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A few months ago Twin Cities local CBS news channel WCCO ran this story (video) on my friend Jason Gerling. He’s an inspiring and contagiously encouraging guy with an amazing story and a deep passion for music and drums. He’s also a great player with a rad vision for a kick drum shell sub woofer.

Jason’s kit features a 22″ bass drum that is actually an 18″ speaker cabinet, with the speaker facing the drummer and the ports facing the reso head. A handful of misc triggers are placed around the rest of the kit so the kick samples can be fired from different locations, with some of them even placed on the underside of cymbals. Jason is able to recreate full kick/snare patterns, complete with fills, using only his arms.

The rig includes a DM5 brain and a bass amp, which can run DI to the house while also sending signal to the kick drum speaker. Jason even put a mesh head with a trigger on the batter side of the kick, allowing a non-wheelchair player to attach a pedal and play the kit that way.

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I had a chance to play Jason’s sub-kick while he was testing it out at the Risen Drums shop… it’s legit. The advantage in Jason’s concept is for the drummer and the other performers on stage to feel the air movement of the kick, something that has long been missing from electronic kits. At one point we set up an acoustic kick with a pedal next to Jason’s sub-kick with a trigger. I played the same groove and switched kicks every two bars. We leveled the bass amp volume and EQ’d the tone until the two kicks were almost indistinguishable. Of course there was slight a tonal difference, but at that point Jason’s concept provides the amazing option of cycling through his hundreds of kick samples to find the appropriate tone for the room or the song.

Check out the linked video above and give Jason a shout on Facebook!

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