To cut or not to cut (a hole in the logo BD head), this is the question...

sssssssss

Senior Member
So far I've played without any hole in the front head, but I just might get one soon. Still, before I do that, I'd like to hear your opinion about it.

Basically the sound is quite good right now, but it seems to me the drum hasn't quite got the power I'd like in terms of the lowest frequencies. Would a hole solve that? What kind of surprises would it bring? To be noted that, at the very moment, the bass drum is a bit over-muffled (the pillow is a tad too big) and I suppose that's the main reason for it not quite delivering enough bass frequencies.

My question is just a general one: pros and cons for a hole in the front head (I won't do a big one anyway :p). I know that a hole isn't preferable for a jazzy sound, but since since the BD is a 22"x18" birch and since most of my jobs are rock and metal at the moment, this is the perspective that I'm asking the question from.

Thanks!
 
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DamoSyzygy

Guest
An absolute must-have for me.

I play live a lot and the sound guys always want to put the kick mic inside the bass drum to isolate the sound.

Having the hole also allows me to add/remove any dampening required, and the quicker venting of air reduces the amount of slapback from the batter head against my beater, which also feels better for me.
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
A hole will actually diminish the lower frequencies, and will accentuate the attack portion of the sound. For unmiked playing, go with an intact head, but if you know you'll be close miking your kick drum, consider cutting a hole.
 

sssssssss

Senior Member
A hole will actually diminish the lower frequencies, and will accentuate the attack portion of the sound. For unmiked playing, go with an intact head, but if you know you'll be close miking your kick drum, consider cutting a hole.
Thanks for noting that!

Well, I do both - at rehearsals I only play acoustically, but live, of course, I have the drums miked. I guess I could drasically reduce the muffling to compensate for the hole, which will anyway be needed for mics.
 

basscase

Senior Member
If you cut a hole, keep it 6" or smaller and do not put it in the center of the head. I like them at about the 4:00 o'clock position. Slap on a Aquarian Superkick II on the batter side and you could get rid of the pillow all together. The Super-Kick series features Aquarian’s patented “Floating Muffling System”. A narrow felt muffle ring is attached to the backside of the drumhead to produce a low-end, well-defined punchy sound. I also use an Ebony Remo Powerstroke 3 on the reso side of my kick. The Ebony Powerstroke 3 features a thin underlay at the outer edge of the head to subtly dampen unwanted overtones. With these two heads, my bass required no pillow whatsoever.
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
I think you are in the perfect position to buy an EMAD batter with a ported EMAD reso. You can get rid of the pillow and still have perfect bass, muffling and attack. Both heads give you two different muffling options, which gives you four different possibilities.





Don't even bother with anything else, this is perfect for you.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I put some small holes in my bass drum head to assist with venting and I've camouflaged them with black foam on the inside. I have a bass drum mic permanently mounted inside the drum so all you have to do is plug it in.
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
I put some small holes in my bass drum head to assist with venting and I've camouflaged them with black foam on the inside. I have a bass drum mic permanently mounted inside the drum so all you have to do is plug it in.
That's genius, until you get a picky sound guy. Imagine having all drums like that. You could plug them all into an interface at will, to do whatever you like with them. I think we have a winning idea. Although I imagine DW's idea is probably the same thing, I haven't really looked into it much.
 

m1ck

Senior Member
...
Basically the sound is quite good right now, but it seems to me the drum hasn't quite got the power I'd like in terms of the lowest frequencies. Would a hole solve that? ...
As Wavelength noted above, a hole will NOT give you more power at low freqs. It will flatten your sound. If you're playing acoustic situations, forget the port and go for some heavier heads. I put an Aquarian SKII on my batter side and it made a huge difference. Massive low end thump. I tried a 4" port and for unmic'd situations, it was flat and lacked presence.
 

sssssssss

Senior Member
Thanks for all of the replies!
I think I am going to get some kind of a middle ground. That'd be a 6" hole in the front head, as off-center as I can, with some muffling inside the drum, but certainly not the current pillow.
 

shoedaddy

Senior Member
I like the increased attack from a four-inch hole at the four o'clock position. I still get lots of low-end, but it's a bit drier and not as boomy. I don't put anything inside, but I use a muffled batter head. Right now, I have an Aquarian Superkick I on my 20" bass drum, and a Remo Powersonic on my 22". I've used EMADs, too, in the past and was happy with them. I use the Drum O's or Holz (not sure which is which). They're a little tricky to install (I usually score the inner plastic ring with an Exacto to help them snap in), but they hold up great.
 

Vipercussionist

Silver Member
A hole will actually diminish the lower frequencies, and will accentuate the attack portion of the sound. For unmiked playing, go with an intact head, but if you know you'll be close miking your kick drum, consider cutting a hole.
This is 100% abso&%$*#)@lutly dead on! If you WANT low end, you keep the head intact!!

There are other, albeit more expensive ways of combating the "hole for a mic" syndrome. My solution was to install an internal mic. There are various companies that make systems that do it, such as this, or this, OR you can be creative and design your own as I have.

If you already own the mic, you are 3/4 of the way there.
You'll need a podium microphone mount,


A surface mount male XLR jack,


And a nice shock absorbing mic clip, I let you search for one that fits your particular mic.

PRO TIP: Make sure to use some zip ties to secure the mic to the clip, it WILL slide out from vibration and it's a hassle to put it back because there's NO hole in the head!!

Of course if you won't drill your shell, you can adapt some other methods to secure the mic to the bolts that are inside the drum already, and run the cable out the vent hole.

Hope this gets the ideas flowing!!
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