Question for 24" x 14" kick drum owners.

cdrums21

Gold Member
Sound and tuning are so subjective I know, it’s pretty hard to get a definitive answer to a question such as this. I see all different types of suggestions and all different types of examples in professional settings. Batter tighter than reso, batter looser than reso, Emad, P3, Superkick......I understand. Having a 24x14 for the first time in my playing career, I thought maybe there was a “formula” per se that gets “that” sound out of this kick. That doesn’t seem to be the case and that is perfectly cool. I have it sounding great right now, just not how I expected. It’s all good, and all this experimenting has helped me get to know this kick drum very well. I’m curious to see the frequency settings from Tommy D and any other input this thread will receive. Thanks everyone!!
 
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Tommy_D

Platinum Member
So I checked my bass drum and it is at 62/63 hz for the batter and 83/84 hz for the reso. Fundamental falls in the 41/42hz range.

It was kind of hard to get a solid reading on the batter side because the pedal, floor tom and snare stand were all in the way but that should be pretty close. I thought the batter would have been tighter than 62/63 hz but I guess that's it.

My 22x18 Pearl Reference Pure bass drum is tuned at 73 Batter - 87 Reso - 46 Fund. So similar tunings but vastly different sounds. The 22" is punchy with rumble behnd it and the 24" is bigger, rounder and has a real tone/note behind it.
 
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cdrums21

Gold Member
Awesome man, thanks for the effort to get those readings. Right now, I have mine at 87 for the batter and 78 for the reso. I’m getting a nice low end, nice punch and it feels good to play. The way you have yours tuned is how I usually tune my kicks, batter lower. I would prefer to have my reso tighter in order to round out the sound and have more presence acoustically. I may try your readings to see if I can get more balls and still retain the low end that I’m getting now. If not, I’m pretty happy with how it sounds now. Thanks again man!
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Cool, I'll have to give your tuning a shot as well. I don't have much experience with 24" bass drums, but until I started bringing up the tension I was pretty unimpressed. Now my 24" sounds a bit like a big subwoofer. It's not really attack heavy or punchy. It sounds like a controlled, distinct, low note.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
My 24x14 DW Collectors Maple is currently set up with an Aquarian Super Kick II batter and Aquarian Regulator ported reso. I have one of the little DW pillows inside the drum leaning on the reso head. It gives me extra tone control but can be easily removed. With the Regulator reso head, it's hardly even needed. I'm normally Evans all the way but I can't recommend the Aquarian Regulator strong enough as a great ported, pre-muffled reso head, if you're into that sort of thing.

I like this head combo a lot for this drum but my main batter head on all of my bass drums is usually the EMAD2. For a pre-muffled head, it seems to retain the most volume. I'm not a fan of Remo BD heads but I occasional will use a Fiberskin as a reso, mainly for the smooth sound and for kits that I don't want a black front head on. I'll check Tunebot readings later and report. I know that sucka goes way low but I tune it up slightly (mainly the reso head) for a little more presence and projection.
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
Cool, I'll have to give your tuning a shot as well. I don't have much experience with 24" bass drums, but until I started bringing up the tension I was pretty unimpressed. Now my 24" sounds a bit like a big subwoofer. It's not really attack heavy or punchy. It sounds like a controlled, distinct, low note.
I had a DW 22x18 kick drum and it sounded perfect with a batter tension (P3) of an F# (about 92 hz) and a slightly higher resonant head, about an A (110 hz.) Punchy as all get out with sweet low end, both acoustically and mic'ed up. I also had a 26 x 14 Ludwig 3 ply, clear P3 on it, and it was the best bass drum sound I ever got acoustically, probably having a lot to do with the bearing edge and shell construction. It too had the batter head at about an F#, reso head at an A. So, when I got this 24 x 14, I assumed the same general rules would apply....batter head somewhere around an F or F# and the reso head a whole step or minor third higher. It does sound good that way, but it just seems to lack that low end that I'm getting with the reso head looser. I have the batter head at an F, which is about 1 full turn above loose once all the lugs are tightened up to where they are all singing at an F note. I take a lug down to no tension, finger tighten it, then bring it back up 1 full turn. That gets me to about an F pitch wise at each of the lug points on the head. Looser than that and that's when it seems to lose some fullness and size. I get more attack with a looser batter head, but no big tone behind it. The reso head tighter gives it a bit more fullness, but as I said, the low end isn't there as much as when the reso head is slightly lower than the batter. I'm pretty anal about it I admit, maybe too much so. The drum sounds great, just trying to get it to speak at it's biggest and loudest note. I'm really close.
 
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Blisco

Senior Member
Are you guys with ported reso's hearing any loss in tone and projection all around the drum? Is the 24 simply large enough to overcome a 4" hole? I love the Emad 1 clear and Regulator ported in black combo with a dogbone pillow not touching either for a great sound. Always wondered how a non-ported head would behave. On my 22, I noted quite a loss with the port but micing access was more important. I'd like to gain back some 'presence' acoustically if I could. Maybe a 14X24 could do that??
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I always found the clear P3 to be a lot less full sounding than the coated. Too much slap, and not enough "oom" for my taste, so I like the coated version in that style head.

With a clear head, on my 14x24, a Clear Emp sounds really good, or a coated P3.
On my CM 16x24 I'm using the coated P3 with regular SW reso head with 4" holz, and it sounds full and huge.
Records GREAT too.

Comparing bass drums, on all the ones I have/had, I just go by what that drum does.
Some have tighter batter, some have tighter resos, etc...
The only thing I have inside (still, 20+ years) is the 1" open cell polyfoam at the bottom of the shell. 2" short of the shell depth, width is just the screws from spur to spur.
Even head to head, tensioning on a drum will change,'cause we all know how consistent heads are...

I'm like you, dials and all that stuff aren't what I use either. I just go by the sound first, feel second. Who cares what "number" something is if it doesn't sound good? Sometimes, even pitches lug to lug are slightly different.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Are you guys with ported reso's hearing any loss in tone and projection all around the drum? Is the 24 simply large enough to overcome a 4" hole? I love the Emad 1 clear and Regulator ported in black combo with a dogbone pillow not touching either for a great sound. Always wondered how a non-ported head would behave. On my 22, I noted quite a loss with the port but micing access was more important. I'd like to gain back some 'presence' acoustically if I could. Maybe a 14X24 could do that??
Depends on the size of the port. Also if you leave the beater on the head, or if the beater comes off the head between strokes.
I play off the head.
A 4" is as large as I ever go, because I want to keep as beef much as possible.
The positions I have had the best luck with are 9:00 and 6:00.
The sound at 3:00 or anywhere on that side always sounded thinner to me for some reason.
On all my bass drums, the front head has a little more action, and I can feel/hear it more with the 4" port vs. no port.
Not sure why, it's just what I've experienced, and it could be because I play off the head.
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
I always found the clear P3 to be a lot less full sounding than the coated. Too much slap, and not enough "oom" for my taste, so I like the coated version in that style head.

With a clear head, on my 14x24, a Clear Emp sounds really good, or a coated P3.
On my CM 16x24 I'm using the coated P3 with regular SW reso head with 4" holz, and it sounds full and huge.
Records GREAT too.

Comparing bass drums, on all the ones I have/had, I just go by what that drum does.
Some have tighter batter, some have tighter resos, etc...
The only thing I have inside (still, 20+ years) is the 1" open cell polyfoam at the bottom of the shell. 2" short of the shell depth, width is just the screws from spur to spur.
Even head to head, tensioning on a drum will change,'cause we all know how consistent heads are...

I'm like you, dials and all that stuff aren't what I use either. I just go by the sound first, feel second. Who cares what "number" something is if it doesn't sound good? Sometimes, even pitches lug to lug are slightly different.
Thanks for your input Karl. Isn't it funny how particular we all are about the sound of a drum? I could literally drive myself crazy, and have at times, experimenting and tweaking a drum just to try to get that perfect sound. I am an old school vintage rock guy, Luddies and Paiste cymbals, and I recently made the switch from a 22" kick to a 24" to try to achieve that big, round kick tone. It is a bit different than my 22" for sure, but I'm getting used to it and am really close to the sound I hear in my head. All of these suggestions and real life experiences from you all are helping me be less anal about it and having more of an open mind in how to get that sound. I appreciate all of your feedback!
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
Depends on the size of the port. Also if you leave the beater on the head, or if the beater comes off the head between strokes.
I play off the head.
A 4" is as large as I ever go, because I want to keep as beef much as possible.
The positions I have had the best luck with are 9:00 and 6:00.
The sound at 3:00 or anywhere on that side always sounded thinner to me for some reason.
On all my bass drums, the front head has a little more action, and I can feel/hear it more with the 4" port vs. no port.
Not sure why, it's just what I've experienced, and it could be because I play off the head.
+ 1 on this as well. Although my bass drum sounds bigger and projects better with a full front head, I have my reso ported at the 4:00 position, 4" hole. Just easier to mic up that way. Plus, it feels a little better, more solid. I don't think the 24" would "overcome" a ported sound from a port hole per se, but it may give you a bit more presence if tuned up correctly. I find they need to be tuned slightly higher, (batter at least) to get the shell engaged and get the drum to sound full. Just my opinion of course.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
One thing about a 14 or 16" depth is, you can lean over and tweak the front head and still hit it with your foot haha!
I also find that the lugs are really never the same pitch all around. They are close, but one or two are slightly different than the others.

I haven't ever owned a 22" bass drum (!!).
A 20, 24's, 26's, 28's.... no 22!

I got a pretty fat sound out of the 14x24 with a 2 ply front head, as well as the batter head. You'd think it would be flubby, but it was just lower in pitch. It was a Smooth White Emp. That head is a white top layer and a clear under layer.
Remo Smooth Whites are slightly lower in pitch than clear, and have a little more resonance than a coated.
I used a clear Emp on front once too, and that was pretty huge sounding.
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
Well, I'm happy to say the problem has been solved and the drum sounds great. The issue was that I had the heads tuned up a bit too high. I thought that I could get away with a little higher tuning on this drum than how I tuned my 22".....and it is maybe a little tighter, but not by much. I think the shallower depth plays a part in how the heads needed to be tuned in order to get enough low end without sounding papery and attacky. I had the batter head at about a medium tension, and the resonant head a lot higher. For this drum, the low end opened up and the drum sounded like it should when I took both the batter and resonant heads down some. They are still pitched above JAW, but not as high as they were. Now, the drum is big, has low end and is loud with just the right amount of boom to cut and give it presence. The reso head is just a smidgeon tighter than the batter head. For those who are interested in quantifying pitches, the batter is at 73 hz, reso at 80 hz. Fundamental pitch is 46 hz. I'm happy with it now, excited to mic it up and kick it live. Thanks everyone for all the input!
 

donzo74

Junior Member
Awesome! Glad to hear you are happy with the sound and when you get a mic in there, it will be even better! I was just coming to check on this thread to post my Tunebot results for my Collector's Maple 24x14. I have the batter and reso tensions written down at home but the fundamental will go to the mid 30's a still have a clear tone. Love this kick! I haven't taken this kit out for probably 6 months so it's just been sitting stacked up in my utility room. It was sitting on 33 Hz when I pulled it out. Put a little tension on it and got it up to 36 Hz. Sounds amazing with a mic in it! Here's the kit and Tunebot pic.

DW-Collectors-Maple.jpg DW BD Tunebot-1.jpg
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
Don't look at the garage mess, but this is my kit set up a few weeks ago. Since then I have a ported front head for mic'ing it live. Paiste 2002's and a 24" giant beat ride to round out the kit. Sounds killer.
87280
 

donzo74

Junior Member
I just tune by ear.
Yep, that's how it's done. The Tunebot is useful for reference and precise measurements. For instance, we know that cdrums21 has his drum tuned to a fundamental of 46Hz and mine is tuned to 36Hz. We've moved beyond just saying they are "low" or "medium-low" tunings, we now have precise measurements to say exactly what the frequencies are. I'm a precision kind of guy, so this works for me.
 
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