A double bass drum pedal is an essential part of an electronic drum set. It has three main functions, which include:
- It helps to add more power to your drum sound.
- It ensures that you produce more consistent output
- Allows you to play multiple patterns, which you would not have otherwise played using a single pedal
The bass drum pedal is applicable mainly when playing punk, hard rock, and heavy metal types of music. To some extent, it is also applicable when playing some country styles such as jazz and Latin.
So, knowing how to set up the double bass drum pedal is an invaluable skill. This applies to you whether you are a professional drummer, an intermediate drummer, or a beginner drummer.
How Do You Set Up A Double Bass Pedal?
You can set up your double bass drum pedal using the traditional setup. Alternatively, you can use some unique and creative modern setup that will also allow you to play other instruments.
The traditional setup entails attaching the primary pedal to the bass drum as you would a single pedal. You then place the second pedal, also called the slave pedal, on the right side of the hi-hat stand’s pedalboard.
I will look in depth at the two methods of double bass drum setup.
But first, let’s look at the related terminology.
- The Double Bass Drum Pedals
The two pedals are the master pedal and the slave pedal.
The master pedal contains all the spring assemblies. It also houses both beaters.
On the other hand, the slave pedal is simply a pedalboard. At times, it can have its own spring assembly.
- The Drive Shaft
This is the metal rod that connects the two pedals. The drive shafts are interchangeable between brands and hence easy to replace.
The drive shaft has a male or female square-shaped connector with which it connects the two pedals. You can also adjust the length of the shaft and lock it using a standard drum key.
Setting Up Electronic Drums Double Bass Pedal
Here are the steps to follow to set up your double bass drum:
Step One: Attaching the Master Pedal
You will use the hoop clamp to attach the primary pedal (master pedal) to your bass drum.
The bass drum comes with an allen wrench. Use this in setting the appropriate space of the hoop clamp.
The allen wrench helps you to loosen the set screw on the clamp, after which you can either widen or narrow the gap by rotating the knurled gap.
After that, tighten the set screw again, then position the pedal on the center of the hoop. Next, ensure you securely tighten the side wing screw.
To avoid any damage to the bass drum hoop, make use of the rubber hoop protector included in the package.
Step Two: Test the Master Pedal and Adjust Accordingly
Before moving on to the next stage of the setting up, you may need to test whether you have correctly set the primary pedal.
Play the master pedal a bit to test its functionality. In case you are not satisfied with the action of the pedal, you can make any necessary adjustments to the spring assembly.
Step Three: Set Up the Hi-Hat Stand and the Snare Drum
Before you proceed to set up the slave pedal, you will need to position your hi-hat stand properly. You will also need to position the snare drum appropriately.
Ensure you place these two elements at a position where you feel comfortable.
Step Four: Position the Slave Pedal
The next step is to position the slave pedal to the right of your hi-hat pedal. Again, ensure you leave sufficient leg room for your snare drum stand.
Having the correct positioning also allows for easy switching of the left foot between the pedals.
One challenge you may encounter at this point is the hi-hat stand. In most cases, the hi-hat stand may not appear to cooperate with your preferred slave pedal placement.
The cause of this is usually because many hi-hat stands feature three fixed position legs. Unfortunately, this hi-hat setting is not, in many cases, double bass pedal-friendly.
There are two ways of sorting out this issue.
- You can invest in a 2-legged hi-hat stand. Some of the most popular 2-legged hi-hat stands include the Tama Iron Cobra and the DW 3000 series.
- You can invest in hi-hat stands that have adjustable legs. Com of those in this category include the pearl 930 hi-hat stand.
Step Five: Connect the Two Pedals
Now that your two pedals are in position, it’s time to link them together using the drive shaft.
First, you will need to loosen the length of the adjustment screws. This ensures that making adjustments is easy.
You also need to ensure that the footboard height and the beater angles of the two pedals are in the same position.
After, attach the drive shaft to both cams. Make sure that the four key screws are facing upwards.
Tighten the two key screws securely at each end of the drive shaft to the primary pedal hex rod. All this while, ensure that the beater and the footboard height angle are optimal.
Repeat the same process with the slave pedal.
After attaching the two pedals, ensure that all the four key screws on the drive shaft are holding it firmly in position. If the screws are loose, they may cause damage to your pedal.
Step 6: Testing and Adjusting the Slave Pedal
At this point, you need to test the slave pedal, just as you did with the master pedal.
Play the slave pedal, and feel free to make any necessary adjustments to the strings.
Step 7: Adjusting the Beaters
You can adjust the length of the beater shaft for the desired feel and impact area. For optimal performance, your beater should hit the center of the drum or an area 1-2 inches above the center.
After setting it at the desired height, ensure you secure the beater shaft. Use the beater hub key screw to help you with this.
Remember, if you are using the standard two-way beater, you can use its both sides.
One side is for a warmer attack and is curved and medium-felt. However, if you spin it around, you will have the second hard plastic side that produces a brighter attack.
Step 8: Fine-Tuning
The final stage in this setup is to fine-tune. This step is highly dependent on the quality of your bass drum pedal.
A good-quality bass drum pedal will offer you more adjustment options.
An example of this is the DW 3000 series, which offers you stroke adjustment, spring tension adjustment, and footboard angle adjustment.
Spring angle adjustment will mainly affect the amount of force you need to move the beaters. You can increase or decrease this tension by loosening the round knurled nut, which is at the base of the spring assembly.
Stroke adjustment mainly helps to vary the distance the beater travels before it hits the drum. If you move the screw towards the back, you will get a slightly heavier stroke.
On the other hand, if you move the screw forward, you will get a lighter or a shorter stroke.
The length of your chain is what determines the footboard angle. You can change the length of the stroke by adjusting the footboard angle together with the stroke adjustment and the beater height.
You may also want to change the position of the chain. You can achieve this by removing the master link connector from the sprocket and the chain. Then, position it back to another hole in the sprocket.
Kindly note that for most general playing situations, I would recommend the factory settings. Many drummers also prefer to use the factory settings.