How would you set up a 24" bass for acoustic music?

jchertudi86

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Hi there. I have a 24" bass drum which I bought because it sounds awesome in loud music. But recently I find I'm being asked to play much lighter music; just some acoustic guitar, vocals, etc. No amplification on the drums.

Playing with a light touch on the bass isn't a problem for me; I normally play heel down and can play at low volumes. Rather, I'm looking for a little less "boom" and more of a controlled thump. Let's assume a room with crappy acoustics.

If this were you, how would you set up your 24" bass drum for this sound? Heads, muffling, holes, and of course, tuning.

For reference, my usual set up is a Powerstroke 3 on the batter, ambassador on the resonant, off-center 4 or 5" hole (can't remember), beater patch, and tuned pretty low; just a bit above "jaw". Sometimes I put a single towel in the drum depending on the room.

Thanks for your wisdom!
 

Talktotommy

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Hi there. I have a 24" bass drum which I bought because it sounds awesome in loud music. But recently I find I'm being asked to play much lighter music; just some acoustic guitar, vocals, etc. No amplification on the drums.

Playing with a light touch on the bass isn't a problem for me; I normally play heel down and can play at low volumes. Rather, I'm looking for a little less "boom" and more of a controlled thump. Let's assume a room with crappy acoustics.

If this were you, how would you set up your 24" bass drum for this sound? Heads, muffling, holes, and of course, tuning.

For reference, my usual set up is a Powerstroke 3 on the batter, ambassador on the resonant, off-center 4 or 5" hole (can't remember), beater patch, and tuned pretty low; just a bit above "jaw". Sometimes I put a single towel in the drum depending on the room.

Thanks for your wisdom!
I have 22s 24s 26s
I found that if you port them the attack increases and is harder to control the volume. Most of them now I just use felts front and back And I adjust tuning to suit the style. With that set up - which most would say is more of a booming sound it’s really more rounded and you can control it better with how hard you play.
 

multijd

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Two calf/natural skin heads (at least one) no port, felts on both heads as Talktotommy says.
 

Frank Godiva

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3 for felt front and back same heads just no port, feather for days; drive the big truck through town
 

Browny

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Try a softer beater to reduce the attack/impact sound. Either a vintage bomber or you can try to cover your current beater with a sock or something.

Once you’ve got the beater sorted, muffle the drum to taste to get your ‘thump to boom’ ratio where you want it.

After that you could look at tweaking tuning or even changing heads, but I’d start with the soft beater and muffling to taste/room.
 

hsosdrum

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Yep — get rid of the ported head and towel, use felt mufflers on both heads (I'd go with Remo Felt Tones) and switch to a fleece pedal beater like a vintage bomber.

In fact, with a little retuning the above setup can work extremely well for loud music too if you switch to a wood pedal beater.
 

mebeatee

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Yep — get rid of the ported head and towel, use felt mufflers on both heads (I'd go with Remo Felt Tones) and switch to a fleece pedal beater like a vintage bomber.

In fact, with a little retuning the above setup can work extremely well for loud music too if you switch to a wood pedal beater.
I have a couple pedals that always have 2 different kinds of beaters with them.
Depending on what the music requires....we change beating implements....sticks, mallets, brushes...why not beater balls as well....
bt
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I have one 14x24 70's Slingy. Coated emperor batter and coated amb reso. Very vintage tone. It thumps hard and can boom if the heads are loose and almost like a concert bass. Try a pillow. I also like Super Kicks on the batter side.......I think regardless of what you do, it will be a big sound and will depend on the lightness of your foot.

My buddy had a 16x24 DW and used it for jazz, but it was massive and whatever he did, it overpowered everything.......
 

Seb77

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I would also go for the most responsive sound, no port or blanket, heads not too loose. When the double-headed, open sound gets too boomy, I sometimes resort to leaning my cymbal bag against the front head. You can also drape a blanket over the front half of the drum.
 

JimmySticks

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Since your making your money doing soft acoustic gigs, you might want to consider stepping down to something smaller.

An 18” BD can sound pretty big when you want it to, but it’s a real natural for quiet settings without doing much, if any, muffling tricks, not to mention it’s just easier to transport and set up. An 18” with a soft beater would be the ticket.

I know that doesn’t answer your question, but it’s something to consider.
 

jchertudi86

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So, I got the Vater Vintage Bomber.

Holy crap. I can't believe how perfect it was. I didn't change the heads or tuning, just put this beater on and wow... perfect for the quiet gigs.

Thank you for the recommendation, guys! I might still try out a full reso head, too.
 


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