamaha Oak Custom. Clear Powerstroke 3 batter, Powerstroke Ebony Reso.
Lay a towel over ALL your toms and hit the kick. Still hear that ringing? If not, then it's a sympathetic vibration from a tom.
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2014, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

I have a few kick drums, and none of them are physics experts. I can't even get them to do simple calculations.
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2014, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I have a few kick drums, and none of them are physics experts. I can't even get them to do simple calculations.
Because you keep hitting them on their heads?
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2014, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

"On a general note, many studio players I know use a full resonant head, with any additional attack element required being picked up from a batter head mic."
Man that setup is just a beautiful source for a mic to capture. I love no-hole resonant head bass drums.
I had the same thing happen on my 16" Birch floor tom as what the OP describes. Taking a lesson from what Simon Phillips said to do: I lowered the pitch of two lugs on the bottom head slightly. Problem disappeared for me.
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
Check the reso port. The frequencies that come off a port can be out of proportion to the drum head. One other thing, you mentioned a number of ways that you internally dampened the drum, all of which used linen of some sort. Towel and blankets (and pillows) are designed for household use. Acoustic foam (which is designed for acoustic use) is just a really good way to get rid of unwanted frequencies, and FWIW, different types, ie. depths and patterns, absorb different frequencies. Any who, try some kind of port protector to dampen the vibrations and sympathetic frequencies around the hole.
I'm late to this thread, but I want to back up The SunDogs suggestion. Is the port hole in your reso head muffled? Makes a big difference; I run emads on my bass drum and w/out the dampening ring on my reso port it rings.
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2014, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Tried the 5th tuning today. It brought the drum up a little high but seemed to help a little. I didn't try covering or muting the port hole. I'll give that a shot tomorrow. I would like to try a coated batter head as well. How much difference does this seem to make to you guys?

On a side note, are regular ambassadors capable of being tuned lower than the powerstroke? Seems I've always had to tune them a bit high pitch wise before the lugs really start to grab.
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2014, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Noticed today that tuning the reso really really low, lower than the batter, diminishes the ring considerably. You guys may be onto something with the port hole making this noise. I usually tune my reso higher than my batter on everything.


You know how on some kits, you have to fiddle with the tom mounts to get the toms to resonate right, but if they're not resonating, you get this ringing going on that dominates the sound? That's kinda what it's doing.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Maybe it's not really the drum at all but, maybe your mic? Have you tried other bass drums or mics?
I know mics that have had their polars bumped out of phase will "ring" and it's really apparent in low frequencies. For instance if the mic has been dropped or bumped rather hard. Just a thought.

D
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roddy View Post
Maybe it's not really the drum at all but, maybe your mic? Have you tried other bass drums or mics?
I know mics that have had their polars bumped out of phase will "ring" and it's really apparent in low frequencies. For instance if the mic has been dropped or bumped rather hard. Just a thought.

D
Didn't realize you were on this forum Derek. The ringing is audible in the room and in the mics. You can't really hear it too much in the overheads, but I've tried a Beta 52, a 421, SM7, and a D6. Ringing is present in all of them. I even tried different pres to see if one would accentuate it less.

I usually don't have this problem with kicks. In fact I've only ever had one kit give me this kinda thing. It was one of the cheap Gretsch Catalina Birch kits. I actually sold the kit cause I could never make the kick sound good.

I got some pretty good results today tuning the batter around an A1 and the reso at a G1 a half step below that. With one of those little Evans pillows just barely touching the batter. The claws are just barely hanging on at this point. You can make them wiggle if you try hard enough.
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  #22  
Old 10-21-2014, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum physics experts in the house?

Are there things that can stop a kick shell from resonating other than the hoop clamp on the pedal pulling the kick hoop down?
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