Originally Posted by alparrott
Until Bo mentioned what he does for live play, I wasn't going to mention it.... but I've played a 16x20 for about 12 years now, and never put a hole in the front, despite the sound guys' insistence at gigs (in-joke there...) With the new Kickport getting rave reviews, I've been very tempted, but I still haven't heard a kick with a hole in the front head that I like as well as I like mine without.
I also don't port my 20" kicks. They sound and feel great without a hole, both acoustically and mic'd. I think their relatively small size contributes to a more controlled sound to begin with, so that internal miking isn't a default. And when I say relatively small, I mean 14, 15 and 16" deep. 18 or 20" deep on a 20" kick is particularly unnecessary in my experience, and in fact none of my 33 kick drums is 18" (or deeper) although from 22" up, most are ported. Depending what I need from a particular kick, the hole may be 5", 6", or larger.
I was going to put a hole in a 20" reso, I'd make it 5 or even 4", to preserve as much of the reso head's resonance and
the pressure inside of the drum that contributes to the sound and playability.