Imitating an Explosion?

Hey all,

      Need some help with in generating a ";big"; explosion effect for my Winter Percussion Program.  Obviously Concert Bass is a gimme.  To me its just lacking the initial 'OOmpf'.  I am going for like a dynamite explosion, basically what you would hear say if you were at rock quarry.  I am trying to stay away from electronics and make it all plain old percussive.  Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. 

For lack of creativity....are you using a synth?
If you have the concert bass tuned to the right pitch it should really resonate.  Try tuning it a bit higher than usual and you might find that it'll give you the punch you need.  If you have any extra bass drums lying around you could take off one head and use them as impact drums.

Aside from that, I would go the route Mike suggested and find some way to get a sampled sound to compliment the bass drum.
Concert bass tuning is one of those big mysteries.  How the drum sounds when you're next to it is very different that how it sounds to the audience.  You'll generally want to tune it much higher than sounds appropriate when standing next to the drum.  I'm sure others on this forum will have better specific info on tuning. 

How about adding floor toms or other impact drums in the pit, the marching basses, and some gong and china cymbals?
[quote author=Bryan Harmsen link=topic=2977.msg15721#msg15721 date=1235145571]
If you have the concert bass tuned to the [color=red]right b****[/color] it should really resonate. 

I hope this wasn't a Freudian slip! You're not bitter about something, are you Bryan?
I was gonna say something, but I couldn't stop laughing. :)
WOW.... I'm never going to ever criticize anyone about the quality of their posts ever again. Not sure how that one slipped in there as the B and P keys are nowhere near each other. 

I'm going to alter any references to that, just for the sake of keeping this board at least somewhat free of such junk.

Sorry everyone.
Not a problem Bryan.  That [i]faux pas [/i] created a good laugh at a great time today.  Thanks.

But seriously, here's an ";explosion"; for you depending on how much help you have (and time).  Having produced a performance that included our version of the theme music from ";Rocky & Bullwinkle"; (an old cartoon series for you youngsters), the explosion that happens at the end of the theme was creatively enhanced by haphazardly stacking [i]metal folding-chairs [/i] that were collapsed by pulling out a key chair at the correct time.  This was used in addition to the normal percussive sounds (random rimshots, sonic bass booming, various cymbal sounds, gong, etc.) that were used at the exact same moment.  It took about 12-15 chairs and a few dozen times to experiment in order to find the right combination of sound and it's sustain.  Obviously, you have to create the crashing where you can do no floor damage.  Our tower/mass of chairs was just off-stage on a linoleum-covered concrete floor.  Other than that, go for the electronic sound module method.
Doesn't seem like a Dynamite Explosion would be that hard to emulate...

but in all seriousness, try hitting a large thunder sheet with a BD mallet, in unison with the BD.

The best thing I can think of (using standard percussive instruments) is:

concert bass
china crashes
splashes (MANY)
rimshots/spocks/bass rims

All pretty much simultaneously. I've never tried it, but it seems like that would give the desired effect.
Did my idea get erased or something?

Pop a bunch of really big balloons all at once.

Seems like a great idea, actually. One balloon's somtimes enough to scare the heck out of ya, and I imagine the sound of lots of them popping at once would have a real puncturing quality. Kind of original, too, from what I've seen. Maybe even try placing dozens of ballons on a big board and laying another board - maybe with some tacks on it - across it in a rolling motion. Maybe experiment with popping the balloons in sequence from smaller to larger. Maybe put baby powder in them to simulate smoke! Ha ha! Just kidding about that part.

If the right mind got a hold of this idea, he or she could probably do something really interesting with it.

Jay Leno had some bloopers-type videos on the other night, and one of them was of this kid who jumped on an exercise ball and popped it. I'll bet those are pretty loud. And to clarify: You'd obviously want to pop these things in tandem with a big 36"; concert bass, etc. An explosion is nothing without low frequency concussion. On the other hand, this might be the dumbest idea yet. I just like taking an occasional whack at thinking outside the box, because 90% of the time it's useless, but that other 10% is valuable.

";They've done studies, ya know... 60% of the time, it works [i]every time[/i].";

~Brian Fantana

Winter Line I'm in, we have an ";explosion"; in our opener danse macabre.

Our rack players have chains and a garbage can, that is hit simultaneously with gong and concert BD.

Hope this inspires :-)
I'd have to disagree with popping a balloon.  How many times have you poked a balloon and it popped perfectly right when the needle touched it?  How many times have you had a slight delay?  It's not a perfect method and if we're talking competitive here, I'd want things to line up.
[quote author=Cadet311 link=topic=2977.msg15944#msg15944 date=1237908226]
I'd have to disagree with popping a balloon.  How many times have you poked a balloon and it popped perfectly right when the needle touched it?  How many times have you had a slight delay?  It's not a perfect method...[/quote]

Yeah, I'm ready to chalk it up to being one of the dumber ideas I've had. :)
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