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20" or 22" Bass Drum?
Old 24th October 2002
  #1
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EduardoApolonia's Avatar
 

20" or 22" Bass Drum?

I am looking now to buy a Drumset for my studio.

I record mainly Rock and Metal Bands.
What would be better, a 20" or a 22" Bass drum?


Thanks.
Old 24th October 2002
  #2
Gear Guru
 

get a 22

the rock guys will be fine on a 22, but in general, the metal drummers will not be happy with a 20
Old 24th October 2002
  #3
I think if you bought a 20" for Rock & Metal you might as well lock the studio and throw away the key.
Definitely 22"
You might want to think about 24", although that might score more points in getting the drummers confidence rather than actually sounding any better than the 22".
Depends on the brand of drum also.
Old 24th October 2002
  #4
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studjo's Avatar
 

I have a Yamaha Recording Custom for my studio with a 22". But after a while I bought also a 20". For heavy I'd go with a 22" but some rock tunes sound better with the 20".

Jo
Old 25th October 2002
  #5
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drundall's Avatar
 

I HATE 20" kicks for heavy stuff, but one time a brilliant tech got me out of a jam with one and actually got it to sound great. He used everything in the book. Get a 22.
Old 25th October 2002
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'd stay away from a 24" as they tend to be way too out of control. I can get massive sounds out of a 20" kick. The trick is head choice and knowing how to tune. If all your doing is rock and metal a 22" might be better. But, I've never had anyone complain about my 16x20" kick and say that it doesn't have enough bottom.
Old 25th October 2002
  #7
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Fletcher's Avatar
I dunno Jay... if you don't cut a whole in the front head of a 24" drum, they often sound a hell of a lot better than a 22"... but I definitely agree with a 22" sounding the balls if there is a hole cut in the outside head.
Old 25th October 2002
  #8
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Mats Olsson's Avatar
 

We have 22" in all kits in the studio but soon we will start renovating an old tangerine sparkle Gretsch kit with a 20" kick.

Have any of you guys done any observations regarding different depths of drums?

/Mats
Old 25th October 2002
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Usually the deeper the drum the lower the fundamental. YMMV but not by much. But, listen to a bunch of 14x22" kicks then a few 16x22" and 18X22" and see what you hear. There's always an exception to the rule. I'd like my next kick to be an 18x20". I got to record a Noble & Cooly kit with that size kick once. Damn, I still have wet dreams about it.

Fletcher, maybe a 24" works for you, but I find them to be almost useless unless I use them as a woofer. Then again, most of the 24" kicks I come across have holes cut in them. Still, I'm way happy with a 20" and I can't see myself owning anything larger then a 22" if I could only have one bass drum.
Old 25th October 2002
  #10
I find that most of the modern bass drums are a little longer than the pre 80's models. I think manufacturers have responded to a demand for fatter, more 'in your face' kick drums.
Having said that, I'm sure the Gretsch is a worthwhile project and will probably sound great.
It does depend on the marque.
I've got a 16" Proel which sounds every bit as big as a 20".
With regards to 24 inches and whether there should be a hole or not, I haven't done many sessions in the last 5 years but I always played on kicks (of all sizes) with holes in the front. If nothing else, I always found the engineer wanted as much space to move his mic around inside as possible.
I'm probably out of touch. Maybe everybody's micing closed drums these days.
A producer friend of mine carries his own kick (and snare). The kick is a 24" Ayotte and he wont use anything else. It does sound good, although I've always been a 22' man myself. I think 22" is the industry standard, but hey, who cares 'rules' are there to be broken.
Old 27th October 2002
  #11
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EduardoApolonia's Avatar
 

Thank you all for the posts.


I think that the 22" won the thread
Old 6th March 2017
  #12
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ive been thinking about this, i ordered 22"x17, but i could get 20"x17, i was thinking from a math perspective, the toms i get are 12 10 and 16. 14 snare. so if i got 22 bass drum, then that is exactly = to the 12 + 10 mounted toms. 22 = 10 + 12

but i think the 20" just is smaller and more "compact.

like if the largest bass size is 24, and the smallest is 18, then technically the actual real middle point is 21", so why do they force you to collapse into slightly bigger smaller than the actual middle point. there should be 21 bass drums. or, if i have 10 and 12 high toms, and 16 bass, then wont 22 be too big?

i think if you had big toms like 12 and 13, then a 20" bass would just sound weird. wouldnt it?

if you have a bass player, you dont want to have a big booming resonant kick, because it will smear the basslines. i wonder what the fundamental tone range is of a 22 vs a 20. there must be some numbers somewhere. like in Hz. for my productions, i tune my kicks to anywhere between 50 Hz to 58 Hz. and i dont like have long decays
Old 6th March 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by starsoul707 View Post
ive been thinking about this, i ordered 22"x17, but i could get 20"x17, i was thinking from a math perspective, the toms i get are 12 10 and 16. 14 snare. so if i got 22 bass drum, then that is exactly = to the 12 + 10 mounted toms. 22 = 10 + 12

but i think the 20" just is smaller and more "compact.

like if the largest bass size is 24, and the smallest is 18, then technically the actual real middle point is 21", so why do they force you to collapse into slightly bigger smaller than the actual middle point. there should be 21 bass drums. or, if i have 10 and 12 high toms, and 16 bass, then wont 22 be too big?

i think if you had big toms like 12 and 13, then a 20" bass would just sound weird. wouldnt it?

if you have a bass player, you dont want to have a big booming resonant kick, because it will smear the basslines. i wonder what the fundamental tone range is of a 22 vs a 20. there must be some numbers somewhere. like in Hz. for my productions, i tune my kicks to anywhere between 50 Hz to 58 Hz. and i dont like have long decays
http://tune-bot.com/tunebottuningguide.pdf
just found this, apparently the fundamental pitch of 22” kick is

58 Hz, errr idk if that is the "resonant" pitch...ie. the pitch that the drum makes with a head that is in "neutral" tuning. there has to be a minimum pitch of a 22" diameter and a max. so i wonder what the difference would be to a 20". and really how could there be much difference between a loose 20 vs a tight 22 that are both tuned to the same pitch. if the depth is equal on both. they must be the same...
Old 6th March 2017
  #14
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Dang that's the oldest thread I've seen resurrected. 15 years!!
Old 6th March 2017
  #15
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Drumsound's Avatar
Lots of old threads popping up lately...

Since its here. I have a 20" and a 22". I bought the 20" new as part of a set in the 90s. 10" toms and 20" BDs were kind of a thing then. After becoming a studio rat, I got a front head with a hole for mic access and dampened it a little more. I found myself tuning it lower and lower. Even though I could get the pitch close to where I wanted it, it wasn't quite the right tone. An opportunity came up and I bought a 22" and use it most of the time now.
Old 6th March 2017
  #16
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Yes this is one of the oldest threads I've seen come back.

In my opinion size of the kick drum is only a major factor if you don't pad / inside mic the kick. The reality is that BOTH both the bass player and kick drum have quite a bit more sustain these days and step on each other more. There was a reason why the Beatles used a short sustain bass and padded the hell out of the drums (it works pretty good for vocal centric pop songs). Tastes change as well as recording techniques and now we are at the other end of the spectrum. I still prefer the kick to be a rhythm accent and thus very little sustain as it serves the tension and release of the song better so just one head, padding against beater head, mic inside, and careful choice of beater / tone produced (head tuning and more importantly how much padding is in contact with the head). If you are recording drum solos then you might go in a different direction. As a studio kit will be setup the way YOU want drums to sound there is really not a right answer. As for what the client want's, they will bring their own kit if they can afford the time to get it to record right if not happy with recorded examples of your studio kit.
Old 6th March 2017
  #17
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RightOnRome's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by starsoul707 View Post
ive been thinking about this, i ordered 22"x17, but i could get 20"x17, i was thinking from a math perspective, the toms i get are 12 10 and 16. 14 snare. so if i got 22 bass drum, then that is exactly = to the 12 + 10 mounted toms. 22 = 10 + 12

but i think the 20" just is smaller and more "compact.

like if the largest bass size is 24, and the smallest is 18, then technically the actual real middle point is 21", so why do they force you to collapse into slightly bigger smaller than the actual middle point. there should be 21 bass drums. or, if i have 10 and 12 high toms, and 16 bass, then wont 22 be too big?

i think if you had big toms like 12 and 13, then a 20" bass would just sound weird. wouldnt it?

if you have a bass player, you dont want to have a big booming resonant kick, because it will smear the basslines. i wonder what the fundamental tone range is of a 22 vs a 20. there must be some numbers somewhere. like in Hz. for my productions, i tune my kicks to anywhere between 50 Hz to 58 Hz. and i dont like have long decays
wow 2002...

well here is the problem I have with 20 and 24..and to each is his own but I feel its with the beater.. with a 22" the beater resides in the center of the drum ... with the 20,and 24 the beater will hit off center and never sounds "right" due to the odd shape of the air pressure wave, in essence you lose punch, unless you're bonham...or..unless you play it with a mallet

the best compromise here, is a 22x20 ..nice long shell to develop the low frequencies before impacting and exiting the resonant head

Old 6th March 2017
  #18
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Dutchy15's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by starsoul707 View Post
http://tune-bot.com/tunebottuningguide.pdf
just found this, apparently the fundamental pitch of 22” kick is

58 Hz, errr idk if that is the "resonant" pitch...ie. the pitch that the drum makes with a head that is in "neutral" tuning. there has to be a minimum pitch of a 22" diameter and a max. so i wonder what the difference would be to a 20". and really how could there be much difference between a loose 20 vs a tight 22 that are both tuned to the same pitch. if the depth is equal on both. they must be the same...

Nothing is what it seems...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD7KY8L4Y5c

Check the last 2 or so minutes of this video and you'll find that listening is the only way to find out. All of the shells in that video are of identical sizes, though they widely vary in (natural) pitch.


Dutchy
Old 7th March 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
wow 2002...

well here is the problem I have with 20 and 24..and to each is his own but I feel its with the beater.. with a 22" the beater resides in the center of the drum ... with the 20,and 24 the beater will hit off center and never sounds "right" due to the odd shape of the air pressure wave, in essence you lose punch, unless you're bonham...or..unless you play it with a mallet

the best compromise here, is a 22x20 ..nice long shell to develop the low frequencies before impacting and exiting the resonant head

yea I just read Steve gadds blurbs on the Yamaha site about how he helped design the recording custom and he used a riser for his because he uses 20".

Quote:
Check the last 2 or so minutes of this video and you'll find that listening is the only way to find out. All of the shells in that video are of identical sizes, though they widely vary in (natural) pitch.
for me it's not just about the tone it's the ergonomic aspect, I spent 1 year now with a really crappy kit that had 22 and then 12/9 13/10 mounted rack toms , and I found it ultra frustrating to get a good position, I would have to tilt them too much and also sit really high just to get a somewhat usable playing feel. just looking at those drums they all seemed way over sized to me. and the 20 is more compact if I ever want to move it. and u can detune the 20 to have the same pitch as 22 anyway. I want the kit to "feel" as "playable" as possible just like my nord piano. yes I bought it for the sound but I primarily bought it because it had the best feeling Keybed . the sound of the instrument is almost not as important as the feel. I think with he right heads and tuning u can get any drum to sound good.

personally I think the best bass size would be a shallower large diameter like 22/14, or 26/14 like bonham used. because the shallower it is the less sustain there is and its ultra punchy , that's how I like my kicks, fat but punchy. I think a 22/20 would be way too much sustain and too big for my purposes

but I find it hard to just choose either a 20 or 22, I think I'd rather just have both
Old 7th March 2017
  #20
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Bstapper's Avatar
 

General theory is you can make a small drum sound big but it is difficult to make a big drum sound small.

That being said, most modern drum sounds are a completely manufactured sound and bear little resemblance to the natural sound of the drum; via processing, proximity effect, etc. so it is quite possible to go with smaller kick drums when both the player and the engineer can make it happen. For any genre.

That also being said, people unfortunately hear with their eyes so for a primarily heavier clientele a 22" would have to be the choice...
Old 7th March 2017
  #21
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
wow 2002...
the shock to me is that I posted in this thread in 2002. I don't even remember having that thought.

Quote:
... the 20,and 24 the beater will hit off center and never sounds "right" due to the odd shape of the air pressure wave, in essence you lose punch, unless you're bonham...or..unless you play it with a mallet
with a smaller drum, you can lift it

I have one of these on the 18" kick on my jazz kit. Works perfectly to get the beater right in the center

Old 7th March 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
just in case anyone else cares, I just fed this clip through a spectrum and the kick fundamental is 45 Hz. so 20" diameter kicks can go pretty low, at least this low any way, which is low enough to me, could it go to 40Hz? idk, could a 22"? idk, could they BOTH? possibly, point is, i think 20" seems to be more than capable of expressing a seriously low THUMP. from an edm perspective, 50 is really the lowest I would go. so from a rock standpoint, i think all bases are covered with a 20" as far as fundamental. considering anything below 40 Hz is just starting to be bass that you feel not bass that you hear any more. and it's the 4khz snap that is what cuts through on the mix, against the othe instruments, not the thud. maybe the 22" will give a more satisfying 45Hz thud then the 20" idk. but i think it's splitting hairs isnt it? 2 inches, 2 inch on both radiuses. but the extra 2 inches is useful for ergonomics i think. it's a tradeoff. if youre performing in such a big place that a 22 will actually make a difference, i mean, a 22 at 45Hz vs a 20 at 45Hz, then I think that's a red herring. maybe in some rare occasions where you dont have a micd up set, and it's like a bar, that is just big enough to where the kick could get washed away, but then if its that big then why wouldnt you be using a mic anyway.
Old 7th March 2017
  #23
I like a 20 better in smaller rooms....In a large room, I can make any size work.
Old 7th March 2017
  #24
I'm gonna post this because this is also a yamaha birch custom absolute...20x14 kick...12 and 16 toms...

Old 7th March 2017
  #25
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starsoul707 View Post
i think 20" seems to be more than capable of expressing a seriously low THUMP.
and you could leave it at that without invoking a spectrum analyzer. You are approaching your drum set choices by reading about drums and tossing around numbers in Hertz and watching YouTubes about drums. Missing from your "in-depth analysis" seems to be any context of actually playing the drums.

Quote:
from an edm perspective, 50 is really the lowest I would go.
so what? EDM = Electronic Dance Music. i.e. nothing to do with an acoustic drum set. Are you are trying to play EDM on your acoustic drum set?

Quote:
but i think it's splitting hairs isnt it? 2 inches, 2 inch on both radiuses.
a LOT going on in those two inches, IMO. While different drummers will express different preferences, I don't know a lot of working drummers who think there's 'no' difference - that a 20 vs a 22 is "splitting hairs".
Quote:
but the extra 2 inches is useful for ergonomics i think.
IMO the 'ergonomics' favor the 20 - unless you are rather tall - simply because the mounted toms can be a bit closer to the height of the snare
Old 7th March 2017
  #26
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Wow, 2002. I wonder if these fine fellow slutz are still on the forum?

I've been tracking with a 20x16 lately. It's tuned right, and dampened just enough so it sounds very good. However I plan to set up my 22x18 soon because I know that it kicks ass, and it's just easier to make it sound better in the mix.

My $0.02
Old 7th March 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
yea you're right, there is a difference. im just saying in the greater scheme of the universe. 2 inches is not much. obviously theres no right answer. considering john bonham used 26"x14". there's a big difference between 18" and 26".....im a bit over 6 feet, im not exceptionally tall, but im not short. on that cheap set it was hard to figure out. because the stool i was using was a really cheap one, and it didnt have much range in how tall you could put it. but i had it on the tallest setting, and only then was i somewhat comftorble sitting above the 22 inch bass and 12 inch deep rack tom. i basically had the deepest rack tom sitting right on top of the bass drum. it was touching it.

but then the problem was the hihat stand wouldnt really be high enough. because i had the snare higher. so it was a constant struggle to figure out how to put the drums.

i think if i had a taller hihat stand and a taller stool then maybe the 22" bass wouldnt be a problem. and if my deepest tom is only 10" instead of 12
Old 7th March 2017
  #28
Having used all sizes a lot and in great detail recordings - there is a definite and obvious difference between 20" and 22", and also between 22" and 24".
In the end I find a 22" just a great all-rounder.
Old 7th March 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Having used all sizes a lot and in great detail recordings - there is a definite and obvious difference between 20" and 22", and also between 22" and 24".
In the end I find a 22" just a great all-rounder.
Agreed. I tracked with my 26x16 and it was just too boomy. I do have a small room, so I have that handicap to consider. Nonetheless, 22" kicks rule.
Old 7th March 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
i think there would be a definite difference also in the way the head responds. like if you have a 20" tuned to 50Hz and a 22" tuned to 50Hz, both of them will "play" differently, they will respond differently to your playing, because the 20" will be looser, so the head will be less bouncy, even though they are the same pitch. i'm just using 50 Hz, idk if 50 Hz would actually be loose on a 20". i think i might change the order back to a 22" now. but I already just changed it from 22 to 20. so theyre going to get pissed off at me. the thing is, you can't order the 20" with the 16" floor tom, you have to get 14", and you can only get the 16" floor tom if you order the 22".
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