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Drum Forums => Drum Forum - Drum Talk - Drum Techniques => Topic started by: KenSanders on April 27, 2010, 06:39:30 PM

Title: Kick Port, a new device for the bass drum
Post by: KenSanders on April 27, 2010, 06:39:30 PM
I have just tried a new product recently released on the market.  It’s a device called a "Kick Port".  Now I am not an endorser.  I simply found the product intriguing and decided to try it out.  ::)

I decided to share my impressions of this new product with the DSA Forum readers.  I have also inserted a picture of the device at the bottom of this post.  You might look at it before reading further so you’ll have a visual imagine of the device as I discuss how it works.  8)

The Kick Port is designed to port AND muffle the front head of a bass drum.  The design calls for you to cut a 5 ½” port hole located off center".  Now, that's nothing new but the design of the actual device certainly is.  :)

The Kick Port is built around a round plastic tube that is similar to what you might see installed on a ported cabinet of a bass amp.  The tube extends into the inside of the bass drum shell and is held in place by the flange of a rubberized cup.  Once inserted into the inside of the drum, the cup is then flipped back with the wide part of the cup’s circumference resting against the inside of the drum head.  There is a corresponding rubber ring lip on the outside of the drum head that is wedged against the head.  The external ring lip, the tube and interior flanged cup....all  place some weight and dense material on the actual drum head.  They also hold the whole device in place.

The bass drum shell and the drum’s bearing edges are, therefore, completely free to produce a musical tone with no interruption from blankets, pillows, felt strips, etc.  Now, I found that really unique. The drum gets to do what it was designed to do.

I am using the "Kick Port" on a 22" diameter x 18" depth Yamaha bass drum. I have installed a clear Aquarian Super Kick I on the batter side and an Aquarian Force II head on the resonant side. The sound produced with that drum head combination is a deep boom with a really full tone.  It is not muffled so heavily that it produces that "bap" sound often heard from a bass drum muffled with a pillow touching both heads.

The manufacturer suggests using a batter head with a moderate muffling design already built in.  Then select a resonant head that reflects the amount of ring (resonance) you prefer once the Kick Port is installed. You can, of course, tension the heads tight, medium, or loose, for the pitch you desire.

Could you still use a pillow or blanket with the Kick Port device?  YES..... but then that really defeats the purpose of the design and it would most likely be way too dead sounding.

I realize that a big full and deep bass drum sound is not for everyone.  But it is a sound that many of us do strive to achieve.  The “bigness” of the sound of a bass drum fitted with a Kick Pad will vary according to the bass drum dimensions and, of course, the heads selected.  The manufacturer has several recommendations for the heads, and well as tensioning.

I actually like the sound of an un-ported front head, but using a microphone "without a port" for live performances usually presents serious “bleed” problems. The Kick Port allows me to get that big sound even with a microphone hole cut into the front head.  The hole, of course, makes it possible to place the microphone inside the bass drum, plus the tube seems to focus the drum’s tone right into the microphone element.

All in all, it's a well-thought-out device and pretty cool looking once installed.  Another good thing is that you don’t destroy ithe Kick Port device if you take it off the front head and install it into a new head.

The Kick Port device isn’t perfect for everyone, but I really like it.  ;D

If any of this interests you, then you might check out this link.

Title: Re: Kick Port, a new device for the bass drum
Post by: KenSanders on April 30, 2010, 01:23:57 AM
Here's an update for anyone interested.  I played a production show tonight in a large venue here in Nashville. The sound tech's were absolutely floored with the bass drum sound...calling it the biggest and balls-to-the-wall sound they had heard in ages. I didn't tell them anything except "thanks for the nice compliments."

I had my Heil PR40 microphone on the kick and I know they really liked that microphone.  But the microphone was only caputuring the actual sound the drum was making not "coloring it".

The fullness they were hearing was a bass drum that wasn't stuffed full of muffling material.  It was the pure sound of a quality-made bass drum with nothing compromising the performance of the carefully crafted shell or those meticullously cut bearing edges. The drum was free to do exactly what it was designed to do......produce a deep, full and powerful tone.  :o

Title: Re: Kick Port, a new device for the bass drum
Post by: lucas on March 20, 2011, 01:50:20 PM
I have to agree Ken. The Kick Port is awesome.

I use a 20" bass drum for reasons of easy transport. After fitting the Kick Port I never miss my 24".

The sound is also more focused, and I no longer need any damping.

Its the firs time I have improved my kit sound without spending lots of money.