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Old 11-08-2017, 12:52 PM
gfa gfa is offline
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Default Adding Stomp Box/Kick Drum/Etc

I'm thinking about adding a foot percussion tool for when we're playing out. Not full on Avett/Mumford style, just something at low volume to add a bit more thump to the beat. No store near me has any inventory to speak of, so I am turning to y'all for some input. What are pros and cons of an actual kick drum vs. a wooden stomp box (with internal mic) vs. fully electronic like the Roland SPD One Kick? For you guitarist/singers, was it hard to become competent? Is it really like just amplifying the foot tap that I'm already doing? We play through 12" powered speakers, will they have enough bottom end to be satisfying? What else do I need to think about?

Thanks! BTW, posting this here even though slightly off-topic because this seems like the most likely group to have some experience. Mods, feel free to move.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:00 PM
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open-road-matt open-road-matt is offline
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Originally Posted by gfa View Post
I'm thinking about adding a foot percussion tool for when we're playing out. Not full on Avett/Mumford style, just something at low volume to add a bit more thump to the beat. No store near me has any inventory to speak of, so I am turning to y'all for some input. What are pros and cons of an actual kick drum vs. a wooden stomp box (with internal mic) vs. fully electronic like the Roland SPD One Kick? For you guitarist/singers, was it hard to become competent? Is it really like just amplifying the foot tap that I'm already doing? We play through 12" powered speakers, will they have enough bottom end to be satisfying? What else do I need to think about?

Thanks! BTW, posting this here even though slightly off-topic because this seems like the most likely group to have some experience. Mods, feel free to move.
I have used a Porchboard on and off for years.

http://www.porchboard.com/

It is very easy to use and is, as you say, pretty much just amplifying your already tapping foot. These require a sub or something that can handle some pretty low frequencies. I cut a lot of the highs and mids and thump away.

The only downside for me is that I always play standing up and although I switch feet often, it can get a bit tiring.

Matt
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:19 PM
gfa gfa is offline
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Thanks Matt. If you don't mind me asking, why "on and off" usage?
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:38 PM
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Thanks Matt. If you don't mind me asking, why "on and off" usage?
I go back and forth on whether or not I want it as part of my shows. I like the way it sounds and I think it adds to the overall sound but I tend to feel like I connect a bit more with the people listening when I'm not playing it.

As I mentioned, it's tough to play it standing up. I'm mostly a stay at home dad during the school year and then I play some music during the summer and even though I practiced with the Porchboard quite a bit before my summer shows started, I had to quit using it after just a couple of shows. Lots of hip and knee trouble this time around.

I've never had that big a problem with it so I think it's all the time off and then jumping back into 2-3 hours a night for many nights in a row.

So I'm currently off the Porchboard! But it does sound really good!

Matt
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:01 PM
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Kudos to you, gfa, for using percussion that you actually play, instead of a drum machine or computer chip "playing" it for you. I think that adds a lot of authenticity to a performer. I've used the Meinl FX pedal, which has some great sounds -- low thumpy kick, tambourine, wood block, etc. -- but the angle your foot has to be at (I play standing up) is a little severe for my leg so I really don't use it much anymore. I really like the Peterman "Puckin' Stompa"products from Australia but have never played one. They're maybe too digital for your taste but they do also have some wooden percussive units like the Porchboard... Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:21 PM
gfa gfa is offline
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Quote:
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Kudos to you, gfa, for using percussion that you actually play, instead of a drum machine or computer chip "playing" it for you. I think that adds a lot of authenticity to a performer. I've used the Meinl FX pedal, which has some great sounds -- low thumpy kick, tambourine, wood block, etc. -- but the angle your foot has to be at (I play standing up) is a little severe for my leg so I really don't use it much anymore. I really like the Peterman "Puckin' Stompa"products from Australia but have never played one. They're maybe too digital for your taste but they do also have some wooden percussive units like the Porchboard... Good luck!
Thanks for the kind words slewis, but I haven't started using anything yet! That angle thing you mention is one of my concerns. I don't know how it will play out in situation. Would've loved to go to a store and try a variety of products for both sound and ergonomics, but there is no such store here. I just ordered the Roland SPD One Kick. It's pretty small, I am hoping it will be relatively comfortable to use. Also hoping I can use it to good effect!

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Old 11-10-2017, 02:04 PM
RedJoker RedJoker is online now
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I just started playing around with a kick drum so I'm interested to see what you go with.
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Old 11-10-2017, 02:09 PM
steve_mac steve_mac is offline
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I used a porch board style gizmo called a beatroute a few times live and found it simply too tiring so I retired it. Now I thump the guitar into a looper if I need a percussive sound.
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:06 PM
Neon Soul Neon Soul is offline
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I use the Finhol Laser Kick Pro.

It's a horseshoe shaped wooden enclosure with a gap in the middle, and a laser bridging the gap.

You break the laser beam with your foot to trigger a kick drum sample.

Much more forgiving on your leg as there is no steep angle, and you don't have to worry about hitting it at the same velocity every time to get a consistant sound.

Certainly not for everyone, and takes a little EQ to get right, but it works great for me in an acoustic 3 or 4 piece setting.

Here's a video of it in action:

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Old 11-12-2017, 02:16 PM
gfa gfa is offline
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That Finhol unit looks interesting. I like the fact that your foot is just flat on the floor, same as if there was nothing there. If the Roland I ordered doesn't work for me ...
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:42 PM
Johnny.guitar Johnny.guitar is offline
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Interesting that others have had the same issue with playing a stomp box while standing. I had to give it up as my shin and feet hurt too much. I now use a Beatbuddy. I know it's a "drum machine" but being able to use hand drum & cajon samples and keeping the beats simple so I'm still the focus
it's a pretty good compromise ...
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:50 PM
troggg troggg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slewis View Post
Kudos to you, gfa, for using percussion that you actually play, instead of a drum machine or computer chip "playing" it for you. I think that adds a lot of authenticity to a performer.
So then the humans who designed the drum machine and the humans who programmed the drum machine are not authentic?

Some "authentic" humans don't keep time very well, if you haven't noticed.

Speaking only for myself, I either like a beat or I don't, usually cause it elevates a song or it doesn't. I don't care how it was created or who or what's playing it.

The Finhol does seem well-conceived.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:40 PM
menhir menhir is offline
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I've considered some sort of drum box from time to time. I never knew there were user-operated devices like those mentioned in this thread.

I have a personal concern that makes me lean towards drum machine...I have an injured left leg that I'm not sure I can rely on. Regardless of that, I'd hate to have to keep my foot in the same place all night.

My perspective on drum machines...
I always played in a band with a drummer. None of the other musicians were playing the drums themselves either, and I don't think anyone credited their performances with a lack of authenticity as a result.

Should we not use loopers?

On the other hand (foot?), as keyboard player back then I always regarded sequencers as "cheating" and refused to use one.

And...although I rarely use one, I have no problems with Capos.

See what you've done...I'm having a moral delimma now.

Thanks bunches.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:58 AM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_mac View Post
... Now I thump the guitar into a looper if I need a percussive sound.
Likewise. No extra equipment to bring along since the looper is already on my pedal board. However, anything that works for is great.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:26 PM
gfa gfa is offline
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Quote:
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That Finhol unit looks interesting. I like the fact that your foot is just flat on the floor, same as if there was nothing there. If the Roland I ordered doesn't work for me ...
Reviving an old thread. That Roland pedal did not work out for me. It sounded good, but I found it physically challenging to use for the length of a song. I also seemed to pretty consistently push the beat when using it. Maybe because my foot made contact with the pedal sooner than it would've made contact with the floor? Anyway, I just sold it and ordered one of the Finhols. Spendy, but I really like the design concept. I hope to be penning a glowing review here in a couple of weeks.
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