Alright, here's the deal.

I'm a guitarist who plays in a metalcore band, and as some of you may know, metalcore is a very precise, aggressive, "sharp" genre of music where every sound has to be defined to the maximum, where nothing is allowed to be muffled, unclear and muddy.

Now here's the problem. When we rehearse, I can hardly hear the kick drum. This is probably due to the fact that when our drummer hits on his double bass pedal at fast tempos, the membrane of the kick drum doesn't have time to slow down and stop resonating before the next kick comes in, giving it an overall muddy and unclear sound.

He can't afford a kick drum trigger and a PA and what not, so I was wondering if there exists a device, some kind of mute pad or something, that you can attach to the kick drums, which prematurely, say, almost immediately stops the membrane from vibrating, so that the next kick comes in when it's completely still, giving it exactly the same sound as the first one, and the next one etc. And would this be enough by itself to give us at least a little bit "sharper" kick sound?

We have another similar problem. The place where we rehearse has really crappy cymbals which ring too goddamn loud and eat up everything else, so we kinda struggle to hear anything. Basically the same question, are there any kind of mute pads for cymbals that can make them a little quieter so they don't freakin' eat up everything, or is there maybe another method for silencing them a bit, without completely wrecking and changing how they naturally sound?

That'd be all. Thanks in advance, guys.
Uhm... it's not that the resonance is making it hard for you to hear, although what you described could easily be fixed by placing pillows/blankets against the batter head, it's because bass drums are naturally just harder to when there's at least one guitarist and bassist, and maybe vocals too, all playing at once with presumably loud amps... it's easy for the lowest pitch on the kit to get drowned out.

So honestly, the best bet is to get triggers, I've never heard of any such device as you describe and even so, it certainly wouldn't allow it to be more audible, the overall sound would most likely be tighter and punchy but if there's less resonance, there's just not as much air being moved, and we perceive sound by vibrations traveling through air molecules to our ears, so it won't seem as loud.

If he himself can't get triggers and you are serious about making investments that will help you play better as a band in a live and rehearsal situation, maybe try to have everyone pitch in some money to get the necessary parts for such a setup? You wouldn't even necessarily need to buy a PA to amplify it, bass amps work pretty well and any legitimate venue will have their own PA, and a DI box for that matter. One of those might be handy to pick up as well if you do decide to try and buy a trigger system.

Failing that, just turn your amps lower, I guess, and also stand close to the bass drum.
Last edited by Steve08 at Dec 3, 2012,
You're going to need to turn down your amps or amplify the kick, because I don't think any sort of attachment or device would make the kick any louder. Also, you could try small pieces of tape on the bottom of the cymbals, but not too much!
I really think that the pillow trick should cut it. Besides, ¿are you sure that the drummer hits at enough volume as to be heard? I imagine you guys being ultra loud

That said, about the cymbals I know nothing that could help. Good luck!
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If you have a mic, mic the kick drum.

Other than that, tough nuts, save your dough for a trigger and a PA.

We did that, doesn't help a lot, though we mic'd the front, would it be better to mic it at the beater itself?
If you can, put the mic inside the drum.
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If you can, put the mic inside the drum.

Not so sure about this, but I guess it couldn't hurt to try. Do a little research on that before you it.

I'm not sure if putting the mic on the beater head will make a difference. What you should do is blast the volume on whatever PA you're using to the maximum. If that isn't loud enough, you're playing too loud and you're going to go deaf.
umm, if you think the problem is from the head being choked and not having enough time to recover, the answer is a second bass drum. This, however, can pose space as well as cost problems. Are you sure his beaters aren't too close to the head? Perhaps having him angle them back a little more so that they hit the head a bit harder will help. Or, if you have a P.A. system, put a mic on the thing. Also.. is his bass head ported? If not, cut a hole in the front of it, it will allow more air to move out of the drum and as a result, it won't be so "choked". There is also the option of tuning the batter head a little higher to increase the attack. As for the cymbals, moongel will work on decreasing some of the more shrill overtones, you can also put a little bit of duct tape on the undersides and that may help.
Or, you could do pads which will increase attack. At least, it does in the studio. Heavier beater will help too, though it might slow him down a bit. And Moongel on a cymbal will speed up the decay/kill the wash without killing initial sound. I use one on my ride for the same reason.



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