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I'm trying to recreate a big taiko drum sound. I have a 28" bass drum with synthetic skin head.

Anyone have any ideas on how to layer the sound to get a big taiko drum sound.

I'm sure there's a way to fake it just need to record the right sounds.

Thank you for your help! Ps I know I could just use samples but I want to create original sounds.

  • If you can approximate the beater that will also help. – Todd Wilcox May 11 '16 at 19:09
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I'm not sure this qualifies as a full answer, but maybe a starting point...

To really layer it up, you need to add variation to what is being recorded, so assuming you can get it a bit like a taiko to start with...

Tuning
Vary tuning between takes. Some phasing might be OK, but a whole swathe of very similar pitches won't sound as big as highly varied pitches.

Damping
Experiment with different damping methods, you don't need every take ringing like a bell.

Skin
Try double & single-headed. Taikos may all be double-headed, but we don't have a real taiko to work with.

Ambience
Vary mic position. Make your prominent tracks nicely close-miked to get the bottom-end solid, but allow for some spacing to the 'back of the room' to give it that 'many drummers in a large room' cinematic feel. If you actually have a large room, try setting up a front stereo pair & actually standing in each 'drummer's' position for different takes.

Technique
Vary the type of sticks used - regular sticks, sticks reversed, sticks with cloth wrapped round, rods, beaters etc
Taikos are extremely sturdy drums with heavy skins, normally beaten with something approaching the size of a log. You won't be able to do that with a regular plastic-skinned drum... or not for long ;)

Further variation
Not all taikos are huge. Without going into the different tradition types of Japanese drum, which we in the west tend to just lump together as 'taiko', try some regular toms too, to accentuate specific beats.

Also remember stick clicks & frame strikes are as important as drum beats in taiko.

After some experiment, make your favourite modifications the close miked variants & your least favourite the more distant options. That is likely to give you a more favourable overall blend, but don't dismiss for instance the 'dull, highly damped, with soft beaters' variant as being of no use at all, it can add to the overall feel.

I'm not sure the Wikipedia entry on Taiko is really much help in this particular case, but for a bit of background information - Wikipedia : Taiko

  • 1
    I'd say it qualifies! – Marc W May 15 '16 at 19:20

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