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Old 06-28-2013, 10:38 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Muffling a 20x14 Bass

I have a 20x14 bass drum that I like to tune high for jazz, but low for rock. But it has too many overtones for rock, so I need to muffle it. For some gigs I've rested a blanket against the reso head as a stopgap. I'd really like a better solution.

Would something like an EMAD be overkill? Would it be better on the batter or reso? And would a pillow inside be worthwhile or useless? I don't want to choke the drum out, just make it a little more rock.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:55 AM
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Liebe zeit Liebe zeit is offline
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Default Re: Muffling a 20x14 Bass

Can you actually hear the overtones when the rest of the (rock) band is playing tho?
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Muffling a 20x14 Bass

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Originally Posted by Liebe zeit View Post
Can you actually hear the overtones when the rest of the (rock) band is playing tho?
^This.

The bass drum sounds very different from your position as it does to the audience. Any little ring is good because it helps the drum to project out away from you. If you kill all the overtones, you run the risk of the drum sounding like a stuffed cardboard box to the audience.

If you are miking it, that would be a different situation, but if not, I'd leave a little ring. In fact, a favorite set-up for me is a simple remo powerstroke 3 on the batter side and a full front resonant head (like a smooth white emperor or ambassador weight head) with nothing else in the drum. I tend to play un-mic'd in extremely loud situations so I want as much ring as I can get because I know when it gets to the audience it'll sound good. I may even go back to a black dot head with a felt strip sooner than later.

Ring is good. Embrace it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:20 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Muffling a 20x14 Bass

The EMAD is perfect for taming a kick and defining the punch, but it won't stop the reso head from ringing if you're mic'd.

If you're not mic'd, I'd get a better feel for how the drum really sounds (as mentioned.) Some of my best acoustic kick sounds involved a wide open drum with undamped reso.

On my 14x20, I have a clear EMAD batter, and original Ludwig unported reso, and it sounds great both to me and out front. Any overtones are masked in the music, or should I say become integrated with the music. Drum sounds by themselves are all well and good, but in the context of playing music, those sounds are perceived in a radically different way.

Bermuda
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:30 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Muffling a 20x14 Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liebe zeit View Post
Can you actually hear the overtones when the rest of the (rock) band is playing tho?
Depending upon our playing environment and what we're playing, yes. And the sound guys at our gigs always comment on it.

When the drum is tuned well I actually like the overtones for some songs, but we play some music where I want it to be a bit more 'thuddy'. Maybe the blanket against the reso is the best option for that.

I was watching those Gatzen videos and I'm also kind of hoping that muffling will help lower the fundamental tone of the drum, since it's so small ...
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Muffling a 20x14 Bass

a thud is easily controlled and manipulated by sound guys. I mean that must be partly the reason so many engineers swear by recording bass drums with no reso head.
for my 14 x 20:
Two Ambassadors, 2 felt strips, no pack, tune to taste

We often forget many a 60's 70's rock song was recorded on unpacked, unmuffled bass drums.
I agree, embrace the ring, let it be a 'drum'...give that kick some life.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Muffling a 20x14 Bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
The EMAD is perfect for taming a kick and defining the punch, but it won't stop the reso head from ringing if you're mic'd.

If you're not mic'd, I'd get a better feel for how the drum really sounds (as mentioned.) Some of my best acoustic kick sounds involved a wide open drum with undamped reso.

On my 14x20, I have a clear EMAD batter, and original Ludwig unported reso, and it sounds great both to me and out front. Any overtones are masked in the music, or should I say become integrated with the music. Drum sounds by themselves are all well and good, but in the context of playing music, those sounds are perceived in a radically different way.

Bermuda
This. ^^^^

I have a 14x20 Ludwig bass drum too, which I use primarily for jazz. In that context, I have it tuned fairly high with 2 felt strips on the batter side and wide open on the reso side (original Ludwig head). After a few experiments, that became my preferred method to get the sound I like best.

I've only messed with a rock tuning a couple times. There, I went with a Superkick III on the batter side with a felt strip on the reso.
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