Moving from chain drive to direct drive.

Hi, I am in the beginnings of learning ankle technique, playing around 180-200 bpm at the moment. I am eventually looking to start using swivel and heel toe, to go 250 BPM and above for death metal and black metal drumming. What I am asking is at what stage should I upgrade my pedal to a direct drive, and or if it is actually needed. I am currently playing on an iron cobra with max spring tension which feels quite heavy for me, but is the only way I can get speed. I can play to 195 with leg motion but ankle technique is proving difficult. Perhaps this is because I am not experienced with it yet. Any tips will be appreciated.
Thanks.
 

adamosmianski

Senior Member
Well, I don't play that type of music, but just from a fellow drummer's perspective I would say that if you're planning on changing your setup at some point anyway, you might as well do it now before you put in all that practice. In terms of whether the switch is necessary, personally I would say no, as at those speeds you're not going to be putting insane amounts of force into the pedal anyway, but perhaps some of the metal drummers on here have a better insights. Best of luck either way.
 
Well, I don't play that type of music, but just from a fellow drummer's perspective I would say that if you're planning on changing your setup at some point anyway, you might as well do it now before you put in all that practice. In terms of whether the switch is necessary, personally I would say no, as at those speeds you're not going to be putting insane amounts of force into the pedal anyway, but perhaps some of the metal drummers on here have a better insights. Best of luck either way.
Yes, there is a transition period to moving onto these high end pedals, but I wonder if moving onto to a trick or axis double pedal it might actually hinder my progress.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
. . . . at what stage should I upgrade my pedal to a direct drive, and or if it is actually needed.
I went from Iron Cobras to Axis with no difficulty after playing double bass for about a year. I could play the Axis faster at first, but years later now that my foot technique is more developed there is no difference in max speed. The direct drive DOES feel quicker doing short bursts though.
James Payne, one of the fastest double bass drummers, played Iron Cobras until just recently.

I am currently playing on an iron cobra with max spring tension which feels quite heavy for me, but is the only way I can get speed. I can play to 195 with leg motion but ankle technique is proving difficult. Perhaps this is because I am not experienced with it yet.
You should not need very high spring tension below the 220 range.
195 bpm is a really fast tempo to be using leg motion. I transition to ankle motion at about 160.
 
I can do 180 bpm ankle motion but I can’t go below, however when I lower the spring tension i can do 170 but not above with what seems like more powerful strokes. So would you suggest taking the tension down and training at a lower spring tension or going from 180 ?
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I can do 180 bpm ankle motion but I can’t go below, however when I lower the spring tension i can do 170 but not above with what seems like more powerful strokes. So would you suggest taking the tension down and training at a lower spring tension or going from 180 ?

That makes sense because very high spring tension obviously makes the beaters sway faster on their own. It increases the minimum speed for ankle motion.
Yes I would lower the spring tension so ankle motion is playable at 170. That spring tension should be good up to about 220 bpm, maybe more. Depends also on the drummer of course.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
For the initial question, I dont think the switch to DD is necessary. The drummer plays the pedal, not the other way around. You still have to learn the technique no matter what pedal you have. Once you know the techniques and are at the pedals limit, then sure, a different pedal might squeeze out a bit more speed. The pedal wont make you faster, practicing will.


I can do 180 bpm ankle motion but I can’t go below, however when I lower the spring tension i can do 170 but not above with what seems like more powerful strokes. So would you suggest taking the tension down and training at a lower spring tension or going from 180 ?
If you lower your spring tension and the feeling of power goes away, raise your batter tension a bit. It will put that spring back in your step, so to speak. Think of it as the pedals second spring. Lowering the actual spring tension makes the pedal lighter, tightening the batter makes the lighter pedal return faster. That's the key. The quicker it returns, the quicker you can kick it again. Just like a stick, only for feet.
 
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