Bass drum dampening is as varied as snare drum tastes! A least that’s what I’ve found over the years. I’ve tried many, many different ways to muffle my kick drum. When I began my drumming journey on my 16th B-Day (gosh that seems like a lifetime ago—a good lifetime, but a lifetime nonetheless), I used felt strips on my Ludwig Super Classic 22” x 16” kick—1 for the batter head & 1 for the reso. I continued the same methodology w/ my Pearl Export kit. When I recieved my 1st PRO kit, a Sonor Designer Series maple light 8pc. kit, I used a different batter head (Remo clear Powerstroke 3 w/ a double Falam Slam Patch) & kept the Ebony Ambassador Bass reso head w/ the Sonor Logo. Inside I had a black foam kick drum pad (I believe made by Remo) which gently rested against both the batter & resonant heads. That head & pad combo worked perfectly for that kit & I got a nice punchy, yet resonant & deep sound from my 22"x16” drum!
Upon buying my DW kit, I found that the DW/Remo “Coated-Clear” heads worked not only great on the toms, but the bass drum, as well. For the kick batter, there’s an internal ring inside the circumfrance, similar to Remo’s PS3. The coated edge adds warmth & a perfect amount of ring control for the kick, as well as the rack & floor toms (I need NO external dampening for any of the toms). DW includes a pillow that is shaped like an hourglass, as to rest against both heads, but not fill the chamber. This way, it only muffles where it’s needed. Held in place by velcro straps, it gives the best kick sound that I’ve ever had to date.
I have never been a fan of porting my resonant kick head. DW’s front head has no hole, but it does have 6 1/2” ‘pin-holes’ @ the 3, 4, 5 o’clock, & the 8,9 10 o’clock marks, which give it the venting that it needs, but keeping the head solid @ the same time.
Again, the taste & methodology of muffleing one’s kick drum is as varied as the drummer itself. Also, the genre of music being played should be a (if not THE) primary factor in what type of bass drum sound need be attained!
Be well, Brian JeZuit