Re: Ported or Non Ported Bass Reso?
Potential long-post warning here! lol
I'll start with the kernel of advice and then ramble afterward - Unported drums will provide a rounder, deeper-sounding bass drum tone and is what I prefer.
Now the ramble - I went to a show Friday night at the Knitting Factory in Spokane, that featured three bands that had drummers, plus a solo guitarist and a bunch of visual artists. It was great fun, and a good opportunity to compare drum sounds and critique sound men. The first band had a 4 piece kit, fairly muffled sounding, with a ported kick. The sound man was able to achieve a clean, fat tone with lots of punch and body, but little attack. It was pretty one-dimensional, though, and not very lively.
The second band had a drummer using just kick and snare. Ported kick, again, and sounded clean and one-dimensional. The snare was tuned much higher than the first band, and cut through like no tomorrow, but the eq was horrible - all midrange, no brightness or liveliness - it sounded like an e-drum. But the end of the set I couldn't wait for it to stop.
The headliner used an unported kick and the snare had a little ring to it. About halfway through the first song I heard the sound man throw a heavy gate on the snare, rendering the best snare sound of the night almost unlistenable. And the kick drum was deep sounding, but there was almost no attack - you heard more attack in the room echo, and it was very disconcerting.
My conclusion - terrible sound man + a ported drum at least gives an attack you can hear.
So, just for giggles, I threw my ported head (yes, I have one, though I haven't used it much) on my kick the next day. God, I hate the dead dry sound and lifeless response!
OK, ramble over!