I love the Kickport. As soon as I installed one into the front head of my bass drum my kick became deeper, punchier, and more resonant. A lot of innovative products for drummers have been introduced over the past 20 years, but I believe the Kickport is the most significant breakthrough since the Gauger R.I.M.S. system.
I have to admit that I have never tried the kickport myself, however, I do think that you could get the same fat, dampening, tightening effect on your kick by placing some paper towels and duct tape on the inside of the reso head to weigh it down. Maybe I will give it a try, just to see if you can actually hear or feel a lower fundamental when miced up over a p.a.
I believe that the thing that makes the Kickport different from internal muffling techniques is that you get a lot more air in the sound while still adding punch and depth. The Kickport acts exactly like a speaker cone installed in the reso drumhead.
I tried one out at the NAMM show last January. I really liked the sonic result - from both the drummer and audience perspectives. I would not want to use it for every type of gig or style, but it is a valuable alternative to have in your sonic toolbox.
I have two custom, 20x20, Robert Keller, 10 ply maple bass drums. They have dual 30 degree rounded bearing edges. They are naturally extremely deep and huge sounding, and extremely loud, with little effort from behind the pedals. So I am wondering if the Kickport would actually make a difference in such already huge sounding bass drums. Since you use a 20” BD Andy, could you shed a little more light on your experience with the kickport?
Well, my bass drum is a 20” x 16” — not quite the cannon you own, Rev. So before I installed the Kickport it always sounded a bit poppy and dry — not much punch or air. The guys in my band would constantly tweak EQ on the mixing board and mess with mike placement to coax the most beef out of it. But my bandmates were amazed when I showed up at my first gig with the Kickport on my bass drum, because it made such a difference in my sound. I think their reaction, more than anything else, was the best testimonial I could hope for.
Editor’s note: I know I have tended to wax prolific about the Kickport in this forum, but it’s only because it has had such a dramatic impact on my bass drum sound and tone. I strongly believe in it, and bought mine at my local drum shop, just like everybody else.
Understood. I too love those reactions from my band mates. They are priceless. I think I will purchase one, because when seeking that perfect kick sound, there is ALWAYS room for improvement!
I also have a 20x18 kick on my Yamaha kit at our rehearsal studio I could try it on as well.
I’ve actually always wanted to try a kickport. I played on the set in this studio, it had an 18” kick, and it had a kickport and the drum sounded more boomy and punchy than my 22”. I’ve just never gotten around to it
Kickports can be good, but they can hurt you too if you’re not careful. For instance, I played a kids set (listen to me…I’m barely a legal adult and I’m calling someone else my age a kid lol) anyway, he had a Pearl Export set that had the snot beat out of it and he had a kickport…3 of them. why? Idk. but he had the reso head so tight, and the batter so loose, that if you even thought about hitting the pedal, it’d start to ring harmonically in the worst way. This may have just been because the kid (there I go again) was a certifiable moron with tuning but I think the ringing had to do with the kickport allowing air to pass through the head instead of making it resonate with the batter which let it res on its own frequency. so in a way, it was but it wasn’t the kickports fault. A bit technical, but thats my theory.
On the flip side, I’ve played some kicks that opened up like crazy with a KP but were so shallow and dry without one. It’s just another variable to throw into the infinitely customizable world of getting a good drum sound.