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  #1  
Old 03-05-2009, 06:08 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Rethinking porting the BD reso head

Why do you port your BD head? I've tried cutting a small hole (1" diameter) in a mounted tom reso head and it killed the drum. Why then do I port my BD head? What are your reasons? I'm rethinking it and may go to an unported head. Can I get reasons why you do or don't port heads?
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Why do you port your BD head? I've tried cutting a small hole (1" diameter) in a mounted tom reso head and it killed the drum. Why then do I port my BD head? What are your reasons? I'm rethinking it and may go to an unported head. Can I get reasons why you do or don't port heads?
Interesting question, I guess. Most of the times it's for microphone placement. Sometimes I think people do it fo looks. I actually like it with and without a port BUT no bigger than 4 inches. I don't really prefer one way over the other. Depending on the drum size and type of heads, a non ported bass drum can be very bouncy. The port allows the air to move faster rather than being trapped in there. I think another reason that most of us end up with a ported head is due to the fact that most drum shops don't always stock full heads. It's sometimes easier to just buy what they have instead of ordering something different.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

Well, without passing any kind of personal judgement here, porting is merely a function of cutting some resonance. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Most people seem to think that bass frequencies generated by drums larger than 20" tend to cause some unnecessary interference with other tones being generated by the rest of the kit.

Jazz/Bop kits are more mid range overall with 16"/18" bass drums being the largest, which dont really need to hold the bottom of the sonic spectrum ( that usually is a role played by the upright bass ), and therefore need some resonance for articulation.

My 22" is ported and my 18" convert is non-ported.




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  #4  
Old 03-05-2009, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

I have both... so the question here is: isn't it easier/cleaner to mic a kick with a 4" port?
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

I don't have a mic hole in the resonant head because I have one in the shell of the drum.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

Another here with both.

I prefer the sound of an unported reso, but for miked gigs you pretty much need the port. Yes, some sound guys can handle an umported reso but they're in the (very small) minority. If you want to maintain a little resonance, keep the port small (4") and keep it off-center, maybe 3" in from the edge of the head at 4 or 8 o'clock. You may also want to experiment with a little muffling when you're miked. I like the Evans EQ pad against the batter and a small rolled-up hand towel against the reso.

If you play out unmiked I recommend an unported reso. If you play with a bass drum set up as above it will never be heard. You need boooooom for it to cut through. Use only mildly muffled heads such as the PS3 or EQ4, nothing in the drum. Tune the reso up to where it begins to have a real tone (higher than JAW) with some bottom and sustain. Then tune the batter a bit higher. Realize that while you hear "boooooooom," the audience hears a nice, low, fat "boom."
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2009, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

Well I went ahead and replaced my ported DW logo reso head with an unported Remo ebony ambassador. Wow what a difference in sound. No more flat punchy thud, now it's like I am King Boom, it sounds huge and I'm liking it, but I could see it generating low end feedback onstage, so I'm contemplating heating up a 1/2 inch socket and melting a tiny port into it to achieve a balance. A 4" hole killed any boom, so maybe a 1/2" hole or two will give me the best of both.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:23 AM
drummydude drummydude is offline
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

The one thing I notice when I port a resonant head (besides the sound difference) is the batter head feels different. The batter head reacts completely different due to the air escaping the drum. But this depends on the bass drum. I used to have a DW kit w/ 22x18 BD that I only liked with a ported reso head because it had no mount and only one vent hole and it just felt better to play with the head ported. My current Yamaha kit is the exact opposite. I have no hole in the reso head and I love the sound I'm getting from it and it feels great to play. This drum has a mount, but I don't use it so it acts as a vent, plus the shell itself has 3 vents on it.
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2009, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

I agree with drumtechdad- unported is best in an umiked sitchoo. Mine is ported because I play miked more often than not, and I don't wanna have to change the head back & forth.

Wavelength, I've been meaning to ask about your drum- with your ported shell, do you get the same sound from your unported head as you would on a regular drum with an unported head? If you get the same sound plus the convenience of mic placement, I may be taking my BD to a woodworking shop soon...!
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2009, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

So I changed from a ported to an unported, and I liked it, playing by myself, but when I played with a band today, I wasn't digging the boom. At all. I guess I prefer the ported sound after all. It's funny because I can't tolerate any muffling or even 2 ply heads on my toms. Unmuffled single ply all the way with all it's glorious rings and overtones. But I do run a coated emperor on the snare. Ambassadors sound thin to me on the snare. I have no point whatsoever here except to say I am not consistent ha ha
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

I port my DW 22x18 kick. When I'm practicing with a band, gigging on a stage, or recording (either my studio or others') with a non-ported reso, the boom from the drum is massive and waaaaay overpowering. When I port the reso head, it still has the chest-thumping sound, but without making it sound like I'm playing the room--just my kick. I like to use dual coated ambassadors for my 18x14 kick for tone, and I go back and forth on my 20x14 between hugeness and "rock thump".

It's good to have options and to know how your drums handle them. Experiment with your gear as much as you can...
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2009, 05:31 AM
Stixxs Stixxs is offline
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

Asked over in the "other gear" section but this KickPort thing might change the porting equation.

http://recordinghacks.com/2009/03/03/kickport/
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2009, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by timmdrum View Post
Wavelength, I've been meaning to ask about your drum- with your ported shell, do you get the same sound from your unported head as you would on a regular drum with an unported head?
Yes, pretty much. Since the air inside the drum moves mostly forwards and backwards, the effect of the ported shell is minimal compared to the effect of a ported resonant head. It's very easy to get a highly resonant sound out of the drum, and if you need to lessen the resonance for close miking, just loosen the heads down to wrinkles.

It's worth noting, though, that if you have a jungle of cymbal stands beside your kick drum, you may face some difficulties trying to fit the mic stand to an ideal position. I haven't had such problems, but if you do, using a standless mic (Shure Beta 91 or similar) will solve that issue if you don't fancy changing your stand positions.
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2009, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
Yes, pretty much. Since the air inside the drum moves mostly forwards and backwards, the effect of the ported shell is minimal compared to the effect of a ported resonant head. It's very easy to get a highly resonant sound out of the drum, and if you need to lessen the resonance for close miking, just loosen the heads down to wrinkles.

It's worth noting, though, that if you have a jungle of cymbal stands beside your kick drum, you may face some difficulties trying to fit the mic stand to an ideal position. I haven't had such problems, but if you do, using a standless mic (Shure Beta 91 or similar) will solve that issue if you don't fancy changing your stand positions.
Thanks for the info! I figured the back & forth motion of the air would keep it resonating longer than a ported front head. Stands wouldn't get in my way 'cause I use a rack, and if I use a smaller setup sans rack, I wouldn't have many stands around. Plus, I use a homemade internal mic' mount that uses the BD tom mount that was previously unused due to the aforementioned rack. How large is the hole on yours? And I'm thinking, if I port my shell, I'd put it at about 7:30 (looking at the drum from the front side) so as to try & get it away from the snare drum side of the BD...
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by timmdrum View Post
How large is the hole on yours? And I'm thinking, if I port my shell, I'd put it at about 7:30 (looking at the drum from the front side) so as to try & get it away from the snare drum side of the BD...
I can't access the drums right now, but I'd guess the hole's diameter is somewhere around four or five inches. Kumu places the hole on the opposite side from the snare drum by default, but I don't know whether its placement has a distinguishable effect when miking (probably not).
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
So I changed from a ported to an unported, and I liked it, playing by myself, but when I played with a band today, I wasn't digging the boom. At all. I guess I prefer the ported sound after all. It's funny because I can't tolerate any muffling or even 2 ply heads on my toms. Unmuffled single ply all the way with all it's glorious rings and overtones. But I do run a coated emperor on the snare. Ambassadors sound thin to me on the snare. I have no point whatsoever here except to say I am not consistent ha ha
It would be worth your while to hear the bass drum with someone else playing your kit while you stand 20-30' away in a venue-sized room. Better yet with the band playing.

An unported reso, tuned for boooooooom (i.e., an unmiked setup), does not sound like booooooom from the audience. Most of the sustain disappears.

But it does sound considerably louder than a ported and muffled bass drum. If you have a small port it's not too bad, but add any muffling to that and no one will hear the bass drum.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by drumtechdad View Post
It would be worth your while to hear the bass drum with someone else playing your kit while you stand 20-30' away in a venue-sized room. Better yet with the band playing.

An unported reso, tuned for boooooooom (i.e., an unmiked setup), does not sound like booooooom from the audience. Most of the sustain disappears.

But it does sound considerably louder than a ported and muffled bass drum. If you have a small port it's not too bad, but add any muffling to that and no one will hear the bass drum.
That is good advise, but I always mic the kick. I agree that the boom dissipates, but since I always mic, I'm sticking with the hole in my head.
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  #18  
Old 03-12-2009, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
I can't access the drums right now, but I'd guess the hole's diameter is somewhere around four or five inches. Kumu places the hole on the opposite side from the snare drum by default, but I don't know whether its placement has a distinguishable effect when miking (probably not).
Can you tell (or has your builder told you) whether or not there's any loss of volume due to the ported shell? So far, ease of miking + retaining full-reso-head tone = special goodness!
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
I don't have a mic hole in the resonant head because I have one in the shell of the drum.
Wow really? Pictures?

In my personal experience I left my kick drum un-ported once, and it sounded amazing at practice. Huge, and full of bottom end. Then I played a show with it the next weekend and it sounded like an over-aired basketball hitting a gym floor with a mic in front of it. Same thing in the studio.

I understand that you can EQ that out, but the whole idea is to aim for a sound that is perfect without any EQ on the mic. I also noticed that once I put a 4" port in it, it became a lot less bouncy. I play heel up and I like to batter head to be pretty dead.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

John Bonham = no port = NUFF SAID



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Old 03-16-2009, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by timmdrum View Post
Can you tell (or has your builder told you) whether or not there's any loss of volume due to the ported shell?
Most Kumus are equipped with the side hole, and each one I've heard has delivered plenty of oomph. I'm not aware of any volume differences.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Originally Posted by IneptDrummer View Post
Wow really? Pictures?


Quote:
In my personal experience I left my kick drum un-ported once, and it sounded amazing at practice. Huge, and full of bottom end. Then I played a show with it the next weekend and it sounded like an over-aired basketball hitting a gym floor with a mic in front of it. Same thing in the studio.

I understand that you can EQ that out, but the whole idea is to aim for a sound that is perfect without any EQ on the mic. I also noticed that once I put a 4" port in it, it became a lot less bouncy. I play heel up and I like to batter head to be pretty dead.
Playing miked and un-miked are two totally different scenarios, and one should tune his drum accordingly. Also, there are many ways to mike a drum, and close miking a boomy drum probably isn't the ideal choice.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

Do you know if the builder has a strategic reason for the placement of the vent? Maybe ease of reaching inside? I think I'd prefer it more at 7:30 rather than 9:00 (i.e. in the next space between lugs downward) so sorta "hide" it better, esp. with gorgeous finishes like that one.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Rethinking porting the BD reso head

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Do you know if the builder has a strategic reason for the placement of the vent? Maybe ease of reaching inside? I think I'd prefer it more at 7:30 rather than 9:00 (i.e. in the next space between lugs downward) so sorta "hide" it better, esp. with gorgeous finishes like that one.
Ease of access, for sure. Most bass drum mic stands have a foot long vertical pole before the boom part, and trying to coax that contraption into the drum from an underside angle would be near impossible. You shouldn't worry about cosmetics of the hole; you're not going to see it when you play, and the audience isn't going to see it either -- unless your stage setup is a slight digression from the norm... Also, manipulating any possible muffling inside the drum becomes a lot easier, when you don't need to contort your arm to strange angles!
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