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Bass drum or “kick drum”?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by keith1r, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. keith1r

    keith1r Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    I’ve always used the term “bass drum” and not “kick drum”. I grew up with my father as a drummer and 2 brothers that play drums and they all call it a bass drum. I’ve heard the term “kick drum” was started by sound guys and recording engineers so they wouldn’t confuse the bass drum with the bass guitar. I know that you can not buy a “kick drum” as all drum companies call it a bass drum. I think of a bass drum as sounding full and big and boomy old school and a kick drum sounding like a ported drum that sounds like a basketball bouncing or the beater hitting the mic and sounding like an electronic drum.
    Which term does everyone prefer?
    Ductapeman and jfh2112 like this.
  2. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    It's always been 'bass drum' to me and my percussion friends.
    packhowitzer and keith1r like this.
  3. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    The bass drum (to me) is the large floor tom.
    the kick is the one with the beater head :)
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Bass drum.
    keith1r likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    yeah: a lot of FOH cats i know call it a "kick"...and mark it as "kik" on the board/desk.

    i accept either/both and most major credit cards. :D

    whatever you call it: you have to hope that the cat playing it knows what to do with it!
    backin82, Atshen, Ductapeman and 7 others like this.
  6. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    FugaziBomb and alesreaper9 like this.
  7. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Same goes in the studios I have been in...
    JRA likes this.
  9. Either, both, completely interchangeable as far as I am concerned.
    Bodeanly, backin82, viper4000 and 7 others like this.
  10. TjMetalhead


    Oct 19, 2011
    New Mexico
    Both, I call it both. Kick drum especially if it's an electric drum set. Acoustic drum set it's bass drum.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Bass drum. We dumb things down enough for drummers and sound techs...bwahahahaha!
  12. Are there any other languages than English who use "kickdrum"? Here it's bassdrum (for drumset) or "big drum" for other uses.
  13. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Kick. If writing space on the mixing board is limited, kik is also acceptable, just like gtr (actually, I use Egt or Agt, as I usually have both kinds in one mix).
    HolmeBass likes this.
  14. renobassman


    Jul 27, 2011
    I always say kick when it's part of a drumset.

    When I hear bass drum, I think of this:

    Or this:

  15. Remoman


    Mar 14, 2017
    I've used both, but also been in situations where we had both. An orchestra setting where we had both a true bass drum and a set.
    design and renobassman like this.
  16. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Bass drum is the formal name, kick drum or just kick is slang. Either is fine. Wikipedia agrees with me.

    Bass drum - Wikipedia
    design likes this.
  17. BD Jones

    BD Jones

    Jul 22, 2016
    Both are acceptable, and correct. The term "kick drum" comes from the fact that prior to the early 1900's (and even a few years after) a small bass drum would be placed on the floor and a percussionist who would also be playing snare and other instruments would literally kick the drum in order to play. The first bass drum pedal was invented in 1900 by Sonor. Ludwig followed with a better model about a decade later. The term "kick drum" stuck for a while, but many drummers started to insist upon calling it a "bass drum" since it was no longer "kicked". The term "kick" is still used by sound guys as (like you said) because it's easier to differentiate between the bass guitar and the bass drum/kick drum. But, there is no difference between the two; not in size or how they sound. It's like calling the whole setup either a drum set or a trap set. Both are correct and both mean the same thing.
  18. evanrunyon


    Nov 27, 2017
    Brooklyn NY
    i always just use "kick" to avoid confusion. i work in orchestral/multipercussion situations frequently enough where it's conceivable someone might be playing either kit or an orchestral bass drum or even both.
    jamro217, design and renobassman like this.
  19. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    Kick. On sound boards where the mics are labelled, bass is bass guitar, bass drum is "kick" to avoid confusion. Pretty simple and has nothing to do with the history of the bass drum or what is actually the musically correct term. Purely a practical label for the sound guy's. If no sound board labelling is involved, go to town with what ever floats your boat! :D
    J_BassV, tradernick and Gizmot like this.
  20. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    Why are we discussing this small technicality? I've worked in major recording studios and on big concert stages - and the two terms are easily interchangeable, although more people in studios call it bass drum and for concert / live sound, it's kick.
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