Re: Do KickPorts work?
I made my own from a 6"x6" stereo bass port tube. $6 from Parts Express. I affixed it carefully with Plumber's Goop. Just an experiment, but I was actually surprised at the effect. Definite lower end presence. Loss of air in the drum was felt (I'm used to solid reso heads), but the difference was not bothersome and placing the tube in different positions, relative to the position of the beater on the batter head, made a difference in sound, feel, and mic pick-up. I ended up going 12 o'clock for the best sound, feel, and mic placement, which is actually a good 12" from the port.
It sounds different on different heads, including batter heads. Naturally, the heavier the reso head, the deeper the pitch and overall effect. Whether KickPort or bass tube, once installed any lightweight head immediately deadens. Resonance remains but is naturally muted. I went from using an Evans oil head to Black Reso. The oil head gave the drum a deeper pitch to begin with. I went from EQ4s to Attack dble ply for batters and the difference was enormous in all areas - audible to physical feel. I like the Attacks much better. I have nothing inside the drum for muffling, just a couple moon gel pads on the batter heads.
I do question the physical characteristics of sound relative to live playing, though. Even studio recording. When the rest of the instruments are going the effect of the port is pretty much lost to my ears. The idea of using a KickPort with blankets, etc inside the drum seems antithetical to the principle of the thing.