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  #1  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:29 AM
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Default The smaller bass drum

I wanted to throw this out and get some opinions. As some of you know, I did a review of my Sonor Bop kit and love it. What I didn't expect was how much I liked that little 18" bass drum once it was mic'd up and recorded. Most of my life has been spent with 22" and 24" bass drums, and I've settled in on the 20" with my pro kit. But this affordable little kit with the 18" bass drum (being used in a rock context no less) has me thinking maybe I could live with smaller.

I love Bernard Purdie's sound on all the hits, and Peter Erskine played an 18" bass drum with the Jaco Pastorius big band on the live album, Invitation years ago that I just loved. And all that great playing Will Kennedy did with the Yellowjackets I believe was when he went small with his Sonors back in the day. Sometimes I wonder if fate has been staring me in the face and I've just been ignoring it? I do love moving alot of air with the bigger bass drums, and it's nice to hear other things rattle when I slam my big bass drums, but I did notice that on a recording, I really couldn't hear a difference between the little 18" and a bigger drum. If I'm at the point now where I go out and mostly mic up all the time anyway, do you guys think it makes sense to carry a larger bass drum just because?

This is, of course, a theoretical debate designed to go on and on, but I'm seriously considering just jettisoning the idea of the larger bass drum on my next high-end kit and trying it. I suppose I could always just add a bigger bass drum later if I'm not happy with it, but I've never played, say, a Sonor SQ2 18" bass drum. Or other high-end little drums. Maybe it's time I found out why Bernard Purdie always played the 18. What do you guys think?
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:35 AM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I have a kit with a 24"

I have 2 kits with 22" s

and one with an 18"

I use the 18" kick kit more than any kit recently

I get a great sound out of it

you can see the kit here.

a little clip from a cool gig I played on Sat. in one of the coolest rooms ive ever played.

a very intimate atmosphere surrounded by hundreds of violins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOPOq...layer_embedded
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I didn't know Purdie played (or recorded) an 18? Where does that info come from? I've seen pics of him but with larger drums.
I drag my drums out of house almost weekly to a practice studio for my band. To keep things simple, and easy on door jambs and me, I went from a 22, to an 18 (18 x 16 Taye Studio Maple). I have to say, I loved that kick, once I found the right heads and tuning for it. I don't mic, but realized if I did this little thing could pack a punch in any club. Its note was pure. But it could only be tuned so low, and that was one limitation. Like you, I eventually settled on a 20 (Slingerland). That size is perfect for me now, both to lug around, and the punch it gives.
Like all drums, the 18 is fine depending on your application, and even the superior choice in many apps. I definitely see how it works so well for jazz music.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

You know, I've never played a kit that didn't have a 22" bass drum. !4, 16, and now 18" depths, but always the same diameter.

This makes me wonder what I'm missing. I've thought about getting a 24" for my main kit, and considered a 16" or 18" for a coffeehouse kit, but I've never done more than think about it...
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

My 18x14 (Gretsch New Classic) has absolutely no trouble standing up to anything. Then again, we may play very different styles of music. I play mainly lightly amplified jazz/funk/fusion and it can be as quiet or loud with more than enough headroom remaining.

I would have absolutely no troubles considering taking it on a wedding / corporate gig kind of thing either. There's plenty of tuning range on that particular drum to go up or down in tone. If I changed the heads to something more along the lines of a Superkick, I'd be more than willing to bet it's capable of delivering a solid punch if need be.

I'll be getting another 18x14 Gretsch USA Custom within the next several weeks and have no hesitations that it'll be just as killer for my situation as well.

Just my experience anyways...
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
I didn't know Purdie played (or recorded) an 18? Where does that info come from? I've seen pics of him but with larger drums.
I drag my drums out of house almost weekly to a practice studio for my band. To keep things simple, and easy on door jambs and me, I went from a 22, to an 18 (18 x 16 Taye Studio Maple). I have to say, I loved that kick, once I found the right heads and tuning for it. I don't mic, but realized if I did this little thing could pack a punch in any club. Its note was pure. But it could only be tuned so low, and that was one limitation. Like you, I eventually settled on a 20 (Slingerland). That size is perfect for me now, both to lug around, and the punch it gives.
Like all drums, the 18 is fine depending on your application, and even the superior choice in many apps. I definitely see how it works so well for jazz music.
Most of the old photos I've seen with him have him playing old Sonor drums with an 18" bass drum - this would even be during the Aretha years, I'm assuming. But his great instructional DVD has him playing a Sonor kit with an 18" bass drum. And on the Steely Dan DVD about the recording of Aja, Bernard was the drummer they used for the live 'band now' segments and he was playing a DW kit with an 18" bass drum. I keep looking at how I enjoy playing with a band these days and I seriously just love to sit there and groove and not show off as much as I used to when I was in my teens. And over time I've gotten to the point where I'm even carrying my own PA to mic up the drums (Gary Chester advice from his book The New Breed).
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

The only trouble I had w/my 18" was me not hearing it if it wasn't mic'd. My band mates could hear it though. With a mic there's no problem.
There's a wide range of what sounds good and I think you can find that w/an 18". So for me it's all up to the mic.
And yeah, if I have to hump my gear I go w/ less and smaller and less.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I don't even own a 22 inch bass drum anymore.
I have a kit with a 16 x 20, a kit with a16 x 16, and two kits with a 14 x 18 inch bass.
I was thinking about ordering an 18 x 22 for my Mapex Saturn kit that currently has a 14 x 18. I was going to use it as an optional bass drum but I thought about it and I said "Nah"
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

...I am taking my 18,14,12 jazz kit over to a buddys house for what will be our weekly jam.

My 18 is the bass drum that I like the least, but it is perfect for a leave it set up at the jam space kit. This will be another wrists and brushes with a couple of "WoooWoooWooooos" thrown in, lower volume "Honey can you keep it down, Glee is on" thing.

I would much prefer to create a thunderstorm with the big classics.

Barry
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Funny what's happening with bass drums. More people are starting to use smaller diameters, but manufacturers are making them deeper.

AFAIK, 14" used to be the standard depth in a 22 or 24 inch BD. But 14" depth is getting real hard to find, while smaller diameters are getting easier to find.
I would have preferred a 20x14, but settled for a 20x17 on my recent kit..

My older 18" bass drum is 15" deep, but I think most of the 18's available nowadays are deeper than that.
My 18's set up to give a nice thump/thwack. But overall, the 20's got a greater range.

I've got a 22 that I've been working on, but I'm less and less inclined to finish it, because I know I probably won't use it. If I do finish it, It'll most likely go up for sale.


EDIT: my 18 inch BD is 14" deep, not 15 - they've even got me brainwashed now - ha ha.

Last edited by wildbill; 02-21-2012 at 03:25 AM.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2012, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I'm using an 18" more and more often. If you raise it up a little bit, your bass drum beater pretty much hits dead center of the head, which has a great punch.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2012, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Amazing how the Ludwig Club Date really hit the nail on the head with the 12, 14, and 20 configuration. I think the 20 would be the obvious better choice because then I can move enough air and the 14 inch depth would keep it a manageable size. Too bad Sonor won't make a 14x20 unless it's an SQ2 drum. But they do have 14x18's as part of the Prolite series.

But then again, there are a few shops that can get a new Ludwig Club Date for alot less, eh? If I had saved up for a Prolite or an SQ2, I'd have enough left over to add a Black Beauty to it ;)

The 18 still intrigues me though. I was able to have the 12 rack tom on my Bop kit right in the most comfortable position which put the head just about two inches above my snare.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2012, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Another thing that may be the issue is, as has already been mentioned, the depth of the bass drum. Is it really the diameter of the drum we're going after or just the fact that you don't feel as "part of the band" when you're pushed behind the set even farther away because the bass drum is so deep?

John Bonham and Buddy Rich with their 14x26 bass drums probably didn't take up as much floor space as a guy with an 18x22, or 18x20 bass drum, right? It's a shame that not everybody makes the good ol' 14" deep bass drums anymore. They're always a special order or you're getting it from Ludwig ;)
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2012, 04:11 AM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Amazing how the Ludwig Club Date really hit the nail on the head with the 12, 14, and 20 configuration. I think the 20 would be the obvious better choice because then I can move enough air and the 14 inch depth would keep it a manageable size. Too bad Sonor won't make a 14x20 unless it's an SQ2 drum. But they do have 14x18's as part of the Prolite series.

But then again, there are a few shops that can get a new Ludwig Club Date for alot less, eh? If I had saved up for a Prolite or an SQ2, I'd have enough left over to add a Black Beauty to it ;)

The 18 still intrigues me though. I was able to have the 12 rack tom on my Bop kit right in the most comfortable position which put the head just about two inches above my snare.
thats about exactly where my rack tom sits

and being a shorter guy the 18 is very comfortable, even with the lift so I catch the sweet spot
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

One other advantage for us small guys, Matt: It's more proportional without terribly affecting the sound. A kit I play at church has power toms over a 22" kick, and those things feel like I'm playing with my arms over my head compared to my 20". I'm also really intrigued by the idea of an 18" for some of the places in this smaller town I live in. Maybe I'll pick up an 18" in addition to the 20" on the next kit I buy, to have the flexibility.

I loved your video with the Sonors, btw... nice work.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

This thread is sort of timely for me. I just moved my maple kit with a 22bd,10,12,16,18 out of our rehearsal/jam space and put in my Gretsch Cat Jazz.

The room is 30'x36' with word floors and high ceilings. That little kit fills the room beautifully and I love the quick punch of the smaller bass drum.

I'm all mic'd up but to be honest, if I just lean into it a bit more I don't even need the sound reinforcement in a 1,100 sq. ft. room. When we get really loud, I just add a bit to the mix through the PA and it sounds great.

Nobody's ever said that my bass drum has been lost in the mix. I love not just the size and convenience of the smaller kit, but I really like the sound.

When I was stomping on my 22"BD in that room before it always dominated the feel and most times as the night wore on, everyone would just get louder and louder.

Guitar players.. haha
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Drum kit 'fit' is something not talked about much, but I've been thinking about it recently.

Your thighs should be almost parallel to the floor when playing. Any higher and you start approaching a 'standing' position. With your thighs close to parallel to the floor, and your arms bent at 90 degrees at the elbows and parallel with the floor, your snare should be below the hand position.

When sitting in that position with your arms extended straight out, your toms should be below your hands, and you should be able to reach them comfortably while still maintaining a bend in your elbows (not locked straight out).

With some kits I've played, my arms had to be quite a bit above parallel to the floor to play the toms. I can do it, and do it well, but I never realized that I wasn't in my 'physical comfort zone' until I moved to a smaller bass drum, dropped the toms down, and started analyzing the new positions and how much more comfortable they are.

Another benefit is that my snare and toms can be at close to the same height, and I can move between them much quicker without having to have my sticks 'jump the gap' between heights. I like a close, tight, setup, with the snare and all toms almost touching, and I can get that with a smaller bass drum. I still have a small drop to the floor tom, but it's much less than it was.

Rambling thoughts, I know, but I thought they might be worth throwing out there.



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Last edited by wildbill; 02-21-2012 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

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Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
This thread is sort of timely for me. I just moved my maple kit with a 22bd,10,12,16,18 out of our rehearsal/jam space and put in my Gretsch Cat Jazz.

The room is 30'x36' with word floors and high ceilings. That little kit fills the room beautifully and I love the quick punch of the smaller bass drum.

I'm all mic'd up but to be honest, if I just lean into it a bit more I don't even need the sound reinforcement in a 1,100 sq. ft. room. When we get really loud, I just add a bit to the mix through the PA and it sounds great.

Nobody's ever said that my bass drum has been lost in the mix. I love not just the size and convenience of the smaller kit, but I really like the sound.

When I was stomping on my 22"BD in that room before it always dominated the feel and most times as the night wore on, everyone would just get louder and louder.

Guitar players.. haha
So true! There's this lick I always do where I'll hit the tom at the same time while I hit the bass drum (like a double stop between hand and foot), and even with the 20", the bass drum sort of obliterates the tom note when I hear it on the play back. Apparently, the way I play bass drum really makes it like it's not part of the same drum set sometimes. I think Jack DeJohnette was onto something when he came on the scene with his little 16" bass drum. It really was like an extension of his other drums. When he went to 18s, the effect was the same, just a bit deeper.

And then the concept of 'dropping bombs' really got out of control. And when rock n roll hit it was no longer about being felt, but rather bludgeoned to death!
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:35 AM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

ok this thread seem appropriate for this question

as I stated in an earlier post im a shorter cat, 5' 5" with shoes on.

I dont have a kit with a 20" kick

just 24" which is lent to a friend in LA

an 18" that is a Catalina that I use a bunch on lighter gigs

and a Pearl Masters with a 22" that I use for louder rock gigs

heres my question.

on the Pearl I use 2 up 2 down, 10 and 12 mounted each on a cymbal stand meeting in the middle over a virgin kick drum

I like my toms pretty flat ( Carlock-ish set up) and over the 22" kick they feel slightly high and I have to put my seat just a touch higher than I like it to be when playing that kit.


so my question is will the 20 make much of a difference?

where's my short drum brothers at?

I'm tempted to put in the order with my guy at Pearl but want to run it by you guys first
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:42 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

...

Totally there with you on this one, Bo. Same mindset ( except that I dont have one yet ) .

I think if you use your foot a lot, as I do, then a 22" doesnt work nearly as well as an 18" or even a 16". My friend Ranjit who plays with McLaughlin's 4th Dimension is playing a 16" and thats a powerhouse band.

...
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  #21  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

When Peter Erskine joined Weather Report he was playing a 22" because he thought that he would get buried in the wall of sound the rest of the group was producing. Then he tried an 18" on a whim just to see if it would fit with the group, and it did. Wayne Shorter, on seeing the kit with 18" bass drum, said "ah finally! Definition!" or something to that effect.

I love the 18 and would proabaly use it for most anything requiring rehearsal, quiet performance, etc. In my case what happens is: I am very used to not only how 22s sound, but how they feel. I usually just bring a 22 to a rock gig, because I will try to get that feel I get when playing a 22 from an 18,, and it would be TOO much. Like trying to listen to music top volume through the ipod speaker.

Hope that wasn't too confusing. And the best sounding bass drum I have ever played thus far was a Gretsch Jasper shell 14x24. I think it was a SKII batter, it wasn't my kit. But it was and amazing sound AND feel!! Bring back the 14" depths for bass drums!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

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Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post
ok this thread seem appropriate for this question

as I stated in an earlier post im a shorter cat, 5' 5" with shoes on.

I dont have a kit with a 20" kick

just 24" which is lent to a friend in LA

an 18" that is a Catalina that I use a bunch on lighter gigs

and a Pearl Masters with a 22" that I use for louder rock gigs

heres my question.

on the Pearl I use 2 up 2 down, 10 and 12 mounted each on a cymbal stand meeting in the middle over a virgin kick drum

I like my toms pretty flat ( Carlock-ish set up) and over the 22" kick they feel slightly high and I have to put my seat just a touch higher than I like it to be when playing that kit.


so my question is will the 20 make much of a difference?

where's my short drum brothers at?

I'm tempted to put in the order with my guy at Pearl but want to run it by you guys first
At best, your toms will come down just two inches. Is that enough? I'm 5' 1" (on a good day) and with my 20 bass drum, my two rack toms are about 8 inches above that (my second rack tom is a hyperdrive 7x12, so with the hoops it's basically 8" tall). My high tom, although in a comfortable position, means I reach up and out about 5 inches to get to the head. It works, but on that 18 bass drum, my one 8x12 tom is only 2 inches higher than the snare. Fluidity reigns supreme!
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
At best, your toms will come down just two inches. Is that enough? I'm 5' 1" (on a good day) and with my 20 bass drum, my two rack toms are about 8 inches above that (my second rack tom is a hyperdrive 7x12, so with the hoops it's basically 8" tall). My high tom, although in a comfortable position, means I reach up and out about 5 inches to get to the head. It works, but on that 18 bass drum, my one 8x12 tom is only 2 inches higher than the snare. Fluidity reigns supreme!

I think Im just going to go for it and order it

not like it will be any worse then the 22" which is fine, but I think those 2 inches will do wonders

as you can see in the vid I posted early in the thread the 18 on a 2 inch lift is quite comfy so its basically a 20 I guess
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I've played just about everything from a 28" bass drum down to an 18" and everything in between. What I own now are 22" and 20" drums. I won't own a bass drum with a diameter smaller than a 20" because it is not feasible to get anything smaller than a 20 to actually sound like a 20, and for me it's all about the sound. I still enjoy playing the smaller drums, but it is impractical for me to own any.

Dennis
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:55 AM
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I've played just about everything from a 28" bass drum down to an 18" and everything in between. What I own now are 22" and 20" drums. I won't own a bass drum with a diameter smaller than a 20" because it is not feasible to get anything smaller than a 20 to actually sound like a 20, and for me it's all about the sound. I still enjoy playing the smaller drums, but it is impractical for me to own any.

Dennis
I can understand that. My 20 can sound like my 22, but this Bop 18 is just on the verge of not being able to sound like the 20. But with my recent recording I'm re-thinking if that matters to me. That little half of an army blanket dampening the inside and barely touching the batter head, with a Shure SM58 just inside the 4" port in the lower right quadrant is really making me re-think. That and Bernard Purdies' bass drum sound on "Babylon Sisters". You would know if an RE20 would make an even bigger difference, eh?
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I don't want my smaller bass drums to sound larger than they are.
I wan't them to sound like they sound.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I don't want my smaller bass drums to sound larger than they are.
I wan't them to sound like they sound.
This!......................
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
...

Totally there with you on this one, Bo. Same mindset ( except that I dont have one yet ) .

I think if you use your foot a lot, as I do, then a 22" doesnt work nearly as well as an 18" or even a 16". My friend Ranjit who plays with McLaughlin's 4th Dimension is playing a 16" and thats a powerhouse band.
Didn't know that top players ever used 16". Kind of makes me feel legitimised :) Great for low volume gigs, easier to lug and they can be beefed up as much as you like when put through a PA ... (sorry Bob, though Yoda-like you have become, good to beef up a small drum at times it can be).

Just checked out JM's 4D ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NKXW6Q5rcs

Two drummers, two little bass drums, a voice drum solo and scarifying bass. Gary Husband is like Jack and Jan - I can't imagine what it must be like to be world class on both drums and keys. Only on drums ho ho

Abe, your mate plays fantastic legato. Beautiful player. The 16" kick did the job. Not sure how big Gary H's kick was but the sound was more toppy (beater? hitting harder? EQ?).
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:31 PM
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Abe, your mate plays fantastic legato. Beautiful player. The 16" kick did the job. Not sure how big Gary H's kick was but the sound was more toppy (beater? hitting harder? EQ?).
He's living his dream. Imagine playing with the guy you grew up hero worshipping as a kid!

Gary, is a freak. He really is a mastero of two domains. A phenominal composer as well. A completel musician. Most big name drummers are in awe of Gary, and Ranjit is no different. He is totally humbled to be playing drums on the same gig with him.

I think Garys playing a 20"here ( he likes somewhat bigger drums ) here, but these were backline kit for this tour. I've heard Ranjit play his 16" Sonor kick, and once its miced its a cannon.

...
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I really like using my 18" bass drum, especially after I put an Evans EQ3 on the batter side. I am still using the stock front head, but I am considering puting an EQ1 on it. The little bass drum sounds punchy and does not compete with the pitch of the bass guitar as much. The 18" bass drum is a little higher pitched and is a little higher than the tone of the bass guitar, which makes it audible.

I play in a blues/blues-rock band. We play Stevie Ray Vaughan, Allman Brothers, Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Clapton/Cream, Santana, etc. The last time we played kinda loud, I found out afterwards that we should have miced the 22" bass drum I used. If that is the case, I may as well use the 18". At any rate I now have to use it because it is the only one I have.

Peace, love, and blues.
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  #31  
Old 02-21-2012, 03:59 PM
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evilg99 evilg99 is offline
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I have two kits with 16" bass drum, two with an 18" , one with a 20" and one with a 22".
I gig regularly with the 18"'s - wide variety of music (rock, pop, reggae, new country) in ANY venue - small clubs to large ballrooms, outdoor festivals, etc etc, The Always mic'ed with either a Sennheiser MD421 (my fav) or a Shure Beta 52.

I also play the 16" bass drums , more often than the 22". I will getting an 18" for the that kit soon - Yamaha MCAN.

I play the 18" for the same reasons others have said - lower tom positioning, less/lighter gear to haul around, potentially less stage room (if it's 14" deep vs. my 16" or 18"deep kicks) - I find them easy to play feel wise, and - I love the sound I get from my 18" kicks.

It's worth pointing out once again:
Most guys I know that play 22" kicks do not play them wide open, with no muffling at all in them. There is almost always a pillow or blanket in the drum, reducing the bounce and muting the batter head (and reso head) and effectively turning it into a smaller drum. Then a hole is cut in the reso head for a mic, further reducing the 'boom'

I have been experimenting with different head combinations and other things like kick ports and ported reso heads, etc. , and I have found:
With my 16's and 18's, I don't put anything inside the drum (thank you Aquarian SK I), and try to keep the reso intact, but I will cut a small hole (no bigger than 4" although 2" is preferred). This makes it sound punchy and even with a bit of a pitch bend and boom if tuned right. Nothing that I can't do with that bass drum. And, shockingly, it's a cheap drum - Yamaha Rydeen! My 18" Pearl MHP is less fussy about head combos - it sounds good with almost any combo of heads/ports.

One thing that I know many of you have not tried: a thicker resonant head.
The thinking here is less resonance , but more mass, = lower pitch, more sustain. I could be way off with the physics, but it seems to work for me.

Neal
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  #32  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:59 PM
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techristian techristian is offline
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I like big drums the same as I like big speakers. Seems to have more bass. I know they are doing some amazing things with new technology, but I guess , that I'm just getting old.


Dan
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  #33  
Old 02-21-2012, 06:12 PM
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wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by techristian View Post
I like big drums the same as I like big speakers. Seems to have more bass. I know they are doing some amazing things with new technology, but I guess , that I'm just getting old.


Dan


Here's one for ya':

http://www.boulderdrummer.com/html/w...gestdrums.html
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  #34  
Old 02-21-2012, 07:03 PM
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Bruce M. Thomson Bruce M. Thomson is offline
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

You are right, you will get a very good recording with an 18". My kit was Grestch 18,12 and 14 with a ludwig snare for 13 years and should have never sold it. Many other drummers tried my kit who played big bass drums and were amazed by the sound and some even converted to the smaller size.
One thing I reccomend when recording is keep the microphone at 2 to 3 feet away, the space gives the drum enough time to do it's thing essentially, alowing it produce the full deep sound. recording endineers who are not hackers will appreciate a smaller bass drum as well. I now use a 20 and it almost feels like an 18 would still be better but a head change took care of that. I also feel it is a bit easier to control the dynamic range, I still love playing a 22 for the same reason's you mentioned but an 18 gives you a bit more flexability and the deepness is there it becomes a matter of accoustics as to how deep.
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  #35  
Old 02-21-2012, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
I love it !!! "Big Bertha"

Dan
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  #36  
Old 02-23-2012, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post

....I use the 18" kick kit more than any kit recently

I get a great sound out of it...

....on the Pearl I use 2 up 2 down, 10 and 12 mounted each on a cymbal stand meeting in the middle over a virgin kick drum

I like my toms pretty flat ( Carlock-ish set up) and over the 22" kick they feel slightly high and I have to put my seat just a touch higher than I like it to be when playing that kit...

...I'm tempted to put in the order with my guy at Pearl but want to run it by you guys first...

...I think Im just going to go for it and order it...

A couple thoughts: I watched the video, and it looks like you're right at home with the 18. So, I'm wondering why you're considering a 20 over an 18 - availability, flexibility, sound, feel? Or maybe just because you don't currently have one - ha ha.

The way you have your toms mounted, it really shouldn't make a lot of difference. Tom depth, mounting method, amount of clearance required between toms and bass, and bass drum height itself all come into play, when adding up the total height.
Extra deep (or shallow) toms can make just as much of a height difference as bass drum diameter does.

And finally - did you order the 20?



And just for fun: 1958 Style

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4hq3...eature=related




.

Last edited by wildbill; 02-23-2012 at 03:59 AM.
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  #37  
Old 02-23-2012, 06:59 AM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
A couple thoughts: I watched the video, and it looks like you're right at home with the 18. So, I'm wondering why you're considering a 20 over an 18 - availability, flexibility, sound, feel? Or maybe just because you don't currently have one - ha ha.

The way you have your toms mounted, it really shouldn't make a lot of difference. Tom depth, mounting method, amount of clearance required between toms and bass, and bass drum height itself all come into play, when adding up the total height.
Extra deep (or shallow) toms can make just as much of a height difference as bass drum diameter does.

And finally - did you order the 20?



And just for fun: 1958 Style

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4hq3...eature=related




.
the 20 is for a different kit

its a Pearl Masters where I play 2 up 2 down, 10 and 12 rack, I like them pretty flat and they are just an inch or two high

I really feel like losing 2 inches in height will make a huge difference

that Gretsch I only use for kinda lighter gigs
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  #38  
Old 02-23-2012, 10:38 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

Just for kicks today (pun intended), I set-up a four-piece made up of my Pearl EXR's with the 18x22 bass drum. The visual was huge - the sound was huge-r. I almost couldn't handle it after playing that little 18 for the last few days.

It is nice to have all the extra voices you get from the bigger drum, and it's nice not to have to work so hard because of the sheer size of the drum. But I'm still on the fence about it, and ideally I guess you should have both sizes so you can switch back and forth depending on what you want to do.

I watched the McLaughlin video and I think they're both using 18s, but mic'd up I think you get everything you need sound-wise. The good news, since I'm such a small guy (5' 1" on a good day), I don't look so ridiculously huge behind my little Bop kit!

I suppose this is why the 20 is so popular though.
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  #39  
Old 02-23-2012, 11:19 AM
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Mark_S Mark_S is offline
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

It's amazing the difference a couple of inches can make... A 20" is so much easier to lug around than a 22", it just seems to fit through doors more easily..

Sound wise, I like the punch of the 20" and despite it being 17.5" inches deep, it feels faster to play than my 22" XPK, at least I think it does ;-) It also helps position my toms because unfortunately they are power tom sizes (10x9, 12x10). I think 18" would perhaps be going a little too far for me - 20" feels like the perfect size if you're playing a variety of music. I'd like to try an 18" though just for kicks.

The first gig I took the Sonor out on, it managed to convert a 22" drummer - he came up to me after he used my kit and said he'd never considered going down to a 20" until now. I was then even more pleased about getting the 20".
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  #40  
Old 03-18-2012, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: The smaller bass drum

I have two kits; a gretsch catalina club with an 18" x 14" bass drum and a pearl MCX masters with a 22" x 18" bass drum. I have yet to gig with the pearl kit.

However, the gretsch kit, with the 18" bass drum works well for me on the gigs I have been playing. I am using a riser, evans bass head with a muffler ring. I am a large guy and have the ability to project with a lot of power no matter what size kit I play on. I do recommend anyone using the Gretsch Catalina bass drum to use some kind of memory locks on the bass drum spurs. I use hose clamps.

I am the only drummer I know of that broke bass drum beaters (if you know of anyone else, let me know please). I broke the steel beater shafts on ghost pedals. Unfortunately, I still break bass heads once in a while. In the past 4 years I broke 5 bass drum heads (2 in rehearsal studios, please don't tell), 2 snare heads, and only one rack tom head. With my right foot I have a good heel toe technique as well as a fast heel down technique. I can just get into it when needed and forget about the limits of materials I am playing on once in a while.

So, I bought the gretsch kit to be able to lower down my volume, and have been very successful when playing at lower volumes playing jazz and acoustic music, and have been able to project when needed in a rock setting. The other thing about the 18" bass drum, is that it fits in the back seat of my two door compact car.
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