Evans EMAD Coated or GMAD for Deep-Sounding 22" Kick(Batter)?

Coconut_Head

Active member
Hello all. I've been trying to figure out which kick drum batter head to get. I want a really bassy kick drum that won't sound like cardboard/too dead. I currently have the Evans EQ3 and while I like it, I don't think I get enough sub-bass frequencies out of it. I plan on keeping the PS3 on the reso side for now.

I've concluded that I'm going to get either an Evans EMAD Coated head or a GMAD, but I have some questions:
-First off, does the GMAD have the same dampening system that the EMAD has – as in, are there removable rings to the GMAD as well (websites are unclear about that)?
Secondly, which have you used and prefer?
Thirdly, does a coated version of the GMAD even exist? I heard that the clear version of the EMADs sound too plastic and artificial so I think I'm leaning to coated as the EMAD option, especially since I prefer the sound of my coated Emperors on my toms compared to clear heads of the past.

And a couple miscellaneous question:
-Do felt strips work well in muffling a kick drum without deadening it too much? How would you apply them?
-I've always tuned my kick drum as low as possible to get that deep sound, but the responsiveness of the beater has always felt too inconsistent + loose and also I feel like the loose film snapping with the hit of the beater might contribute to hearing too much click of a kick hit since both sounds happen at virtually the same time. With this, might I get better beater responsiveness and also a more defined kick sound if I tune higher AND THEN EQ the kick drum sound to bring back a lot of the low-low end?



Edit: I found the answer to question 1, which is that GMADs have the same dampening system as EMADs do.
 
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Coconut_Head

Active member
To me tuning a bass drum is all about tone. Sometimes I have to tune it up a bit to get good tone. I never tune any drum "just above a wrinkle" (JAW). Peace and goodwill.
Do you ever feel like you want more low end? Is it as simple as EQing and other processing like saturation? I also thought my kick sounded too thin when I tuned it past JAW, yet the attack was the attack I wanted and which sounds more defined in the mix
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Do you ever feel like you want more low end? Is it as simple as EQing and other processing like saturation? I also thought my kick sounded too thin when I tuned it past JAW, yet the attack was the attack I wanted and which sounds more defined in the mix
There is such a thing as too much low end. I hardly ever play in a situation where the bass drum is miced. If the bass drum is tuned too low, it will not be heard. Drums sound very different from the audience side than they do to the drummer. Peace and goodwill.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
It’s super easy to make a kick sound like cardboard. I used to run dampened heads thinking they’d sound the deepest, but discovered good ol’ PS3s on batter and reso to be the best combo. So far as tuning, I start with JAW and generally go up a bit from there. I usually go a bit higher on reso than batter, but have had to adjust for conditions at time. A tighter reso will definitely impact pedal response just as much as tuning up the batter, so small adjustments (1/4 turn) on each lug can make a huge difference.

Bass drums can tune pretty subsonic, so tuning above JAW can actually bring their tone up into a more audible range and make then sound loader and lower. When subsonic, you’ll hear the attack from the beater and feel the low if close enough, but bringing things up a touch will help hear the tone. Too much dampening and the tone is quickly lost. Unless you’re playing blast beats where heads are mostly triggered anyway and feel is king, letting the kick roll off nicely may sound a bit boomy by itself, but when with music, it’ll project nicely. Mics like it too.

My vote is for the PS3 on both sides and lay a towel or T-shirt inside for a bit off muffling when needed.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
IMO a ported head removes a noticeable amount of low end. If you haven't tried so, maybe try a full front head with maybe a T shirt or 2 in there.

All the low end your drum can make...you need a full front head to hear it all
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
There is such a thing as too much low end. I hardly ever play in a situation where the bass drum is miced. If the bass drum is tuned too low, it will not be heard. Drums sound very different from the audience side than they do to the drummer. Peace and goodwill.
I'm more concerned about what the mic hears rather than what I or otherwise someone else in the room might hear. I know what a kick with too much low end sounds like but I never get to that point unless that low end is added by processing. If I could tune it up for the responsiveness and attack and then add more low end in ITB that would probably be ideal, only if it works out better though.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
It’s super easy to make a kick sound like cardboard. I used to run dampened heads thinking they’d sound the deepest, but discovered good ol’ PS3s on batter and reso to be the best combo. So far as tuning, I start with JAW and generally go up a bit from there. I usually go a bit higher on reso than batter, but have had to adjust for conditions at time. A tighter reso will definitely impact pedal response just as much as tuning up the batter, so small adjustments (1/4 turn) on each lug can make a huge difference.

Bass drums can tune pretty subsonic, so tuning above JAW can actually bring their tone up into a more audible range and make then sound loader and lower. When subsonic, you’ll hear the attack from the beater and feel the low if close enough, but bringing things up a touch will help hear the tone. Too much dampening and the tone is quickly lost. Unless you’re playing blast beats where heads are mostly triggered anyway and feel is king, letting the kick roll off nicely may sound a bit boomy by itself, but when with music, it’ll project nicely. Mics like it too.

My vote is for the PS3 on both sides and lay a towel or T-shirt inside for a bit off muffling when needed.
I do think I'll try that again, tuning the kick up more and then adding dampening or ITB processing if I need to, or otherwise sticking with my normal routine if that doesn't work out. Have you compared the PS3 to the EMADs or GMADs or otherwise have experience with all of them? I currently have a ported PS3 on the reso side and I do like it more than what I had before (I forget what it was). I wouldn't be super opposed to a PS3 batter, though much more people liked the EMADs the most and many preferred it over the PS3 (although others preferred PS3) over on other forums. The biggest attraction of the EMADs and GMAD are that the dampening can be changed between 3 levels of dampening (one of them being none). I feel like the 10ply EMAD with no dampening would might be less useable than the 12ply GMD (I already put a shirt or blanket in the drum), but the EMAD2 seems like too much dampening. Because of this ease of changing it, I'll probably not go with the PS3 this time but will probably try it on batter side in the future.

And on drum triggering, I'll actually probably subtly layer in samples to fix any loose ends anyways, but I'll want to stick with mostly the natural sound.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
IMO a ported head removes a noticeable amount of low end. If you haven't tried so, maybe try a full front head with maybe a T shirt or 2 in there.

All the low end your drum can make...you need a full front head to hear it all
I read about that loss of some low end earlier today actually, but I guess I might've figured that in the past anyways. From memory, and with different drum heads, I do remember preferring the sub boom of my kick drum without the port in the front, but the port makes miking possibilities much greater so I'll probably stick with right now. Good advice though.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
So does anyone have experience with felt strips and no any "proper" methods to get the most evenly dampened sound? Might an evenly dampening felt strip be placed closer to the center? I don't even know if I want the sounds evenly dampened. Using moon gels, I've always assumed that having multiple pieces equidistant from each other was the best way to make sure the entire drum is evenly dampened. Is that about right?

Do coated GMADs not exist?

What do you all prefer? How might you compare it to an Evans EQ3 coated batter head?
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I do think I'll try that again, tuning the kick up more and then adding dampening or ITB processing if I need to, or otherwise sticking with my normal routine if that doesn't work out. Have you compared the PS3 to the EMADs or GMADs or otherwise have experience with all of them? I currently have a ported PS3 on the reso side and I do like it more than what I had before (I forget what it was). I wouldn't be super opposed to a PS3 batter, though much more people liked the EMADs the most and many preferred it over the PS3 (although others preferred PS3) over on other forums. The biggest attraction of the EMADs and GMAD are that the dampening can be changed between 3 levels of dampening (one of them being none). I feel like the 10ply EMAD with no dampening would might be less useable than the 12ply GMD (I already put a shirt or blanket in the drum), but the EMAD2 seems like too much dampening. Because of this ease of changing it, I'll probably not go with the PS3 this time but will probably try it on batter side in the future.

And on drum triggering, I'll actually probably subtly layer in samples to fix any loose ends anyways, but I'll want to stick with mostly the natural sound.
EMAD vs GMAD vs PS3 vs Brand X will be a hotly debated till the dawn of time. I've run EMAD, SKI, SKII and PS3, both ported and not. My preference has been for the PS3 either non-ported, or with no more than a 4" port. The 4" port was my compromise for micing and by the time I get the mic in the opening, most of the back pressure is restored, so most of the tone is back. I've since installed a Kelly Shu, so will go back to unported. I can always dampen a bit if I need to.
 

Coconut_Head

Active member
EMAD vs GMAD vs PS3 vs Brand X will be a hotly debated till the dawn of time. I've run EMAD, SKI, SKII and PS3, both ported and not. My preference has been for the PS3 either non-ported, or with no more than a 4" port. The 4" port was my compromise for micing and by the time I get the mic in the opening, most of the back pressure is restored, so most of the tone is back. I've since installed a Kelly Shu, so will go back to unported. I can always dampen a bit if I need to.
Interesting and I appreciate the certainty in which you prefer. I'm pretty in the middle with everything. Fortunately my port is slightly less than the 4" so squeezing in the end of the mic stand and an RE20 just barely works.

Using the Kelly SHU, how does one connect the cable to the mic? Do you have to make a set fixture and keep the mic cabled up all the time?
 
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