Bass Drum Felt Strip?

So I bought some white felt from the local Fabricland to cut into strips for my bass drum. I am trying to get close to a big open Bonham sound (I'm sick of the super dead pillow muffling sound, so I thought I'd try the felt strip). What width is the average strip? What do you guys recommend?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I always liked 4-5 inches for a 22 inch drum. Start a little wide and you can trim to get the sound you want.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I'm using a 3 1/2" to 4" felt on both the batter and resonant head of my 22" bass drum. There is no internal muffling or port hole.

Dennis
 
I guess it depends on the sound you want. I just ordered a Ludwig Centennial kit with a 20x24" bass drum. Maybe I'll start at 5" and if it's too much start trimming them down. Thanks!
 

braincramp

Gold Member
With all the new stuff its hard to believe there are drummers still doing this, though I know Sonor's Steve Smith kit still has one..haven't had one on a bass in 25years..cool though!
 
Thanks guys! Well here's the way I see it: a big pillow or blanket takes the body out of the sound. The bass drum is big for a reason, so why not let it breathe. I have always used blankets in the past, but have found that a small blanket just barely touching the head gives me a nice short boom (as opposed to the super quick thud you get when you over-muffle). If the blanket moves around though, you have to constantly rearrange it. This is a pain if you don't have a port hole. This is why I am interested in trying the felt strips... It's cheap, and you only need to get it right once; no fiddling with a moving blanket. That's my thought anyway.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Thanks guys! Well here's the way I see it: a big pillow or blanket takes the body out of the sound. The bass drum is big for a reason, so why not let it breathe. I have always used blankets in the past, but have found that a small blanket just barely touching the head gives me a nice short boom (as opposed to the super quick thud you get when you over-muffle). If the blanket moves around though, you have to constantly rearrange it. This is a pain if you don't have a port hole. This is why I am interested in trying the felt strips... It's cheap, and you only need to get it right once; no fiddling with a moving blanket. That's my thought anyway.

This is exactly why I use a felt strip on my non-ported kick reso. I've also thought of getting one of the Aquarian Vintage heads that has a piece of felt already installed. I'm not sure what they sound like though...
 

MickeyPiedmont

Junior Member
I'm new to this forum & I know starting new threads can irritate some people. So I'll just post my question here considering my question is within the subject of felt muffling strips. This thread is a bit old - so I know it's likely my question won't be looked at - but I'll give it a shot anyway.

I decided to go old school & try felt strips for muffling my bass drum. I have three that came in a pack. I've been experimenting with positioning of the felt strips. My first question is, "where have these felt strips traditionally been placed on the head through out the years"? The top, bottom or side of the head? Which head are they usually placed, "resonant or batter"? Has the felt strip traditionally been placed on the outside or inside of the head? And does anyone have an opinion on whether it could be bad for the drum? Thanks!
 

Zickosdrummer

Senior Member
Personally, I use felt strips on all my drums on the batter side except the BD and I put that one on the reso side. I put them on vertically on one side of the drum usually between the next to the last tension rods except on the smaller drums. That's where I feel I get the best dampening and still leave some vibration. Lately, however I have been using a dampening ring on the BD. I got them on sale and they woork very well for me.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I'm new to this forum & I know starting new threads can irritate some people. So I'll just post my question here considering my question is within the subject of felt muffling strips. This thread is a bit old - so I know it's likely my question won't be looked at - but I'll give it a shot anyway.

I decided to go old school & try felt strips for muffling my bass drum. I have three that came in a pack. I've been experimenting with positioning of the felt strips. My first question is, "where have these felt strips traditionally been placed on the head through out the years"? The top, bottom or side of the head? Which head are they usually placed, "resonant or batter"? Has the felt strip traditionally been placed on the outside or inside of the head? And does anyone have an opinion on whether it could be bad for the drum? Thanks!

You can probably see the felt strip that's sitting vertically under my bass drum's resonant head. I also have one installed under the batter head on the same side of the drum.

DSC_0333.jpg


Dennis
 

MickeyPiedmont

Junior Member
So I bought some white felt from the local Fabricland to cut into strips for my bass drum. I am trying to get close to a big open Bonham sound (I'm sick of the super dead pillow muffling sound, so I thought I'd try the felt strip). What width is the average strip? What do you guys recommend?

The felt strips I've been using are probably about 3.5 inches wide. Between 3 to 5 inches wide would probably be normal & proper.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Thanks guys! Well here's the way I see it: a big pillow or blanket takes the body out of the sound. The bass drum is big for a reason, so why not let it breathe. I have always used blankets in the past, but have found that a small blanket just barely touching the head gives me a nice short boom (as opposed to the super quick thud you get when you over-muffle). If the blanket moves around though, you have to constantly rearrange it. This is a pain if you don't have a port hole. This is why I am interested in trying the felt strips... It's cheap, and you only need to get it right once; no fiddling with a moving blanket. That's my thought anyway.

I agree completely. I see people stuffing pillows, blankets, mattresses, refrigerators, etc. into their bass drums, in very successful attempts to kill the sound. You should be able to control the sound fine with heads, tuning and maybe a bit of felt or putty.

I know Slug makes the Muffelt strip for this purpose but you can probably make your own just as well.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
Thanks guys! Well here's the way I see it: a big pillow or blanket takes the body out of the sound. The bass drum is big for a reason, so why not let it breathe. I have always used blankets in the past, but have found that a small blanket just barely touching the head gives me a nice short boom (as opposed to the super quick thud you get when you over-muffle). If the blanket moves around though, you have to constantly rearrange it. This is a pain if you don't have a port hole. This is why I am interested in trying the felt strips... It's cheap, and you only need to get it right once; no fiddling with a moving blanket. That's my thought anyway.

The Evans kick pad does this well and doesn't move around once its velcro'd in where you want it. It doesn't get between the bearing edge and head and moves away on impact and then returns to control the resonance so it lets the drum speak clearly before taming it. Its about as close to perfect as it gets IMO
 

WFL1940s

Junior Member
The shells of your drums are around 40% of your sound the other 60% comes from the heads you choose. Cutting a hole in any head, in my opinion is mindless because of the tone and timber of the sound you lose. Sound men who were actually frustrated musicians came up with that idea as did those who suggested pillows in their drums, mindless at best.
Aquarian and Evans have great bass drum heads that use an extra piece of drumhead from the bearing edge thats around 3 inches long. These heads work rather well for getting that full and big bas drum sound. As far as felt goes I only use it on my early 40's set which incorporates a 28X14, a Ray McKinley 6.5X14 snare also a 6.5X15 hand hammered bronze Ludwig snare, 13X9 and a 16X16. I use a 3.5" piece of felt on the batter and the front head. For your own personal prefference you'll find your sweet spot on your drum for your sound any where from just over a 1/3 of the way into the drum head or just under 1/3 of the way from the drum head from the outter edge of the bass drum shell. It is trial and error so Happy exploring that big Big Sound and remember, if you are thinking of what you are going to play as you are playing, get a day job because you are not making music.
Get your EGO and your WILL out of the way and let the music Play You!
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I wish that some modern drum company would bring back the Gretsch "Pratt" bass drum muffler. Basically, it's like a muffle that you have on the toms, with a knob to push it onto or take it off of the batter bass drum head, internally, but it muffles with a felt strip. It's REALLY nice to have the option to take the felt strip off your drum without having to remove the head completely. The other, "closest second" option is to put a stuffed bear between your bass drum pedal and the head...it's *almost* like an EMAD felt strip, where you can switch out the sound of a felt strip with several different rings/animals.

Felt strips rule, especially on vintage drums!
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
"...a big pillow or blanket takes the body out of the sound. The bass drum is big for a reason, so why not let it breathe."

The felt strip was an old skool attempt at arresting head ring. Purist can argue the felt interrupts completed head to bearing edge contact- How many people use a felt strip on their toms/snares?

Since the felt strips been employed, there's been huge advancements in adhesives which allow people to still use felt, but not allow the felt to interfere with complete head/edge contact.

This item didn't sell, ask yourself why-

Item #A-127
Bass Drum Muffler - Throw away those pillows and get rid of the towels! DRUM BUM introduces this scientifically designed way to muffle the sound from your bass drum. This Gary Chaffee Bass Drum Muffler is crafted from custom-made components and provides the ability to quickly and easily alter your bass drum sound. Features a handle and two dampening pads that can be moved and adjusted anywhere on the bass drum in seconds. Creates a more natural drum sound than other muffling methods.
 

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