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Drum heads for 20” kick drum in studio
Old 6th December 2018
  #1
Gear Head
Drum heads for 20” kick drum in studio

Short version:
I just got an old Premier Signia kit for my studio. It has a 20” kick drum that should provide plenty of excellent kick in my mix. What heads are best suited?

Long version:
The metall head who sold me the kit has put one some heavy duty batter head, double ply with a dampening ring. And for the resonant there is a dampened head with a self cut port and even some small holes along the rim that I have never seen on a head before.

Anyway, I want very much to believe that the former choice of heads is the reason why this kick drum sounds completely dead. There is hardly any thump at all. Can anyone please give some good advice on what heads I should get for this kick? Hopefully I have provided enough info about my needs for someone, with plenty of experience, to make a good suggestion. How can I make this kick drum shine?

For those who have cared to read this far, I can try to provide even more info:

I don’t mind if the kick sings a little, it’s easier to do a little dampening, than to have heads with too much build in dampening
The recording room is rather small, but heavily treated. I have had large kick drums sound good in there.
The kick will mostly be used for indie rock, blues rock, roots, singer/songwriter stuff, but will be my backup for any genre if a drummer drags something horrible into the studio.

Thanks!
Old 6th December 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I like classic remo ambassador coated for higher tuning, lighter touch, jazz stuff. pin stripe for more rock stuff, and always good to have an evans emad around for experimenting with thumps. I usually just use a single ply un-coated for reso head. For a 70s dry punch, I like to take off the reso head and fill it with blankets.

down to personal taste and experimenting!
Old 7th December 2018
  #3
A fairly standard studio bass drum batter is the Remo Powerstroke III.
Yes, it is pre-dampened.
If you want to lessen the dampening you can just put a Remo Ambassador or Emperor on the front head. I would still personally opt for a 4" hole, especially for mic access.
As stated above, the all time standard bass drum batter is a Remo Ambassador, which is absolutely fine.
However, for the genres you mention, many, many drummers have used a Powerstroke III with good results.
Old 10th December 2018
  #4
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikaze View Post

down to personal taste and experimenting!
Thanks for replying! I know that taste is important but I wouldn’t know where to start looking for “my taste”. It may be an expensive adventure if I were to try out lots of heads. Anyway you have at least pointed me in a direction, and the ambassador and the powestroke seems a “safe” place to start.
Old 11th December 2018
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturations View Post
It may be an expensive adventure.
ha! quoted for truth

I hear you though.

The good thing is unless you're an absolute monster, your heads should last you quite a while - many months.

you may know this already, but the beater choice is a large part of the sound as well - a couple options to toy with: felt, plastic/felt reversible.. fairly inexpensive but can add a lot depending on the tone you're after.
Old 15th December 2018
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
DaPhunk73's Avatar
 

Try out the Evans EQ4 clear head. Has been my head of choice for several years now, and it works for pretty much anything.
Old 25th December 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
rasmus's Avatar
Remo P3 on batter and Ambassador on reso is my absolute go to on bassdrums, all 5 of my studio bassdrums are equiped with this combination. Some with a hole in the front some without, some coated, some clear, with a kick patch or without...
Old 7th January 2019
  #8
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by rasmus View Post
Remo P3 on batter and Ambassador on reso is my absolute go to on bassdrums, all 5 of my studio bassdrums are equiped with this combination. Some with a hole in the front some without, some coated, some clear, with a kick patch or without...

Thanks for the tip! There is actually a P3 sitting on the drum. Do you have 20" drums or larger? I'm still waiting for new heads and will try the P3 with another reso. That might make the P3 sound better...
Old 7th January 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
rasmus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturations View Post
Thanks for the tip! There is actually a P3 sitting on the drum. Do you have 20" drums or larger? I'm still waiting for new heads and will try the P3 with another reso. That might make the P3 sound better...
I have two 20'', one 22'' and two 24'' bassdrums with a P3 on the batter side.
If the P3 sounds bad take it off the drum and inspect it, some just don't sound good. Sometimes the inside dampening ring of the head is not seated properly and it makes weird overtones. Look at the dampening ring does it sit flush with the head or are there big wrinkles in it? Just go to a store where they have several of the same heads and listen to them. Hold the head on the outer collar and tap it with a finger where the beater hits. Some make a weird ratteling sound and to some extend that is normal as the head is not sitting tight on a drum, but some are just way off.
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