Porting a Shallow Kick

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Or - how to ruin the tune of your bass drum.

I had a Remo shiny 18" kick drum reso I wasn't using, so I bought a KickPort 2" port and put it on that drum head and installed said head on my new 18x10 INDe wayfarer kick drum. Bad idea. Before the port that drum was very musical you could hear a musical note it wasn't just a thud or rumble, and the note/ pitch changed with head tension. With the port installed I got more low range rumble and darker tone, but the music was gone. Plus - and this is a biggie - no rebound on beater. The thing was dead. Lesson learned no port on a shallow kick. Most of our gigs are low volume affairs (jazz/ blues quartet) so I don't need volume for most gigs and they're un-mic'd. But I am wondering what to do at a larger venue on a bigger stage where the sound guy or gal is gonna need to mic the kick.Inde12.JPG
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Agreed on your findings.

I don't understand what the big deal is about micing a non ported drum. Happens on toms everyday.

OMG just back the mic up a foot or so, or mic it from the batter.

A ported kick to play jazz with...something seems wrong to me there.

I want to hear a jazz bass drum sound more like a big tom than a sock in the gut.

I cut a 1 inch diameter hole in a rack tom reso head once. The sound of it made me throw up in my mouth a little.

It wasn't my drum and man was that guy pissed! (joke)
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Now we know, thanks to you.

Are you trying to get more loudness or more low frequencies?

But I am wondering what to do at a larger venue on a bigger stage where the sound guy or gal is gonna need to mic the kick.
Mic the reso near the center (see pic), or use a Kelly Shü (I have one in the box and installation is a small project).

 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
18x10=looks awesome! It looks bigger so shallow for some reason? I bet a port would suck it dry that shallow. So with no port it wasn’t all punch and actually has a nice tone? Timely I have a 12x5 snare ive been experimenting with as a tom- I’m surprised the tone I get from it so shallow. I’ve got a 24X14 bass and 22x18 and I was noting the smaller actually has a larger volume. That got me thinking how depth affects volume then I fell in a rabbit hole and bumped my head.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
The shallow 18x10 INDe Wayfarer kick drum does considerably lack volume. But I didn't really buy it for volume. I bought it because of lite weight and ease of moving around for gigs. I am surprised by it's musicality you can hear an actual musical note and change the note by tuning the heads. It's a quality instrument. Most big thumping kicks just make a big thumping noise. We play jazz and blues and mostly at small venues. My experiment with port was to see if I could retain the musical qualities and increase volume. Answer = no what I gained in volume wasn't significant, I lost the tone and musical nature of the shell, and when the beater strikes batter head it's like hitting a fluffy pillow no rebound.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Small bass drum with no port - if you need reinforcement, & want focus, mic the batter. If you want to capture all that nuance, mic the reso. If you want both, do both. If you want ease of setup, & it's a regular thing, mic internally, but I find that never offers the flexibility or satisfaction of a two mic capture, but it is convenient.

On BD sizes, I'm a fan of 12" deep bass drums for many applications, but for me, the smaller size cutoff is 20". To my ear, an 18 diameter needs those extra low overtones offered by a touch of additional depth in most music forms. 20" x 12" & 22" x 12" are optimum sizes if I want the focus of a shallow bass drum. 24" x 12" starts to get a bit unsatisfying on the other end of the size spectrum.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I have a 26" by 12 " and I find the shallowness contains the over boomyness a 26" by 14" can have. no port.. I don't find it unsatisfying.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I have a port on my 20x14 thinking it would be great for ease of micing. Just a bog standard port not any of this kick port nonsense. I've never used the port for micing since putting it in, the tone is not great, plus there is a lot of air coming out at a close proximity to the batter, mic it near the centre of the reso head and it sounds great.

The only dampening I use is a felt strip on the reso and a powerstroke batter. Maybe if you like a thudy pillow sound a port would work as you can get the mic really close to the batter head.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Yeah, a thudy pillow sound isn't musical and isn't what I want. I want a note that is fairly easy to distinguish. Like - why be picky about a shell how it's made how thick type of wood and all that if you're gonna turn it into a thudy pillow.

I have a port on my 20x14 thinking it would be great for ease of micing. Just a bog standard port not any of this kick port nonsense. I've never used the port for micing since putting it in, the tone is not great, plus there is a lot of air coming out at a close proximity to the batter, mic it near the centre of the reso head and it sounds great.

The only dampening I use is a felt strip on the reso and a powerstroke batter. Maybe if you like a thudy pillow sound a port would work as you can get the mic really close to the batter head.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I've been experimenting with an old round cut mylar piece from an old head that I tape rather loosely, with just four pieces of tape, over port hole-it's loose so acts like a baffle. I like access to inside to add a little pillow if I like, and since I bury the better I want to be able to lay into without to much dribble rebound (so want a port) but I can still get the dribble/rebound when I don't. A nice compromise so far. Hey if this works I can market it as "Art's Baffling Head"-seems fitting.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Yeah, a thudy pillow sound isn't musical and isn't what I want. I want a note that is fairly easy to distinguish. Like - why be picky about a shell how it's made how thick type of wood and all that if you're gonna turn it into a thudy pillow.
Good man, exactly how I like my bass drums to be.

There's always triggers ;) Don't hit me!
 
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