Virgin/undrilled drums vs drums with mount hole/extra holes

Jazzhead

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So I want to understand this better and kind of make it clear If possible.
First off, let me ask...would you use or have you used a bass drum or a rack tom with the mount hole open? Meaning nothing is mounted to the tom mount or bass mount and there is a hole in the drum through the mount. How does this affect the sound of the drum in a live setting or recording session? I assume it is all in the heads and tuning and this is not a concern! But I am asking you...

On the other hand, you see people buying virgin bass drums and toms and also some saying the single lug drums are better because they have less holes drilled.

Also, some people when buying drums they prefer drums with no extra holes..is this because they care about the originality of the drum and the fact the drum is unmodified!? OR due to the difference in sound it makes!?
 
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multijd

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I don’t think the holes make a difference but mounting a tom, especially on a small thin shelled bass drum affects the sound of both drums. Since we’ve been locked down Ive been using my main gigging kit at home. 14x18 three ply (w/rings bd) five ply 8x12. They are Slingerland. The tom and bass drum both sound much better since I’ve been using the snare stand rather than the mount. Id much rather use the mount since it is easier to set up and “cooler”. But when we finally get out and play it may be difficult to go back to the arm.
 

supershifter2

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My cut down toms have extra holes. My bass drums have a 1" hole where a tom mount can be put. Maybe if I put my ear up to some with no extra holes I might or might not hear a difference. All I care about is what they sound like recorded live and through a pa. Imo it is ridiculous to listen to one drum by itself up close and hear it until it dies out.
 

Skeet6

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First off, let me ask...would you use or have you used a bass drum or a rack tom with the mount hole open? Meaning nothing is mounted to the tom mount or bass mount and there is a hole in the drum through the mount. How does this affect the sound of the drum...
It doesn't, at least not to any degree to be audible or really matter. One of my older PDC kits has a bass drum mount, but usually when set up (for long periods) at home I fly the tom off a cymbal stand. I've never noticed a bit of difference. Folks put 4 and 6 inch holes in their front bass drum heads and then extol the virtues of "virgin" bass drums all the time... think about it! Hope this helps.
Mike B
 
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Vistalite Black

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If there’s a difference (bigger than how a room or the skins affect the sound of a drum) people could point to a great recording of a virgin drum to prove how it sounds better than well-drilled kits of the 70s to now.
Drum companies have created a bunch of marketing hype around virgin shells, but the old kits with a tube shoved down the center sound just as good to me.

Your favorite drummer would still sound good playing an old, hole-filled kit.

Gear does not matter.
 

ARGuy

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I was in rehearsals for a show, and I ended up using a rack instead of the double tom mount on the bass drum. I ended up pulling the mount off the bass drum to use on another kit. I left the hole open - it was a Gretsch kit - and started rehearsals. The sound guy was micing up the drums and was still working on the sound when the first rehearsal ended. I came back the next night, and the sound guy had gaff taped over the hole. He told me that they had not been happy with the kick sound, and decided to try closing the hole. It made a big difference. They could get the sound they were after.
 

JDA

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So I want to understand this better and kind of make it clear If possible.
First off, let me ask...would you use or have you used a bass drum or a rack tom with the mount hole open? Meaning nothing is mounted to the tom mount or bass mount and there is a hole in the drum through the mount. How does this affect the sound of the drum in a live setting or recording session? I assume it is all in the heads and tuning and this is not a concern! But I am asking you...
Best to remove the left over base mount as It'll rattle...

And to the other concern on stage in the heat of battle or in the midst of ecstasy you are making constant adjustment and how many holes drilled in your tom or bass ..last thing on your mind.
That's the way it is with everybody it's not a "formula". You run what you brung..
It's a "moment" and hopefully you're in it.

(lol)..
 
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EyeByTwoMuchGeer

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If I was buying a kit for it to be my absolute #1 no questions asked can-only-have-this-kit forever and last kit of my life, I'd go full virgin kick because I think it looks cooler.

That being said, I started out my gear snobbery thinking this way - no kick mounts - but have since abandoned all of that. One trip to Aaron Sterling's Instagram page will set you straight on any drum-related gear hangups. Tom mounts, rail mount, snare stand mounts -its all good. As long a it sounds good, rock it!

I started to go down the vintage Ludwig rabbit hole and since then, I've had all sorts of vintage drums. Its all in the heads, the tuning and the touch. A hole that small in any part of a regular kick drum will have almost no effect on the sound relative to the things I just mentioned. You'd really need a sizeable hole on the resonant head for there to be a dramatic change is the sound and feel.

I take all the bass drums mounts off my kick drums and leave those ugly holes right there for the world to see. I love them. I think it gives you some swagger. Plus all the crappy hoops and beat up bearing edges. Bring it on. The best thing about leaving the kick mount hole open (whether full-on removed or just non-tom-armed) is that you can have a full front head and still have some decent venting. You get that full reso feel with a bit of cushion from the increased air escape. Kumu drums (and, surprisingly, a lot of the guys in my neck of Maryland) port their bass drum shells with big holes for microphones and feel. Leaving that topside tom mount open or fully off sort of does this.

If looks are important, go virgin. If not, you can find a bunch of beat up kits that will sound and feel amazing. A few holes isn't a big deal sound-wise, but you will save a TON of money. Too many holes will be obvious. Even I would avoid those. I'm not THAT crazy.

1594347924349.png
This is my jam right here. I'd leave that kick mount just like it is - totally off the drum!
 
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supershifter2

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It doesnt matter if your drums dont have any holes, have 10 holes , a trillion holes , are holeier than thou , have bottom heads , dont have bottom heads, have moon gel , have holes in the heads. It doesnt matter ! The ONLY thing that matters is > DO YOU LIKE THE WAY THEY SOUND. And I have been micing drums since about 1971 and I can get a great PA sound from any drum in any room with any mic. If a sound man cannot than they dont really know what they are doing.
 

supershifter2

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Best to remove the left over base mount as It'll rattle...

And to the other concern on stage in the heat of battle or in the midst of ecstasy you are making constant adjustment and how many holes drilled in your tom or bass ..last thing on your mind.
That's the way it is with everybody it's not a "formula". You run what you brung..
It's a "moment" and hopefully you're in it.

(lol)..
my bass drum mounts dont rattle
 

EyeByTwoMuchGeer

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Best to remove the left over base mount as It'll rattle...
my bass drum mounts dont rattle
For recording, I liked to remove any hardware from my drums that I wasn't using - either kick mounts, tom arms, whatever. Modern stuff is pretty rattle-proof, but, it weighs a ton and I don't like it haha. My vintage stuff rattles even when I'm not playing, so, off it goes!
 

jaymandude

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I’ve done a lot of recording with a guy who covers bass drum grommet holes and , if I’m using a tom on a stand, will cover the bass plate.
He says that he’s had guys blow out ribbon mikes with the air if he brings a ribbon overhead too close

I think it’s bs, but that’s his deal.
 

Jazzhead

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Cool cool I just wanted to hear if it really matters sound wise since there is a hype for virgin drums now.
In fact, a virgin bass drum doesn’t look cooler to me, it looks like it’s an orphan and doesn’t belong to any set (that’s just me). I like mounts on drums...
 

Hop

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.... First off, let me ask...would you use or have you used a bass drum or a rack tom with the mount hole open? ... How does this affect the sound of the drum in a live setting or recording session? I assume it is all in the heads and tuning and this is not a concern! But I am asking you...
I have R.I.M.S. mounts on my toms that I got in the '80's (see image) and are still in use. They required removing the tom mounts from the toms so they could be attached to the R.I.M.S. mounts, which left several unoccupied holes in the toms. I can't tell the difference then and I doubt I could hear any difference today if I swapped them back to stock. I get a bit more air movement when giving the toms some 'lovin,' but little else. You can check YT for videos of someone progressively drilling multiple holes into a snare shell (to the point of really reducing a significant portion of the shell) to see the effect on the snare, and see what you think.

Funny reading about the sound guy who needed tape over a hole on the bass to get the "sound." Talk about your psychoacoustic illusion!

Also, some people when buying drums they prefer drums with no extra holes..is this because they care about the originality of the drum and the fact the drum is unmodified!? OR due to the difference in sound it makes!?
Yes to both of the first questions, and maybe/possibly to the third question. I also would be a bit concerned if I was buying a used drum that had extra holes drilled in it because I would be wondering about how well it was care for or if there was some other unknown issues/abuse.
 

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