The bass drum pedal is a very important part of the drum set. It is with it that you will play your kick drum. And the kick is the backbone of your playing! So, this is a sensitive subject where we're going to talk about the different types of transmission, bats, settings etc. To see more clearly the answer to the question asked...
Honestly, we can't be objective!
ASBA has produced for many years an iconic bass drum pedal: the Caroline pedal. Distributed by Ludwig under license throughout the American continent for a decade (70s-80s), the Caroline pedal is still considered today as one of the best bass drum pedals ever made. From Joe Porcaro to Mitch Mitchell to John 'JR' Robinson
John 'JR' Robinson, the most prestigious drummers in the world have made it their pedal of choice on tour and in the studio. The
secret of this success? Innovation above all, in the service of playing comfort and performance. The Caroline (named after one of Daniel Humair's daughters, with whom this pedal was invented) is a real treasure trove of ingenuity that has definitely left its mark on the history of the drum. Now a collector's item sought after by all enthusiasts, this emblematic pedal will be reborn very soon in the form of a new edition! We are currently working hard on it (ouch!).
A bass drum pedal, how does it work?
The bass drum is the most imposing element of a drum set. It is usually played with a pedal (but not necessarily!). It is composed of a sole (or 'footboard'), the platform on which your foot is placed. The action of your foot on the footboard sets in motion the bat that hits the drumhead of your bass drum. One or two springs ensure the return of the bat after its impact on the drumhead.
Single or double bass drum pedal?
It all depends on your level... We advise beginners to opt for a single bass drum pedal. And we know some very experienced drummers who can play faster with a single pedal than with a double pedal... It's all about technique! But generally, a double bass drum pedal allows you to hit faster, we agree. Two drums are operated on a single bass drum, one driven directly by the pedal where the drums are attached, the other by another pedal positioned under the other foot, connected by a gimbal to the first. Basically, you play as if you had a double bass drum (one on each foot) but using only one bass drum! Of course, if you use two bass drums, you will need two single bass drum pedals...
Which transmission system to choose ?
The transmission is the part that connects the sole to the bat. There are several systems. The Caroline pedal was equipped with a belt drive system which gave a great comfort of play and a lot of flexibility. The use of a chain (bicycle chain type but thinner) is also very common and particularly recommended for beginners. Direct drive pedals are more for advanced drummers.
What type of bat to choose?
There are many types of bats, made of plastic, wood, and even skateboard wheels! The most common and easiest to play are felt bats, available in several hardnesses and faces, accessible to beginners and very versatile.
To set your bat at the right height, let your foot rest on it so that it is in contact with the drumhead. Adjust the bat so that it is perfectly in the center of the drumhead. To adjust the spring, find the right balance between the hardness and the return of the bat, it's all a matter of feeling. A spring that is too loose will make you lose speed, a spring that is too tight will be too uncomfortable to play over time...