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Bass drum head question


MoonBassAlpha
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I've just bought a new resonant head for my new kit's bass drum with the intention of cutting a hole for the  mic and inserting damping. The standard size appears to be 5 inches, but  as it's an 18 inch head, should I go smaller, or is it not that important? I'm just concerned it might ruin any remaining resonance if the hole is too large in proportion to the overall head size. Any  thoughts?

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15 minutes ago, MoonBassAlpha said:

I've just bought a new resonant head for my new kit's bass drum with the intention of cutting a hole for the  mic and inserting damping. The standard size appears to be 5 inches, but  as it's an 18 inch head, should I go smaller, or is it not that important? I'm just concerned it might ruin any remaining resonance if the hole is too large in proportion to the overall head size. Any  thoughts?

To drummers, this is almost the equivalent of 'rounds or flats'. or my part, I'll have no truck with 'cut' heads (I've fitted a mic inside the shell, anyway...). If a port is needed, it 'should' be for sonic reasons, not just a convenient way to poke a mic in there. There are pre-ported heads on the market (Evans...) with a foam-surround 5" port.
You run the risk, if cutting the port yourself, of 1 - not cutting it at the right spot, acoustically... and 2 - the edges splitting, as it's difficult to cut cleanly a perfect circle with a blade. If I was to port a drum, I'd use an EMAD head.
Hope this helps.

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The Ambassador I'll be using just arrived today. It was half the price of a ported head, so not much to lose. Didn't want experiment with the nice new Gretsch logo head! Thanks for videos, I  didn't even think of YouTube. I don't have any tins of anything that big, but then, I'm not American...

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I recently purchased a very good condition drum kit, and I am having the dilemma whether to cut or not a port hole. The main reason for this is to record (attempt) my own drums. Would this significantly improve the kick bass tone. Although I am not experienced in this filed , I know that lots of it comes down to tuning, mic placement, room etc. 

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I'd say if you're starting into recording a kit, having a hole  makes it a lot easier to adjust and tune your damping inside the drum. My old kit didn't even have a resonant head,  and I got perfectly usable recordings like that with the mic sitting inside on a folded piece of carpet against the head.

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Not much to add to all of this except to say that we are all different, and that experimenting is a Good Thing. The sound wanted from recordings varies enormously depending on genre, taste and style, so there's no 'silver bullet'. I'm 'old school', whereby I want the drums to sound like acoustic drums.
Once, when recording for a reggae-style song, we used a giant ladybird cushion stuffed into a plastic bucket and spanked with a wooden spoon. This gave a much better 'reggae' drum than my kit. No, I don't put pillows into my shells; I use a pair of felt strips inside, vertically, each side of centre, to control the 'boom'. There's no port (nor need for one...).
It was the fashion in the early days of mic'ing kits to remove the resonant heads altogether, and placing the mic's inside the shells. The 'sound' of the kit was created using the console, as the kit itself now sounded either like a steel drum band, if tuned up, or like cardboard boxes when damped with bits of whatever taped to the batter heads. These became known as 'concert toms', and many makers actually made whole kits like that, with no lugs at all for a resonant head. If that's the kind of recording and/or live stuff wanted, get a 'concert' kit and be absolved from the need to tune a resonant head. It's not quite the same thing to remove the resonant head alone, as one gets the issue of the unused lugs rattling, for instance.
One wonders why bass drums are ported, but rack and floor toms are not. The sound will not be 'matched' if they're mic'ed up differently.
Again, recording in studio conditions is a different game from recording at home, even in a suitable room. Most recordings can be adequately made using a bass-drum mic, a snare mic and an overhead. A well-placed overhead can eliminate the need for separate snare, too, if the player knows how to create the dynamics required without a separate channel strip.
I'd recommend this, for anyone wanting to record stuff; there's a lot of questions answered in there, plus questions one didn't know to ask ...

The Recording Engineer's Handbook 4th Edition ...

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