Hole in reso head (bass drum)

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I don't believe so. The apparent jump in volume is psychological, because if you're in front of the bass drum, you're hearing the sound come out of the hole, so you hear the attack of the beater on the batter head. With a no-hole front head, the bass drum sound is kinda' coming at you from all directions, but that doesn't mean it's softer in volume. You tend to hear more tone and less attack.

The main reason for having a port in the front head is so you can stick a microphone in there, so it's relatively isolated from picking up everything else and it just hears the inside of the drum.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
Also feel and less beater rebound. Also sound. So many reasons to port a bass drum. Do some reseasrch here and on YouTube.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
The loudness will be in your foot and beater ;-) - not a matter of venthole.

No hole : more boom : a bassier sound. Lower tone, softer attack
With a standard hole (not too large) you get more attack and definition. More slap and less rebound feel. You may get the feeling that the hole allows you to cut better in the mix, that won't mean you're louder.
With a twin pedal ; I think you can't do without a hole.
The bigger the hole, the less tone you'll have.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The hole makes the sound have more click or attack, which sounds clearer in a loud setting. It makes the sound slightly shorter. I think of it as a modern rock sound as apposed to a classic or vintage sound.

The hole also releases air pressure, so the beater sinks in a bit further - like kicking a slightly flat football instead of a tightly inflated one. Depending on your foot technique this may be good or bad.

The hole also allows a microphone to be placed inside the drum, or slightly inside, to capture the desired sound for a recording or amplified show.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Horses for courses. I hate an intact front Resonator on the Bass Drum.
Thank you... not everybody needs or wants a wide open, boomy kick. I don't get why things like kick muffling and a ported reso are constantly portrayed as something lowbrow for the amateurs.
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
As stated... The hole will make the attack more pronounced, but the overall tone will be less deep. I used to port most bass drums and with careful placement and calculation of hole size, you can get good results, but IMO un-ported is better 80% of the time.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I’ve been playing around with micing and mixing for a while now, so finally caved and cut a 4” hole in the Reso head at 5 o’clock position and put the mic up to it. Way easier to control the tone going into the mic. Lost a bit of pedal feel and some sustain, but there was very little room between the mic and the reso head, so not a bunch of air escaping. Also, the head was a straight up 1ply with no dampening. Moving around inside to try and adjust dampening was tougher than I thought and I don’t have big paws!

I also tried moving the mic into the drum to be angled to the batter and I had cut the head too small to make the pass through easy. It went in with some manipulation, but then too low, even for the short boom, so I figured that must be why everything is a 5” hole and not a 4! I carefully cut the hole into a 5”, a touch higher, between 4 and 5 o’clock position and tried again. Mic went in nicely and easy to maneuver. No surprise there. Much easier to adjust dampening, but pedal feel disappeared as did all sustain. Mic didn’t sound nearly as good inside or in the same position as white the smaller hole. Should have left well enough alone. If I cut again, the hole will be 4” max.

I don’t play double pedals, so don’t need a deader sound. Pedal feel and sustain are a bigger deal to me, but the 4” was a very nice compromise. In the end, I put on my unported reso (EQ3), tuned the batter side higher and reso lower than I had and not only did the BD sound fuller and punchier, but the mic picks things up way better too.

I guess what I’m saying is, know why your cutting. I now have a useless reso head, but learned a ton more than I did just reading. Education always costs something!
 

Ikebongo

Member
I just got Evans EMAD 2 and an emad reso. Thinking I may return the reso and get something w/o port hole. I’m not recording anything. What’s a good pair for that batter head I’m looking for a gospel sound. I have g2s on my Toms and genera resos for them
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
First thing I do is cut a 5" port on my reso head. For me it's more for pedal feel as I have a pretty heavy right foot and don't want all that rebound. I don't use any muffling on any of my bass drums either. You do lose some tone though with a port.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I just got Evans EMAD 2 and an emad reso. Thinking I may return the reso and get something w/o port hole. I’m not recording anything. What’s a good pair for that batter head I’m looking for a gospel sound. I have g2s on my Toms and genera resos for them
Gospel sound = tight and punchy?

I'd go single ply in the color of your choice.

I like a ported head because I can easily manipulate my muting pillows to suit the sound I'm aiming for. Lightly muted heads make for more resonance, thus a boomier sound with longer decay. When I adjust my pillows for max muting, I get a much tighter sound with a very short decay.

I don't remember where these two small, light pillows came from but they're perfect for my needs.

And for the tightest, shortest sound, lose the reso head altogether and install a foam ring.

 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Thank you... not everybody needs or wants a wide open, boomy kick. I don't get why things like kick muffling and a ported reso are constantly portrayed as something lowbrow for the amateurs.
O.K. So you don't want your resonator to resonate, fine. cheer up!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I don't get why things like kick muffling and a ported reso are constantly portrayed as something lowbrow for the amateurs.
They aren't portrayed that way. Google pics of most pro drummers and >90% have a hole in the reso with a mic in it. They are not amateurs.
It really is just a personal preference, with no judgment, on this site or anywhere else.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The loudness will be in your foot and beater ;-) - not a matter of venthole.

No hole : more boom : a bassier sound. Lower tone, softer attack
With a standard hole (not too large) you get more attack and definition. More slap and less rebound feel. You may get the feeling that the hole allows you to cut better in the mix, that won't mean you're louder.
With a twin pedal ; I think you can't do without a hole.
The bigger the hole, the less tone you'll have.
I agree with all you said sans the double pedal thing. I prefer the rebound of no hole. I feel the hole, like depth, negatively affect the feel. I prefer a bouncy head. Sometimes the drum is empty, sometimes I hide pillows/laundry/bodies/towels in there. Just depends on what I'm trying to do. But no hole.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Well, you know, sometimes you don't have a choice on using a non-ported head. You're part of the team that's putting on the show, or recording the song. Audio engineers, who are the big picture guys, honestly don't have the time to deal with a non-ported head. It's much easier to get your standard bass drum sound with a mic inside the drum. As Steve Jordan was pictured below, he had no front head and was muffled down.

I had a guy take my front head off, and he constructed a tunnel made out of a packing blanket by taping the blanket to my bass drum, and then stretching it out about five feet, and then he put a mic at the end of the tunnel (I couldn't tell if it sounded different or not).

I'm just saying that once you start working with people, the idea is to be flexible and getting the job done. As romantic as a non-ported head seems for those "special" gigs you get, you have to admit, even Bonham's bass drum sound wasn't that great in a live situation. If the idea is to get the best sound possible for any given venue, then going around insisting you keep your non-ported bass drum head just makes you look like you're not a team player.

So be flexible, and try it. You might like it. In fact, buy two front heads and port one and keep it with you so you're ready when they ask if they can get a mic inside the drum. That's not so hard since you're already carrying spare heads anyway, right?
 

Mustion

Senior Member
They aren't portrayed that way. Google pics of most pro drummers and >90% have a hole in the reso with a mic in it. They are not amateurs.
It really is just a personal preference, with no judgment, on this site or anywhere else.
Sorry, I should have specified: on internet forums. Seems like any time the subject of kick muffling/porting comes up, there follows this hyperbole of "a whole load of laundry" and "might as well just take the whole head off". But yes, different strokes for different folks and it depends on genre and application...
 
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