Didgeridoo BASS GENERATION Part 1- Some questions about „kick- didge“

This is the introductory chapter of new didgeridoo generation of sounds, starting with didgeridoo bass generation of „kick-didge“. Didgeridoo players are very welcome to fill in the poll and leave the comment below about the tests presented here.

The Great Motivation…

After recording Kosmopterix many new questions about playing, making didgeridoos and recording didgeridoo arose. Even more so after recording Dronas as my knowledge has somewhat expanded. Now that I consider recording a new album these questions have become very crucial in my didgeridoo evolution.

The Story of Orchestra…

The story goes like this; Now all or most contemporary didgeridoo players that have certain experience in didgeridoo playing and sound will agree on the statement that „didgeridoo is a whole orchestra“. Especially if we apply the principles of parallel playing. But what does it mean? Is it just a fairytale and are we all children who need to grow up? What does it mean in practice? We are obviously speaking with certain dose of metaphor. We do not have to discuss if didgeridoo sounds exactly like string quartet or rock band. It does not. So again and again there is this crucial question „What does whole orchestra mean?“.  What does it mean sound-wise and music-wise?

Intro into the BASS-ics…

This  is a story difficult to unfold as it is difficult to find an anchor to start from. I chose to approach it firstly and primarily sound-wise, while having the playing & technique overview in the background. Since we have to start from the bass-ics, we will start from the famous didgeridoo bass sound.  I was in Kramasonik studio last week and did a few hours of tests about generation of didgeridoo bass,  with special emphasis on the search of the bass drum or kick drum in didgeridoo.  Called the „kick-didge“ 😉

An example of didge-bass waveform

About the test…

The concept of the test was to take four different didgeridoos and four different techniques that have bass drum feeling to some extent. Record and compare  these sixteen combinations. I did not put special effort into miking the didgeridoos. I used two microphones, Royer R122V and vintage AKG C12, both going through Forsell SMP-2 preamp and PrismSound converter. First three recordings were done at 4cm distance,the fourth at 8 cm distance as it made more sense. I would not elaborate about the didgeridoos and techniques, as I do not want you to make any mental conclusions, only listening.

The test with 4 different didgeridoos and 4 different bass drum techniques

About the result…

I will give my comparison observations and conclusions in next chapter, as again, I don’t want to influence you at this point. Now I only give you recordings and kindly ask to fill the holes in the polles below this. Different sounds within every recording are called A, B ,C, D and each sound is played twice.

Didgeridoo Bass drum test – Didgeridoo 1 – Sounds A B C D

Didgeridoo Bass drum test – Didgeridoo 2 – Sounds A B C D

Didgeridoo Bass drum test – Didgeridoo 3 – Sounds A B C D

Didgeridoo Bass drum test – Didgeridoo 4 – Sounds A B C D

Overall biggest bass didgeridoo

Please feel free to drop your comment about anything you have noticed in the recordings. I would especially appreciate if you elaborate a little bit on which sound you find most/least harmonious, most/least powerful, most/least interesting… or whatever comes to your mind.

You will find out which didgeridoo is which, which technique is which, and how they compare to the real kick drum in the next chapter. Soon. Only on the channel of… www.lapaine.com 😉

22 comments… add one
  • Doudou October 18, 2010, 21:01

    Hi doudeaux !

    It’s doudou from lyon & Grenoble !
    It’s such an idea this article !
    All the B (exept the last one) sound seem like a big kick with reverb effect. Is it true ?

    Hope to see you one day

  • Du October 18, 2010, 22:03

    Hello Doudou!
    Nice to hear from you!
    All the sounds are completely unprocessed. NO reverb except the minimum of recording room reverb, no EQ, no compression.
    To my ear “C” has the most reverb, and it is due to the inside reverb of the tube, again no added reverb.
    I hope this clears things up a bit….

  • Nuno Pinto de Carvalho October 18, 2010, 22:19


    The Didgeridoo 2 has a more powerful/stronger beat in the B part, but the Didgeridoo 1 has a more powerful bass (D part).
    That’s because I can discern a simple beat from a bass sound. To me a bass sound vibrates longer than a simple beat/strike, much like a bass-guitar.

    I also liked the A part of Didgeridoo 4 because it’s sound is much more “organic” (very good wood sound!) Looks like a djembé :p

    Hope it helps!


  • Delphine October 18, 2010, 22:53

    Hello !!

    Only with my ears feelings, D-sound is the least harmonious (didge 1) and the nearest than a drone (on all didges). B-sounds are, to me, the most mysterious and the deepest (especially didges 1; 2).
    I feel that a similar technique is used to A&C (tongue, lips) and another one to B&D (cheeks).

    Very interesting topic, thanks Du !
    See you =)


  • Pamela Mortensen October 19, 2010, 08:05

    These are all interesting in their own right on many different levels. The one I found most interesting was sound B of didge #1 as far as a deep bass sound goes. It’s the type of bass you can feel as well as hear. But like didgeridoo, bass kick drums come in all different colors and pitch ranges so it seems none of these sounds can be dismissed. It gives the player a rich palette to choose from depending on what (s)he would like to do. So with that, I found the higher didges just as interesting for their daf-like sound though I swear didges C and D are the same didge. But maybe not since the color of each seems a little different.

    All in all, these demonstrate more on just how dynamic the didgeridoo can be and that there is more to it than just drone and horn. Thank you for opening the world of didge up to this new technique and offering a greater color and texture choice. Looking forward to hearing more and making beautiful noise.

    your didge servant,

  • Fran6co October 19, 2010, 08:19

    Hi Du !
    Great idea this interactive didj’testing !
    I think it only lacks the original sound-track of a kick-drum for comparison.
    Also a clearer definition of what you mean by “impressive” ? > look-alike ? technically impressive ? original ???
    Clearly, the 1st didj sample seems (to me) to have the most bass sound… but I hesitated a lot between B and C sounds > B sounds more like a kickdrum, though C impressed me more.
    Keep on bringing your lights inside that dark hollow stick, Master Du 🙂

  • Shaun Graves October 19, 2010, 08:38

    For bass drum I was voting for a satisfying solid thud and if there I wanted resonance.
    In the end I decided I much prefer an earthy vibrant didge pump noise, which I associate with a dominant drum tone.

  • Du October 19, 2010, 09:51

    Oh so nice comments!
    I would just point out one thing. This is deliberately left open question in many ways. It is open in the sense that I did not give any answer, but also in the sense it is not “perfectly defined” question. It is about your subjective perception, not objective measuring, so you really can’t be wrong. It is beautiful not to be able to be wrong, isn’t it? So just write what comes to your mind, first, second, or in any order or disorder.
    Mr Fran6, as you can see, this is only part 1, we have plenty of space to do other things as well. And we sure will.

    I thank you once again!

    Please continue….


  • Pupi October 19, 2010, 10:40

    i’ve ralized i’m a big fan od kicks and “small” sounds hidden inside of a didg, so i like all of the sounds here. =) And i would definitely take didg no2. =)
    Actually this IS a huge topic to discuss, and thank you for giving us more to think about. Once again. =)

  • Carlos Faria October 19, 2010, 12:39

    Hello Du,
    In my opinion the Didgeridoo 4 has a more powerful sound than the others, and the “kick- drum” its stronger and! Its interesting that some of this sounds are similar to my home made didgeridoo from Agave! This Didgeridoos are all made by you?
    I´m just a beginner, and a big fan of you! Hope one day you come to Madeira,Portugal! You already had some fans here!
    You can see some of my work on facebook “DidgeAtlantic”.

    Keep the good vibes!

  • urkowsky October 20, 2010, 10:05

    This is turning out to be quite an interesting analysis ! 😀
    For the sake of collecting more data and views of these sound, I’d first offer that in the terms of a drumset, I mostly percieve the A and C as tomtoms, the B as a bass kick, and the D as simultaneous snare+bass kick.
    It is quite possible that I am for some reason currently under a strong impression of hearing these series of sounds as drumset components, but I’m getting the idea if they were to be arranged in a standard pattern that we’re used to hearing from a drumset, eg. rock beat or swing, probably the impression of hearing a drumset would be even stronger. So maybe a didge pattern can be arranged to give an illusion/impression of a certain instrument by using some of their standard playing patterns, and therefore psychologically strengthen even the tonal impression towards the one we’re used to get from that instrument. This might be a bit too metaphysical, but it’s just a thought 😀

  • Pupi October 20, 2010, 10:23

    i have to say… i like your tought urkowsky. it’s definitely something to think about…

  • Zack October 22, 2010, 06:40

    Hi Du,

    Fantastic study you have going on here. I really like that we are able to participate. awesome idea.

    I am really drawn to Didge 1-B and Didge 2-B. In my humble opinion I think if those two were sped up just a bit more, they would sound the closest to a bass drum. I also like Didge 2-A, real close, again in my opinion. Maybe if it were a bit lower.

  • Zack October 22, 2010, 06:58

    Hi Du,
    Fantastic study you have going on here. I really like that you are allowing us to participate and interact.
    I am really drawn to Didge 1-B and Didge 2-B. In my humble opinion I think if those two were sped up just a bit more, they would sound the closest to a bass drum. I also like Didge 2-A, real close, again in my opinion. Maybe if it were a bit lower. Take out the over thinking and it’s Didge 2-A 🙂
    Keep evolving.
    Hope this helps and take care.

  • Du October 25, 2010, 10:48

    Very nice to have all these comments and thoughts.
    The more space we open around us, the better we can see.
    And we will see what will happen in next episodes. Soon.
    I thank you very much for the comments, they are very valuable insights.
    No need to stop them ever.

  • F4R537KTP09 November 8, 2010, 00:15

    Hi Du,
    The sound that seems the most to my ears like a kickdrum is the first (A) of second, third and fourth lines. But the difference in techniques seems to be irrelevant because the B sound of first line seems very well balanced for a bass drum sound. I think a bass drum sound should be more like a really short times sound, decreasing obviously really fast (as the waves show it in a real bass drum). The resonnance can be added but seems artificial for a real bass drum, and that explains my choices I guess. Anyway it’s a good thing to share the feelings about that, comparing everybody’s perception and definition of what a “good” bass drum sound is. Hope it can help in some ways.

  • felipe December 15, 2010, 07:09

    Hi dubravko,
    Here Felipe Gallo from Colombia.
    To my impression the B on all didges has more reverb. However, certain C sounds are also very curious and useful; in fact i use them a lot.
    Good Luck with your great proyects/ideas!

  • Sagres March 5, 2013, 18:25

    In my opinion, i think B can oversee what we want from a bass drum tone.
    It has the “punch” and also the bassy tonality, i think its the one more balanced.


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