A drummers arsenal includes many assets, obviously, the drums, hardware, sticks and skins, but what of the quality of sound? You’ve spent years developing your style and how you sound is paramount, you spend a long time tuning your kits so it sounds perfect, but what more can you do, how can you enhance your sound?
Many companies come out with sound enhancers, dampeners, tapes clicks and tricks that claim to give you the edge you need to succeed, however many fall short and only make tuning more difficult. With the Batter and Reso heads in place and tuned, you may get some ringing, but you can get rid of that fairly quickly, but how do you improve the tone, texture and increase volume without amplification?
One company that offers a solution, with total 100% proven application is Kickport, a company that has been making the simplest part possible to do the best job ever. Its design and the technology behind it is very traditional, yet behind its simple design is music mechanic theorem that is measured to the exact placement options in the head, all genius.
So, let’s examine the basics, a drum is cylindrical form and has a head on both ends, the sound and tone is based on the tightening or loosening or the rings that hold the head in place, there is however another component that is hardly ever considered, the air trapped inside!
The air inside the drum cannot move, and subsequently can dampen the sound produced. Many drummers will leave the bottom or Reso head off, but if you’re not playing hard rock or metal, this can cause overpowering and your band members may have to over compensate, this can lead to a lot of wasted time. Kickport solves this issue by providing a ported opening system in either the Batter or Reso Head, or Both, that allow the air to move as well as carry or propel your sound to the next level.
I noticed that the Kickport FX Bass Drum and Drum system was a perfect companion for my use of Cympads, a fantastic replacement for Cymbal felts. Cympads allow Cymbals to suspend and remain flexible without swaying back and forth or laying on the over compressed felt, they improve sustain. I will have another review for the Cympads coming soon.
Unlike “just cutting a hole”, which can leave he heads open to damage like ripping or tearing, which is a waste of money, heads are not cheap. The port slips in and is held in place by a flexing collar that keeps the port firm within the skin and does not prohibit the heads flexing while being used. By using the FX Kickport System, the large opening is placed at the lower portion of the Forward Facing Reso Head, while a smaller port is placed in the upper portion of the Batter, this porting allows the head to do what it meant to do while the drum “breaths”, expelling air, propelling sound and increasing the drums volume only when wanted, say on accents or doubles.
I put it on my SONOR 22” Bass and it sounds like a Cannon; seriously, I have never had it be so full a sound without special microphone placement. I received my Kickport units and they took all of 10 min to install, another 10 min to tune and in less than 30 minutes I was up and rocking. I also put an FX unit in my 14” by 5” Snare and it too increased in volume, the rolls sounded tighter and brighter.
Kickport is made from very durable materials and is made to last for as long as possible. Everything you will need comes in the box, the rings, ports and collar, no need to buy additional parts once you have created your Kickport setup, you only need a sharp blade and that’s it, you will however need to get additional port rings when you replace heads.
The bass is the foundation of your kit and your sound, if the bass has the fullest sound possible, them by nature, the rest of the kit will sound better, now let’s move to the rest of your kit.
Consider the Snare and Toms, like the Bass, air needs to move through, otherwise it chokes, so by using the FX system on the Snare and Toms, you allow for sound enhancement that is completely controllable. Other reviews you will read will go over the scientific aspects, but I spend my time on the practice daily applications, Kickport FX units are easy to install, can be switched from head to head and comes in many colors that can either match the color of the heads you use or stand out, giving you kit a bit of bling that has form and function.
I have included a video from Kickport that shows you exactly what it takes to give your sound the fullness of tone you want without spending too much time or money.
Visit your local retailer to get your kit set up with Kickport FX Series ports, or order from their website http://www.kickport.com.