Cutting a hole in the bass drum...How big, methods etc...

thtst

Senior Member
Re: Cutting a hole in the bass drum...How big, etc...

Cut? Not sure if this was mentioned yet i used the old-school heated can trick.

Basically, go to the store and find a canned product that uses the diameter you want the hole to be.

Place bass drum head on heat-resistant surface (paved driveway as an example)

Take the sealed can to the bass drum head and make a note where you want the hole.

Open can, empty can (in garbage or eat whatever is it in), clean the can, remove outer paper and remove unopened side so both sides of can are open.

Heat can on a top burner at med-high temp (setting depends on stove of course).

Once heated, use pot holder to grasp can and use it to melt a hold in the heat.



This makes a hole PLUS 'reseals' the plastic per se, thus avoiding any tear problems.

And yes, this is dangerous due to high heat so please be a drummer with a highish IQ level if you choose to do this. i take ZERO liability for your stupidity.

It is easier than it sounds, yet wanted to give a full step by step description.
 

Rhythmkid

Junior Member
Hi there, I am yet to be sold a bass drum head that has been pre cut by any drum head manufacturer, please excuse my ignorance, do they sell them? Some people purchase brand new denim with holes, why would they do that ? Have they been hanging around with sound technicians? How about suspending a microphone inside the bass drum. It has been achieved in days past. If it is needed to capture the sound correctly then why not put holes in the heads of the other drums on the kit ?
 

Axe

Senior Member
Ive never had holes, and Ive always gotten the skeptical comments from sound guys....and then that was immediately followed up by "Hmnnn, sounds pretty good!". So if you have a sound guy thats willing to work with you, it shouldnt be an issue. Im thinking of putting a 5" in my 24" though just to get rid of that slight bit of bounce back.
 

iTsNotTim

Junior Member
Hey you could always go to Guitar Center and they'll cut a whole for you free. And you could pay them to put the plastic thing around the whole. (Sorry idk the name for it)
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
Maybe it's just me and 20+ years of drumming, but the only people who cut holes in drum heads:

1. Were talked into it by a sound "engineer"
2. Bought a kit with a hole already in the head
3. Have no idea how to tune a bass drum
4. Have no idea how to mic a bass drum
5. Have no idea how to mix/record drums
 

Drum-Head

Silver Member
Maybe it's just me and 20+ years of drumming, but the only people who cut holes in drum heads:

1. Were talked into it by a sound "engineer"
2. Bought a kit with a hole already in the head
3. Have no idea how to tune a bass drum
4. Have no idea how to mic a bass drum
5. Have no idea how to mix/record drums
Do you play with a twin pedal? It's a pain in the buttocks to play a non ported kick with one - there is too much feedback since the beaters bounce back off the head and not enough definition sound-wise. Especially for songs in which you play patterns/16th note doubles etc. It comes out as a mess. I haven't been playing as long a you, but in my experience I have yet to see someone who plays those kind of tunes with non ported kicks.

Having a ported reso depends on the sound, feel you are going for and even music you play...
 
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D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Maybe it's just me and 20+ years of drumming, but the only people who cut holes in drum heads:

1. Were talked into it by a sound "engineer"
2. Bought a kit with a hole already in the head
3. Have no idea how to tune a bass drum
4. Have no idea how to mic a bass drum
5. Have no idea how to mix/record drums
Yeah, it's just you. Please list your discography of stuff you recorded without a hole in the resonant head. I'd love to hear some of it.
 
I was wondering, I really don't want to put a hole in the resonate head because I like the fat sound with lots of resonance so could I put a hole in the batter head instead?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I was wondering, I really don't want to put a hole in the resonate head because I like the fat sound with lots of resonance so could I put a hole in the batter head instead?
If you like the "fat sound with lot's of resonance", why put a port hole in at all? If you're happy with the sound, leave it as it is.

To answer your question though. I wouldn't dream of it. The initial tone is provided by the batter head. Porting the batter would make it sound completely lifeless IMO. Much the same way that a stick hole in the batter head of a snare or tom ruins the tone. Plus the constant beater attack would cause premature stretching and damage to the batter head if it had a hole in it.

I know there are vented snare batter heads, but I feel this is a different process to what you are asking.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I was wondering, I really don't want to put a hole in the resonate head because I like the fat sound with lots of resonance so could I put a hole in the batter head instead?
I actually did this with an SKII. I was going to change it anyway so I experimented. I played it for a day or two with no ill effects. It didn't really sound that bad. More sound was projected at me through the port.
I say go for it if you want to try it.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I actually did this with an SKII. I was going to change it anyway so I experimented. I played it for a day or two with no ill effects. It didn't really sound that bad. More sound was projected at me through the port.
I say go for it if you want to try it.
Well.......you live and learn Bob. I've never seen it done.....and certainly never heard of it being done. I personally thought it'd be a train wreck, to be honest. Interesting indeed. Glad you chimed in mate!

Grunge......I await your verdict. If you do it, please post your thoughts on the matter. I'd love to hear your findings.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Well.......you live and learn Bob. I've never seen it done.....and certainly never heard of it being done. I personally thought it'd be a train wreck, to be honest. Interesting indeed. Glad you chimed in mate!

Grunge......I await your verdict. If you do it, please post your thoughts on the matter. I'd love to hear your findings.
It was a 3 1/2 inch port that I melted through the 20" two ply head.
If you use a reinforcement ring it will probably be more durable.
It was just one of those "What If" moments. I don't think that it would work well with a single ply head. I've had them split at the port when on the reso side of the bass.
 

Up2Speed

Senior Member
The factory Drum Workshop resonant head made by remo has 3 small holes about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter on each side near the outer edge. It sounds great. I think the sound is between a non-ported and ported head. The air is escaping out of 6 places instead of one so it has good resonance. Cutting 6 small holes my be labor intensive but maybe it's worth a try.
 
A couple hours away I have a crappy Westbury kit at a friends for jamming whenever i am in the area. The bass sounded horrendous the first year of playing it there. I tried no reso head and it made it sound worse. I tried having the reso with a pillow inside, too muffled. Finally I took a Clear batter head used an 8" hole kit, threw that on and kept the pillow. It is probably the best bass drum sound out of a 20 dollar drum I could possibly imagine. I actually don't even mind playing the kit when I'm down there.
 

PeniScott

Silver Member
After reading some of the first posts on this thread, i have to ask about the tin can method again. Whether it's been asked or not, i'm going to ask anyway.

How exactly are you meant to cut the head with the heated can. The initial processes are easy enough to grasp but do you gently press the heated can onto the head and then gradually press down? Do you just find out where you want the hole and just push it straight down? Do you put the can on the head, wait a few seconds for it to melt a bit then push it down?

I've wanted a ported reso for a while and then eventually get together some cash for a Kick Port but until i find out how to actually get a hole in the reso head, i can't do any of that. And there are no doubt many other methods to do this as well so i'm not spending money on a new reso unless i somehow get a lot of money sometime soon. There's no point in my eyes.

xoxo
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
they mean don't heat up a can and force it threw all fast and hard. heat the can and gently press it on the head. the heat will melt it's way threw on it's own with no real force from you.

but if your not comfortable doing it this way...
http://www.zzounds.com/item--DMOCUTTER
a tool like this may work for you, you just set one end in the center of the port location, spin in a circle and instant port hole....
 

chrisnope

Junior Member
If I were you I would simply get a can or something 4"-6" in diameter and trace it on the back side of the head. Then cut it out, ideally with a razor tool or something similar. Even it its a bit jagged, purchasing a reso ring fixture like "holz" will cover it up. Just make sure that its a specific inch diameter because that's how those are measured. Remember that if your port hole is over 8 inches (i cannot remember but its either 8" or 10") then its the exact same as having no head at all. This is important to remember! I see guys with a 12" or more hole and I always wonder what it is they are attempting to accomplish. Might as well have nothing on in that case.
 

MisterZero

Senior Member
The heated can trick is fantastic!!! I did it myself and it was a charm. Just like the earlier posts said. You simply get a can, I think I used a coffee can, 5 inches in diameter. Place it on a stove burner for about two minutes. Having you bass drum head OFF THE DRUMSET and ready, you simply take the heated can off the stove with potholders or something like that and place the can onto the bass drum head where you want the hole to go. IMPORTANT: make sure your bass drum head is positioned such that the can may go all the way through, or far enough so it gets the hole separated from the head. The one time, the can didnt sever entriely, and I got a small mess. The head "hung on" to the can. So, it would need to be elevated, I put mine on( head) on top of three stacks of books situated at points on the edges. Lastly, TAKE THE DECAL OR LABEL OFF THE CAN FIRST. I guess this should have been firstly. While my can was heating up, the label began smoking creating a pure panic in my household. Alarm went off, kids freaking out, crazy.

Good luck, it really is simple, just take each step slow.
 
Love the can trick, super easy and got me a perfect circle. Heated the thing up over a campfire (yes, a campfire) then just pressed it on to the bass head. I put a block of wood underneath the spot where it was going to melt through, but that isn't really necessary. I think all it did was make me have to lift up on my bass head to get it to cut through.
 

dave777

Junior Member
I did it because I needed relief from the feel and bouce I got with no hole. I like to bury the beater into the drum and with no port hole the rebound was just to much.
that's the only reason i ever cut a hole - "bounce relief!". most of my clients like the full big sound - and if they want a more "clicky sound" i just pull out the d-6 mic! rarely do i ever need two mics on a kick for any session.
 
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