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

drumbig

Senior Member
Re: Holes in Bass Drum head.

putting a hole in the front bass drum head was initially started for miking purposes, however it does change the sound of your bass drum. i agree with superflow in that one hole no bigger than it needs to be to the far left or right( save 2in.) will preserve the most sound. the longer the air travels in your bass drum the fuller sound. i only use a head with a port when i play out. hope this helps.
 

cjl71178

Silver Member
Re: Cutting Hole in Bass Drum..Best way to do this?

I always use an Aquarian Port Hole. You can check it out here:
http://www.aquariandrumheads.com/products/display.asp?id=24

Usually what I'll do is adhere the port hole to the inside of the front head and slowly cut around the inside of it with a utility knife. They're nicer because your front head will be protected. I've had front heads rip from either a soundman or band member yanking out the bass drum mic at the end of a show when we'd tear down. They're definately worth the couple bucks they cost.

Remo makes one too called a Dynamo, which are the same thing. I've used them too when the music store didn't have the Aquarian ones.
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Re: Cutting Hole in Bass Drum..Best way to do this?

Make sure if you use the can method that you get it hot enough and press down really well and leave it on long enough to melt the head. I ruined a perfectly good head because one small area around the hole didn't melt all the way and I ripped the head trying to get it off. I usually buy pre-cut heads, but if I didn't, I'd get hole cutting templates.
 

mikei

Gold Member
Hole in new Bass Head

Hello all,

My new Sonor 3003 kit came in today. I have a question on what size hole to cut in the bass drum head, where to put it, and how much stuff to put in there???

I play hard rock and heavy metal music.

I currently play an old beat up Kima drum set that sounds absolutely horrible.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Mike
 

dunchykong

Senior Member
Re: Hole in new Bass Head

buy an aqaurian bass drum head pack. batter head is already muffled( or you can go with the evans emad) and the front head already has the hole.
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Re: Hole in new Bass Head

The hole is generally 4-6" and is put at the edge of the head at about the 4:00 position. You can either buy a hole cutting templated or you could just make your own. Cut a circle out of cardboard about a 1/2" bigger than the hole you want, then cut a hole out of cardboard that is the size you want. Place the second hole in the center of the first larger hole and trace around it. Then cut out the hole you just traced. Tape the new "ring" template to the inside of the batter head (tape enough so it stays put while cutting but not so much that you can't get it off), then cut out with an exacto knife. Viola.
 

toteman2

Pioneer Member
Re: Hole in new Bass Head

If you really don't plan on recording or playing live i would NOT cut anything into your basshead...IMO you get a much fuller and better sound without the hole...
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Re: Hole in new Bass Head

toteman2 said:
If you really don't plan on recording or playing live i would NOT cut anything into your basshead...IMO you get a much fuller and better sound without the hole...

And better response on top of that. A hole reduces response.
 

dr_worm

Junior Member
Re: Hole in new Bass Head

Why not experiment first BEFORE cuttin the hole? You can always cut it later; on the other hand if you cut it you cannot restore it later.

Also you can just use your old front head and keep the new one for a spare - if someone puts a mic stand through your head the tear is likely to start at the hole.

I don't have a hole in the front of my BD but I have it cranked tight with two rings of weatherstripping around the inside edge and a small flat pillow inside which barely touches both heads. It has a terrific initial "boom" with a short decay, no overtones and a low low sustain you can feel but not hear.
 

nate

Pioneer Member
holes in the kick drum....

hi,

just a quick question for you all - I have a Tama Rockstar - 4 pce. Pretty basic, but it suits my playing (basic). I've had it about 7 months - I still have the heads it came with on, which I am going to change to EC2's in the next month or so. I have my kick drum tuned as low as possible - I like a big sound - and have no hole in the resonant head. And to my ears it sounds good, y’know big.

I played a gig last night (1st one in ages - went really well, loads of fun). As I was setting up and chatting to the sound guy he said that I should cut a small hole in the front skin for micing. He seemed to think that mics have got a lot better over the last few years and a hole is the way to go.

Thing is I really love a big kick – it drives the song – and to my ears my kick sounded real good last night – and drummers I love from back in the day didn’t have hole in their kick drums…

So what do ya think – hole or not? And why?
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Re: holes in the kick drum....

Drummers back in the day often had no kick drum resonant head. (referring to the 60's to the 80's)

The most resonance will come with a solid resonant head, but with a 4" hole , it will help emphasise attack.

I want a 24x18" kick anyway.
 
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BrokenGlass

Senior Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

Drums are all about moving air. Having a hole in the head helps move air. Once again, it's all personal preference though.
 

Kevinm

Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

A tuned hole will give you a little more punch as opposed to a solid front head. Every hear the punch of a bass without a front head, drop that punch down some with a hole, which will also provide a little lower end because you still have the front head on. So it will not be as fat as with a full front head, but not as high and punching with no front head. Somewhere in between!
 

cjl71178

Silver Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

It's alot easier miking a kick drum with the hole cut in the front head as opposed to a full resonant head. I'm the same with Thinshells, my kick drum on both of my kits have a small 4" hole in the front head and I get a great sound out of it.

Then again, Bonham never had a hole in his front head!

They do make internal drum mics now and you can keep your resonant head on. Just a suggestion.

HEY Thinshells.....I'm jonesing for a 24" kick too...I missed out a few months ago. A guy on Ebay was selling a 16x24 Ludwig Classic Maple in Black Diamond finish (just like mine) and I lost the sale! :(
 

sly1965

Senior Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

In a live situation, a hole in the head will give you or the soundman more posibilities of mic positioning, if you want more attack or more body, and can avoid to have some bad feedback especially on small stage,. leak from amps (guitard,bass).The place and the size of the hole in the head is something you have to check, usely, i would say 6" max if you don't want to loose to much from your head resonance, it will focus your sound a bit more, you will hear it acousticly, but you won.t see the difference in the house, it depend also how big is the club and how much loud you need to be in the mix. Personaly i always had a hole in my bass drums, played a lot in different live situation and always had a good kik sound.
 

Kev Richardson

Junior Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

It's all a matter of preference (isn't it always)? I use a 26"x16" Ludwig bass drum and no hole in the front head but that is the sound for me. I am fortunate enough to use a good sound engineer who knows how to work with me for getting that big Bonham sound. It does take some getting used to as I also use no damping in the drum either! The feel of the drum is altered totally as there is a lot of air to shift so once again down to tuning both heads for the right feel and response.
 

nate

Pioneer Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

Kev Richardson said:
It's all a matter of preference (isn't it always)? I use a 26"x16" Ludwig bass drum and no hole in the front head but that is the sound for me. I am fortunate enough to use a good sound engineer who knows how to work with me for getting that big Bonham sound. It does take some getting used to as I also use no damping in the drum either! The feel of the drum is altered totally as there is a lot of air to shift so once again down to tuning both heads for the right feel and response.


yeah - i have no damping inside the drum either - think i'll leave the skin as it is for now - and maybe save for a bigger drum.....


thanks for your comments.........
 

Dr. Neaux

Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

I recently cut a hole in the front head on my kit. I hated doing it but did it for the same reason you did, sound guy talked me into it. I have a Yamaha Stage Custom Standard kit that's natural wood and it has a HUGE sound, especially from my bass drum, which is a "22. I've noticed a difference too because I tune mine like yours for a big sound. I use a little bit of egg-crate foam and probably don't have to use that in it. I also use drum heads with built-in rings so I don't get that awful ringing sound from plain heads. I'm like you man, I hated doing it but it sounds ok. I should've just left it alone and let the sound guy deal with it but oh well, you live and learn.
 

mattsamoto

Junior Member
Re: holes in the kick drum....

I have a 24" ludwig bass drum. I have a solid reso head with a felt strip. No other muffling. I like how it sounds.

Next time you play a show, ask the soundman to mic the batter side. That's what Bonham did, along with micing the reso head. But if you have just one mic, try putting it on the batter - will pick up more attack.
 
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Drad-dog

Guest
Re: holes in the kick drum....

I say to heck with the sound man. If you dig the sound, let it be. If you tweak your sound the sound guy might be happy but you wont be.
 
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