livened up my bass drum

opentune

Platinum Member
I got a 80s' vintage Tama Superstar kick drum last fall. Its a nice drum and my first experience with birch. I just couldn't get it to liven up like some other bass drums I've had.
So today I switched from my usual batter choice (Remo PS3) to good old fashioned Coated Ambassador, no muffling, just a 2 inch felt strip. To me it came alive.

The sounds file compares a PS3 with the coated Amb. They are not tuned exact but close I think.

https://soundcloud.com/aftrglow/tama22-ps3-vs-amb2

Some of these pre-muffled bass drum heads are just not my thing anymore. I am liking some of the 'old school' designs.

If any of the proverbial 'which bass drum head should I use' threads out there, maybe this is useful (sorry ending is cut off).

I'd be interested in any critiques of my tuning or bass drum sounds too. Too high/low?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The sound after 26 seconds definitely sounds better to me. Sounds a bit deeper and fuller. Like you can hear the body of the drum.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Notice how when you're playing a beat at the end, you can't hear the ring of the drum? But that kind of sound will carry the bottom of the beat with a band going much better than a dead sound.

The first sound is surprising for a PowerStroke. I would expect an EMAD with the large ring to sound like that. In fact my Renown sounded much like that until I took the thing off. The pitch sounded higher and thuddy, similar to yours. Which is odd since more Tama kicks I'm familiar with have a great deep sound.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I remember having a black dot with a felt strip back in the day and that sound totally rocked. I think I shall try that again (25 years later) on my 26 Ludwig. My mind is totally leaning towards 'drums sounding like drums'.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I remember having a black dot with a felt strip back in the day and that sound totally rocked. I think I shall try that again (25 years later) on my 26 Ludwig. My mind is totally leaning towards 'drums sounding like drums'.
You've been on quite the "black dot kick" lately, haven't you? I used black dots on my bass and snares for years. Maybe I should try it again, too!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You've been on quite the "black dot kick" lately, haven't you? I used black dots on my bass and snares for years. Maybe I should try it again, too!
Well, yeah. But perhaps its more of the "I'm tiring of the powerstroke 3" sound. Before the remo geniuses came up with that inner collar idea of the PS3, it was indeed a chore to get a good bass drum sound, but once you got it, you had it and all that hard work paid off. Now its so easy to throw a PS3 (or an EQ4) on a bass drum and get this instant gratification of an acceptable bass drum sound....but like the days of cutting a hole in the front head and throwing in a pillow, everybody tends to sound the same. I guess the only way to stop sounding the same is to go back to what nobody is doing.

Now that I have this 26" bass drum, I should try just the black dot and the front reso with no felt strips first, then add the strips. I'm not really doing any gigs where I'm mic'd up so I might as well go with the fullest, most open sound I can get. Then I don't have to work so hard either ;)
 

opentune

Platinum Member
The sound after 26 seconds definitely sounds better to me. Sounds a bit deeper and fuller. Like you can hear the body of the drum.
Yep that's the Ambassador. I heard the same. I really didn't like the sound of the PS3 on this drum (9 ply birch, pretty thick), too much thud, and despite many tuning efforts thats all I got.

I have another 3 ply bass drum and the PS3 works far better on that kind of BD.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Notice how when you're playing a beat at the end, you can't hear the ring of the drum? But that kind of sound will carry the bottom of the beat with a band going much better than a dead sound.

.
Ya, I couldn't seem to get any resonance or 'ring' out of this drum. Its shallow (at 14) and thick birch and the PS3 was cutting any overtones. I get that kind of ring on other drums so resorted to a change of heads.
 
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