Bass Drum Sub-Woofer

Pearl, Tama, Yamaha, DW, Ludwig, Premier, Mapex etc.

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RimShot2100GP
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Post Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:30 pm

so guys i have been drumming for over 4 years, and i still have yet to understand the purpose of a bass drum sub-woofer, can someone please explain the pros and cons of this extravagant upgrade?

thx

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Shalaq
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Post Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:22 am

If you have a normal kick 22x18 stuffed with pillows you get good attack, but not really good sustain. If you want sustain you have to adjust muffling, but it'll change the feel of the head. Some players don't want to change the feel of the kicks, but want the sustain. That's where the woofer comes into play. It's the same diameter as the kicks and it's placed directly in front of the kick drum. When you hit the kick, it makes the woofer resonate as well, giving you sustain without loosing the attack.
Pros:
attack and sustain witout the beater flopping every time you hit it ;)
cons:
Hard to control
you need two mics.
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PaulZILLA
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Post Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:40 pm

ive always wondered that myself. thanks for explaining. i saw a guy on the DDRUM site. and he put an entire second 22x20 bass in front of his. without the reso head on the main. or the batter on the second. he used t he rim and the mounts on the 2 and hooked them together. its a nice sound. but very big. sounds god looks funny. a 22x 40 is the final size. its a big boy. check the DDRUM myspace to see
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animalien
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Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:25 am

There is another thing that is easier than the subwoofer. It's called the Yamaha Subkick

http://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMSUBKICK

It's basically a mic in a drum, and it gives it the same kick as a subwoofer. You still put a bass mic into the drum.
jpenguino
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Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:37 am

thats not the reason for the sub woofer...the real purpose for the sub woofer has nothing to do with resonance....it does and it doesnt. it has to do with frequency. with sub kick it has an xlr jack in it..a mic line. the speaker acts as an inverted diaphragm which picks up lower frequency such has 20hrz and what not..these subsonic frequencies aren't picked up by normal kick mics.. because their diaphragms are too small...the speaker gives the front of house guy more of a sub sound to your kick...the punch...hence the reason for the speaker...how ever...the sub kick is nice but if you don't want the clutter of the that, buy a kickpad by earthworks..its cheaper does the same job and less clutter...look it up. i have 2 of them. they are great. enjoy
nigefan05
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Post Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:16 pm

I'm a beginner, so I can't really give any technical answer to the question, but... I've heard them used by Nigel Olsson in concert - and those along w/ the low tuning, make for some powerful-sounding drums. He uses 8x22 subwoofers on both his kick drums on all 3 of his touring kits. His latest custom set by DW sounds (and looks) amazing. Here's some pics. Check it out.
DaveDWdrums
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Post Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:34 am

I tried it & I think it's really just a big gimmick.
TamaDrummer123
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Post Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:51 am

I've seen a couple of bands that use sub woofers. i didn't hear much of a difference, however, they look bad ass.
tepiddrummer
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Post Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:32 am

I use an Evans EMAD batter head on all my bass drums for maximum sustain. I swear by those heads.
rockdrummer2063
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Post Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:44 am

i use evans EMAD head on my bass drum and those are the best heads you can buy for the price. i get really good sound with that head. a really nice solid sound. i only use my woofer when i record. the woofer is mainly used for concerts and recording purposes. i like them.
MRSTICKSTUFF
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Post Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:32 am

I think it's a great tool for drummers to hear themselves, stage-side above the band. I've triggered my drums for years to have a volume control on my acoustic Kick. Chech out my Kick Sub PA!
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Tones are effected by weather, this way you have control of every situation,
any club, any outside venue and works well in the studio too!

Turn up those Kick Drums, If you can't hear it, why play it!

You are only as good as it sounds!

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Post Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:20 pm

animalien wrote:There is another thing that is easier than the subwoofer. It's called the Yamaha Subkick

http://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMSUBKICK

It's basically a mic in a drum, and it gives it the same kick as a subwoofer. You still put a bass mic into the drum.

This actually an 8 inch "speaker" wired backwards to make it a mic.It butts right up against your existing mic hole in your res head.It sounds great,but a bit pricey.I have worked a couple shows as a tech wear drummers used them.
adrumsolo4u
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Post Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:46 pm

these guys are exactly right. when it comes to speakers and mics, size does matter. when your looking for a big bass sound, you want big speakers. think about it. which speakers work best at producing low level sound? subwoofers. does it not also make sense that in order to record, or mic a sound, you would need a bigger diaphragm in order to catch as much as possible?
personally i love bass, and i love how low it gets. when i look for a bass drum mic i want the one that can get me the lowest frequency possible, because those are the ones you can FEEL.
you also have to look at your actual speaker as well...if your mic picks up lower than the sub woofer can go, theres no reason to spend the extra, that won't be utilized.
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Daneman
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Post Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:57 pm

With the right combination of heads, tuning, muffling (or lack of) and EQing, there's nothing a subkick does that I haven't been able to coax out of my 14x20 kick.
dennismoody
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Post Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:16 pm

I have to reply to this because I have researched it a bit and may be able to answer some questions on the matter. The Yamaha "Sub kick" is really great conceptually. Recording wise, nothing beats the sound of a great kick drum with no 'tricks' to enhance it. Make it sound great at the source and a B52 will get it recorded well. I did an "A/B" with drummer Mike White using a Yamaha "Sub kick" verses a normal Yamaha NS10 speaker that Mike had wired to be used as a mic. The difference was amazing! The NS10 blew the "Sub kick" away!! I have a "Sub kick" and I want to take it out of it's 'drum' to see if the mounting has caused some constriction of the sound. The unmounted NS10 was about an octave deeper the the "Sub kick". Not saying the "Sub kick" is a bad mic, I just believe it needs some adjustments. I have heard it can be 'tuned' but I had no results when we tried that. I am Weckl's engineer and have been for about 7 years now. He does not use the "Subkick" saying it adds stuff he does not want to add along with the lo freq. enhancements. Mike White loves it. I am also Ricky Lawsons engineer, he does not use the "Sub kick" and gets a great sound out of his kick naturally. I use mine on rock projects, but not on jazz stuff. It depends what you want to do. So I think you have to try it and see if it works for you or not. It definitely adds 'sub lows' to the kick sound but see if it's right for what you are doing. Dennis. http://www.dennismoody.com