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Thread: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

  1. #1

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    Default Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    So I'm playing around with my kick drum right now. I put the Evans EMAD system on my kick a few months ago.

    I love the heads, but even with the largest middle ring I had killer overtones. I put one of the Evans pillows in it, but it's mich of nothing and the overtones were still bad.

    I decided to put a pillow in the drum today. It certainly killed the overtones, but it's completely dead sounding now.

    I guess I'm going to try it for a few days and see how I like it, then go from there.
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I pulled the reso head, took out the pillow, put the Evans pillow back in with a towel. I added the larger dampening ring on the batter head and it sounds 100% better now.


    20170624_194228.jpg
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I've always used some sort of dampening, not a pillow though, it's too much. Recently I bought an Aquarian regulator reso, and I already had a PS3 on the batter side. It sounds really good with nothing in the drum. It's ported 4" I think. I the past I've used that yellow foam stuff. About 1" thick and maybe covering the bottom 1/4 of the shell, just barely touching both heads. I've also used stick on foam tape on the inside of the reso. Some times all the way around the head, like the store bought pre-muffled heads. I did that as far back as the 1983. Just start experimenting with different amounts of muffling, and see how your drum responds. Sometimes a little bit can make a huge difference in the sound.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I like very little inside and it sounds good 24x18. I tune a little on the loose side. Tight bass drums dont sound good to me. they feel too bouncy. Where you might butt heads a little is in the studio and on stage depending on who's running the controls. Some will be okay with it and some will want to change everything around. I never understood that. it's like going into someone's house and rearranging the furniture
    RED DIRT MOUNTAIN
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I've got a 22x18 with EMAD heads and I've also been messing around with my kick sound. So far, I just have a rolled up towel in mine which sounds good but I might try puting another one in just to see how it sounds. I'm also thinking about porting it but haven't gotten around to it yet.
    I don't put a face on God. So he would probably look like Jimi Hendrix.
    - Chad Smith
    Everyone's screwed up in their own special way.
    Joey Ramone

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I do have a small pillow 2" thick that just barely touches my PS3/ Aquarian unported reso head and just love the warm boomy sound that I get from it.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

    5pc Pearl MCX Chestnut Fade 12x9, 13x10, 16x16, 18x22 14x6.5 matching snare
    Pearl Sensitone 14x5.5 steel alloy snare
    Vintage Slingerland " Festival" steel snare 14x5
    Zildjian A's (avendis) Vintage 70's era
    17 med thin crash, 14 new beat hhts and 21 sweet crash/ride
    Zildjian K 18 med thin crash
    Pearl 1000 series all double braced hadware: 2 cymbal stands , 1 boom stand, hhts stand, snare stand
    Pearl Eliminator single chain drive

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Both of mine are 22 x 14 with Black Suede PS3 batters. One has a 6" center port, and the other has no port. Nothing inside either drum. Both have some overtones from the throne, but sound great out front where it counts.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I have always used some sort of dampening in the kick, usually a pillow or towel. For the past 14 years, I have been using a DW pillow in my Ludwig 16x22 maple kick. I use an Evans EQ3 batter tuned loose but just tight enough for feel and the standard smooth white reso with a 4" offset port tuned a little tighter for tone. I get a nice round, punchy tone that sounds killer when miced ...

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I go to Walmart and buy a pack of the grey open-cell craft foam like you use to stuff couch cushions, pillows and stuff. It comes in 24"x24" sheets. I cut it down in one dimension to just a hair more than the depth of the kick and lay it in the bottom. It fits firm enough that it never falls out of place during transport. If it does, just reach in through the port hole and lay it back in place. It provides just enough dampening on the outer edges of the heads to stop the "ring" and overtones, but still gives it a full sound.

    I used my PDP Concept on an outdoor festival yesterday and had a mic on the bass. It sounded boomy behind the kit, but out in front it was awesome.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I go to Walmart and buy a pack of the grey open-cell craft foam like you use to stuff couch cushions, pillows and stuff. It comes in 24"x24" sheets. I cut it down in one dimension to just a hair more than the depth of the kick and lay it in the bottom. It fits firm enough that it never falls out of place during transport. If it does, just reach in through the port hole and lay it back in place. It provides just enough dampening on the outer edges of the heads to stop the "ring" and overtones, but still gives it a full sound.

    I used my PDP Concept on an outdoor festival yesterday and had a mic on the bass. It sounded boomy behind the kit, but out in front it was awesome.
    I have used that foam as well and it works great as you describe. The DW pillow achieves the same effect and stays in place as well. I find that it's softness gives me just a little less dampening than the foam and I really love the fact that I can lift, tilt, and shake my kick and the pillow stays put ... just one less thing to have to deal with lol ...

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    My PDP Concept came with one of those DW pillows with some Velcro strips to secure it. Honestly, I've never even installed it....just sits on a shelf in my drum room. Maybe I try it!
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Pillow will come in handy if you get sleepy....

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    My PDP Concept came with one of those DW pillows with some Velcro strips to secure it. Honestly, I've never even installed it....just sits on a shelf in my drum room. Maybe I try it!
    Well it will be handy to have around for whenever you need it.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

    5pc Pearl MCX Chestnut Fade 12x9, 13x10, 16x16, 18x22 14x6.5 matching snare
    Pearl Sensitone 14x5.5 steel alloy snare
    Vintage Slingerland " Festival" steel snare 14x5
    Zildjian A's (avendis) Vintage 70's era
    17 med thin crash, 14 new beat hhts and 21 sweet crash/ride
    Zildjian K 18 med thin crash
    Pearl 1000 series all double braced hadware: 2 cymbal stands , 1 boom stand, hhts stand, snare stand
    Pearl Eliminator single chain drive

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Pillow will come in handy if you get sleepy....
    Fine if you have ported reso cause you can reach in and grab it before you fall asleep lol.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

    5pc Pearl MCX Chestnut Fade 12x9, 13x10, 16x16, 18x22 14x6.5 matching snare
    Pearl Sensitone 14x5.5 steel alloy snare
    Vintage Slingerland " Festival" steel snare 14x5
    Zildjian A's (avendis) Vintage 70's era
    17 med thin crash, 14 new beat hhts and 21 sweet crash/ride
    Zildjian K 18 med thin crash
    Pearl 1000 series all double braced hadware: 2 cymbal stands , 1 boom stand, hhts stand, snare stand
    Pearl Eliminator single chain drive

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I use the Evans EQ pad....................I'll also note that my bass drum is the old conventional 14" depth.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  16. #16

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I like the DW pillows.
    I actually made my own for my PDP kit.
    Just based them off the DW design.
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 5pc Gretsch Energy | 41 Snare drums and growing!

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    For me, personally, I've found that the Aquarian SuperKick II fits the bill for almost any bass drum application. I've tried factory, Evans (my head of choice for everything else) and Remo.

    I don't have to put any dampening inside the drum at all for practice, live or recording.
    Signature here

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Pillow all the way!

    Feels right, Sounds right.

    all the best...

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I use nothing.

    Completely empty. Got rid of the pillows, blankets, foam etc when I got Aquarian Superkick II on my kicks.
    Now I use Remo Powerstroke CS Dot but I'm not using any extra dampening anyway.
    Sounds good but not great to my ears. I'll go back to Aquarians on my whole kit.
    With the Superkick II, the kicks have this low, fundamental tone but still has plenty of meat and attack.
    System of Power

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Quote Originally Posted by hellride View Post
    I use nothing.

    Completely empty. Got rid of the pillows, blankets, foam etc when I got Aquarian Superkick II on my kicks.
    Now I use Remo Powerstroke CS Dot but I'm not using any extra dampening anyway.
    Sounds good but not great to my ears. I'll go back to Aquarians on my whole kit.
    With the Superkick II, the kicks have this low, fundamental tone but still has plenty of meat and attack.
    I agree completely. Good choice, Hellride.
    Signature here

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I love the thick hit of the GMad which comes with two different size dampener foam rings.
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 5pc Gretsch Energy | 41 Snare drums and growing!

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bish View Post
    For me, personally, I've found that the Aquarian SuperKick II fits the bill for almost any bass drum application.
    Quote Originally Posted by hellride View Post
    I'll go back to Aquarians on my whole kit. With the Superkick II, the kicks have this low, fundamental tone but still has plenty of meat and attack.
    Aquarian makes some great products these days....................with number one being the bass batters.
    I started with Superkick II and now have moved to the Superkick 10..............very good.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  23. #23

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Aquarian makes some great products these days....................with number one being the bass batters.
    I started with Superkick II and now have moved to the Superkick 10..............very good.
    I say keep the laundry out of the bass drum! . . . . .It's not a washing machine or dryer!

  24. #24

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    Quote Originally Posted by drummerMD View Post
    I say keep the laundry out of the bass drum! . . . . .It's not a washing machine or dryer!
    Even though it could appear to be a front loader with the right intoxicating methods.... Just sayin'
    Signature here

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Kick drums: To pillow, or not to pillow?

    I used to use a felt strip on the batter side but now I have nothing but the patch for the beater. My reso head is a Ambassador 24" that has been on my BD for as long as I've had my set. (since 71-72) The batter is a Aquarian something or other.

    If it matters, my BD is 24"x 14" or at least it was the last time I measured it, which was............................................... .................................................. ...........................................never.

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