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How to Install Your Advanced Bass Drum Muffling System

July 18th, 2019 by Dan Wahl

Whether you’ve already purchased the Advanced Marching Bass Drum Muffling System, or you’re trying to do your research for a better muffling solution, look no further. Our Advanced Marching Bass Drum Muffling System gives you that Top 12 Drum Corps sound for your bass drums quickly and easily, and the installation process is one of the quickest.

Three key design features helps us accomplish this for you:

  1. The high grade self-adhesive strip reduces the wait time from installation to performance.
  2. High resilient foam which provides the right amount of muffling to the head and the shell which will reduce the high overtones from your marching bass drum while focusing the fundamental tone and enhancing clarity out on the field.
  3. Our proprietary angle cut on outer facing edge to ensure maximum contact with the drumhead.

How to Install Your Muffling System

The Pre-Install

Before you permanently install the foam, you’ll want to start with a Pre-Install. This is so you can establish your starting point and to ensure you have the appropriate foam length for your drum. The following steps should be performed with the adhesive backing still on.

Step 1: Find Your Reference Point

Find a point inside the drum that you can line up the seams on both sides. A good point of reference would be where the harness attaches to the drum. Typically, there is an eye-bolt or backing plate at this location.

Step 2: Check the Foam Length

Once you establish your reference point, place the foam at that point and lay the rest of the foam inside the shell. Once you get to the end, there should be about 1” of extra foam overlapping your starting point.

This extra length is intentional! When installing the foam, you’ll want to place the two ends of the foam together which will then force the rest of the foam to press against the shell.

Step 3: Check the Bearing Edge Alignment

Another checkpoint is where the foam is positioned on the shell relative to the bearing edge. Thanks to the angle cut design, there’s no additional work necessary. You can simply align the bottom edge of the foam with the bearing edge of the drum and you’ll have the proper amount of foam to make contact with the drumhead. Just make sure that the angle is facing away from the shell (i.e. toward the drumhead).

Why Does the Angle Cut Matter?

The advantage to the angle cut is that once the drumhead is on, the foam will be slightly pulled away from the bearing edge eliminating any overlap that would otherwise occur. As a result, you’ll have a much more consistent muffling across the drum contributing to a more consistent tuning.

The Install

Now that you’ve completed the Pre-Install, all that remains is removing the adhesive backing and applying the foam to the shell of the drum.

Step 1: Find Your Reference Point

Starting at your reference point, make sure the angle cut is facing outward in the direction of the drumhead, peel off the adhesive backing and place the foam onto the shell.

Step 2: Applying the Foam

It’s best practice if you peel the adhesive backing away as you apply the foam. You also want to keep an eye on the edge of the foam and make sure that it stays in alignment with the bearing edge. If you need to make adjustments along the way, the adhesive backing will allow you to do so. Nothing is set in stone as you are applying the foam to the shell.

Step 3: Nearing the End

Once you get to be 2 or 3 lug casings away from the end, pull away the remaining adhesive backing, place the end of the foam to your starting point, then push the remaining section of foam directly onto the shell.

Once completed, you can spot check any areas that look uneven, then apply subtle pressure with your hands around the entire surface to ensure full contact between the foam and the drum.

Step 4: Finishing Up

There's no wait time for the foam to "set" - put the drumheads on and start playing!

Notes About Installing Foam on Old Drums

If you’ve got leftover residue from previous muffling, it’s ok! Having a little bit of this leftover residue will only help hold your new bass foam. A good trick is to apply heat to this just before you install the new foam. A hair dryer works well.

Notes About Installing on New Drums

If you’re installing the bass foam on a brand new shell, you don’t need to worry about modifying the shell prior to installation. Some people have been known to take fine grit sandpaper to the shell in hopes of getting a stronger hold - you do not need to do this! The adhesive backing on the Advanced Bass Muffling foam will be more than capable of making a strong bond with the shell of the drum without resorting to additional shell treatments (i.e. sanding down the shell, etc.).

That's All There Is To It!

Please let us know if you have any questions! You can leave a comment down below. We hope we were able to help you get your bass drums sounding perfect!

Dan has deep roots in the marching percussion community. When not in the store you might catch him playing drums at Disneyland. Fun fact: his favorite exercise is Triplet Diddle.

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