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Let me hear your drum muffling techniques
Old 9th January 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Dædalus's Avatar
 

Let me hear your drum muffling techniques

I'd love to hear your interesting drum muffling techniques. None of that "pillow/blanket in kick drum" or "moongel/gaff tape on snare" stuff either. I'm talking interesting and unique.

I remember an interview with Kenny Aronoff back when he worked on John Fogerty's "Blue Moon Swamp", where he said that in the studio Fogerty was extremely picky about the snare tone (he being a drummer himself). Fogerty's secret weapon for snare control was a piece (or pieces) of Dr. Scholl's shoe insert strategically placed on the snare batter head. Sorta a makeshift moongel before it was around.

So what's your trick?
Old 9th January 2011
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Well I don't use alot of muffling on my drums, but I have had success with tucking the cardboard sleeve that drumsticks come in in between the rim and the head on the snare, and then folding it onto the head and taping it down. Tuned down a little, I got a really fat 70s-ish sound.
Old 9th January 2011
  #3
Gear Guru
 

I knew a guy who put shredded garbage-bag confetti in the bottom of his toms

when you hit the drum, the confetti would bounce up, momentarily unmuting the bottom head, then settle back down cutting off the ring, but again - only on the bottom head.

This is one of the very few truly different muffling techniques that I can think of, because it specifically only works on the resonant head, it only functions after a short time interval and it behaves differently depending on how hard the drum is struck.

I think someone makes a 'bouncing' kick pillow.

For me, putting stuff on the head is putting stuff on the head. There are some broad categories of "stuff" and within those, only minor differences in sound. Maxi-pads are not functionally, or sonically all that different from tissue paper and masking tape. The major difference is conceptual: "Oh wow, maxipads."

IMO, its better to spend an extra 5 minutes experimenting with how much tape and tissue and where; than to spend 5 hours going through Home Depot looking for the most exotic substances and materials you can find.

I once read a story about a producer who taped a mackerel to the snare. No other fish would do. The story was satire, but the point was clear. The producer was out to prove his quest for tone was purer and more extreme than the next guy's.


Old 9th January 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

For the bassdrum I use a coated ambassador as batter head and a rectangular piece of cloth taped on the top and loose on the bottom, so it acts as a sort of gate and when I hit the bassdrum harder it stay open for more time.
Works a charm and you can remove it easily.
Old 9th January 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I knew a guy who put shredded garbage-bag confetti in the bottom of his toms
Now that's unique! I wonder how he got inspired to try that out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
its better to spend an extra 5 minutes experimenting with how much tape and tissue and where; than to spend 5 hours going through Home Depot looking for the most exotic substances and materials you can find.
Just to clarify... The purpose of this thread is merely for fun, like the "Funniest things you've ever heard during a session" thread. Not to get ideas so I can be more unique and therefore better than the next guy.

I'm just looking for entertainment here, and your Garbage Bag Confetti did just that. So thanks for sharing.
Old 9th January 2011
  #6
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The shredded-newspaper trick is neat.. I've heard of people using styrofoam packing peanuts in the same way.

Recently - I was going for a real dead 70's sound (towels on everything, big pillow laying against the kick) and was too lazy to walk upstairs to get my wallet for the snare. Took a pouch from an SM57 and stuck a couple of egg shakers in it to give it some weight. Sat it on the snare. Same trick as the wallet - but a little 'shake' to it.
"-)
Old 9th January 2011
  #7
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Vintage late 1960s tea towels from the Abbey Road canteen.

Nothing else will quite do.
Old 9th January 2011
  #8
pan
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Forget Moongel - use these toy-hands for a fraction of the price:

Old 9th January 2011
  #9
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PhilR's Avatar
 

I used the trick of taping a wallet to the snare head, but only on one side. So it acts almost like a natural gate to the ring rather than killing it entirely.
Old 10th January 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
'shredded newspaper' Brilliant! I bet that is a charm. Can't wait to try it.

I most likely will throw a towel over the snare and toms and add a piece of gaf tape to the hi hat
Old 10th January 2011
  #11
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

In the '70s and '80s I would set a little square of felt on the bottom head inside the drum and tape it to the side with a sort of hinge. It would fly up when you hit the drum and then cut off the ring. On the top heads wadded up tissue paper of the right quantity in the right spot to sound good always did the job. I keep wondering who used the massive amounts of tape people talk about as being typical of the '70s. I never saw it done in the studio, just at some concerts.

Back then most drums had very noisy springs inside the lugs that you had to damp with a little cloth. (One time when I redid one of the Motown kits I laughed myself silly because I found matchbook covers had been used to damp all of the lug springs.)
Old 10th January 2011
  #12
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Another one is the Carlton Barrett trick of hanging a rag between the hi-hats.
Old 10th January 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggator6 View Post
Another one is the Carlton Barrett trick of hanging a rag between the hi-hats.
what do you mean 'between' the hats. You mean between the two cymbals. That would prevent them from contacting and really make them f'ed up and muffled sounding.
Old 10th January 2011
  #14
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I have seen a bass drum with a layer of tampons in the bottom as a muffle. As I recall (it's been 15 years), they were stacked about 3-4 tampons deep.
Old 10th January 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty James View Post
what do you mean 'between' the hats. You mean between the two cymbals. That would prevent them from contacting and really make them f'ed up and muffled sounding.
That's exactly what I mean. You can't do a useful foot 'chick' sound.. but trust me - let me find an example.

Here.. look closely at his hats and you can see a rag hanging out.



No idea why my YT embed doesn't work... here's the link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOwyJFxs4CE
Old 10th January 2011
  #16
Gear Guru
 

Quote:

No idea why my YT embed doesn't work...
only put the part AFTER the = sign into the Youtube Tags
in your case the part "vOwyJFxs4CE"


Old 10th January 2011
  #17
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+1 on the cloth between hihats 'trick' I do this with my bosphorus hats.

I use a 'J cloth'

Also cotton wool balls work just as well inside the toms instead of tissue paper.

Im sure this doesnt need to be mentioned but I hadnt seen it said so far but dont forget about good old strips of drum felt specially on the outside skin of large kick drums I play with a 24 with both heads on so will use felt there to tame the front skin a touch.

Gareth

Last edited by GGreen; 10th January 2011 at 09:50 PM.. Reason: forgots sumfink
Old 10th January 2011
  #18
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damper

on my snares I ussaly have built in dampers and install them if they dont have em factory installed, so handy when messing with snares for recordings, Also I use the ritchie ring or the remO's dampening rings for toms and or snare at times, depends on the music of coarse. I use the aquarian super kick 1 or 2 with or without a pillow depending on music for desired effect. felt beaters for a soft attack, wood or plastic beaters for a strong attack. I always have falam slam patches on the kick to save my heads and I like the punch it adds. Some of my drums hace regular heads with no factory dampening for example a pinstrip or a black dot head, in those cases a simple pillow does a fantastic Job...

Xd
Old 11th January 2011
  #19
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANQUILO View Post
on my snares I ussaly have built in dampers and install them if they dont have em factory installed, so handy when messing with snares for recordings,
I really dislike the internal dampers and have removed them from all the drums I own.

such dampers are clamped onto the shell at one end. When you tighten them, they not only press the felt pad against the head - they apply pressure - they are in fact tightening the head at that spot: detuning the head.

I really don't like what happens here. I worked hard to get the tension even all the way around the drum. Tissue, tea towels, moongel and mackerels are all contacting the head but they 'float' with it. They are not anchored to another immovable object like the shell. They don't change the head tension at the point of contact.

The other issue I have with them is that when they are in the off position, sometimes screws will loosen up and the mufflers will rattle and buzz. So on or off, they are problematical.
Old 11th January 2011
  #20
Basic stuff:
  • Snare: Evans Genera Dry and good tuning.
  • Toms: Evans EC1 or EC2 batter, with EC Resonant on reso side.
  • Kick: EQ1 with vents on batter, EQ3 reso.
  • An old leather wallet taped to the batter.

Slight change:
  • Drill 1/16" holes into batter heads, emulating and/or amplifying the Evans Dry heads.
  • Cut a ring from an old head and lay it on a drum of the same size. Vary the ring's width to vary the dampening.

Big change:
  • Towels over each drum.
  • Blanket over each drum.
  • Evans Hydraulic heads.
Old 11th January 2011
  #21
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mics cant see

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I really dislike the internal dampers and have removed them from all the drums I own.

such dampers are clamped onto the shell at one end. When you tighten them, they not only press the felt pad against the head - they apply pressure - they are in fact tightening the head at that spot: detuning the head.

I really don't like what happens here. I worked hard to get the tension even all the way around the drum. Tissue, tea towels, moongel and mackerels are all contacting the head but they 'float' with it. They are not anchored to another immovable object like the shell. They don't change the head tension at the point of contact.

The other issue I have with them is that when they are in the off position, sometimes screws will loosen up and the mufflers will rattle and buzz. So on or off, they are problematical.
I understand your view. I have removed them from all my toms for shure.
And I understand about the even tension thing but Im going for tone and sound. I know tuning is important too but a snare muffler is what helps create the tone that I like, very classic...you can a get a good snare sound with it and without it installed. Its just so handy having it built in. You will always have to tighten down screws on drums becasue they vibrate and will always loosen up over time. So when I change heads I re-torque the screws that hold down the lugs, the bass drum brackets, tom brackets, snare strainer, muffler...etc. Also I used those nylon lock nuts and lock washers on that sort of thing to keep it locked down.
Its more of a tool thats useful, you dont always need it but sometimes when you are in a situation where you dant have tape or napkins or anything else your little backup is there to help you out...

thanks
Old 12th January 2011
  #22
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After years of being a purist, I last year started using the internal muffles on my 60s Slingerland kit.

It's all about technique.

What I finally realized is that you loosen it all the way, til the drum is unmuffled. Then while tapping the drum, slowly tighten until the overtones die out. The muffle is just barely touching the head, so it isn't changing the pitch or affecting the sound much at all. It's just controlling the overtones.

I like it. But it's certainly a very dry 70s kind of sound. But then I also record with towels on my drums sometimes, while other times I play my kit wide open. I guess I do what it takes to get the right sound for the song.
Old 12th January 2011
  #23
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
After years of being a purist, I last year started using the internal muffles on my 60s Slingerland kit.
where is the smiley of an Exorcist holding up a cross? tutt
Old 14th January 2011
  #24
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When I marched in the 90's, the drum tech stuck maxi pads to the heads on the bottom bass drum (my drum).
Old 14th January 2011
  #25
I used an ankle weight on a snare recently and it really sounded snappy.
I also hung a tea towel over the hi hat to reduce the sharpness and ring which worked well.
Old 22nd January 2011
  #26
Here for the gear
 

The heels up method, as the name implies, has your heel up off the ground and the toes and ball of your foot resting on the bass drum pedal. In this technique, you will be using your entire leg to power the hits on the bass drum. The advantage of this method is you will be able to get some really strong powerful strikes on the kick. You can also typically play faster using the heels up technique.
Old 22nd January 2011
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Dædalus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachard1583 View Post
The heels up method, as the name implies, has your heel up off the ground and the toes and ball of your foot resting on the bass drum pedal. In this technique, you will be using your entire leg to power the hits on the bass drum. The advantage of this method is you will be able to get some really strong powerful strikes on the kick. You can also typically play faster using the heels up technique.
Thanks for sharing, but . . . how is this a muffling technique Don't get me wrong, it's a good playing technique. I play heel up all the time. Just wondering
Old 16th April 2019
  #29
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Half inch felt enough to cover just less than half to more than quarter of the interior circle of drum and not touch either head could be one layer might be two layers , also a 3 to 4 inch hole off center 4:30 to 7:30 area,, for that D112 kick a-ruiney-microphonie-oh-o, with 7:30 hole for a standard set-high hat stage left,floor Tom stage right,,studio Dave has spoken....
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