Woofers - fact or myth?

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I saw a YouTube clip of Billy Ward doing a demo of his playing with and without a woofer in front of his bass drum. But I think he does it the cool way: he's using a 20x12 bass drum, but the woofer in front is a 28" drum (I think - it looks big). The difference between "with" and "without" woofer was significant. It'd be cool if I could try it. Alot of people who use them seem to get the same diameter drum for their woofer. I'd love to try a significantly bigger one just to see how cool it would be.

Has anyone here used one? Do you use it regularly when you were working? Is the extra low end absolutely worth it? Thoughts?


Platinum Member
I've used a woofer, or sympathetically-resonating bass drum, a few times. Yeah, it changes the sound. Yeah it's a cool effect, and it's useful for recording, but not worth it to bring to gigs in most cases.

My favorite combo is a 20x14 bass drum with a 28x10 woofer, both 70s 3-ply Ludwigs. I like to mic between the bass drums with a condenser from above.


Gold Member
That bigger size woofer makes sense. I had a standard 18x22 with the maybe 8x22 DW woofer and I thought I heard and felt a lil difference but I’d say not worth the schlepp. Good to see ya Caddywumpus


Senior Member
Bo, take your smallest bass drum and put your biggest bass drum in front of it with a mic in it, and record it. You can a/b the resulting track to see if it adds something you like or not. You have the knowledge and equipment to do this experiment. Who knows, you may find that it's what you've been looking for all these years. 😁


Platinum Member
I've used this trick for recording (BD in front of BD) where the drummer's BD is a bit anemic and he doesn't want to use the studio kit. I've also literally put a 18" speaker in front of a BD, solo'd the recorded BD, and recorded the new BD to save a track where there was clipping. I first saw the speaker-drum trick done in White Crow Studio in Burlington in 91' to save a snare track. I've also used multiple toms to do faux-room-mic sound. Here is CSL's testing.

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Gold Member
At the drum recording workshop at Sweetwater Studios the instructor used one. He demonstrated that it wasn’t for any audible sound but to generate a signal for a sub-woofer to add “feel” to the sound, to push air. You’d never hear/feel it with earbuds or smart phone speakers.