18" kick....wasn't impressed.

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
4,169
Reaction score
376
Location
Atlanta, GA
I agree. I like an 18” for jazz music. But otherwise, definitely no. I don’t care if it’s more to haul around.

I’m good with a 20” or up, depending on what it is. 20, 22, 24 all good...just depends on the setting for me personally.
 

Joe A

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
822
Reaction score
97
Location
Oklahoma City
I absolutely love small bass drums—I've got a legit 16, a 16" converted floor with actual hoops, and even a 12" that must be lifted to have a prayer of any presence—but I don't think I'd bring anything less than 20" into a bar for rock. Depth is up for discussion, maybe I'd use my Rhythm Traveler kick depending, but I'd want to use a large head!
 

Maggot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2010
Messages
449
Reaction score
86
Location
Durham, NC
I've actually had other musicians comment that they can actually make out what I'm doing on the bass drum when I use an 18" or 16". I've always found them to be punchy and articulate.
How do you tune it?

I'm a bass player. The amount of low end that you need in most kinds of music is overstated. There's only a certain amount that will fit in a mix. I get the sense that a lot of people think that larger drums can be heard better because you're moving more air. Really, I think smaller kick drums emphasize the mids more, which is where most of the other instruments live, so unless your careful, the kick is masked by bass, guitars, whatever else. A bigger kick drum emphasizes the subsonic grunt, which, in a lot of mixes, you won't be able to hear, and the attack, which you will. This can be finessed with a smaller drum. An ideal rock or pop mix often fits the bass into a frequency scoop in the kick drum between the attack and the thud. This is definitely doable with any size kick, but is easier with a bigger one.
 

Olderschool

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
1,835
Reaction score
320
Location
Usa
Just for clarification....the 18 Kick was not ported.

As far as tuning....you got me? I got a call to play the gig but I didn't know the drummer. It's not like we are a "band" or anything. I will say the drummer played fine so he seemed to know what he was doing. Usually there is a house kit but it was a "Weed Festival" so they had bands going outside too and they needed the house kit.
 

EvEnStEvEn

~Lounge Lizard~
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
17,592
Reaction score
2,016
Location
Oklur Homer
My Silverstar Bop kit 12,14,18. BD sounds fantastic - no internal muffling. Birch shells. Love this kit!

Aquarian Force-1 batter
Stock reso
Both tuned med/high.
Full & punchy boom, not thud.
I always use a hard plastic beater .

Tama Silverstars @ VFW.jpg
 

Stretch Riedle

DFO Master
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
3,113
Reaction score
191
Location
Santa Cruz, California
It's all in the tuning. I use an 18" exclusively for 99% of my gigs (rock, country, etc. ... everything but jazz).

The band members & I always love the reaction of the various FOH engineers when they ask for the kick drum and I hit it once and they look up with this surprised look on their face like they couldn't believe an 18" kick can sound the way I have mine tuned.
What drum heads are you using? Ported resonant head? How is it tuned?
Stretch
 

cornelius

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
1,202
Reaction score
96
I've played 18's and 16's - IME if I use minimal muffling, tension the drum up to where it sings, don't bury the beater - the drum works on rock gigs. If I tension the drum down to try and sound like a 22, it runs out of gas...
 

Radio King

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
2,402
Reaction score
861
Location
VA Beach
My Silverstar Bop kit 12,14,18. BD sounds fantastic - no internal muffling. Birch shells. Love this kit!

Aquarian Force-1 batter
Stock reso
Both tuned med/high.
Full & punchy boom, not thud.
I always use a hard plastic beater .
Steven, do you adjust your beater height? My biggest reservation with 18's has always been that sort of "bonk" sound when the beater hits near the top bearing edge. A lowered beater definitely increases the tone and punch, but it changes the feel of the pedal.

I know one solution is to use a riser. True, it does make things easier, but I've always found them to be more hassle than they're worth.
 

stevil

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
264
Reaction score
133
Location
Portland, OR
I play big kicks, but I've heard small kicks that get the job done and then some. I suspect that they require more discipline when it comes to burying the beater in the head.
 

EvEnStEvEn

~Lounge Lizard~
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
17,592
Reaction score
2,016
Location
Oklur Homer
Steven, do you adjust your beater height? My biggest reservation with 18's has always been that sort of "bonk" sound when the beater hits near the top bearing edge. A lowered beater definitely increases the tone and punch, but it changes the feel of the pedal.

I know one solution is to use a riser. True, it does make things easier, but I've always found them to be more hassle than they're worth.
David, these Silverstar bop kits came with a built-on riser that folds under the drum for transport and swings out in a flip motion for use, very handy. No need to adjust beater height as the beater strikes nearly dead center.
 

Rik_Everglade

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2012
Messages
1,098
Reaction score
78
Location
Silver Creek, NY
No. If you are getting an 18" bass to make transportation easier, then it is a great bass drum. It's perfect for city jazz gigs because there are small stages, and you can maneuver it through the crowd more easily. But thinking for a moment that 18" will sound as good?..Forget it. I love my 18" bass drum for exactly the reason it was made: It's as easy to swing as a dead cat.
 

Stickclick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Messages
355
Reaction score
81
Location
Florida, USA
I bought my little bop kit for practice, portability and small stage footprint. It might not sound great but it sounds OK.
 

m_anderson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
262
Reaction score
177
Location
Maryland
My 18x14 Bubinga kicks ass. Aquarian SK10, Aquarian Regulator, tuned finger tight with just a bit of tweak. Can pull off Zeppelin with no problem. I didn't think I would like the AQ Regulator with the "Floating Muffling System", but it gives a lot of punch. Also sounds great with the AQ Force II. Absolutely no porting.
 

BennyK

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
14,304
Reaction score
1,253
I have a converted 60's Ludwig marching tom on the shelf if I ever need it , but generally go to a 20 if I'm looking for that specific articulation .
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
8,025
Reaction score
1,091
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
I have a Slingerland 12-14-18 and that bass drum is a cannon and made me a believer that an 18 inch bass drum can do anything. Once you mic it there's no way to tell. I normally run coated Ambassador or Fiber skins on the resonant side and I really dig the Aquarian Sound kick 1 or 2 as batter heads. I also have a Gretsch USA 14x18 and a vintage Ludwig 12x18 that will blow most 20's away. It's all about the tuning, heads, room and of course a balanced sound.
 

Olderschool

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
1,835
Reaction score
320
Location
Usa
I have a Slingerland 12-14-18 and that bass drum is a cannon and made me a believer that an 18 inch bass drum can do anything. Once you mic it there's no way to tell.
I hear ya but we are not talking about how a mic'ed kit sounds out front. The problem was hearing the kick up on the stage in a small stage in a small bar. In that situation, you normally don't have stage monitors and the little kick simply could not overcome the stage and/or room volume.
 

blueshadow

Just Shuffling along
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
13,137
Reaction score
996
Location
North of Austin, Texas
Like others have said I think heads and tuning make a big difference on these little kicks. My 14x18 has an Aquarian Force batter (similar to Remo Powerstroke) and no port. I have a little muffling on the front head. I have it on the floor no riser and don't adjust the beater, I adjust the tuning. Never had the band say they can't hear it, in fact I think they like it better than the 22....but normally we're not playing real loud. Really though the 18" take no less room than any other kick. If Ludwig had been making the 12" depth kicks like they do now I would have got a 12x22 instead.
 

Radio King

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
2,402
Reaction score
861
Location
VA Beach
I hear ya but we are not talking about how a mic'ed kit sounds out front. The problem was hearing the kick up on the stage in a small stage in a small bar. In that situation, you normally don't have stage monitors and the little kick simply could not overcome the stage and/or room volume.
Same for me. I've had 4 bop kits over the years (one maple and 3 heavy German beech), and while I could get a sound that was pleasing to my ear, I could never compensate for the fact that the snare and toms simply overpowered the bass drum in volume. With PA, no problem, but without amplification, the bass drum just got kind of swallowed up.
 


Top