Going with no front head on kick. What are some solutions?

Cauldronics

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In the process of changing the front head on my 24x14 Renown about a month ago, I had a listen to how it sounded with no front head and it was about the best kick sound I’ve heard. Full, punchy, subby, defined and just the right amount of attack and sustain. It beat out the sound of a non-ported front head by a mile.

In addition, I found I could play with more control and speed without the front head pushing air back toward the batter. I wasn’t bad at it before but this was an improvement.

I’m on the fence about getting a ported head which might produce the same result or just going with no front head, which I know sounds great for this kick.

If I decide to skip the front head altogether, I still want the flesh hoop in there to help support the shell. If not, I’m thinking a giant center port would be cool with a chrome O-ring to protect the hole.

I thought I’d ask my DFO peeps what kind of solutions you all have come up with for an open kick.

How have you done this?
Does anyone make a 20” chrome O-ring?
 

CC Cirillo

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What Treviso1 said.

Way back when I had my Vistalites, I kept the front hoop on and used my ride cymbal as a template to cut a hole.

Those drums had the swirl pattern and my 18 year old brain was thinking the hoop under tension would provide some strength for the two kick mounted toms.
 

hsosdrum

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Consider that unless you mic the drum, the only person who will hear the "subby"-ness and sustain will be you; the only part of the drum's sound that will project will be the attack and maybe a bit of the punch. The audience will just hear "whack".
 

BennyK

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No front head, hoop ,T's or claws. A little stuffing to keep the the lug inserts from rattling . If the shell is a good one , you don't want to restrict the open mouth of the cylinder at all .
 

tillerva

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I too have to ask the question are you referring to the sound you’re hearing solely behind the kit? Get someone to play so you can hear it from out front.
 

Cauldronics

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Good point that it might just sound flappy out front. I think it should be great miked-up though and gigs are always miked. Can’t remember the last time there were none.

Next time I’m in the rehearsal room I’ll ask my drummer bud in the room downstairs to give it a few kicks and give the kit a spin. Our room is small enough that it might work in there.

I should mention that it’s loud but that doesn’t mean it’ll fill a larger room.
 

Cauldronics

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If you want the sound of a one-head drum but the look of a two-head drum, use a mesh head on the reso side. You can get them in white or black.
I thought about a mesh head but I like being able to see into or through the kick. Very minor point but that’s why I like clear heads on a lot of kicks.
 

Cauldronics

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What Treviso1 said.

Way back when I had my Vistalites, I kept the front hoop on and used my ride cymbal as a template to cut a hole.

Those drums had the swirl pattern and my 18 year old brain was thinking the hoop under tension would provide some strength for the two kick mounted toms.
I’ll try cutting around my 21” ride. Seems like a good approach.

Even though you were 18, wouldn’t the flesh hoop and bass drum hoop provide a little support to the shell? I’d expect they would. Last thing I want is the kick going goofy on me.
 

Browny

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If you want the sound of a one-head drum but the look of a two-head drum, use a mesh head on the reso side. You can get them in white or black.
Although that means you can’t just stick a mic inside anymore, unless you ported the mesh head which I’m sure would result in tearing eventually.

Maybe try the front head on and cut a big 10” or so centre Port, like the old Yamaha kits used to have. See if that’s enough, you might like the extra little bit of front head interaction.

You can always increase the size of the cut incrementally and see how you like it. Probably could take it to almost 25mm/1” from the hoop, although 50mm/2” would be safe
 

AJMcHardy

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Get yourself an Evans emad/gmad (used if possible as you wont need the head itself)and use the plastic gasket thing (design to hold the dampening foam) as a cutting template.

When you're done you'll have an inch or so of head to keep the front hoop on (no rattles from loose hardware) thats really neat and durable.
 

cashmanbashman

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If you want the sound of a one-head drum but the look of a two-head drum, use a mesh head on the reso side. You can get them in white or black.
Yes, this is what I have done on 1 of my sets. I got the idea from Tools drummer who uses a mesh head on the reso side.
 

dcrigger

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Consider that unless you mic the drum, the only person who will hear the "subby"-ness and sustain will be you; the only part of the drum's sound that will project will be the attack and maybe a bit of the punch. The audience will just hear "whack".
At least in my experience, this hasn't been true at all.

The front adds sustain to drum - but a bass drum with one head still has plenty of acoustically audible tone. To eliminate the tone - would require eliminating most of the shell. There would still be some tone - think large tam or bodhran - still has attack and tone - it's just different.

I played live with one head for years - plenty of tone - different a bit yes, but plenty of tone. So much, that to get a punchy pop type sound, I still need to muffle as much as would with a two headed drum.

Interestingly, I hadn't played with one head for many years and at one point found myself with a backline set with a reso head that I just couldn't get to work (unusual - out of the 100's of rental kits I've played). So I finally said "screw it" and took it off (and luckily the front lugs didn't rattle at all) and did the show without it. And it was actually really cool - there was just so much clarity to the bass drum and how it combined with the bass guitar on the stage. The BD had tone and attack and punch - but didn't have that sort of extra added tone - that it often really doesn't need.

Since then I've had a couple of producers specifically ask for that. But for the touring thing I never switched - because trying to do anything unconventional with backline/rental drum requests is just asking for trouble - when you are doing it over and over again. It is often hard enough for them to get even normal - typical requests together. :)
 

Cauldronics

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Get yourself an Evans emad/gmad (used if possible as you wont need the head itself)and use the plastic gasket thing (design to hold the dampening foam) as a cutting template.

When you're done you'll have an inch or so of head to keep the front hoop on (no rattles from loose hardware) thats really neat and durable.
I have a Remo Sub Muff'l (which is Remo's take on Emad) and a worn out PS3. I'm trying this tomorrow.

Currently have an Ambassador clear on the reso. I'll move that to the batter with the Muff'l when I'm done cutting the PS3.
 


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