Why use such a big bass if...

funkytomtom

Senior Member
So. I love a big bass drum sound just like everybody else should.

Lately, however, it has come to my attention (probably much later than it should have) that my 20 inch sounds absolutely massive when miked up. Also, I was taking a test drive of some of the bass drums a local shop rents out and they were absolutely dead with dampening. The guy showing me around pretty much said everyone they rent to wants the bass drums to sound this way (dead) because all the sound is going to come from the sound guy anyways.

So I know why I just ordered a fat new bass, but why would- let us say -a touring drummer bother? If your drum kit is always going to be modified to hell and back from the sound board are the large sizes just for show? They make it harder to play fast patterns, so why do people make the trade off?
 

razorx

Platinum Member
Looks and feel. Play and 20 kick and then play a 26 kick and you will know what i'm talking about.
 

Evilbagua

Silver Member
Well I don't know about you, but when I tour I take a 26 so when the venue ends up NOT having anything beside a PA for vocals you could hear the kick still :). hey I'm not playing arenas or super nice venues haha. Also I don't think you can get a 18 or 20 to sound exactly like a 26+ huge bass drum they are just two different types of drums. With that said Mic-ed up you can still play anysize you want. I know pleanty of drummers who tour with 20's and get by just fine.

Also I don't think "everyone" wants a dead sound. I want mine booming and deep.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
So. I love a big bass drum sound just like everybody else should.
Should they? OK, I'll take your word on that.​

Lately, however, it has come to my attention (probably much later than it should have) that my 20 inch sounds absolutely massive when miked up.
Massive? No, probably sounds more like a 20" kick drum mic'd up.​
Looks and feel. Play and 20 kick and then play a 26 kick and you will know what i'm talking about.
Indeed. I have 3 kicks, right now. An 18x12 Ludwig. A 22x16 Yamaha Recording Custom. And a 26x16 Ludwig.​
In the past, I've owned 20x14, 22x14, 22x16, 22x17, 22x18, 24x14, 26x14, and 28x14 kicks. And I don't buy into this "one size fits all" ... You think your 20" sounds massive mic'd up, you should hear a 28 incher mic'd up.​
 

Evilbagua

Silver Member
You think your 20" sounds massive mic'd up, you should hear a 28 incher mic'd up.​
I can attest to this. Apparently My 28 was moving peoples water bottles around on tables when I played a decent sized venue a few weeks ago. The "soundguy" er... 17 year old kid left the level the same as the other bands with 22's.
 

PeniScott

Silver Member
I'm dead-set on getting a 24" kick after playing one at a gig a couple weeks back. It had a clear PS3 on the batter, regular C&C (custom drums) reso and a very small towel rolled up inside, i think it was touching just the batter head.

Since then, that's the exact set up i want. It sounded incredible to me. It had the punch of a 20", the low end thud and slight resonance of a 24" and, because of these previous reasons, it was as controllable as a 22". Then the mic was turned up and everything just got better.

The kit belonged to one of the engineers behind one of the desks who had been a drum tech for many years. He had the whole kit tuned up beautifully, i considered myself so lucky to be playing that kit after the lead singer/rhythm guitarists amp died. ;)

Back on subject though, my point is that sometimes you want to get a particular sound (obviously) that can't be achieved with a certain size kick. But if you move up or down in size to get that characteristic, you'll most likely lose the characteristics of the sized you just moved from. I'm set on a 24" so long as i get those additions that were in the 24" i tried. It had everything i wanted.

And yes, it looked great too.
xoxo
 

gwbaker

Senior Member
I have three kits with three different size kicks. They all do something different yet great. The Rogers Holiday (Cleveland three ply) has a 20" with an emad and sounds great.. punchy and fat. My Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute has a 22" kick with an emad and a big sound yet quick attack.. perfect for Rock. My DW 'Classics' has the 24"X14" (the only way that series comes) with a Super Kick II and is thunderous yet can be easily controlled to be nuanced. It is a lot like the sets of the 50's / 60's... jazzy, bluesy coolness. I use nothing in my bass drums for dampening and I understand the need to do that with many bass drums. I have been lucky in finding bass drums without unwanted resonances. I say 'lucky' (or diligent) because, after all, they are drums and sometimes it is a 'crap shoot'. Desired tone is very subjective and it is hard for me to find anything that I can like about a bass drum that sounds like beating on a cardboard box.
 

funkytomtom

Senior Member
I'm glad to hear all your responses. I found it kind of sad that supposedly "everyone" wanted a dead drum.

I just ordered a 24x15 looking for a nice Bonhamesque (cliche I know) sound. Or something like the sound in this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JOy1nM6UoA

Happy, bassy travels through your sonic journeys gents!
 

gwbaker

Senior Member
Hey, funky... THAT is a great sounding bass drum. Also, bend an ear toward the snare drum in that piece.... a killer. I'm getting a very similar tone out of my DW Edge
 

funkytomtom

Senior Member
The drummer behind that bass drum (and killer snare) is Jim White. I haven't been able to find too much on him, but I LOVE that subtle type of groove drumming. I also posit that in some ways it is on par with, or harder than, more technical playing.
 

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
I don't agree that it's harder to play fast patterns on larger bass drums. That has rather to do with your pedals and the tension you use on the head.

Re live sound, some sound engineers will end up giving you a very different sound, some will not. You don't always have control over that, but some guys do a good job of making your drums sound more or less like they do to you when they come through the house. So if you like the sound and feel of the bigger drum, that's one good reason to go with it.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
I had to use a 22" bass on the backline kit at a festival the other weekend. It sounded great (Yamaha Absolute Custom) but it made the toms sit a lot higher than I'm used to. I can get everything I need or want out of a 20" drum, and actually am going back to an 18" as soon as my 20" gets sold. I definitely appreciate all of the different sounds you can get acoustically out of these different sized drums, but I think 20" is as big as I'll ever go unless I'm dealing with someone elses gear.
 
R

Royal

Guest
I've used 20 & 22 but prefer & now stick (excuse pun) with 24 & 26.
Love the sound of the bigger bd's.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I love bass drums....

It all depends on what each person wants, and if they get a sound & feel that makes them feel good on a certain size drum, that's what they should use.

I use 26's in different depths, and I like 24's too. But, I can sit down on a 18 or 20 and have a good time if it's an open drum. I especially like the deeper 20's. It's punchy, but the low part of the note is a little longer.

My worst experience was when I had to play on 22 that was dead as a wet sack, and that really blew. it didn't feel so awful because I play off the head, but there was NO sound coming back.
I felt sorry for the first band's drummer on that line up because it took a full song and a half to get any sound out of the drum through the PA because it was stuffed with a comforter and had an Aquarian Super Kick on it....

I sometimes use a 28, but even though it sounds great, it's too much of a pain to haul around. I did use that size for about 10 years though. A 16" then a 20" depth on it--yes, it was a pain to haul, but I didn't care, it's what I wanted to use, and the sound I wanted.

On faster stuff, it does come down to how you tension the heads and play the pedal.

The bass drum on the link was very cool sounding.
 

ANIMALBEATS

Silver Member
I recomend a 8" x 28" woofer to anyone, it sounds fantasic with no mic, and rediculass with.

I couldn't be more happier with it, so much so I've purchased a 6" x 22" shell, as a long term project.

Here's my woofer on a 14" x 18" 1980's Premier Club Kit, when I put it through the poor P.A, it almost blew.
 

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KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I recomend a 8" x 28" woofer to anyone, it sounds fantasic with no mic, and rediculass with.

I couldn't be more happier with it, so much so I've purchased a 6" x 22" shell, as a long term project.

Here's my woofer on a 14" x 18" 1980's Premier Club Kit, when I put it through the poor P.A, it almost blew.
That's awesome. Great looking kit too!
 
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