DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Gear > Drums

Drums All about Drums and Drum Kits

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:50 PM
Bob Giunco Bob Giunco is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 59
Default Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

So I just got my brand new Gretsch Brooklyns (2 months earlier than expected :). It's got a 22 X 18 kick that's got just about the sweetest thump you've ever heard. Right now, it has no pillow or muffling inside, and I think it sounds great.

However, our sound guy wants me to put a small pillow inside. He says the drum sounds great, but its a little too boomy and e-qy through the mic. I have an Aquarian super kick 2 on it.

So...pillow or no pillow?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:16 PM
joshvibert's Avatar
joshvibert joshvibert is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oakwood, GA
Posts: 299
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

If you're working your band in a bunch of different venues, you need to be easy to work with. A sound man is there to do his job just like you are. Now, you can piss him off and he can make you sound like crap or you can be pleasant to work with and he can make you sound amazing.

The next thing is getting over the whole "my tone" thing a little bit. I'm not saying you can't have your drums tuned like you want to an extent, but kick drums can play havoc, especially when close mic'ing them. I did what you're talking about a few years ago and had the whole "no muffling in my drums" ideology. I played a live outdoor festival where one sound guy was churning through about 10 different bands, all with their own drummers with their own kits. I was running my 18 x 22 Session maple kick wide open with a Superkick I batter and a Regulator reso. Those are muffled heads and I theoretically shouldn't have needed anything in the drum, but dude stuck his mic in the port and said he was getting tons of overtones. It's my job to play the drums, not to argue with the sound guy about mic placement. Even so, I was a little irritated and basically backed both batter and reso of the kick down to wrinkles to get rid of the overtones. Here's what I learned from that and a subsequent studio session: I have a 12" long piece of 2" x 2" foam weatherstriping with some adhesive-backed velcro sitting inside my kick against the batter head. I'm able to have my batter at a tension that allows me more play-ability and the foam kills the overtones for close-mic'ing situations. If I need more tone out of the drum, I just reach in the port and adjust how much of the foam is touching the head, or remove it all together.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:35 PM
KarlCrafton's Avatar
KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 4,507
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

My bass drum heads (Coated Ambassador) are pretty open, and I don't use the pre-muffed heads.

What I DO have in the bass drum is a 1" thick piece of POLYFOAM siting at the bottom of the shell. It's as long as the screws spur to spur--just sat there well, and was held in place a little by the screws, no other reason than that.
I use strapping tape to hold it in place. That's the tape with the string in it. It sticks well to the foam, but, it doesn't leave any marks on the shell.
It barely touches the reso head, and is cut 2" shorter than the batter.

POLYFOAM isn't quite as spongy as Memory foam, but it's spongier than regular foam.
It's only a couple bucks per piece at the Foam Factory outlet near me.

This stuff stops the sound bouncing around, and it's very fast getting a sound on the drum in every venue I've played since I started using it (going on 15 years or so).

With the pre-muffed heads you are using, just some foam in the shell to stop the excess (that we don't hear behind the drum) sound bouncing around, you'd be happy with the results.

If you can't get ahold of any foam, a DW, or similar, pillow at the bottom of the shell (not touching the heads if you don't want it to) might work too.
__________________
My band Artificial Agent here: http://drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116637
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:38 PM
Bob Giunco Bob Giunco is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 59
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Thanks, good advice. Totally agree with working with the sound man (and ours is really good). I was just a little bummed because I liked the sound without the pillow.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:44 PM
KarlCrafton's Avatar
KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 4,507
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

The stuff Josh talked about reminds me of those old Dead Ringer foam rings.
I used one of those on my bass drum back in the day. I liked those better than the way heads are muffled today.
When the foam ring was on the head about an inch from the edge, they sound more natural than just a dead thud like most of the muffled heads do to me these days. You got the muffling benefits, but you still got a nice balance of attack, tone, and punch.
__________________
My band Artificial Agent here: http://drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116637
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-02-2013, 05:27 PM
risewiththefallen risewiththefallen is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 167
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I use a poeerstroke 3 batter with a Evans pillow and a regular pillow in my kick. Idk why but i actually prefer the feel of a kick with pillows in it. When there wide open i can't hit the speeds i need to hit.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-02-2013, 05:28 PM
AirborneSFC's Avatar
AirborneSFC AirborneSFC is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Germany (Bavaria)
Posts: 987
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I use a tiny pillow. At most it contacts maybe one drum head. I noticed that even throwing in a towel or t-shirt in the middle of the bass drum just helps get rid of some overtones that creat a lot of issues for sound guys live. Most sound guys dont' want to make you sound bad so I tend to trust them for the most part unless you are playing some terrible venue.

Once I even used some moon gels to help and it sounded great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAwP7zEw3TI <--- the t-shirt thing explained here
__________________
Spiralfire
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhdcpleTKlI
Poison Anthem
Session Work
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-02-2013, 05:51 PM
Ian Ballard's Avatar
Ian Ballard Ian Ballard is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 734
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Unless I'm working a session where it's "required", I put nothing in my bass drum for a couple of reasons.

For one, my philosophy of "what goes for the hands, goes for the feet" applies to my drums as well. I don't stuff my toms or my snare drum, so I don't really see the point in stuffing things in my bass drum, when I prefer "muffling" that comes from the heads, not stopping air movement in the drum. Where my philosophy becomes inconsistent is the fact that I do muffle the bass drum significantly, however.

I use an EMAD front head with the largest foam ring for most things. Occasionally if I need a more "Bonham" tone, I take the ring off. The front head is a stock coated Tama head with a tone ring like a PS3. It's got a 4" offset hole and a KickPort installed (you gotta get one!!!) so it's also muffled quite a bit but not to the point of being dead. I generally tune the heads to the lowest tone the head makes a resonant "boom" and the reso head gets a 1/4 turn more. That's it! I get a thick, low, punchy tone that allows the shell the breathe and the air to move freely. I've never had any complaints about the sound from the dozens of engineers I've worked with.

I also like the feel of an open bass drum. The head "gives" just right. When I play bass drums with pillows and stuff in them or even a small EQ pad, something just doesn't feel right. I think, to me, the drum shell needs to resonate. Stick something inside and it stops. I don't even mount my stickbag on the floor tom anymore because I notice a SIGNIFICANT decrease in shell resonance. Poeple often underestimate the tone that comes from the shell. They think the heads are it! Bang on your floor tom open, then put your legs around the drum tightly and play it again.... you'll notice.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-02-2013, 06:52 PM
CalebL721's Avatar
CalebL721 CalebL721 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Kirvin, TX
Posts: 57
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I don't put anything in my bass drum, but it's a 20x14. I tuned it to a very soft sound with no muffling.
__________________
Say girl
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-02-2013, 07:01 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 608
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Giunco View Post
So I just got my brand new Gretsch Brooklyns (2 months earlier than expected :). It's got a 22 X 18 kick that's got just about the sweetest thump you've ever heard. Right now, it has no pillow or muffling inside, and I think it sounds great.

However, our sound guy wants me to put a small pillow inside. He says the drum sounds great, but its a little too boomy and e-qy through the mic. I have an Aquarian super kick 2 on it.

So...pillow or no pillow?
Congrats on the drums - great kit! I say zero pillow. Do you bury the beater? IMO go with the sound and feel that you like... Speaking of Gretsch Bklyns - I often see Keith Carlock at a small local club, and his kik is always wide open and it sounds great - the sound man mics it up and it's no problem.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-02-2013, 07:08 PM
Les Ismore's Avatar
Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Location, Location!
Posts: 3,766
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

our sound guy wants me to put a small pillow inside. He says the drum sounds great, but its a little too boomy and e-qy through the mic. I have an Aquarian super kick 2 on it.

Foam laying on the bottom, doesn't need to touch the heads w/AQUARIAN SK2 on.



For one, my philosophy of "what goes for the hands, goes for the feet" applies to my drums as well.

So do you play barefoot right, or wear gloves?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-02-2013, 07:13 PM
joshvibert's Avatar
joshvibert joshvibert is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oakwood, GA
Posts: 299
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
The stuff Josh talked about reminds me of those old Dead Ringer foam rings.
I used one of those on my bass drum back in the day. I liked those better than the way heads are muffled today.
When the foam ring was on the head about an inch from the edge, they sound more natural than just a dead thud like most of the muffled heads do to me these days. You got the muffling benefits, but you still got a nice balance of attack, tone, and punch.
Yeah, it's similar, but nowhere near the amount (all the way around the heads like the Dead Ringers). Here's a pic where you can sort of see it in my Pearl MCX kit @ church:


IMG_2511 by ASH556, on Flickr
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-02-2013, 08:05 PM
Bob Giunco Bob Giunco is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 59
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelius View Post
Congrats on the drums - great kit! I say zero pillow. Do you bury the beater? IMO go with the sound and feel that you like... Speaking of Gretsch Bklyns - I often see Keith Carlock at a small local club, and his kik is always wide open and it sounds great - the sound man mics it up and it's no problem.
Thanks. So far I looove my Brooklyn's. Very warm sounding drums, but with lots of thump too. Can't tell any discernible difference between the Brooklyns and USA Customs.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-03-2013, 12:51 AM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: central Louisiana
Posts: 1,940
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I keep an Evans EQ Pad sitting in the bottom of my bass drum, but it does not touch the heads, which are already muffled. The pad in the bottom absorbs the overtones bouncing around inside of the bass drum. Peace and goodwill.
__________________
Mark Wellman

Gretsch Catalina toms and BD / Pacific SX Series (snare) / Sabian / Evans / Vater
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-03-2013, 12:57 AM
mmulcahy1's Avatar
mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: 35.08 N, 106.65 W
Posts: 792
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Try a felt strip (2 - 3 inches wide) on the reso head. It will help you keep your sound and the sound engineer will be happy, too.
__________________
Gretsch Catalina Maple Drums / Ludwig Acrolite & Supraphonic Snare Drums / Sabian Cymbals
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-03-2013, 01:10 AM
Bo Eder's Avatar
Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,126
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Giunco View Post
So I just got my brand new Gretsch Brooklyns (2 months earlier than expected :). It's got a 22 X 18 kick that's got just about the sweetest thump you've ever heard. Right now, it has no pillow or muffling inside, and I think it sounds great.

However, our sound guy wants me to put a small pillow inside. He says the drum sounds great, but its a little too boomy and e-qy through the mic. I have an Aquarian super kick 2 on it.

So...pillow or no pillow?
That depends. Sounds like you and your sound guy need to come to a concensus.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-03-2013, 01:12 AM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 16,245
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumolator View Post
I keep an Evans EQ Pad sitting in the bottom of my bass drum, but it does not touch the heads, which are already muffled. The pad in the bottom absorbs the overtones bouncing around inside of the bass drum. Peace and goodwill.
This is a great answer for those seeking maximum tone whilst soaking up those unwanted reflections. Actually, you'd be surprised just how little material is necessary to produce a result. A good material to use is closed cell neoprene. A 1/2" thick piece about 6" square is often enough to augment even the most errant beastie :)
__________________
This message is brought to you courtesy of Thinly Veiled Productions inc.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-03-2013, 01:52 AM
Ian Ballard's Avatar
Ian Ballard Ian Ballard is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 734
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

For one, my philosophy of "what goes for the hands, goes for the feet" applies to my drums as well.

So do you play barefoot right, or wear gloves?[/quote]

I assume sarcasm here. Don't like gloves but I do occasionally play barefoot. Amazing how it helps control when you put shoes back on. I also don't often hit my bass drum with a stick or my drums with a bass drum beater. I'm referring to basic concepts here, goofball. ;)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:15 AM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 13,191
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Soundmen who can't deal with an unported reso head and zero muffling...I just want to shake them. You back the mic off a little from the reso head and mic it somewhere that's not too close to the middle of the head. Sheesh.
__________________
Now go fetch your shine box like a good little Wumpus.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:29 AM
Ian Ballard's Avatar
Ian Ballard Ian Ballard is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 734
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Soundmen who can't deal with an unported reso head and zero muffling...I just want to shake them. You back the mic off a little from the reso head and mic it somewhere that's not too close to the middle of the head. Sheesh.
Yeah. I use a KickPort and the whole point of the thing is to "tune" the air coming out like a port on a subwoofer box. If you stick a mic in the hole, it kinda defeats the purpose of the thing. This sound dude was doing just that I explained that you don't get the best tone out of it and he got all shitty and had the nerve to question my understanding of MY OWN MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. He even claimed that the bass mic would pick up too much outside noise and I said, "It's a CARDIOID MIC... the polar pattern only goes forward." He finally conceded... then later said, "Dude, that's probably the best kick sound I've heard in a while... you were right!".

Sheesh!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:47 AM
Bo Eder's Avatar
Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,126
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Ballard View Post
Yeah. I use a KickPort and the whole point of the thing is to "tune" the air coming out like a port on a subwoofer box. If you stick a mic in the hole, it kinda defeats the purpose of the thing. This sound dude was doing just that I explained that you don't get the best tone out of it and he got all shitty and had the nerve to question my understanding of MY OWN MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. He even claimed that the bass mic would pick up too much outside noise and I said, "It's a CARDIOID MIC... the polar pattern only goes forward." He finally conceded... then later said, "Dude, that's probably the best kick sound I've heard in a while... you were right!".

Sheesh!
At least you got that much out of him. Most 'sound guys' remain surly and indignant ;)

(I can say this as I am one of those surly and indignant sound guys).
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 04:26 AM
jackie k
This message has been deleted by jackie k.
  #22  
Old 07-03-2013, 05:07 AM
audiotech
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie k View Post
as far as your sound man is concern, just in mike the bass drum or tune the boing sound out of them. Natural drum resonance from your drums is the goal, that's why they all sound different.
This would work OK if involved in a much unplugged acoustical situation, but if the bass drum is basically the only drum that's not mic'd and is competing against half stacks and keyboard amps, it will sound a bit anemic in my opinion.

To answer the question, I don't use any pillows in my bass drums. If they need a bit of sound shaping I'll go as far as using an Evan EQ4 batter head or a piece of felt of the correct width across the bass drums resonant head.

Dennis
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 05:21 AM
jackie k
This message has been deleted by jackie k.
  #23  
Old 07-03-2013, 06:40 AM
audiotech
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie k View Post
I have played live in a club, everything mic. My bass drum was too much for the PA, kept suppressing the board, unplugged the bass mic, kept everything else mic, the band and music sounded ok. It all depends on the acrostics of the room you are playing.
Wouldn't the same exact room acoustics prevail for the rest of the band and vocalists, especially the bass player? In my experience, the bass drum would be the first instrument to get lost in the shuffle primarily because of its low frequency content. As far as suppressing the board, what exactly do you mean? Are you talking about overloading the board as in clipping the signal from the bass drums microphone or didn't your sound person know how to correctly gain stage the console so that he could then be able to properly ride or attenuate the bass drums signal? I'm not quite sure of what you're talking about, I'm sort of new at this.

It sounds as if the problem was with the person controlling your sound. Maybe he was using the wrong equipment because in my opinion, a gig sounding OK is a far cry from sounding great.

Dennis
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-03-2013, 09:31 AM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 16,245
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
It sounds as if the problem was with the person controlling your sound.
Absolutely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
I'm sort of new at this.


Dennis
Behave yourself Dennis ;) ;) ;)
__________________
This message is brought to you courtesy of Thinly Veiled Productions inc.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-03-2013, 09:56 AM
poika's Avatar
poika poika is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 484
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I don't really get why it's ok for guitar players to put their instrument through a stack full of effects to get a signature sound and tone but not for a drummer to shape the sound of his / her instrument by altering the sound of the bass drum. Where did this "the purer the better" mentality come from?


It's not better or worse, it's just different, and it all really depends on the gig. There are musical situations where a muffled / ported head will sound a lot more appropriate and vice versa.

And I for one in general actually prefer the punchy bass drum sound of the 70's over the more boomy sound of the 60's.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-03-2013, 10:05 AM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 16,245
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poika View Post
I don't really get why it's ok for guitar players to put their instrument through a stack full of effects to get a signature sound and tone but not for a drummer to shape the sound of his / her instrument by altering the sound of the bass drum. Where did this "the purer the better" mentality come from?


It's not better or worse, it's just different, and it all really depends on the gig. There are musical situations where a muffled / ported head will sound a lot more appropriate and vice versa.

And I for one in general actually prefer the punchy bass drum sound of the 70's over the more boomy sound of the 60's.
I don't think it's a preference thing. Certainly, the comments about some sound guys relates to a lack of choice being available to the drummer. There can be stage difficulties related to mic'ing an open bass drum, especially on a loud & crowded stage, but most are easily overcome if the sound engineer knows his stuff. Regrettably, many have but one default method & become confused or even dismissive/aggressive/uncooperative if that method isn't welcomed.
__________________
This message is brought to you courtesy of Thinly Veiled Productions inc.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-03-2013, 10:27 AM
poika's Avatar
poika poika is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 484
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

My comment was more or less aimed at the forums.. I sometimes feel the approach is slightly, ummm, elitistic even, towards the bass drum muffling issue :)

The general rule of thumb seems to be that having a non-ported reso head with no muffling - other than maybe felt strips - is THE right thing to do, and if you are cutting a hole or putting pillows in then you are taking away from the sound. Which I really dont think is the case.

I just think it's funny, because ever other instrument is usually processed to sound way different when coming out of the pa or mixing console, but for some reason people think that the drums should sound exactly as they are.

Looking at pics from any kinds of recording studios, I usually see a lot of gaffer tape on the snare, moon gels on the toms etc..
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-03-2013, 10:44 AM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 16,245
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poika View Post
My comment was more or less aimed at the forums.. I sometimes feel the approach is slightly, ummm, elitistic even, towards the bass drum muffling issue :)

The general rule of thumb seems to be that having a non-ported reso head with no muffling - other than maybe felt strips - is THE right thing to do, and if you are cutting a hole or putting pillows in then you are taking away from the sound. Which I really dont think is the case.

I just think it's funny, because ever other instrument is usually processed to sound way different when coming out of the pa or mixing console, but for some reason people think that the drums should sound exactly as they are.

Looking at pics from any kinds of recording studios, I usually see a lot of gaffer tape on the snare, moon gels on the toms etc..
Yes, you're correct. There can be an "elitist" sort of vibe regarding fully open drums, but it's not deep seated, & there's certainly credibility in the tone reduction observation. Essentially, there's two approaches to recording or live drums. 1/ remove all overtones & build it up from the outboards/EQ, etc, or 2/ get the drums themselves sounding as good as possible, then capture that sound faithfully. Method 1/ is the most commonly used, as it's easier to achieve a consistently good sound, & places total control at the desk.

In a live reinforcement situation, & especially in multiple band gigs, most engineers go for method 1/ as they often can't rely on the drums sounding good acoustically, & time is short. Personally, I go for method 2/. I find it delivers a much more satisfying result, & I can rely on myself to present those drums sounding good at the gig. Minimal EQ required too. For live sound, we run the desk flat.

Within those two methods, you can go for any sound you want. It's perfectly viable to go for a heavily muffled & ported bass drum, but still leave the other drums fully open, so long as the kit is well tuned.

Recordings too. All of our drum recordings are fully open, & there's an increasing (but small) number of studios/producers going this route.
__________________
This message is brought to you courtesy of Thinly Veiled Productions inc.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07-03-2013, 11:00 AM
poika's Avatar
poika poika is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 484
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Actually I'd say I'd go for method 2 also. Even tho I slightly muffle my bass drum, I usually go for the overall sound of the kit sounding good from the go.

I've been recording my playing with just one mic, I find it teaches you a lot of being your own mixing table and getting the dynamics right.

I just read a great article yesterday about the Daptone studio and Gabriel Roth, he records the drums just with one or two mics and he had some really good thoughts about recording drums in general.

It's a good read
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun0...es/daptone.htm


"One of the big problems with modern engineering is everyone telling everyone else how they put this microphone here and another there, and you have to use this condenser for overheads and this large-diaphragm condenser for the kick, and so on. Once it becomes a formula, people stop using their ears."
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:06 PM
Dre25's Avatar
Dre25 Dre25 is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 3,132
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Ppl on this forum scoff at pillows but I wonder what they actually play that they don't need the clarity or head response. I doubt they would be double kick players.

I can't stand Keith Carlocks kick sound. I like a solid thud.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
please do not take this advice for it is among the worst given
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:20 PM
SgtThump's Avatar
SgtThump SgtThump is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 1,395
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie k View Post
I have played live in a club, everything mic. My bass drum was too much for the PA, kept suppressing the board, unplugged the bass mic, kept everything else mic, the band and music sounded ok. It all depends on the acrostics of the room you are playing.
If I could only mic a single thing (after the vocals), it would be the bass drum.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:35 PM
Bob Giunco Bob Giunco is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 59
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poika View Post
I don't really get why it's ok for guitar players to put their instrument through a stack full of effects to get a signature sound and tone but not for a drummer to shape the sound of his / her instrument by altering the sound of the bass drum.
Agree 100%.

Thanks for your comments everyone, very insightful. Gonna first try to tune them without resorting to any other measures. If that doesn't work, may try those felt strips on the reso head before going to a pillow.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 07-03-2013, 05:14 PM
KarlCrafton's Avatar
KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 4,507
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I don't think you need felt strips on the heads.
It may be a little in your tuning, or tensioning, but I don't think it's the heads causing the issue. You are already using a dampened head. It's already giving you a great thump, and a sound you like.

Put something at the bottom of your bass drums shell to cancel out the sound from bouncing all over. A towel, or a pice of foam is not going to alter what you hear, or the action you like from the pedal on the head. It will stop unwanted overtones from building up and causing problems for the FOH person.

There has been a bit of a trend over the last year or so, where it seems "cool" and people like to say "I have nothing in my bass drum". Maybe I am reading it wrong?

I don't see what the big deal is in having something inside the drum. Like it's "un-pure" or something. No one is talking about STUFFING the drum with anything--THAT is awful. had to play a bass drum like that once. It's the WORST....

I use a 26" bass drum. My bass drum depth on gigs range form 16 to 20" deep. I use a single ply head. It's an open sound. The foam at the bottom of the shell and my outside (small) muffler has the head sounding LESS muffled than felt strips do, but I've NEVER had a sound person ask, or feel like they need more muffling on my bass drum.

Not in smaller rooms, not in bigger theaters (1000+), not at the 18,000+ outdoor sheds.

The sound they get is solid, not overly boomy, and it doesn't take any real time to dial it in at all. I use a 4" hole on the reso side which is either CA or Smooth White single ply head.

The OP's, and a lot of others bass drums are only 22", so it should be even easier to get a great, workable sound, with any head you want.

The ONLY time I have seen a FOH have trouble with a bass drum is when the drummer has nothing at the bottom of the shell.

For example, my band did a show with Poison (one of the times at the 18,000+ venue), and the bass drums had a Super Kick 1 or 2, nothing in the shell, and a ported front head. It took over 10 minutes to dial the over ringing boing out of them. This was a pro sound guy doing FOH. He and his crew were REALLY good (and cool dudes too).

My bass drum took all of 30-35 seconds, and RR's tech said my snare sounded perfect after hitting it 3 times (of course, it's a BB :-) ). He works with some other big name drummers as well. Great guy.
The sound coming out of the mains was amazing.

Here is my muffle, which I can adjust by reaching down. It's just a tube sock with lightwieght material rolled inside (AKA: FREE) :



Here is a pic of the bass drum I use live. It's the same kit, at the same venue as the Poison gig, a couple months later playing a show with Alice Cooper.

If you look close at the bottom of the bass drum, you can see where the foam is. It's a fairly translucent head, which is why you can see the foam. It barely touches that head (I can adjust how much it touches through the 4" HOLZ thing).



I also record with this bass drum (20x26) and it sounds great, and not just for Rock music.

You shouldn't have any probs with a 22 (especially with pre-muffed heads), if I can get fast, easy, great sounding results with a 26.

This guy also LOVED my bass drum sound (he's a cool guy too). We had a pretty nice chat at that show and he was very complimentary.



My muffle is basically an outside, portable version of Simon's Bass drum muffling. He doesn't use anything really inside the drum, but he carries his own mics and sound rig. Then he sends what he dials in himself to FOH.
(Man my kit looked tiny compared to this thing!)





I posed the examples and pics not to brag, just so you know I'm not talking out my be-hind.

Good luck!
__________________
My band Artificial Agent here: http://drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116637
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 07-03-2013, 06:40 PM
Zickos's Avatar
Zickos Zickos is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Posts: 1,049
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

NO PILLOW! ...

...that is, unless you want to take a nap during the breaks. Use felt strips on the bass drum. If you insist on using a pillow, save time hauling stuff around by leaving the bass drum home and hooking the pedal directly to a wall. You will get about the same sound.
__________________
Drums are the best psychiatry
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 07-03-2013, 06:53 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 13,191
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I've been running a full front head on my kick for over a year now, after a lifetime of ported heads. On my little handheld recording capture device, with the full front head, it sounds like a muffled drum. In other words, on the recording, the boom you hear from behind the kick is gone, and there are no overtones that make it to the recorder. It just sounds punchy and powerful, like a bass drum should. It's hard to believe upon listening that it's a wide open drum with nothing but air inside, but it is. I love it. It's powerful from the throne, and sounds and records great from a distance. I keep a tight reso, it sounds like a timpani when I flick it. It dings with a pretty high note. My batter, an EMAD 1, with no foam ring used, is tuned JAJAW.
__________________
Now go fetch your shine box like a good little Wumpus.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 07-03-2013, 08:12 PM
longgun's Avatar
longgun longgun is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,332
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
I don't think you need felt strips on the heads.
It may be a little in your tuning, or tensioning, but I don't think it's the heads causing the issue. You are already using a dampened head. It's already giving you a great thump, and a sound you like.

Put something at the bottom of your bass drums shell to cancel out the sound from bouncing all over. A towel, or a pice of foam is not going to alter what you hear, or the action you like from the pedal on the head. It will stop unwanted overtones from building up and causing problems for the FOH person.

There has been a bit of a trend over the last year or so, where it seems "cool" and people like to say "I have nothing in my bass drum". Maybe I am reading it wrong?

I don't see what the big deal is in having something inside the drum. Like it's "un-pure" or something. No one is talking about STUFFING the drum with anything--THAT is awful. had to play a bass drum like that once. It's the WORST....

I use a 26" bass drum. My bass drum depth on gigs range form 16 to 20" deep. I use a single ply head. It's an open sound. The foam at the bottom of the shell and my outside (small) muffler has the head sounding LESS muffled than felt strips do, but I've NEVER had a sound person ask, or feel like they need more muffling on my bass drum.

Not in smaller rooms, not in bigger theaters (1000+), not at the 18,000+ outdoor sheds.

The sound they get is solid, not overly boomy, and it doesn't take any real time to dial it in at all. I use a 4" hole on the reso side which is either CA or Smooth White single ply head.

The OP's, and a lot of others bass drums are only 22", so it should be even easier to get a great, workable sound, with any head you want.

The ONLY time I have seen a FOH have trouble with a bass drum is when the drummer has nothing at the bottom of the shell.

For example, my band did a show with Poison (one of the times at the 18,000+ venue), and the bass drums had a Super Kick 1 or 2, nothing in the shell, and a ported front head. It took over 10 minutes to dial the over ringing boing out of them. This was a pro sound guy doing FOH. He and his crew were REALLY good (and cool dudes too).

My bass drum took all of 30-35 seconds, and RR's tech said my snare sounded perfect after hitting it 3 times (of course, it's a BB :-) ). He works with some other big name drummers as well. Great guy.
The sound coming out of the mains was amazing.

Here is my muffle, which I can adjust by reaching down. It's just a tube sock with lightwieght material rolled inside (AKA: FREE) :



Here is a pic of the bass drum I use live. It's the same kit, at the same venue as the Poison gig, a couple months later playing a show with Alice Cooper.

If you look close at the bottom of the bass drum, you can see where the foam is. It's a fairly translucent head, which is why you can see the foam. It barely touches that head (I can adjust how much it touches through the 4" HOLZ thing).



I also record with this bass drum (20x26) and it sounds great, and not just for Rock music.

You shouldn't have any probs with a 22 (especially with pre-muffed heads), if I can get fast, easy, great sounding results with a 26.

This guy also LOVED my bass drum sound (he's a cool guy too). We had a pretty nice chat at that show and he was very complimentary.



My muffle is basically an outside, portable version of Simon's Bass drum muffling. He doesn't use anything really inside the drum, but he carries his own mics and sound rig. Then he sends what he dials in himself to FOH.
(Man my kit looked tiny compared to this thing!)





I posed the examples and pics not to brag, just so you know I'm not talking out my be-hind.

Good luck!

not to derail the thread........those are some awesome pics.

I like a defined "thud" for most of the music I'm playing and use a pillow with the mic holder built in.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 07-03-2013, 08:58 PM
joshvibert's Avatar
joshvibert joshvibert is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oakwood, GA
Posts: 299
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zickos View Post
NO PILLOW! ...

...that is, unless you want to take a nap during the breaks. Use felt strips on the bass drum. If you insist on using a pillow, save time hauling stuff around by leaving the bass drum home and hooking the pedal directly to a wall. You will get about the same sound.
lies................
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 07-04-2013, 12:38 AM
Zickos's Avatar
Zickos Zickos is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Posts: 1,049
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshvibert View Post
lies................
Oh, me thinks I may have struck a nerve.
__________________
Drums are the best psychiatry
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 07-04-2013, 01:00 AM
Dr_Watso's Avatar
Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,159
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

I use one of those funky little evans pillows that has a "spring" to it, so it touches the head, until I play the drum, when the impact makes it float away from the head for a moment allowing (I think) a bit more tone to come out, then get damped real quick after the note sounds. I like it a lot more than a big pillow or blanket which just kills tone to me. If there are overtone issues when close-micing or what have you, I place some cloth up against the outside of either the batter or the reso. One of my kicks has a port, the other doesn't.
__________________
What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 07-04-2013, 01:03 AM
Bo Eder's Avatar
Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,126
Default Re: Bass Drum: Pillow, or no pillow?

Make your sound guy happy. Keep your bass drum, but get a Roland TD-10 module and hook up a trigger to the bass drum input on the TD-10.

See what I did there?
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com