To port, or not to port, that is the question!

kzac

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Bass reso:
Non-ported=Cannon
Ported=Not so much
What do you guys like?
Not talking about miking, strictly the sound!
I'm currently using non-ported!
If memory serves me correct, porting of bass drum heads was initially intended to allow microphones inside the bass shell when drummers changed from the 1970s and went back to using a resonant head. In the 1970s most drummers would remove all of the resonant heads and play with only batter heads. The other thing we did not have in the 70s was multiple layered outer rings on the bass drum head (we used felt). Therefore, bass ring control was accomplished with a pillow or a blanket. Since I started using heads with multi layer bands on the outer edges, I no longer use a pillow or blanket.. I have seen many drum kits with a pillow or blanket stuffed inside where the blanket or pillow was molding... Yuck... Another reason I don't use them any longer. I figure if your going to over choke the Bass drum to get it to sound like a Cajon or a shoe box... then just replace it with a Cajon or a shoe box and be done with it...

Therefore relative to live play, without microphones a port in the bass drum serves little purpose.
Its only when microphones come into play that the port finds its functionality.

I used to keep two heads one with and one without the port in the resonant head... then I stopped playing big venues and no longer had need for the port... My 22in bass is plenty loud for any venues I might play in today.... Of course during the pandemic we were not allowed to play to crowds...
 
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hsosdrum

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I had that problem constantly, so I moved the mic to the batter side.

View attachment 511359
Ideally I prefer the way my bass drums sound when mic'd from the batter heads, but since the only batter-head locations I can get mics into are almost directly below my snare drum, the D112s pick up way too much buzz from my snare drum's bottom head, so I stick with mic-ing the reso heads.
 

Matched Gripper

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After much research and actual experience I can say:
Proper porting and tuning can often eliminate the need to use muffling on your bass
It can give your bass drum the kind of low-end thump at nearly any size without being boomy
If you want to port, the optimal diameter of the port is about 18% of the diameter of the bass drum head, rounded up to the nearest inch.
For instance, a 22" diameter head will sound great with a 4" port.
Give me boomy.
 

Ray Dee Oh King

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I do both. Depends on the feel for me. Ill accept the bit of dryness on a ported bass drum for a better feel. 2 of my sets are non, one is ported.
 

cribbon

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Ideally I prefer the way my bass drums sound when mic'd from the batter heads, but since the only batter-head locations I can get mics into are almost directly below my snare drum, the D112s pick up way too much buzz from my snare drum's bottom head, so I stick with mic-ing the reso heads.
I put mine on the right side between the pedal and floor tom - more space there.
 

hsosdrum

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I put mine on the right side between the pedal and floor tom - more space there.
My front floor tom is right up against my right bass drum, so no room there, and my hi-hat's directly to the left of my left bass drum pedal. So the only open areas wind up being directly under my snare. (I play 2-up/2-down/2-BD.)
 

TonyVazquez

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A few months ago I bought a Kickport,
thinking that I'd like to try it for my first time since I had read rave reviews about it.
...but... my kick drum is a converted 16 inch floor tom.
At that diameter, the Kickport takes up so much space on the front head that I would have had to sacrifice my band name logo and redesign it to accommodate the Kickport.
And so, my new Kickport still sits inside its packaging... waiting to see its use.

My front (batter) head is non-ported.
It's an Evans Red Hydraulic translucent drum head. I'd hate to cut a hole into it to install my new Kickport.

I like a flat tight kickdrum sound with no resonance, but a deep wet attack.
So, I glued a Danmar metal kick pad to my Remo Emperor coated batter head to compensate for the tone...
...during an outdoor show, my kick-drum
sounded deep with a piercing attack coming from my DW plastic 2way beater (the black plastic side of the beater)
smacking against the Danmar kick pad.
The soundman himself also happens to be a drummer, even he was impressed with my kickdrum setup and the sound coming through the PA speakers.

No pillows inside my kickdrum, but I do have a Remo muffler ring and tray inside the kick head, and nothing else touching the shell nor the front batter head.

I still have my new Kickport, and so I'll save it for a 20inch kickdrum.
 

TonyVazquez

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I prefer non-ported for the tone of shell. To be totally up front I have a 2" port in the bottom center of my reso heads, but its sole function is to feed a jumper cable to two internal microphones.
Aquarian Force I Clear on batter and Aquarian Modern Vintage with a single felt strip for reso and an Evans EQ pad give me all the muffling I need.

View attachment 510845
I like that 2inch port for the mic chords!
 

Pat A Flafla

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Non-ported doesn't feel the way I like for rock, but I HATE when they mic the hole. I want tone, not a pointy rush of air mixed in with beater contact. Non-ported removes the option of sound guys making my kick sound like Pantera at a non-metal gig.

Another option is Evans EQ1 with the perforations instead of a hole. I like that on my old 20" kick.
 

LRod1707

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just have two sets of BD Reso's like the rest of the population Rod!~
The way I kick, I'll blow a hole right through it. I've never liked single ply anything (except bass resos!)
 

LRod1707

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My front (batter) head is non-ported.
It's an Evans Red Hydraulic translucent drum head. I'd hate to cut a hole into it to install my new Kickport.
I don't think you can (or can you?). The hydraulic heads have oil between the two plies!
 

Seb77

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In my opinion, the porting of front heads becomes more and more necessary the deeper the kick drums are. I personally would not port a kick drum 14" deep but would have no hesitation porting for a 16" and higher.
Unmic'ed, I agree. With a mic inside, it could be that the deeper the shell, the more reflections it produces, that basketball attack. I use a 14x22 as my ported drum for mic'ed contexts, works fine.
 

JDA

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The way I kick, I'll blow a hole right through it. I've never liked single ply anything (except bass resos!)
..that's what I meant to say ...have both on hand ...one ported one not ported. (I may have thought you had a double bass there for a second)
just have two sets of BD Reso's like the rest of the population Rod!~
 
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sixplymaple

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In my opinion, the porting of front heads becomes more and more necessary the deeper the kick drums are. I personally would not port a kick drum 14" deep but would have no hesitation porting for a 16" and higher.
I agree lol. My 20”x22” bass drum sounds perfect ported, but not great with a solid head.
 


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