Kick Drum Muffling?

Sirwill

Silver Member
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!

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?songs=16890&T=8797
 

Pocketman

Senior Member
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?
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
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.
 

dw D

Senior Member
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!
 

DrummerAz

Junior Member
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!
 

Sirwill

Silver Member
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.
 

wormtownpaul

Senior Member
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.
 

rockinrider

Senior Member
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.

DSC00802.jpg


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".
 

Legacyrik

Senior Member
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.
 

drumtechdad

Gold Member
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.
 
F

fourstringdrums

Guest
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.
 

jaeidn

Junior Member
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.
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
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 :)
 

Sirwill

Silver Member
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...
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
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.



Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com

http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
 

phyjy

Junior Member
Could you please describe in more detail of "the felt strip across a single ply bass drum head" please???
 

Sirwill

Silver Member
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.
 

nickg

Silver Member
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!!
 

Sirwill

Silver Member
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....
 
Top