Bass drums sound discussion


New member
Your description is kind of vague. "Warm" and "Dark" may have different meanings to different people. Can you provide an example of the sound that you are trying to emulate?


New member
Not sure what you're after either, but here's a couple of things you can experiment with:

- Types of head used. Coated heads will tend to give a "warmer, darker" sound.

- Position and type of material cushioning against the bass head that you strike with your beater i.e. a pillow tight against it, a blanket loosely touching it, one of those professional bass drum cushions etc

- Duct tape on the bass head that you strike. Usually they are put in a triangle around the strike point on the head /_\ or you could just put the bottom strip on.

- Experiment with the tuning/pitch

- Try a different type of beater on your pedal

Basically you can go through all the factors that might effect the sound to see what makes the most positive difference.


New member
Reso head is important(experminent with both: ported and non-ported), too. Evans REMAD(ported) and Aquarian Regulator are the way to go in my opinion.


New member
I agree with the others. The sound I like for my music (mellow acoustic stuff) is a soft "boom," with a little "punch," but not much "attack." I would also describe it as both "warm" and "dark," but I don't know if that is similar to what you want or not. I use Remo Fiberskyn3 heads on both sides of my bass drum, with no port hole. I tune the heads higher than you might think and place a pillow inside that just touches the batter head. I use a Vater Vintage Bomber beater.

Name a band/song/player that has "that bass sound" you're looking for.


New member
You can even take it a step further.

I think everyone knows that Vinnie Paul Abbot from (Pantera, Gasoline, Damage Plan, and now Hell Yeah!) has the most distinct Kick sound in drum history.He uses a trigger & mic system (well used to) in order to take his sound on the road.

So you dont have to limit yourself to heads, beaters, beater-pads & pillows. You can use isolated internal mics, compressors, tube pre-amps, EQ's, effects & triggers to mutlti layer and design a sound all your own.

Just pack it all in a little rack with a keyboard line mixer, and run a mono or stereo out to what ever to the SoundGuy/Pa.

But your natural sound should be decided on before adding these elements. Now 'a' days companies like DW & Yamaha make Tunable Sub-Woofer extensions for the bass drum. (Those are fun)

Also a Maple kick is going to be warmer/darker and have more resonance, Birch drums are dryer and have less resonance (better for FX & Studio set ups) But it can still be adjusted by your resonance head.

(The resonance head is the single most important part-taker of a kicks sound, 2nd being the Beater type)

Hope this helps everyone really think of their options when designing their sound.



New member
I don't put anything inside my bass drum to muffle it. I use an Evans coated head with the built ring. I forget what it's called, exactly.


New member
I own many kick drums and have found that mahogany hass the deepest, darkest sound. My favorite kick is a '59 Ludwig 14x24 that just has tons of low end, a sharp attack, and a quick decay {even unmuffled}. I used to have a mahogany Slingerland 14x22 that could sound as deep as a 26" in the studio, that several producers wanted to buy from me. Another factor is actually bass drum size, and I know a lot of guys will argue and defend their 20" and 22" drums, but the fact is that a larger drum, i.e. a 24" or 26" has a lower note {usually lower than a bass guitar's open E string}, when tuned to the drum's natural pitch range.
i use 2 18"x24" bass drums on my DW kit.i use the remo powerstroke 3 batter head with the remo muffs on front eq3 reson head and batter head.thats what i use.


New member
EMAD 2 plys are amazing!!!!!!! I was going for that Vinnie Paul/As I Lay Dying kick sound, but with a tad bit more resonance, and the EMAD 2 delivered. But the truth is if your engineer has enough equipment and know-how, he can make an 18x16 kick sound like a 22x20 monster. Just ask Killswitch Engage.