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

NobleCooleyNut

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I have one kit with virgin Tom and bass (N&C) and one with a Tom and bass mount installed (Sonor) ,and to be honest both sets have plenty of resonance . I like the convenience and logistics of having a bass drum with a Tom Mount but it is not a must have for me .
 

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ARGuy

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Funny reading about the sound guy who needed tape over a hole on the bass to get the "sound." Talk about your psychoacoustic illusion!
Unless you were there to hear the difference - were you? - you don't know what he heard. This was someone I knew pretty well that had a great ear, so I trust what he said he heard. Besides, he didn't "need" tape over what was a pretty good sized hole in the shell of the bass. He wasn't happy with the sound he was getting and thought that covering the hole left by my removal of the tom mount bracket was worth a try, and it did the trick. I have to admit that i was surprised, but I choose to commend him for thinking outside the box rather than ridiculing him.
 

multijd

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Unless you were there to hear the difference - were you? - you don't know what he heard. This was someone I knew pretty well that had a great ear, so I trust what he said he heard. Besides, he didn't "need" tape over what was a pretty good sized hole in the shell of the bass. He wasn't happy with the sound he was getting and thought that covering the hole left by my removal of the tom mount bracket was worth a try, and it did the trick. I have to admit that i was surprised, but I choose to commend him for thinking outside the box rather than ridiculing him.
Im curious. Was there a hole in the front head?
 

Hop

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Unless you were there to hear the difference - were you? - you don't know what he heard. This was someone I knew pretty well that had a great ear, so I trust what he said he heard. Besides, he didn't "need" tape over what was a pretty good sized hole in the shell of the bass. He wasn't happy with the sound he was getting and thought that covering the hole left by my removal of the tom mount bracket was worth a try, and it did the trick. I have to admit that i was surprised, but I choose to commend him for thinking outside the box rather than ridiculing him.

Possibly if I stated it as psychoacoustic delusion it might begin to approach ridicule.
Some research into the science of psychoacoustics and psychoacoustic illusion might be of some benefit.
 

Tommy D

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Mt PDP Concept Birch 24x14 bass drum has the open hole in the mount exposed. Drum still sounds fantastic. Plenty of tone, plenty of punch. I dont think having that hole filled would make any appreciable difference in sound.
 

donbseattle

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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)..
I agree completely. If you dare to show up to a gig with a hole in your bass drum where a mount once was, and holes in your rack tom when the mufflers once connected, try this. Invite Steve Smith and Dave Weckl and Dom Famularo to your gig! After the first set, ask each of them to make suggestions about how you could sound better. I am guessing they would have more to say about your strokes, drum parts and movements, body tension, posture, etc than about the holes in your shells. Your concerns would be better directed elsewhere, in my view. I love seeing a drummer with vintage stuff, extra holes, tarnished hoops, etc, who gives not the least damn about that stuff. But this is a subjective view. Do what makes you feel best. I got a Canopus RFM kit a little while back. I had a choice of virgin bass or a tom holder. I went with the tom holder. the rack tom sounds jim dandy.
 

lrod1707

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I really can't opinionate on the sound difference but I can chime in on the functionality (at least for me). I've had both drilled and virgin and the sound to me is the same. Maybe a studio sound engineer can differentiate that but I can't. My old kits had a center tube mount for both toms. Functionally they work excellent. Makes its very easy to align everything especially of you are using a 4 up configuration like I do with the other 2 toms mounted to cymbal stands. So when I received my new kit recently from Ludwig, they accidentally sent me a virgin kick. I opened the box and was happy to see this beautiful virgin bass drum. What I didn't consider was the difficulty in aligning the 4 toms after mounting them to the cymbal stands. I tried and it was a pain. Then I bought a rail mount for the kick and that one ended up being impossible because of where it was positioned on the kick. So now I've received a Gibraltar rack that I ordered which I'll assemble this week. I know it's the right solution though! So bottom line, it's been a headache for a 4 up configuration. Beautiful looking but a pain till you find whatever works for mounting the toms!
 

cruddola

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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.

View attachment 450262 This is my jam right here. I'd leave that kick mount just like it is - totally off the drum!
 

gabewellls

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One thing you can do is actually unscrew the bass drum hardware and test...oh never mind.
 

gabewellls

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In all seriousness, air ports allow air and sound to escape so take that into consideration and make your best guess as to how to incorporate it into your playing. I would mic up the hole on the side of a drum. Might need a pop filter if you get real in it. I’d also put my ear near the holes to listen to ‘em. I’d also plug the hole with a finger or something.
 

gabewellls

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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.
Yeah he could be lying but he knows ribbons are extremely fragile. You can bust them just walking with the uncovered mic in your hand, the windspeed from walking can tear it, lol. It’s crazy.
 

dcrigger

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Unless you were there to hear the difference - were you? - you don't know what he heard. This was someone I knew pretty well that had a great ear, so I trust what he said he heard. Besides, he didn't "need" tape over what was a pretty good sized hole in the shell of the bass. He wasn't happy with the sound he was getting and thought that covering the hole left by my removal of the tom mount bracket was worth a try, and it did the trick. I have to admit that i was surprised, but I choose to commend him for thinking outside the box rather than ridiculing him.
I have no interest in belittle anyone or questioning anyone's abilities or integrity. But your anecdote does bring many questions to mind as it flies in the face of a lot of conventional wisdom. First question of course would be whether the reso was in any way ported. As obviously that would greatly the effect the mounts open hole's impact on the ratio that the drum is closed vs. open. As letting air out of the drum does effect the sound and feel of the drum. So question two would be how big was the hole? 2"-ish?

And sorry, but I can't just go with "he's got good ears and he heard something". Because I've got decent ears and you can't believe the number of times in the studio where I have fiddled with the sound of something - twisting and turning the knobs on some EQ - making great progress in fixing the sound of something.... only to then realize that EQ I'm adjusting is bypassed or not patched in... this inverted prevision of the placebo effect is a pyschoacoustic fact and a constant danger to be wary of.

"i don't like the way a mic sounds... I go to the drums and reposition it... and then go back and listen, finding that I like the sound of the new position a lot better." Is it really better? Well I think it is - but if I didn't record the earlier version to compare to the new version, I can never really be sure.

So questioning whether your guy had one of those moments isn't insulting or an attempt to belittle - it's just trying to check that what he thought he heard reflects what really happened. Because way too often it's not - we've all done it (many times).

So port or no port? And how big of a hole? :)
 

dcrigger

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Yeah he could be lying but he knows ribbons are extremely fragile. You can bust them just walking with the uncovered mic in your hand, the windspeed from walking can tear it, lol. It’s crazy.
Yes, but that's a far far cry from the amount of wind that comes out of a drum vent - from three to four feet away (or more). People mic trumpets with ribbon mics at distances inside of two feet. To each his own, but I used Coles 4038 ribbons as overheads everyday here at home - and have for years - and his actions seem like one of the silliest things I've heard in ages. But again, to each his own...
 

CherryClassic

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In '94 I purchased a late 80's Ludwig 8 piece kit all including floor toms were rack mounted with Ludwig's Modular (triangle brick) system with a 1" hole and three smaller holes for the brick mount and they all sounded good to me. Two large toms mounted on the 16x22 bass drum. I always had trouble with the 1" tubes staying in place for the heavy toms.

I changed to legs for the floor toms and removed the brick mount, instantly noticing a nicer tone from the 16 and 18 inch toms. Reading forums I heard about RIMS mounting system and made the change. Again noticing a big difference removing the bricks from the 4 smaller toms. At the same time I changed to a Gibraltar rack mounting, mainly because I could see the bass drum shell give as the two heavy toms (13 and 14) were being played and that bothered me. All those years of playing and all of the holes are still there and because of detailed attention to tuning they sound amazing. Although I have changed to the ATLAS mounting system because I like the look and simplicity and the sound quality is about the same as far as I can tell.

The way I look at it; manufactures spend a lot of time researching, creating and building drums to have the best sound possible with the resources they have available. Then they start drilling and mounting all the necessary items required for a drum. I feel less is better so don't add anything not needed. Hardware kills tone, it's just that simple. Leaving holes in my 80's kit; I don't have a feel for that and was afraid to plug them. Would plugs help or hinder tone quality? I don't know.

When I purchased the new 4 piece CM Ludwig's December 2018, they all were ordered without holes. Again, an amazing sound.

sherm
 

jaymandude

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Yes, but that's a far far cry from the amount of wind that comes out of a drum vent - from three to four feet away (or more). People mic trumpets with ribbon mics at distances inside of two feet. To each his own, but I used Coles 4038 ribbons as overheads everyday here at home - and have for years - and his actions seem like one of the silliest things I've heard in ages. But again, to each his own...
Hey David ..

Coles vs large diaphragm condensers ?

off topic but what the heck ...
 

dcrigger

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It is true. Especially older Ribbons can be destroyed by wind quite easily.
Yes - but from air from a vent hole two to four feet away??? Again - with a pop filter, we put these things in front of trumpets... in front of bass drums!!! (and not 6 ft back). Yes they are more fragile than other mics - pop a "p" into one a few inches back and you're taking a serious risk. Same with directly in front of bd reso port - even with a pop screen. All of the manufacturers publish guidelines about this...

Some folks ignore them at the risk of their investment... others go over-the-top paranoid about it...
 
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