Just like any other drum, a single bass drum offers a huge variety of sounds. Beside buying new drumheads or a completely new instrument, there are several ways to achieve the perfect sound with the instrument you already have. The three most common ways are to modify the reso head, muffle the kick drum and simply use a tuning key.
You might be surprised how big the effect of a small whole on the reso head of your bass drum can be. The air is no longer trapped between the two drumheads and can escape through this hole. This shortens the sound and reduces the tone.
When you remove the reso head completely, you can increase this effect even more. By placing some material like a blanket, a towel or pillows inside your bass drum, you can muffle the sound. This shortens the tone even more and might help you get a more focused sound. But too much muffling might also kill the character of your bass drum.
Simply check out how much muffling is needed for the sound you are looking for. For some styles, even a completely open bass drum without any muffling will work perfectly!
But even if these are tricks that help you, remember to always check the tuning first: what pitch you want and how you imagine the sound of your kick drum.
All the other tricks help you to shorten the sound or change the character, but the pitch of the drum is always determined by the tension on the heads. Now go ahead and check out the possibilities that you have with your own bass drum!