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Sonitus Kicker Bass Drum Muffler

The Kicker is a bass drum muffling device...  and, ummm... that’s about it really.

Ok, so it’s a fairly straightforward device in the sense that there isn’t a huge amount to it, there’s not much to set up and it isn’t all that big either. That said, the Kicker definitely works and does exactly what it says it will do on the packaging.

The Kicker is a (slightly strangely shaped) device which sits between your bass drum heads. It comes in lots of different sizes to suit the curvature and length of different sized bass drums and is very slightly longer than the shell depth to be firmly held in place and not move around in transport.

The Kicker has been designed to project low end frequencies and eliminate muddy mid and high frequencies (hence the way it looks), giving a tight, defined and powerful kick drum tone. It is made from a special polyester foam, is durable and intended to last a lifetime.

To  fit it, you take off one of the heads, place the Kicker down and put the head back on. Done.

Its quite a dry sound acoustically, but it does give a very microphone friendly sound straight out of the box.

For me, I like a little less in my kick drum and generally only against the batter head to the point where it muffles but does affect my playing experience. That’s me though. Some guys - Todd Sucherman, Gavin Harrison come to mind - like a little more in their kick to give them a more focussed sound and harder playing surface.

There are without doubt pros to having a product like this, but it won’t be to everyone’s taste.

To play, I could definitely feel the Kicker when it was in place. The drum was certainly punchy and tight feeling too. If you want that type of feel and sound, or if you do a lot of intricate bass drum work, the Kicker is for you. If you like a little less of a tight feeling batter head, then you might not want to throw out that blanket just yet.

For me, the height of the Kicker tightened up the batter head just a little too much and I lost some of the feel I like to have. However, if Sonitus came out with a similarly principled design but with a lower height profile, which doesn’t give such a tight feel on the head, I’d definitely give that a go.

The Kicker is available in bass drum sizes 18, 20, 22 & 24” and in a variety of depths within those sizes from 14” to 20”. It’s also reasonably priced, meaning that if you have more than one bass drum, you’ll probably be able to afford to have the correct Kicker diameter and length in each drum.

Overall, a good product, it’s just not quite for me. At least not yet…

More over at

David Bateman
May 2015

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