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Muffling the bass drum

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  • Muffling the bass drum

    Got new skins with art printed on Remo PowerMax skins. With the current setup, they were way too muffled. Had a sweet spot only about 5" across and no resonance. So I tore out the 2"x2" continuous foam strips. Geez, talk about sounding like a vibrating trunk lid on a cheap import with an over-driven ghetto bass speaker! So I cut the foam into 3" pieces and centered over the clamps. That helped a bit but I still get some "buzz" from the center of the skin.

    I'm needing a quick fix due to an upcoming gig in 3 days and another drummer I spoke with mentioned stretching felt across the shell, then clamping the heads back down, and then stretching the felt slowly until the "buzz" goes away. Anyone have any experience with that until I can get a permanent fix in?

    (I say a temporary fix because I don't have time to properly install and tweak new foam; my daily commute is 2 hours....each way)

  • #2
    Re: Muffling the bass drum

    P/M me with a picture of the drum. And/or, if you'll be at the Georgetown, TX workshop in November, bring it along.

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    • #3
      Re: Muffling the bass drum

      thanks Mike! I "plan" on being there and already submitted a request to Jeff via their website but have yet to hear back. I asked if there was space available (because I know their first priority is Fire Dept's).

      No pics of drum yet and my smart phone ain't so smart with a broken camera software that causes it to reboot every time I select "Camera"

      If you just wanna see the art, swing by Neckbone.net to their proofing gallery and take a look at Capitol City (listed near the top).

      For right now, I ripped the foam back out and am trying the felt trick. Will post tomorrow night and update the status.

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      • #4
        Re: Muffling the bass drum

        Originally posted by Metronome View Post

        I'm needing a quick fix due to an upcoming gig in 3 days and another drummer I spoke with mentioned stretching felt across the shell, then clamping the heads back down, and then stretching the felt slowly until the "buzz" goes away. Anyone have any experience with that until I can get a permanent fix in?
        Well, that sounds KINDA like what we did recently with a bass drum in one of my bands. We were trying to adjust the dampening ("damping" if you prefer the technically proper term, P.C. folks!) to get a little more sustain but not TOO much. So we had a felt strip stretched across the inside of the head, midway between the center and the outer edge, with plenty of excess hanging out over the rims on each end. We tightened down the head gradually, pulling on both ends of the felt strip to get it tight against the head; then testing to see how the drum sounded, then loosening the head and repositioning the felt a little, and testing again. We did a trial-and-error thing ... repeating this process with the strip positioned slightly lower or higher and experimenting till we got the sound and tone we were looking for. Did the same thing with the opposite head. In our case, we did have heads with artwork on them also, in case you were wondering.

        Don't know if this will get rid of "buzzing" or not, but you could try.
        If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

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        • #5
          Re: Muffling the bass drum

          Kinda curious as to why you went with Remo, as opposed to Aquarian

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          • #6
            Re: Muffling the bass drum

            Felt strips over bearing edges....That's a No, No.
            The bearing edges, projection, warmth, unwanted overtone control.
            Everything suffers.
            Foamies are also something that I started that, are now a thing of the past.
            Hosbilt Heads with art. We started it all, many have copy-cat products, but NOBODY has comparable sound.

            I hate to hear these nightmare stories.
            Make Sound Decisions

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            • #7
              Re: Muffling the bass drum

              Installed the felt sheet. Better than I hoped, but....

              Pros
              ----------
              -definitely got rid of the "vibrating trunklid" buzzy sound
              -it's cheap! a piece of felt from WalMart, 6ft x 3ft, runs $7.50
              -maybe it's just me, but I think it actually sounds damn good!


              Cons
              ---------
              -definitely a temporary fix to be used only when you're in a jam as the tone is not even all the way across the head when you tap with your finger
              -when you put the skin back on and start clamping it down, the clearance is already snug. you have to be careful that it clamps evenly all the way around and isn't sitting off the bearing edge
              -no tuning by ear as the felt muffles the sound when tapping around the edge of the hoop


              @Biggsy
              as for Remo versus Aquarian, that's what Neckbone uses, since Remo manufactures their heads with the art.

              @Mike Cole
              and, yes, I WILL be at the Georgetown clinic (just found out today). I'm even thinking of trying my hand at Salado since it will the same weekend.
              Metronome
              Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
              Last edited by Metronome; 09-29-2011, 11:12 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Muffling the bass drum - Update

                -maybe it's just me, but I think it actually sounds damn good!

                It was just me, soft tapping with a beater inside at night does not equate to the same thing outside at full volume. While the 'buzzy' vibrato that woluld fade away was gone, it was replaced with a bass vibrato that disappeared after a soft echo.

                The felt definitely makes a difference when trying to tighten the clamps. We found that they kept "slipping" as pressure was applied.

                After this experience, I'll know to have foam blocks and glue on hand BEFORE changing heads.
                Live and learn.....

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                • #9
                  Re: Muffling the bass drum

                  Hosbilt Heads with Art.
                  Out of the box, optimum sound.
                  Sorry about your bad experiences.
                  I know how frustrating it can be.

                  1984 Friday night before Maxville.
                  John Kerr is in my hotel room and we're tearing my drum apart,
                  filling it with the feathers from a pillow.
                  In those days I would try anything to get some tone happening.
                  Luckily over the years the R&D has solved some of the mysteries.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Muffling the bass drum

                    Neckbones' art is really good, but I suspect they are setup for kick drums. We would use gun cleaning cloth back in the 80's - probably a wee bit lighter than felt. It really does come down to a combination of small things to make the big sound. For instance - and I know I'm gonna get flak for this - I have never been fond of Articulators. I love Superkicks. Y'all are going to say they are the same thing, just white or clear. I couldn't verbalize WHY the sound is better - I just KNOW it is.
                    Alas, Metronome - a costly lesson. You know where to go next time, eh?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Muffling the bass drum

                      Originally posted by Biggsy View Post
                      Neckbones' art is really good, but I suspect they are setup for kick drums. We would use gun cleaning cloth back in the 80's - probably a wee bit lighter than felt. It really does come down to a combination of small things to make the big sound. For instance - and I know I'm gonna get flak for this - I have never been fond of Articulators. I love Superkicks. Y'all are going to say they are the same thing, just white or clear. I couldn't verbalize WHY the sound is better - I just KNOW it is.
                      Alas, Metronome - a costly lesson. You know where to go next time, eh?

                      I had a really cool art professor in college who would get a little wound up if you told him "I may not know art but I like this!" we liked to wind him up every once in a while

                      as for the sound and why you can't verbalize, don't sweat it. It probably DOES sound better to you. everyone hears things differently and everyone sees things differently (and that's a proven fact). trying to describe a sound you are hearing without using a common vocabulary where you agree what each sound you are hearing means to you can be an exercise in frustration. (when drinking beer, what is this 'hoppiness' they keep talking about? beats me, tastes damn good!)

                      and as for the next set of heads with art? we got the art files backed up on cdrom

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