Bass drum (aka kick drum) frequency - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-17-2010, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Folks,

There is a thread developing in the subwoofer section that I suspect that everyone here would be interested in, but if you are like me, you spend very little time in that section.

It was started by gregdpw. His question was, "what freq are most bass drums at?", which is also the title of the thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1283906

Where the thread starts to heat up is while researching the topic, I came across some youtube type videos on how to tune the bass drum. These start at post #11. The result is that we have unprocessed kick drum spectrumlab measurements.

The surprise was that the fundamental on unprocessed bass drum (aka kick drum) is much lower than I had thought. In several setups, the fundamental was around 30-35hz and in all cases big power was measured up to 150-175hz.

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up, even though most of you won't be as excited to see this data as me. ;-)

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post #2 of 16 Old 10-17-2010, 11:27 AM
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Thanks for the info. That's very interesting. I haven't read the thread yet, but I will.

The diameter of the drum is a factor, as is the tuning.
I tune my two 24" Sonors a little low, because I like the sound low.
But, I've never done a frequency test on them. Very interesting.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-17-2010, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

Folks,

There is a thread developing in the subwoofer section that I suspect that everyone here would be interested in, but if you are like me, you spend very little time in that section.

It was started by gregdpw. His question was, "what freq are most bass drums at?", which is also the title of the thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1283906

From that post:
Quote:


The point of the exercise was to show that the kick drum emphasis on nearly every rock recording is artificially produced through EQ and compression, so the final spectra of the kick drum is left to the discretion of the producer, varies quite a bit from recording to recording and typically bears little resemblance to a real non-EQ'd kick drum

Spot on. And the same applies to live sound. Most FOH engineers boost the kick around 50 Hz and 500 Hz. The resulting tone bears no resemblance to the acoustic instrument alone.

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post #4 of 16 Old 10-17-2010, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The resulting tone bears no resemblance to the acoustic instrument alone.

That's a good point.
It's been a while since I played, but some people who've heard me practice have expressed surprize at the sound, having never heard raw, unprocessed acoustical drums live before. Saying things like, "Wow, so that's what drums really sound like?" People are used to the processed sound and expect it even in live performances.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-17-2010, 07:26 PM
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So if you could build a kick drum to acoustically sound like the final processed sound, then would that become a better sound since it could be considered "acoustic"?

I personally have no issue when musicians (including the sound engineer as a musician) choose to intentionally tailor the sound to achieve a desired outcome. There should be no limits placed on the art of music creation...

Anyways, I wanted to add that the mic'ing technique will have a very huge impact on the spectral information in a kick drum recording. Is the mic inside the drum? Is it on a pillow or on a stand? Is the mic in the vent hole? Is it outside the drum? Is it across the room? What kind of mic are you using? Is it omni/cardoid/hyper-cardoid/boundary?

For example, you can go from ~10Hz being the most energetic (by placing the mic capsule right in line with the vent), to the 500Hz-1kHz octave having the most energy (by placing the mic inside the drum up close to the beater). Changing the material of the beater will have an impact too. Somewhere around here I should have a series of measurements I took for myself several years ago.

Btw, you're right LTD02 that a lot of recordings remove the ultra low frequency content....and most of it has to do with the fact that it doesn't sound right when accurately reproduced (that and it definitely doesn't sound good on crappy systems). Most of the visceral impact of a kick drum happens in the 30-50Hz range, and adding extra content below it, for whatever reason, seems to make it lose a lot of that impact.

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post #6 of 16 Old 10-18-2010, 07:05 AM
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My drum kit with Ebony Pinstripe heads batter and resonant, snare, rack toms, floor tom, and kick:



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post #7 of 16 Old 10-18-2010, 07:09 AM
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Now I know why kick drums sound great on my system, My speakers cover the whole range but I cross at 80hz to the Danley's.
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-10-2010, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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ignore this post.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-10-2010, 07:33 PM
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How can we ignore it? What does that little box do? Is it a relay? Gotta wonder what load its switching. Maybe the locking differential? Or the pump for the hot water shower? Good pic though. It sucks crawling under the dash, especially with a camera.

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post #10 of 16 Old 12-11-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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lol. ignition relay. needed a quick place to put a pic. apparently imageshack doesn't require registration to post a pic. i didn't know that and didn't feel like registering for another service. sorry for the post. ;-)

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post #11 of 16 Old 12-11-2010, 04:27 PM
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liar, you were caught stealing a car. j/k
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-13-2010, 01:39 PM
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Is a kick drum considered a bass drum?

I think of a bass drum as the big ones that they have in marching bands.

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post #13 of 16 Old 12-16-2010, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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corvettes have so many security checks, i wouldn't bother trying to hot wire one. if you want it, just grab it onto a flatbed and haul it away, and hope that you don't set of any alarms that will have nra members questioning you. ;-) when i snapped that pic, i was in need of help and it was +/- 18 degrees in the dark. just needed a quick place to put a pic.

"Is a kick drum considered a bass drum?"

yes. there don't seem to be any size or tuning specs for either. there appears to be a very wide variation. purdue has a 6 foot tall bass drum, though that is an outlier.

in a typical american orchestra, the lowest percussion is typically the tympany.

then there are the big japanese drums.

tuning can be moved up or down by adding damping to the ported side, adding pillows to the inside, or any number of other things.

i find some japanese drum tracks are really cool. here is a shot a japanese "bass" drum.


e.g.

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post #14 of 16 Old 12-16-2010, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Is a kick drum considered a bass drum?

I think of a bass drum as the big ones that they have in marching bands.

Just sit on the floor in front of my 22" classic Ludwig while I play, then you'll know.

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post #15 of 16 Old 12-16-2010, 02:09 AM
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LTD
On the subject of bass, have you managed to get anymore information on your Qes theory?

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post #16 of 16 Old 12-16-2010, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

i find some japanese drum tracks are really cool.

How low do they go? I'm thinking I may need to high-pass my Tuba HT because such a track is drawing 500W of power and it doesn't feel that loud. It may be too low of a frequency for my Tuba (below 18 to 20 Hz). In that case a HP would help me quite a lot.

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