Topic: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?  (Read 8271 times)

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yes

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should your bass drum pedal beater hit exactly in the dead center of your batter head?

dKApS.

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2007, 12:29 PM »
i say yes... unless ur using a double pedal, then i'd put both beaters equal distance from the center so they have the same sound

James Walker

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2007, 12:41 PM »
should your bass drum pedal beater hit exactly in the dead center of your batter head?

There aren't any rules.  Experiment, and determine if you notice a difference, and if so, which placement sounds better for you:  dead center or off-center.

In orchestral work, I've found that on concert bass drums the exact center of the head is a nodal point, a point of least vibration.  It's a common practice on concert bass drums to strike off-center, to get a fuller tone out of the drum.  However, on drum set, one might like the more prominent attack sound that one sometimes gets having the beater strike dead center on the head.  You may even decide that you like having the striking spot in one location for one style of music, but in another location for other styles of music.

At the very least, I'm not aware of there being any risk of damage to the drum or head, from having the beater strike dead center.

Chris Whitten

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2007, 03:49 PM »
I'm not sure if there is any benefit.
It's not always possible anyway, sometimes on 18" and 24"/26" bass drums.
Using those sizes I haven't noticed a degredation in sound performance. Although I must admit I set my beater to hit dead centre on 22" bass drums.

Matt Self (Gaddabout)

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2007, 04:46 PM »
I don't think every drum is meant to be played dead center, and bass drums really fall into this category, IMO. Most bass drums double as the load-bearing mule of the kit, with much weight bearing down from hardware and mounted batterie. This is going to limit the drum's ability to produce vibrations the closer you get to the top of the drum. How much this has an impact varies from ear-to-ear, but it does have some affect. This is why I generally set my beaters for the low-center of the head, unless I'm playing a jazz kit with no mounted hardware.

The advice to experiment is definitely a good one. Also keep in mind that every time you adjust your beater length, it means adjusting your foot pedal action. A choked, shorter beater is going to require less action than a longer beater. Also, make sure the back of your beater isn't touching the head if you shorten it ... it's a good way to tear the head.

drumrjohnr

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2007, 06:01 PM »
should your bass drum pedal beater hit exactly in the dead center of your batter head?

Hitting the drum head dead center will give you the most pure fundamental (low thump) and least overtone. Hitting off center will give you more overtones and less fundamental. So yes it makes a difference and what is better depends on what you want to hear.  If micing to run through a PA system while performing live I'd be tempted to avoid the dead center hit as it may be difficult for speakers to keep up with unless you have a huge powerful sound system, for recording or unamplified live sound, whatever floats your boat.

JR

Chris Whitten

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2007, 06:43 PM »
Hitting the drum head dead center will give you the most pure fundamental (low thump) and least overtone. Hitting off center will give you more overtones and less fundamental. So yes it makes a difference and what is better depends on what you want to hear. 


Makes sense.  :)

Mark Schlipper

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2007, 09:54 PM »
I've found that on concert bass drums the exact center of the head is a nodal point, a point of least vibration.  It's a common practice on concert bass drums to strike off-center, to get a fuller tone out of the drum. 

Which is exactly why I keep my beaters off center on my kits.   Works for me.

Blues Cat

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007, 04:18 AM »
It seems that when you hit right in the middle the head kinda pulls the beater/stick in. It feels weird when I hit my floor tom head right in the middle. So basically I have a mental pic of an outline of a quarter right in the middle and hit on either side of it, kinda like they taught you in beginning band.

So for the offset guys, does it make a difference to go above middle or should you stay below middle with the beater on 22" and 24" BD's?

chillman4130

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2007, 09:53 AM »
So for the offset guys, does it make a difference to go above middle or should you stay below middle with the beater on 22" and 24" BD's?

I have mine slightly (about 1.5") above the dead center on my 22" kick drum. The reason is only because that's where it hits the head when I have my pedal adjusted the way I like it. I can't imagine the sound of the drum would be noticeably different if I put the beater dead center but the feel of my pedal would be.

I'd recommend setting up your pedal however you like it, and then tuning your drum to sound good wherever the beater lands.

Blues Cat

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2007, 04:46 PM »
I checked my beater height and it's slightly above dead center.

Mark Schlipper

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2007, 11:00 AM »
So for the offset guys, does it make a difference to go above middle or should you stay below middle with the beater on 22" and 24" BD's?

Since your drum should be round, any distance from the center should net the same results no matter what direction.   So make your above/below decision based on pedal feel.

Vintage Ludwig

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Re: should bass drum beater hit in the dead center of batter head?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2007, 02:59 PM »
Dont know if it makes much of a difference, but I usually try to have it centered.

 

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