Topic: What's a good bass drum muffling method?  (Read 6344 times)

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_andygumm_

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What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« on: February 15, 2003, 12:45 PM »
I'm playing my 1st show next saturday.  I need to know how to muffle my pearl export bass drum.  right now for practice i have a small pillow in there and it sounds good, but im afraid when it's miced, it'll be too dead.  anyone  have suggestions?

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2003, 12:57 PM »
I'm playing my 1st show next saturday.  I need to know how to muffle my pearl export bass drum.  right now for practice i have a small pillow in there and it sounds good, but im afraid when it's miced, it'll be too dead.  anyone  have suggestions?

It will probably be fine, particularly since they're miking it. Most soundmen LIKE pillows in bass drums - it's easier for them to control the sound.

Later on, you may want to look into a self-muffling head like an Aquarian Impact or Superkick, but for now don't sweat it. Good luck!
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Carn

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2003, 01:10 PM »
Yup. Im still waiting for my Evans EQ3 set, which includes a self-muffled head, and a small Foam like thingy ( i believe). My friend has it, and they use it at my music school, and it sounds really good imho

Offline Joe

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2003, 04:53 PM »
On the eve of a "Battle of the Bands" thing I was involved in, I recalled some article I read describing John Bonham's rather liberal bass drum muffling ideas.  I decided to try one of them: Crumpled newspaper filling the drum about halfway.  I liked the airy, controlled sound it afforded, so I packed everything up and went to the school with my bandmates.  The soundguy almost reprimanded me; it didn't occur that the paper would rattle around.  I can still remember him saying, "Where's your pillow?!"  He squashed it all down, mic'ed it up, and it sounded okay, but a pillow would have made a cleaner sound for the gymnasium we were playing in.  I suggest a pillow for this type of gig as well,; just don't fill the drum too much.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

_andygumm_

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2003, 07:02 PM »
I'm gonna try using a very small pillow, i found some foam pillows at walmart, made out of the same stuff some people called (eggcrates) and thought i might try it.  would it work?

as for the heads, i'm getting a new set within a month, do I didnt want to spend money on heads for this set becuase the bass drum is smaller on my new set im getting (pacific cx or premier artist birch).  so until then, im gonna use what i got.

thanks!  im also gonna have someone teach me how to tune my drums perfectly (well close anyways  ;D ) this week, i'll share any tips he may have.

Offline Mark Schlipper

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2003, 07:03 PM »
theres another version of that idea joe that ive heard jazz players used "back in the day" ... use feathers instead of newspaper.  the impact sends 'em flying and keeps your tone clean, then they float down to muffle the excess ring.  of course you cant have a hole in the head or itll look like youve got a goose in a jet engine  ;D  (assuming cartoon imagery is correct)
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Offline Joe

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2003, 08:54 PM »
I think I will try that, whenever I run into some feathers.  Thanks so much for relaying that.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

metal_drummer11

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2003, 09:14 PM »
Well For this gig i would recommend a small pillow....however,for this "new set" your getting....i recommend a Remo Foam muffle ring...you'll never need a pillow again and it allows more air in your kick which makes it louder so you can keep the mics turned down lower which means less feed back....well i guess that also depends on the sound guy.

Offline Joe

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2003, 10:01 PM »
Well For this gig i would recommend a small pillow....however,for this "new set" your getting....i recommend a Remo Foam muffle ring...you'll never need a pillow again and it allows more air in your kick which makes it louder so you can keep the mics turned down lower which means less feed back....well i guess that also depends on the sound guy.


I used to have one....IMHO, they are good for louder stuff in which the bass drum sound doesn't have to be defined, but the actual plastic foam ring holder blocks the bearing edge of the drum, something to watch out for if you wish a musical tone from your bass drum.

I do think less of a sound guy who can only work with a bass drum con pillow, but this is par for the course on lower profile gigs, I've found.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

_andygumm_

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2003, 10:07 PM »
When I get my new set, I'll look into many options.  One being the heads with the muffle rings and the DW drum pillow.  Anohter being the remo foam muffle.  Another being somehting I thought of myself.  Taking the "eggcrate" pillow, cutting it into like 4 smaller pieces and spreading them out thru the bass drum.  

Offline Joe

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2003, 10:12 PM »
When I get my new set, I'll look into many options.

You'll go far doing that.  I change my bass drum muffling all the time, as with the other drums.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

DRMerATL

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2003, 12:15 AM »
in my 22"  I have a verry thin pillow that works nicely.  It just barely touches the resonant side and its folded up so that it covers up to about 2" of the batter head.  It sounds really good.  Then on my 20"  I just use a folded up towel to do almost the same thing only it mufles even less than the pillow.  They both work well in miked situations.

Offline Louis Russell

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2003, 06:38 AM »
Check out the self-muffling heads.  Back in the days before good heads I would take a sheet of 1 inch foam and cut it to the width of the bass drum and long enough to go all the way around inside.  When cut to the correct width it should barely touch the drumhead without compressing the foam.  It would hold itself in place and was a lot better than trying to keep a pillow in place.  I still use this method on my old Gretsch kit but the other kits have the self-muffling heads.
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gdawson44

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2003, 08:12 AM »
I agree with that - I use a SuperKick I and use no pillows or anything in the kick.  The bass reso is a little boingy but I've found that, just like any other ringy drum head, a taped napkin near the rim tames it down quite a bit.
I am the anti-pillow.  To me, nothing could be worse than having something stuffed into a drum.

Offline Christopher

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2003, 08:55 AM »
You have lots of options when it comes to muffling. Some very high profile drummers use very low-tech solutions. Pillows, packing blankets, foam. All time tested methods. I've had good success with using rolled up towels. Simon Phillips and Dave Weckl both swear by this method.

The following in quotes was taken the FAQ section of Simon's site. He is ultra knowledgeable on all things drumming and is very generous in sharing what he knows.
Check it out for yourself at  http://www.simon-phillips.com/]http://www.simon-phillips.com/

"There are many issues here. The type of heads, the type of damping and how much, the type of beater and the way you play the drum!! I would first start with a clear Ambassador head - to me that is the simplest, cleanest sound source. Put the pedal on the drum and listen to what is happening without any dampening. It should sound like a thin marching drum - pretty horrible really!!! Then take a dense piece of damping (that is why I use a towel - and an expensive one. Cheap towels are thin and light. Most of the damping items available for sale are not dense enough. Then place against the batter head inside the drum and listen to what happens to the sound - you will need to hold the damping against the head - hence why I tape it. Otherwise the sound will change with every strike. make sure the beater is striking as near the center as you can get it - usually with a 22" drum the beater will be an inch or two above center - that is fine. Then put on the front head. If you are playing acoustically you do not need a hole - however if you are miking up the drum it is easier to get a sound if you let some air escape. using a full head with a mic inside is not for the squeamish!!! It also depends upon the room you are in. If it is a small room you will have better results with a hole. Also make sure you are striking the drum and lifting off the head - you will get more projection that way. Remember tightening the batter head with increase the lo end of the drum - loosening will increase the "slap". Try tuning the front head up too - that helps to tighten up the lo end. Then if you are starting to get results you can experiment with different heads. Best of luck."

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Offline Joe

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2003, 02:10 PM »
Someone mentioned taping a napkin to the reso side, near the rim.  I do this same thing, but with a piece of folded felt.  Here's how I have my drum currently:

Batter:  Clear Powerstroke 3 w/ included Falam Slam pad, no dampening.

Reso:  Clear Ambassador with two quarter-size holes at 3 and 9 o'clock, an inch or so from the rim.  This was inspired by DW's dry vents on their reso heads, but I use them to let air out of the drum (and to accomodate my poor bass drum technique, but it's getting better) while still keeping a full head sound.  Felt taped to 12 o'clock position an inch from the rim.

For a flatter sound, I just lay a pillow against the front head.  I don't know how this sounds in front though; I just use it while practicing to keep the boom down (and the neighbors happy).
 
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

hitman357

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2003, 02:20 PM »
I dumped my paper shredder into the BD about 1\3 full...it doesn't make noise like crumpled newspaper.

swithers

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2003, 02:52 PM »
I have an Evans EQ Pad which I think came with my set. It's worked nicely so far...

Offline Roger Beverage

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2003, 08:47 PM »
Aquarian Performance II on the beater side. A little felt on the resonant side, just enough to cut the ring.

I will never understand those who fill a drum full of crap, then work like the blazes to beat the crap out of it to get a sound.

Recorded my big band last weekend.  The engineer walked out front and asked me to hit the bass drum as loud as I would play it in the recording. I did one thump.
He nodded his head, said "cool" and walked away.
No holes, no pillows, nothing to interfere with the sound I paid for.

Offline Joe

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Re:What's a good bass drum muffling method?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2003, 10:54 PM »
Oddly enough, many of the people who stuff up the drum are those who could use the extra resonance to cut through all of the loud guitars, etc. in their hard rock/alternative bands.  At a local bowling alley, they have bands on Saturday night.  I would bowl there during that time because it was cheap; something like 10 bucks for three hours.  I usually heard the soundchecks of these loud-as-all-hell bands, and noticed most had the pedal squeaking louder than the sorry thump of the poor filled-to-the-brim bass drum.
I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

 

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