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Bouncing Kick Drum Beater
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Bouncing Kick Drum Beater

Tip about kick drum technique

If you're having a hard time hearing the shell of a kick drum in a recording, it may be that the drummer is burying the beater; that is allowing the beater to rest on the beater head on every stroke.

Burying the beater is a habit that is not easily broken. The drummer will need to practice bouncing the kick drum; that is allowing the beater to bounce off the beater head on every stroke. This allows the kick drum to resonate.

Share this information. You'll get an entirely different kick tone. It might change your drummer's life. Lol.

Cheers!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
It may also be that the drummer deliberately uses a mix of both techniques to achieve their desired sound and that it’s your/our/my job to capture that without unnecessary interference 😀.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Drummer/hobby recordist here. I would say if the drummer himself/herself asks for more tone in the drum, then you could tell him/her it might help to let the beater bounce - but only then. Drummers might react a bit allergic to engineers telling them how to play/set up/tune. Work together as a team.

I think it's great if an engineer know drums, which one to choose, which heads, how to tune them, how to muffle, beater choice etc. So many variables. I guess that's why many times it seems easier to replace/enhance the sounds using samples.

The other way round it makes sense as well, that's one reason why I got into recording myself, to know how my drums sound mic'ed. As a drummer, ideally you play and set up for the mics, room mics included. One thing I noticed is that a lot of drummers swear by an empty drum, using heavily muffled drumheads instead. Good chance this might produce "early reflections" within the drum shell, the dreaded basektball effect. I have used a plain Ambassador head lately, with just a very thin chair cushion inside the drum. Example:
https://soundcloud.com/seb234/mustang-73-2
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trubadoor ➡️
Tip about kick drum technique

If you're having a hard time hearing the shell of a kick drum in a recording, it may be that the drummer is burying the beater; that is allowing the beater to rest on the beater head on every stroke.

Burying the beater is a habit that is not easily broken. The drummer will need to practice bouncing the kick drum; that is allowing the beater to bounce off the beater head on every stroke. This allows the kick drum to resonate.

Share this information. You'll get an entirely different kick tone. It might change your drummer's life. Lol.

Cheers!
ha ha... as a hobby drummer I would say in a recording situation: "OK, man - let us change the roles - You play that f***n kick, meanwhile I press the "Record button" and get a cup of coffee

But joking aside, - that is in fact an interesting topic and I faced the opposite problem during my last recording session.
A combination of not playing heel up "into" the drumhead, but careless heel down resulted in a kind of unintended double strokes... Bumm blub
I was tough to fix because it became a habit over the years.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynasonic ➡️
I faced the opposite problem during my last recording session.
A combination of not playing heel up "into" the drumhead, but careless heel down resulted in a kind of unintended double strokes... Bumm blub
I was tough to fix because it became a habit over the years.
Guilty of that , too - sometimes you only notice things like that in the studio - when it's too late to practise.

Similar: the heel-up "beater fart" - when you bury the beater, but the drum is too resonant (or your foot is too light), and the head keeps vibrating.

Btw, some great studio drummers keep the beater on the head, Vinnie, JR - just the first examples that come to mind.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seb1977 ➡️
Drummer/hobby recordist here. I would say if the drummer himself/herself asks for more tone in the drum, then you could tell him/her it might help to let the beater bounce - but only then. Drummers might react a bit allergic to engineers telling them how to play/set up/tune. Work together as a team.

I think it's great if an engineer know drums, which one to choose, which heads, how to tune them, how to muffle, beater choice etc. So many variables. I guess that's why many times it seems easier to replace/enhance the sounds using samples.

The other way round it makes sense as well, that's one reason why I got into recording myself, to know how my drums sound mic'ed. As a drummer, ideally you play and set up for the mics, room mics included. One thing I noticed is that a lot of drummers swear by an empty drum, using heavily muffled drumheads instead. Good chance this might produce "early reflections" within the drum shell, the dreaded basektball effect. I have used a plain Ambassador head lately, with just a very thin chair cushion inside the drum. Example:
https://soundcloud.com/seb234/mustang-73-2
I agree. I would NEVER suggest bouncing the beater in a session. I don't think it's always the sound a song needs. Plus.. it's kind of a pointless in the moment suggestion because it takes time and dedicated practice to execute properly.

The context for me sharing this information is after having a short discussion with a drummer. I asked him how he gets such amazing tone out of his kick drum. He mentioned that he never cuts holes in his resonant head and bounces the beater.

I'm sharing this because I think its an important thing to think about. It's really valuable information to understand what makes certain sounds happen. It's a less talked about aspect of kick tone with engineers I think.. its not for everyone or everything....but I think its interesting.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawford ➡️
It may also be that the drummer deliberately uses a mix of both techniques to achieve their desired sound and that it’s your/our/my job to capture that without unnecessary interference 😀.
Yeah. I realize now that my original post may come off like I'm trying to teach drummers how to play. In fact...I'm just really pleased to have observed the difference both techniques produce. I'd say that the majority of drummers bury the beater, including many pros. It's not a bad sound at all...its just a very different sound to letting the shell ring.
Old 4 days ago
  #8
Gear Head
 
Wavefront's Avatar
 
I'm a drummer originally, who very much prefers the "resonant approach" of treating the beater somewhat like a stick insofar as it touches the drumhead only briefly.

It is very worthwhile to note that the design of almost all modern bass drum pedals, using a spring mechanism, can be part of the problem in many cases, because it hampers the drummer's ability to control the beater in the same inertial way that the fingers/hand/arm control a drumstick, with a more pure synergy of forces between human energy input and rebound from the instrument. A "direct drive" type of pedal, like the old Ludwig Speed King or newer Sonor Perfect Balance, do require an acclimation period for those whose foot technique has been ingrained to expect a bouncy, standard pedal. In the end, though, the greater control and feel for nuance they provide may help ensure that any "burying the beater" is occurring purely for aesthetic reasons of taste. Certainly not a recommendation for all players or all situations, but worth being aware of.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #9
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by trubadoor ➡️
Yeah. I realize now that my original post may come off like I'm trying to teach drummers how to play. In fact...I'm just really pleased to have observed the difference both techniques produce. I'd say that the majority of drummers bury the beater, including many pros. It's not a bad sound at all...its just a very different sound to letting the shell ring.
Ha - no worries!!
Was actually thinking about this again the other day, and one thing I've heard a lot is a double bounce. By the time a lot of mids have gotten cut and a large sub boost added in, these do seem to disappear quite often, but it seems a common problem. Burying may be a cure some drummers have adopted.

So maybe listen out for the double bounce as well, and look for those opportune moments to advise the drummer on double bounces and/or rebound vs burying the pedal.

Re Wavefronts answer below - I much prefer strap drive pedals for this reason.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trubadoor ➡️
I agree. I would NEVER suggest bouncing the beater in a session. I don't think it's always the sound a song needs. Plus.. it's kind of a pointless in the moment suggestion because it takes time and dedicated practice to execute properly.

The context for me sharing this information is after having a short discussion with a drummer. I asked him how he gets such amazing tone out of his kick drum. He mentioned that he never cuts holes in his resonant head and bounces the beater.

I'm sharing this because I think its an important thing to think about. It's really valuable information to understand what makes certain sounds happen. It's a less talked about aspect of kick tone with engineers I think.. its not for everyone or everything....but I think its interesting.
Cool.
For a while I used a closed front and a mic mounted internally, but these days I'm back to a small-ish port, much easier to change sounds. If the drum is tuned /setup to resonate, featuring an outside kick mic can make the drum sound almost as if it were closed. I don't bury the beater, but that's just my way of playing, I don't think it's wrong per se.
Old 3 days ago
  #11
Gear Head
 
Wavefront's Avatar
 
Regarding tailoring the bass drum's sound, I personally feel that the material, dimensions, and striking location of the beater are an under-discussed variable as well.
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