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  #1  
Old 07-06-2007, 12:05 PM
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Default Kick Drum Muffling?

I was just wondering what you drummers think on the topic of placing a muffling pad in the kick drum? Back about 20yrs ago I use to use this practice with my old Ludwig kit to give it that tight thud sound. It seems over time though that with the newer drums and the better heads that are made today that this bass drum muffing is no longer needed. I'm currently playing a 26" kick drum with no muffling and it sounds killer. Let the drums sing I say!

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Old 07-06-2007, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Damn right. I play a 22" kick with the Evans EMAD2 Clear on the batter side and a resonant head on the front. No muffling needed. Inexperienced sound men look a little nervous when they don't see a bunch of pillows in there but I tell them, "Don't worry, it sounds great."

A 26" huh? That must sound HUGE! What heads do you use on them?
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Yep back in the day I did everything from the pillow to a blanket to shredded up newspaper. But then I discovered the SK1 and all the junk inside the bass went bye,bye!!!! I honestly think with all the heads available today that internal muffling really isn't needed with maybe a few exceptions but generally the right head and proper tuning should be able to alleviate all that stuff inside sucking the sound out of your drum.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Yeah, i rember years ago i used to stuff everything i could in my bassdrum. Blankets pillows, any thing soft really. Now that i actually have a good sounding kit i dont muffel at all. Play wide open!
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

at the moment i have a crappy performance percussion kit and trust me i need to throw loads of stuff inside it to get it to sound relatively like a bass drum should!
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Thanks for the great response. The 26" kick is a Ludwig accent custom made of mahogany with clear lacquer. I'm still using the factory clear Ludwig batter head. Its of the same style and quality of the DW clear heads with the small coated outer strip. The front is a single ply white coated Ludwig head as well with the 60's style logo. Over the many decades of drumming I have owned and played them all. I have said this many times and I say it again. The new Ludwig Accent custom zep kit is of great quality and the sound is killer period. I'm a tree hugger at heart and truly understand that the drums are made from rain forest mahogany but maple and birch are trees as well that we are losing just as fast. The mahogany wood is a rich and expressive wood and it truly is the best sounding wood for very large drums. I have never muffled any of my kick drums since the mid 90's. The drum heads today are of such great quality the need for the old pillow is finally
gone.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Ahhhhh.. 26 bass. Man, I want one.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I respectuflly disagree. I like the sound, and feel, of a pillow in my kick drum. I think playing without one represents the victory of the John Bonham sound and style of play over Bernard Purdie/Steve Gadd sound and style of play. I'll take Bernard and Gadd anyday.
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I think it depends on the musical style and the room being played. No muffling in a loud bar or club. Some muffling in a small room...depends on acoustics.

This what I do when muffling is required.



Plastic grocery bags. I can easily control the amount of muffling I use...from just a touch to control the ringing to more to give me the "thud".
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Old 07-07-2007, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dw D View Post
Yeah, i rember years ago i used to stuff everything i could in my bassdrum. Blankets pillows, any thing soft really. Now that i actually have a good sounding kit i dont muffel at all. Play wide open!
Before I got my nice kit I stopped muffling and started to prefer it. Good heads and tuning seem to be what I like anymore. But like they say, room you are in or perhaps the music you are playing make all the difference in the world.
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirwill View Post
I'm a tree hugger at heart and truly understand that the drums are made from rain forest mahogany but maple and birch are trees as well that we are losing just as fast.
I fully respect this, but you should relax. Trees are a renewable resource, and in America at least there are millions more acres of trees growing than there were 200 years ago--largely because 1. we get much more food-per-acre from our farmland, so we don't have to clear as much land for farming, and 2. we don't burn wood for heat and cooking anymore. So we're not "losing" birch and maple trees, we're gaining them.

Yes, there are fewer "old-growth" trees around, but I'm not convinced that anyone could tell the difference between a drumset made of old-growth maple and newer maple.
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I don't put anything in my bass. Now that I have the 18" I want it as open as possible with the exception of pre-muffled batter and reso heads. When I had my 22" I used to like to tune higher, but that meant having boomier resonance, so I would usually use an Evans EQ Pad on the batter or resonant side to try and tone it down a bit.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

open sounding drums for me is best suited for a larger or open spaces. bunt in my case i play my drums in a small room that's why i need to muffle it a bit. before when i still have my first drum set which is a generic one i used to not to muffle it because i was using a remo pinstripe heads that's why. i just muffle my bass drum with some patch of tissues on the batter head, i think three patches all in all. i also put a foam in it 60 inches long and i think 10 inches wide. i just place it on the bottom part and dampen it a bit on the batter head. i tune it very low and it sounds great. but now with my sonor 3003 it sounds much better even with a single ply head. i didn't put anything inside my bass drum now but i now i use the remo muffle ring the one that you put under the head before placing the head on the drum. my batter head is a remo controled sound on the batter and the original sonor ut on the resonant. i tune it low on both resonant and batter and a 3 inch hole in front right next the built in muffler on the resonant head. it sounds great either acoustic or with the mic. i also use the plastic beater of the gibraltar and the click sound of the beater is really awsome.
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  #14  
Old 07-16-2007, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Well since I still have the same kit as I did many years ago when I started "serious" drumming, I used to have pillows in my drum because I saw everyone else doing it. It gave an OK sound.

Nowadays, I use an Evans EMAD2 on the batter and black EQ3 on the reso and don't need any muffiling at all. I think it's a matter of getting good drumheads and tuning them properly... two things I am more aware of in my "mature" age :)
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Your are so right about tunning. And I must say it took me many years to truly say I have a fell for tunning the skins. As our playing and our tunning practice makes perfect. Drum on my friends...
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wormtownpaul View Post
I respectuflly disagree. I like the sound, and feel, of a pillow in my kick drum. I think playing without one represents the victory of the John Bonham sound and style of play over Bernard Purdie/Steve Gadd sound and style of play. I'll take Bernard and Gadd anyday.
I would agree with most of this! Also, you need to remember the advances in electronics (microphones and sound gear like compressor limiters) we have had. Many drumheads like the EMAD and the Superkicks are a new spin on old technology - the felt strip across a single ply bass drum head.

Furthermore, let's say that the producer or music director of the band you are in wants a pillow or a muffled bass drum? Are you going to argue? Some of the "purist" rationale paints many drummers into a corner, out of which they come fighting. I have worked with many producers who don't like the EMAD sound and specify that they don't want me to show up with that head on my bass drum. They just don't like that wide open sound! They want a thud! So, to me, the best thing to do, is to know how to please these people who are writing the check and are probably going to write me another if I do it their way.

In short, I wouldn't lock myself into knowing how to get one sound out of any drum; I would know multitudes of sound possibilties. Apparently, Jeff Porcaro knew how to take one snare drum and get a multitude of sounds out of it - this is according to Michael McDonald, the guy who had the say-so.



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  #17  
Old 08-01-2007, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Could you please describe in more detail of "the felt strip across a single ply bass drum head" please???
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2007, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Many years ago I used the old felt strip. In my case one of my mothers old sheets! I used this method on the resonate side head to help reduce the ringing or brite overtones if you will. These days the modern drums heads if properly tuned for there playing environment do not need such muffling in my opinion.
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Old 10-20-2007, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

about a year ago when i got my Pro M kit, i went back to a non-ported kick with a single felt strip on both the batter and reso heads. i forgot how great a kick could sound tuned and setup like that!!
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I Guess its true? No Muffs needed these days! Boy the old days and the memories though. Thanks for the great response on this issue....
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Can some one please describe on the kick drum the actual placement of felt strips when used??
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Old 11-02-2007, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phyjy View Post
Can some one please describe on the kick drum the actual placement of felt strips when used??
I visually divide the drum into thirds and place the strip along a straight line (perpendicular to the floor) along either the left or right third, making sure it's well away from the batter impact area. I used a strip that was longer than needed. I also used a thinner felt, so my strip "got skinny" on me, but ended up working well.

I make sure it stays perp. to the floor, straight up and down, as I cinch up the felt between the head and the bearing edges while I get the head back on and up to tension. You can vary how much pressure the strip applies to the head, even when then head is at tension.

Hope that makes sense.

...
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Ever since I started using Aquarian heads about 5 years ago, I've never used any sort of muffling. The heads themselves give me plenty of muffling.
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  #24  
Old 11-03-2007, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I have wondered also if these heads with the white plastic rings work well? I see Remo & DW sell the rings as add-ons. I have never used them but they may be the ticket for that one drum that has just a bit to much of overtones?
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Old 11-03-2007, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Thinking in terms of feel is also important to me. I have a stock Yamaha head reso. and an Evans EQ4 on the beater side. That itself is good for me sound-wise, but I don't like the feel of it with my twin pedal - I get too much "feedback" from the head. Therefore I fold up a towel so it's flat and square and lay it in my kick so it's touching the batter head, but not the reso. side. And voilą, I'm happy!

Skitch has a good point about adaptability, but not everyone is a studio drummer so it's maybe not necessary to go that for. What I take out of his post is the following: make sure the way you muffle and tune your kick suits the music situation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinrider View Post
Plastic grocery bags. I can easily control the amount of muffling I use...from just a touch to control the ringing to more to give me the "thud".
Don't the plastic bags ever make parasite noises when miked up?
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Old 11-03-2007, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phyjy View Post
Can some one please describe on the kick drum the actual placement of felt strips when used??
just a couple of inches in from the side. on mine they are both on the left side of the head as i'm looking at it.

and make sure that you "stretch" the strip so it is making contact laying flat on the heads.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-Head View Post
...Don't the plastic bags ever make parasite noises when miked up?
Good question...

Sorry...I don't know the answer. I've never miked them. However, they do not move around when the drum is played.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I'm glad I found this thread! The last few days I've been wondering what my Unix bubinga kick would sound like if I took the BD pillow out of it. I'm currently running a coated PS3 reso and a clear PS3 batter...but I do have a clear EQ1 and a black EMAD reso sitting around that I don't use. Which would you guess would have a better sound, wide open?
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
I'm glad I found this thread! The last few days I've been wondering what my Unix bubinga kick would sound like if I took the BD pillow out of it. I'm currently running a coated PS3 reso and a clear PS3 batter...but I do have a clear EQ1 and a black EMAD reso sitting around that I don't use. Which would you guess would have a better sound, wide open?
I think you should definitely take the pillow out, zam!
You shelled out some huge amount of money for a BEASTLY drum, so why deaden it with things that really belong on your bed.... most importantly, experiment and enjoy!

You might have guessed, I am a purist when it comes to muffling, I like all my drums wide open and resonant :)
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Unmuffled bassdrum on my school's kit has decent heads and it's Yamaha but I don't like the sound at all. I'd put some sort of pillow or summat liek dat in it. Gives it a much better sound, a mon avis

Just a question, does putting a bit of tape over the head muffle it?
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by king fail View Post
I think you should definitely take the pillow out, zam!
You shelled out some huge amount of money for a BEASTLY drum, so why deaden it with things that really belong on your bed.... most importantly, experiment and enjoy!

You might have guessed, I am a purist when it comes to muffling, I like all my drums wide open and resonant :)
Ya know, I think I WILL! ;) I play everything else wide-open...I want those drums to sustain and ring out for as long as they possibly can. Why should the kick be any different? It sounds great as it is - super punchy and fat. But, it would probably sound like the eruption of Mount St. Helens without the pillow in there.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Here is what I say. What does it matter if someone has a pillow or a blanket inside? You can use a pre muffled head like most of us do or you can use an unmuffled one and add whatever you like to muffle it. Either way.. it's muffled.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by king fail View Post
I think you should definitely take the pillow out, zam!
You shelled out some huge amount of money for a BEASTLY drum, so why deaden it with things that really belong on your bed.... most importantly, experiment and enjoy!

You might have guessed, I am a purist when it comes to muffling, I like all my drums wide open and resonant :)
Yeah...WOW...it sounds great. Even punchier than before...but bigger and fatter. I guess I got used using the pillow...huh...oh well.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I use a PS3 front & back, small offset hole in the front, nothing inside but my homemade kick mic mount, and it kills, acoustically and through the PA. I don't muffle any of the other drums either. I have some moongel if I ever need it in a pinch, but I've never taken it out of the canister. Even when playing reggae, which traditionally has very dead-sounding tones, I get compliments on the drums' tone. (Not to brag, but just saying, knowing how to tune a drum so that it sounds sweet & full trumps muffling any day.)
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I used to have a SK3 on my 22x20 kick [birch]. Oh, that was... interesting. Coated, with SuperKick muffling, and a power dot. Even with an EQ1 reso, which is pretty much a PS3 with vent holes, you couldn't hear the damn thing.

Now I've gone to a clear EMAD, and even though I use the larger of the two muffler rings, it is so much better. It shakes the room with it's boom, while retaining a very nice amount of punch. With only that little ring and nothing inside the drum, it's about as good as it gets.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

On my 14x22 ludwig I use an EMAD2 with the larger ring on the batter head and a Fiberskyn/Powerstroke3 on the reso head with a 4" port. Lots of punch and boom without much ringing. No extra muffling necessary.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

I use an Emad clear single ply on the batter side with an ebony resonant with a 5" hole on the front.

For a larger room, I use the larger muffle ring and no pillow.

For smaller rooms, I like to use the smaller muffle ring with the little cute pillow that comes with a PDP kit. It velcros right into the right spot and I have it barely touching.

I like the Danmar large round hard felt beaters or the DW Hardcore beaters.

I also put the little memory lock thingys on the upper part of the shaft to get more weight hitting the batter head. A heavier beater can change your sound dramatically.

In my case, I don't bury the beater as often and so I get a fuller sound without playing to hard.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Sirwill,

Everything has its place.
I found out, a long time ago, that there are other ways of muffling, besides a pillow.
I figure anyone should do what they feel they need to, in order to get the sound that they're looking for.


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Old 01-16-2009, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phyjy View Post
Can some one please describe on the kick drum the actual placement of felt strips when used??
the more surface area of head that comes in contact with the strip, the more muffled the head becomes.
while I've never used an actual "Felt Strip", I did use strips of bed linen at one time (basically does the same thing).
Someone had once left some linens with me and I was looking for a "bigger" sound out of my BD.
At the time, I used to fill my BD with old clothes, about 1/2 full.
The sound was a bit thuddy, but awfully quiet (and I wanted to be LOUD, back then).
I figured I needed to get rid of that stuff in order to gain the volume, but I still wanted to quell the heads, so I took one of the linens, tore two strips from it, about 3" wide and about 2.5-3 feet long.
I set the drum on end, took one head off, and laid one of the strips across the middle of the opening.
I evened out the strip and taped one side to the shell, then pulled on the strip and taped that other end to the other side of the shell.
This put a pre-load on the strip and made it stiff.
I then put the head back on and tightened it, almost as tight as if I were tuning one of my toms.
I did the same thing on the other end.
The end result was a HUGE sounding BD, with almost no ring from the heads.
Its a great way to get a really big, loud sound our of your BD.
No more thump for me....I had found something better!




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Old 01-16-2009, 06:58 AM
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Default Re: Kick Drum Muffling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrummerAz View Post
at the moment i have a crappy performance percussion kit and trust me i need to throw loads of stuff inside it to get it to sound relatively like a bass drum should!
Nothing "crappy" about your kit.
If there are parts missing or broken, replace them. Get some decent heads and learn how to tune them.
I played "generic" kits for years and I never had one that sounded "crappy".


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