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  #1  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:35 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Hey,

Any tips for playing double bass on a bass drum with loads of pillows stuffed inside it, so that they touch the inside of the batter? I feel like I am drumming into a black hole.

The bass drum in the practice space I use is set up like this, so I can't really go fiddling with the muffling pillow.

It has this amazing ability to suck out all the energy so that there is no rebound. The beater just doesn't want to come back. Only from the force of the pedal springs it seems.

The crazy thing is, I literally practice with my pedal beaters on a pillow, as a kind of rudimentary drum pad. The pillow I use for practice seems to have more rebound than the bass drum in question! How is that possible?!

Also, why do people muffle drums in such a way? any good tips on bass drum muffling? Is it just personal preference?

Cheers,

Andy
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Usually bass drums are set up this way by people who aren't drummers who go overkill. Happens a lot in practice rooms.

A really dead bass drum sound comes from recording in the 60s in an effort to isolate the bass drum when recording so production is easier.

Not a lot you can do with a head over-deadened by pillows especially if the head is knackered too. As you've said the pedal ends up doing all the work as there's zero head rebound.

I use PS3s or Evans EQs so I don't need additional dampening. If I have to I use the Simon Phillips method using a rolled up towel gaffer taped to the batter head. It dampens the head but leaves the head free to rebound and you get lots of air moving in the bass drum.

There's also eq pillows.

I'd take a couple of pillows out of this offending bass drum.
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Last edited by mikyok; 02-12-2018 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:38 PM
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eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Muffling in the drum shouldn't affect beater rebound. Bass drums as a rule don't have much rebound anyway, so storing your bedding inside the drum shouldn't make any difference. If anything I think it would prevent the head from moving, giving you a harder surface and thus more rebound. Maybe the head is just dead, have you thought about replacing it?

As for your second question. I use the Evans EQ pad for muffling. I don't play much double bass anymore, but I think it would work well for any application. If you are looking for the clicky Lamb of God drum sound get a highly muffled head, like a SuperKick II and put a thin layer of foam in the bottom that barely touches the head if the internal muffling isn't enough. This still lets the drum breathe but will choke the overtones enough to let the intricate bass drum patterns come through.
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Tighten the batter head some for more rebound and get some sound out of it
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:28 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Can you adjust the set up? Least invasive is tensioning up the head to get some rebound/volume. Next up would be removing the pillows - how many are in there?!

With all of the great options for in batter heads, pillows aren’t used much anymore. Try to get rid an open sound out of the drum - the hard impact and lack of volume could eventually give you knee pain by working too hard.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:24 PM
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Tamaefx Tamaefx is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

In rehearsal studios, I often find bass drum filled with laundry too, and I don't like. I generally take them out or when I can't, I push the laundry against the reso skin so that the minimum touches the batter skin.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

I played with pillows inside for many years, just because that's what was done when I was growing up and learning. While it does feel different, I never had any problem getting some rebound, either. In all honesty, I found the heavily muffled drums very, very easy to get clean doubles from. I just grew to prefer a different sound.

I wonder how much of it is the pedal at the practice space? If you don't already, perhaps you should try taking your pedal(s) and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:09 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Cheers for the responses everyone.

I hadn't thought of tuning the bass batter head up. Sorry to say, I have only ever fiddled with tom and snare tuning, never touched the bass drum. I kind of assumed they were always as low as they would go, and that's where they sounded best.

I think it is generally accepted to mess with head tuning in practice spaces but I don't know about changing the muffling out myself. Plus, my bandmates may get annoyed at me fiddling taking the head off and on.

I may ask the practice space proprietor about changing the muffling and try it in my own time.

Yes, I'm using my own pedals.

Also, there seems to be some that think the muffling increases rebound, some say the opposite, and some say it doesn't change rebound. ? It might be worth me asking to change the muffling just to get my own take on it.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

The rebound is affected by batter head tension, but also whether the bass drum resonant head is ported or not. Ported - less rebound, unported, plenty of rebound.
I would not let your bandmates decide whether to let you fiddle with your drum heads. My guess is they surely take up time fiddling with tunings, pedals and amps.
Quickest fix is yes just tuning up the batter.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:49 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Cheers,

Well, by the time I have finished setting up drums, everyone else is already finished and are jamming already. I don't like feeling left behind! I can probably get away with some quick tuning but I will have to look at the muffling on my own time (if the rehearsal space don't mind me).

Anyways, in terms of rebound and bass drum heads; the ones I play on all tend to be un-ported and judiciously muffled.

In terms of the muffling I wonder if it is not as simple as more muffling = more rebound, or more muffling = less rebound (depending on which might be true).

I wonder if it is more like, if you add muffling, it increases rebound to a point, where if you have 1/3 of the drum volume as muffling and muffling touching both heads, things start to move in the opposite direction?
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:26 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Thanks for the help everyone. I practiced on the same kit tonight, and I realised that the reso head also has a port! So no doubt I am also feeling less rebound from that.

I tried what you said and gave a 1/4 turn to each bass batter-side lug. I also switched my beaters from foam side to plastic side, as I heard this will give more rebound. I don't mind the sound as I play metal. I also lengthened the beater and moved the weight up the shaft. My theory being that with more power in the stroke, I should get more rebound (and I don't mind the extra weight).

Well, it all certainly helped! I found I was missing less notes in the fast passages, and overall felt my bass sounded better. So, thanks again.

Though, in retrospect, I may be approaching this wrong; rather than trying to fix that drum in that particular practice space, I should probably just learn to accept that all drums will feel different and try my best to play them. After all, I may be stuck with a reso-ported, over-muffled drum playing live....

...though now I know that I can turn my beaters around to the plastic side, I can help myself a little :-)
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2018, 01:40 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndeeT View Post
...though now I know that I can turn my beaters around to the plastic side, I can help myself a little :-)
Pillow will affect rebound if the pillow is tight up against the batter head near the strike mark. You're basically playing the pillow. Tip the drum to orient the pillow off the head if possible.

If you get disheartened, tell yourself, "It could be worse"

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Old 02-13-2018, 02:42 PM
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eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndeeT View Post
I realised that the reso head also has a port! So no doubt I am also feeling less rebound from that.
This is no doubt what you are experiencing. The difference between a ported and non-ported reso is night an day. Bass drum feel really doesn't change much from one to the next, but going from non-ported to ported is like going from sticks to brushes.
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2018, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

So I'll just point out that you did in fact find a port hole, which means you can move the pillow and other laundry away from the batter head without screwing around too much. Might help both sound and feel.
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:38 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Thanks Dr Watso; It didnít even occur to me that with the port there I can just reach in and move the muffling about....I can experiment a little.

Nice pic Kamak! It definitely could be worse!

Is it common for a reso port to be on house kits? I am yet to start playing out with my band (hopefully next month), and at least if I know this is what to expect, I can be prepared a little. Even if itís just my experience from this practice kit
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndeeT View Post
Is it common for a reso port to be on house kits? I am yet to start playing out with my band (hopefully next month), and at least if I know this is what to expect, I can be prepared a little. Even if itís just my experience from this practice kit
Yes, pretty common. It makes it very easy for the sound man to throw a mic in the kick and get a decent sound quickly.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Yes, pretty common. It makes it very easy for the sound man to throw a mic in the kick and get a decent sound quickly.
Agree. I think maybe one time total I ever saw one house kit without the port. Usually house kits are setup for ease of the sound man and have "features" like pillow drums, ports, dead tuning, and often tape all over the place. In the bars and venues I play I'd say it's maybe 50/50 on the good/bad of house kits.

The good news is, it doesn't usually matter. With mics, almost anything can sound okay in the audience and you typically bring everything except the core drums themselves.

The only times it's ever really been a problem is when it's seriously neglected with holes or huge dents in the heads, hardware that doesn't stay fastened, things moving around the stage... That stuff.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Some of these sound guys want drum sets to be like dead triggers. Why don't they just come out and say they prefer electronic kits. If they can handle a saxophone or a singer, why not an open, nicely tuned kit?
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

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Originally Posted by thebarak View Post
Some of these sound guys want drum sets to be like dead triggers. Why don't they just come out and say they prefer electronic kits. If they can handle a saxophone or a singer, why not an open, nicely tuned kit?
I'd rather play a crap acoustic kit to an electronic kit any day.

To answer your question, it just makes their job easier. How hard is it to EQ out all the overtones and frequencies when there already aren't any because the kit is "dead"? They can then basically enhance the frequencies they do want and the end result to the audience doesn't usually sound all that bad. Fairly common in studio sometimes too.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:32 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

Thanks for the info guys. At least now I can prepare for the worst :-)
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

I've only been playing a ported bass drum for a long time. I'm also spending a lot of time trying to get my bass drum speed up to where I want it. Would life be easier with a full reso head and more rebound? I never really gave that much thought, though I've been trying my pedal spring at all kinds of settings.
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2018, 09:05 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Pillow in bass drum dogging me

From what I have learnt in this thread, putting a non-ported reso will give you more rebound.

If you can train your body to use that rebound, yes I imagine you would get to where you want quicker.

In terms of spring tension, that is more about the feel of the pedal. After all, it is the rebound off the head that propels the beater back towards your foot and not the spring. If you look at great players play pedals without springs, you will understand.

In terms of should you change the head? Well that is up to you. If you are sure that you can take your bass drum to each gig/rehearsal/recording that you do, then go for it. If not, and you practice on a more-rebounding surface, you may feel dogged if you use a house kit at a gig that is ported.

In the end, I think it is good to learn how to play on all surfaces, rebounding, or non-rebounding. One requires learning how to control the rebound, the other requires a bit more brute force :-)

Good luck
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