Port holes

I was just wondering how much a port hole in the bass drum affects the sound. I know it probably helps alot when miking the bass. I was just thinking about maybe putting one in my bass so anything about them would be helpfull
 

areFish

Silver Member
Porting the kick reso can have veried effects depending on the size of drum and size and location of the hole. Porting the reso typically will dry the drum out. It also can effect the feel of the beater off the batter head and how it bounces. These changes are more pronounced with an open drum free of dampening material inside the drum.
 
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audiotech

Guest
I'm not an advocate of putting holes in my drum heads but many people are for one reason or another.



Dennis
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
Putting an extra porthole in a bass drum makes no sense since you can put a hole in the head to let air out. (Unless, that's what you mean?) A small hole in the front head will produce a flatter sound, more definition and also allow for a mic to be put in the drum. All in all, it's a good idea IMO. Though if it's too big, it'll start to sound like a single headed drum.

And for those who may not be aware -- Vistalite drums have no portholes.
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I'm not an advocate of putting holes in my drum heads but many people are for one reason or another.



Dennis
You have got an RE-20 infront of a kick drum with no port. Do you actually get a good sound out of that config. Just wondering.
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Port your bass drum or plain and simple every engineer you work with either in the studio or on a live gig is gonna hate you. Plus that's what their used to. You will save yourself tons of headaches if you just port the thing.
 
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audiotech

Guest
You have got an RE-20 in front of a kick drum with no port. Do you actually get a good sound out of that config. Just wondering.
Not good, but great sound or I wouldn't do it. If I could deem it profitable, I would have a Neumann U47fet, to use on the resonant head in my home studio in certain situations. In my experience, resonant ports are not necessary for a great bass drum sound. I use many different approaches, one size does not fit all. You have to take on the challenge of audio engineering with an open mind and not with blinders hindering your vision or in this case what you hear.

BTW, port holes are also used to somewhat control the pedal's response to the batter head. Many people that are use to playing with a ported bass drum from day 1, will find it a bit difficult to go to an unported resonant head because of the difference in "feel".

I would not compromise my sound because of a disgruntle sound man that does not have any inclination on how to properly mic a bass drums resonant head without a hole being placed in it.

Dennis
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Port your bass drum or plain and simple every engineer you work with either in the studio or on a live gig is gonna hate you. Plus that's what their used to. You will save yourself tons of headaches if you just port the thing.
Yep. Like it or not, that's how the real world is when it comes to miking drums.

It's certainly possible to record an unported kick in a studio where leakage from other instruments/amps is controllable, but live performance is very different. In defense thereof, I do prefer the sound of an unported kick, and on acoustic gigs, that's typically what I use. But mics do not prefer it, and I act accordingly and bring a ported kick or change the head. The last thing I want is my sound changed by an engineer who has no choice but to gate my unported kick,

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I rest my case. That makes no sense.
Makes great sense. It keeps the reso head intact to allow unhindered vibration, let's me use a full graphic on th front, cleans up the look without a cable or boom arm poking through the head, and retains full access for internal mic positioning and padding adjustments. Much easier to reach through that port than one near the bottom of a reso head!

The only possible issue is using a 2nd rack tom, which does leak into the kick mic a bit. Otherwise, I had nothing but compliments on my kick sounds. In 2007 when I started endorsing Ludwig, I had to start porting the resos again.

Bermuda
 

Spectron

Silver Member
I personally like the sound and feel of a ported kick
(especially mic'd)

tweaked/tuned properly, a ported kick can sound full and round too
but never quite gets to the fullness of a non-ported head.
that being said,

For mic'd and recording situations: ported kick all the way.

With a decent mic - you end up rolling off low end while mixing anyway.
There is definately such a thing as too much low end so nothing wrong with taming those freq's right off the bat. and even then it's not so much about the low end as it is about the length (sustain) of the note and even still, using a gate on the kick is common practice with larger PA systems, and studio recording - so there is a solution for however you want to setup your kick as far as mic's are concerned.

on the other hand...

If you just play non-mic'd all the time then leaving your head intact will
give you better projection. Hands down.

and of course, all jazzers should leave their reso head intact...LOL
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I rest my case. That makes no sense.
It makes great sense. Exactly what Bermuda said. I owned the same bass drum for over 10 years. I toured with it, recorded with it and always got compliments on my kick drum sound. That port was very, very helpful in all the ways that John already explained. Plain and simple baby that was a great sounding bass drum.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I prefer a portless kick head

I hear it from every sound man pre gig....no port? wah wah wah

the after the gig they say ...hey great sound

ports are overrated

during a recording session I'll throw on a ported head unless it's a jazz date

other than that I'm straight portless with wide open tunings and get compliments on my sound every single night
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
It makes great sense. Exactly what Bermuda said. I owned the same bass drum for over 10 years. I toured with it, recorded with it and always got compliments on my kick drum sound. That port was very, very helpful in all the ways that John already explained. Plain and simple baby that was a great sounding bass drum.
Hey, whatever works for you. I knew a guy who drilled extra portholes all over his drums and loved it. I just don't see the point. I've also been around long enough to know that, in general, engineers don't like having to adjust to something different when what they're doing works just fine. 50 thousands hit songs have been made on kick drums without a hole in the shell.
 
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