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is it easy to get good sounds from an 18" kick drum? Studio Monitors
Old 16th December 2010
  #1
is it easy to get good sounds from an 18" kick drum?

I'm about to buy this used drum kit...

I talked the price down, and he threw in some sabian hithats. I think it's a good deal, and I'm in the same town as him right now.

Anyone have an idea about 18" kicks? very small... can I get a good sound from a smaller kit like this? I'm recording some light rock/folk stuff. And this is replacing a very old, crappy drum kit from my highschool years.


CL post:

Gretsch Drums Catalina Club Jazz 3-piece Shell Pack Features:
Mahogany shells with 30-degree bearing edges
Bass drum includes maple hoops and pre-muffled heads
Fully adjustable tom holder
GTS suspension system

Sizes:
18" x 14" bass drum
12" x 8" tom
14" x 14" floor tom

this is what it looks like, new.
Old 16th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
beingmf's Avatar
 

I think it depends totally on the thickness of the shell. I have recently bought a 18" Trixon bass drum (50's German top brand), and it sounds so good, it's unbelievable. The wood layers are extremely thin, the drum weighs almost nothing! But that's what makes it sound so airy and fresh, while having a ton of low end in the tone. Very balanced.
Maybe you can have a look, and lift it. If it feels like paper: great (:
Old 17th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
+1 for the shell.

Assuming quality tuning and playing skills, there is no reason at all that you shouldn't be able to get a good sound out of that drum.

Smaller drums with equal tension on the head as a larger drum will produce a higher fundamental pitch. This can lead to a more controlled and focused sound. Think 90-110 Hz, instead of 70-90Hz with a 22" drum. I find them to get out of the way of a bass guitar quite nicely, while still maintaing some weight on the bottom end.

Another benefit of a smaller drum is the way it is mounted. An 18 inch will need a cradle to elevate it so that the beater is in the center of the drum. Getting the drum off of the floor will allow it to resonate a lot more and increase the decay time. This effect of decoupling the drum from the floor is easily realized with a floor tom. Try pulling the rubber caps off of the legs and listen to the drum with it sitting on the floor as usual. Good luck ever getting it in tune! Now put the caps back on, and place a block of foam under each leg. Sustain for days. Nerf balls work well if you hollow out a spot for the feet.
Old 17th December 2010
  #4
I think those smaller sizes are fine for 'light-rock/folk'.
If you decide to go more pop or rock, you could always invest in a 22" bass drum as an addition.
Old 17th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
KRStudio's Avatar
 

18 inch kick can be very punchy. Tuning and mic placement are everything.
Old 17th December 2010
  #6
thanks for the tips guys! I wanna get a 441 soon. Should get some good kick sounds with that.
Old 17th December 2010
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Buss-me's Avatar
 

Sweet kit!!....I'm jealous!
Would love to have a nice 18" for recording. It's easy to get a good low fundemental from an 18". It won't sound like a 22", but is very usable in a pop/light rock situation. Raising the drum off the floor will give you a fuller tone as the beater strikes the center, but it's not absolutely essential. All the old jazz guys never raised their 18" kicks. Experiment with it.
You can try a coated ambassador batter, and tune it way down, just before it starts to ripple. Then a solid ambassador on the front. With the front, start with tuning it down low and see what kind of bottom you get then bring it up to taste. Even tuning is pretty important for the from head with no muffling. Try putting a lite felt strip on the front if it rings to much. That's kind of the classic sound. the premuffled heads will deffinitely get that more modern sound. If you have a spare ambassador try cutting a hole in it, 8", and and put that on the front. see what that yields.
Good luck and congrats
Old 17th December 2010
  #8
Harmless Wacko
 

Drums are fun, and TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE.

Go make some noise!!!

If it sounds great... YOU'RE THE REASON WHY!!!

Log out. Hit the skins. That's what I'm doing RIGHT NOW.

Whoooooeeeeeee.

INTERNOT SUCKS!!!!

DrumzDrumzDrumz!!!


xoxox


Slippy
Old 17th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
Drums are fun, and TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE.

Go make some noise!!!

If it sounds great... YOU'RE THE REASON WHY!!!

Log out. Hit the skins. That's what I'm doing RIGHT NOW.

Whoooooeeeeeee.

INTERNOT SUCKS!!!!

DrumzDrumzDrumz!!!


xoxox


Slippy

well put as usual.
Old 18th December 2010
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Fenris's Avatar
 

I recorded a kit with an 18" kick last night! With some EQ it sounded great. It sounded bigger in mix than in solo, while larger kicks are the opposite. The smaller kicks often sound bigger than the giant 26" or 28" kicks. With the larger ones, the low frequencies require more distance to "develop" and they don't work well with close micing. They're meant for Bohnam-type players who can actually BALANCE THE KIT and don't need close mics.
Old 18th December 2010
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Hello
My just friend bought that Gretsch Catalina kit. The kick sounds very fat & punchy. We had a jam in a well treated rehearsal room. Put a wallet on snare and you got a great Daptone/Meters thing. Enjoy!
Old 18th December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
...the larger ones...don't work well with close micing...
I disagree, respectfully.
I have found that 100% of the problems people have with successfully close mic'ing any drum result from a lack of tuning skills and proper mic placement, not the size of the drum.
Old 19th December 2010
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Fenris's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by recordinghopkins View Post
proper mic placement
Exactly. With the giant kicks you have to put the mic a few feet back and do silly things like make a tunnel out of packing blankets. If the drummer can't play like John Bonham, he shouldn't be using it.

On a similar note, if he can't play like a jazz drummer and balance the kit, he shouldn't be using a resonator head with no hole. Those don't work well with close micing either.
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