The kick drum beater is seldom considered as a variable in the drum sound. Many drummers stick with what they have found on their kick pedal, while just a few like to experiment.
Another interesting variation to the kick drum sound, besides dampening, is a falam patch or kick drum slam patch.
How can these elements affect the kick drum tone? Well, wonder no more after watching this excellent video by Ericb.
A lot of different beaters have been tested in this video with and without a slam patch, and the results have been captured with the same mic configuration. Excellent job!
Check out the drum beater sound test plus other great videos by Ericb on his youtube channel.