Bass foot skittering / Porting a (Rogers) 20" bass drum?

nk126

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Finally got the reso-side lugs, hoop, and head together for a 20 x 14 Rogers bass drum I've been messing around with. With everything assembled, tuned, and set up, I sat down to play and immediately noticed a ton of skittering (double bounces) on the bass drum beater. Recorded myself playing and listened back, and the problem stuck out like a sore thumb. It's largely masked in a band setting, but I know it's there :angryfire:

I don't have the world's best foot technique, but I've gotten fairly good at getting a decent sound over the years. I grew up playing rock on a 22 x 16 kick with a big hole cut in the reso head, and a big pillow laying against a pinstripe head. I bury the beater most of the time, for better or for worse.

My main kit these days has a 22 x 14 kick with an Emad batter (w/muffling ring), no pillow (it's in my avatar pic, but has since been removed!), and an unmuffled reso head with a small port hole in it. I don't hear too much, if any, skittering when I play that drum.

I set the Rogers up with a PS4 batter (coated, built in light muffling ring). The skittering started in a little with the batter tuned fairly tight and no reso head. Got much worse when I added the reso head, even with the batter loosened up. Disappeared when I took the reso off and added a pillow lightly against the batter head.

The irony is that the 20" kick feels much quicker and more fun to play than the 22", especially without the muffling. Faster patterns and hand-foot combos feel great. Except that they sound like garbage bc of all those extra bounces

So, my question ... Any experience with or opinions on porting the resonant head on a 20" kick drum? I've read that can help with the skittering issue, and it makes sense to me. But I'd love to get this drum set up with a more open and resonant two-headed sound, and not resort to muffling while I work my foot technique.

thanks!
 

bob

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i have my 20'' bass drum ported , no muffling at all in the drum i have
no( skittering ?) problems .... skitter or skittering means something different to me , it means taking a shite .... my parents are from , ireland , and thats what they called it .... so when i saw the word , skittering , it made me laugh ....
 

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nk126

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skitter or skittering means something different to me , it means taking a shite .... my parents are from , ireland , and thats what they called it .... so when i saw the word , skittering , it made me laugh ....
I mean, that's pretty much what's happening. My right foot is, uh, skittering all over the groove ;-)
 

xsabers

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When I play with an unported reso, I tend to play off the head. It's a great tool to add to the toolbox anyway, so I suggest you give that a try. Porting and pillows make the skittler less likely to skittle, in my experience.
 

squidart

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You might want to try a DW vented reso head. Tiny ports around the perimeter so you don't lose that open sound.
I use an Evans dry on my 18 with even tinier holes. It definitely stops the kick-back without sacrificing the sustain.
 

xsabers

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You might want to try a DW vented reso head. Tiny ports around the perimeter so you don't lose that open sound.
I use an Evans dry on my 18 with even tinier holes. It definitely stops the kick-back without sacrificing the sustain.
Good advice. I had forgotten about these.
 

nk126

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When I play with an unported reso, I tend to play off the head. It's a great tool to add to the toolbox anyway, so I suggest you give that a try. Porting and pillows make the skittler less likely to skittle, in my experience.
totally. and I'm working on it. but in the meantime it's nice to enjoy myself and not want to quit bc I can't play a simple groove anymore. lol. :)
 

nk126

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You might want to try a DW vented reso head. Tiny ports around the perimeter so you don't lose that open sound.
I use an Evans dry on my 18 with even tinier holes. It definitely stops the kick-back without sacrificing the sustain.
oh wow, that's a great idea. I'll check 'em out. thanks!
 

nk126

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A quick search later, and I've got the BBQ grill DIY instructions :headbang:

It's very simple to make one of these. The head is just a coated Ambassador but I suppose it will work with any single-ply head. I made mine by heating a 6 inch long, 1 inch in circumference copper pipe on my BBQ grill. Make sure you hold the pipe in a pair of pliers or vise grips and then simply melt the holes where you've marked them on the head. I just put a magic marker dot in front of each lug while the head was still on the drum. If you're really lazy you could probably get away with melting the holes while it's still on the drum but I wouldn't recommended it. I've made several of these and they work great. I prefer just 4 holes, as it gets rid of the pedal flutter and still has the full reso sound. 6 will work fine but 8 seems to be a few too many. The drum below has a May EA AKG D-112 inside and sounds much larger than its 14X20 dimension.​
 

nk126

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totally. I just got a kick out of somebody posting BBQ-related instructions
 

ThomFloor

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I hear you about playing a 20. Just something fun and cool about playing one, and they especially sound great with no pack and two heads...no porting....
Given my last statement I am with Xsabers...and suggest you just simply learn the technique of coming off the bass head. Its just about feel, learning not to bury the beater, and it gives its own sound too. You can help yourself learn by slightly dialing up the spring tension on your pedal. Technique costs less than a new special head too. Once learned, you realize there is a lot of energy lost in burying a beater, and you can work with the bounce of an unported kick to do some faster footwork. There's a reason John Bonham was unported.
 

nk126

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I hear you about playing a 20. Just something fun and cool about playing one, and they especially sound great with no pack and two heads...no porting....
Given my last statement I am with Xsabers...and suggest you just simply learn the technique of coming off the bass head. Its just about feel, learning not to bury the beater, and it gives its own sound too. You can help yourself learn by slightly dialing up the spring tension on your pedal. Technique costs less than a new special head too. Once learned, you realize there is a lot of energy lost in burying a beater, and you can work with the bounce of an unported kick to do some faster footwork. There's a reason John Bonham was unported.
I'm just up from half an hour in the basement practice room ... 5 minutes taking out the pillow and putting the front head back on, 25 minutes practicing. It's a start! Heeding your and Xsabers' advice.

And I fully agree re: the feel and sound. Part of the reason I dove into this project kit was to have a totally different set of sounds and feels to play with.

Ain't no substitute for practice.
 

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