Help tuning a 20" bass drum, would like to reduce "basketball tone" and get the lowest fundamental pitch.

hector48

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So, I just got a 20" Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch bass drum that I want to use for classic rock.
Front head is an Evans smooth EQ3 reso with a 5 or 6" port.
Batter head is an Evans EMAD2, which is a 2-ply with external muffle ring, and no muffling inside the drum.

I'm trying to tune this head to get maximum low end, while still having reasonable beater rebound.
I have them tuned pretty close to the same, just above wrinkle when I push in the center slightly with one finger.

So, the "feel" is okay, but it would be nice to get a lower pitch, if possible, and I do have this annoying "basketball" tone coming thru my BD mic.
I looked up the "basketball BD tone" and found answers that include using a towel and some weight inside the shell.
I'm fine with the towel, but I really don't want to put a "weight" inside the BD shell.
This drum will be used for live playing, not studio. So, needs to be convenient for packing and travelling.

Anyone else experience this "bouncing basketball type tone"?
How did you remedy it?

And for get the lowest fundamental pitch from a 20" bass drum, should I make the resonant head even looser than the batter head?
 

shuffle

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Ive had that happen more on 24s,never a 20.
But the towel trick works.
 

cworrick

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:scratch: I've only heard of the basketball tone problem when there is a solid (no hole) front head.

I run a 20" Masters Custom (4ply maple with re-rings) with solid heads front and back and no junk inside.
Smooth White P3 (= EQ3) front and Clear P3 batter.
I have Evans heads on everything except the BD. For some reason the Evans heads just didn't work for this drum.

I have both tuned just a little above JAW. In fact I don't even use a key on the key rods to tune it. I just push down on the rim enough to turn in the rods using my fingers. If I need any muffling, I use a hand towel and lay it against the batter head (from the outside). I do use a Falam pad at the impact point for additional attack and durability of the head.

I've had this 20" BD beside some 22BDs and my 20 has been lower pitched than the 22s. I've experimented with the head tensions but always seem to come back to this combination. It is what works for my BD.

Again, mine is Maple, yours is Walnut/Birch. That may make a difference as well.

Good Luck.
 

hector48

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I'm using in ear monitors and an Audix BD mic.
So, maybe this is why I'm hearing the "basketball tone".
 

dyland

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Do you get the basketball tone in the room, or only through your monitors?
 

JDA

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And for get the lowest fundamental pitch from a 20" bass drum, should I make the resonant head even looser than the batter head?
ime No.
The head you 'kick, as soft and low, as is comfortable (but low)
The Front put a full head on it. Tension it up to throw some ping out into the room
the kick (side) is your thump
the front throws it out to the audience
 

pedro navahas

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I use a clear ps3 with either an Ambassador or calf with a felt strip on the reso, not loose, no port.
I get a nice low end thump with a little tone, if that makes sense. On occasion I have had to put a small towel between the bass drum pedal and the head to get rid of the boing.
 

Deafmoon

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I play a 20" but use a clear Remo Emperor on the batter and a smooth white PS3 on the front resonant with a 5" hole. The batter head and the inside are what I tweak. On the batter head, I use three slug amourphragms: 1- 535 model for the bass drum beater to hit and 2- 550 Uni Badge models at the 4 and 8 o'clock positions 1" from the edges. Generally, inside, I use a 14" x 14" x 2" foam in the bass drum. Tuning is generally higher on the 2 top & 2 bottom bass drum lugs. The side lugs are tuned extremely loose. The front resonant head is tuned equally all around very loose just enough to not have wrinkles. I use a Vic firth Wood Shaft beater, small felt ball, but articulate.
 

Ptrick

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With a mic, you generally need something in the drum to break up reflections. An Evans EQ bass drum pillow is usually enough to remedy the problem.
 

ThomFloor

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If you want the lowest fundamental get a 1 ply reso head (Amb). Any reso head with a 'reinforcement ring' etc is killing your tone. Think about it, do we have reso heads on toms with damping or reinforcement rings?
You can always dampen that head to taste.
A reinforcement ring is not so bad on a batter head.
You can have very low batter and tight reso and still get a low note.
Lastly don't forget the sound you hear at the kit in your room is not the sound 'out there'. So record your bass drum from 'out there' and see if it might sound better than you think.
 

Ray Dee Oh King

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I just put a "kicker" by Sonitus in my 24". Awesome product. Best my kicks sounded yet under mics.
Got rid of the basketball effect, and just a solid low end. Insane good.....really.....
Screenshot_20210503-110059_Gallery.jpg
 

Lee Van Kief

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Try this trick but in your bass drum. It totally worked wonders for my boingy floor tom.


 

flurbs

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Batter head is an Evans EMAD2, which is a 2-ply with external muffle ring, and no muffling inside the drum.

I'm using in ear monitors and an Audix BD mic.
All the info you've been given above is on the money. I'd add my own opinion that a lot of the character you're hearing that you don't want may be coming from the choice of batter head. Certainly a move to a softer, single ply head (maybe coated) will reduce the effect immediately. If you like the EMAD's then there's nothing wrong with a coated EMAD1...

A standout comment is the one above that if you're using an internal mic then you need something (anything) inside the drum to help break up reflections, this is probably the biggest factor at play - however, a lot depends on what the mic is and where you are using it. Can you let us know which model of Audix you have, and where it is located? Any pics?
 

Seb77

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Try this trick but in your bass drum. It totally worked wonders for my boingy floor tom.
They did this on the bass drum as well, but I don't see the need. Just lay a towel or small pillow, blanket whatever on the "floor" of the bass drum shell. You can't lay anything in a floor tom, that's why they mounted the cloth to the lug screws. No need to do this with a bass drum; it's more flexible to just lay it in there.
I found I do like some reflexions inside the bass drum shell, it's a bit like the room acoustics concept of one dead end, one live end.

How deep is your drum? Going for most low end on a shallower 20"might mean a smaller port, or none at all.
 

Lee Van Kief

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They did this on the bass drum as well, but I don't see the need. Just lay a towel or small pillow, blanket whatever on the "floor" of the bass drum shell.
I do see a need. For instance: if you have a non-ported front head and don’t want to shake your bass drum around to get whatever you have on the floor from touching the heads. It’s a “set and forget” type of thing.
 

pjmariner

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Maximum Thumpificaton

the money shot is at 10min 45sec if you want to hear

 
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JDA

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why people don't use 2 keys it's quicker..
and dare I say more precise..
lil tip from Bob Gatzen.
 
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hector48

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So, tonight I tried a small piece of studio foam 12 x 12, flat on the bottom and four triangles standing up.
BOOM! Problem solved. No basketball.
Thanks to everyone for all of the advice.

Now, to get the "feel".
I'm using a 2-ply batter (EMAD 2) tuned JAW, but the BD pedal response is not there.
Perhaps I should try a heavy single ply.
I do have a GMAD which is single ply, 12 mil.
 

trommel

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Don't port the reso head. Don't use any dampening at all. I have a 1965 Ludwig 14 X 20 BD, & I only use a protective "FALAM" patch to protect the batter head at the impact point from the BD beater(hard felt, wood, hard plastic, just depends). No towels, pillows, junk in the drum. Batter head tuned lower than reso, and this old 20 " sounds like a cannon. Heads are regular Ludwig heads. The 20" reminds me of my 16X26 which is an unported, non dampened monster. Low boom, plenty of volume or softness, and a lot of people ask me for help in getting their BDs (and other drums) to sound better. Let the drum sound like a drum, not a cardboard box. Any engineer can properly position a mic so that the drum sounds great. If she/he can't, use another engineer and/or studio that can properly do the job they were hired to do.
 
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