Mike Portnoy, (formerly of Dream Theater, currently with The Winery Dogs among many others) plays “Name that Tune” with a children’s “Hello Kitty” drum set. Let’s just say it doesn’t go well for the kit…
With a little digging you can find mastered drum tracks from some of the most iconic albums/drummers ever! Check out Chad Smith’s funky groovin’ off Blood Sugar Sex Magik – Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991). And don’t forget about the production from Rick Rubin…
Chad Smith had to play one handed because of a broken arm, acquired in a baseball game. He doesn’t even miss a beat.
Neil Peart would be proud. The creator wasn’t even sure the puppet would work originally, but he’s quickly becoming a rising star in the drum world…
SledgePad is a fairly new company based in Georgia (buy American!) making acoustic treatment for bass drums. They currently make 3 models. The full size SledgePad (pictured above) is 23″ on the batter end and tapers to 12″ on the reso head. Pretty heavy dampening, but a warmer, fuller tone than a pillow.
The SledgeBaby is the same design but about 30% smaller for drummers that like less dampening and also for 20″ and 18″ bass drums. The Sledgpad Alien has more airflow through and around the pad to allow the drum to speak longer and not muffle the drum’s natural voice. The Alien lays inside the drum in a V shape and exposes the bottom of the shell and looks like a space ship (thus The Alien). The attack sounds great and allows the drum to really speak.
From the designer –
“People buy Maple or Birch or Mahogany for the tonal properties of that wood so I would never want to cover that up. After many tests I did on my own and through personal experience as a drummer of 35 years I noticed how people would not achieve that deep short voice they were looking for until the pillows or blankets spread out and touched both heads…That’s why I used acoustic foam because it lays low in the shell and allows maximum air movement through the drum and will press against the heads.”
All 3 Sledgepad models are less weight and mass than a pillow and allow more air movement. Each pad is slightly over sized and when you install SledgePad the pad will squeeze in between the heads and will ad hear to the heads with small double sided tape tabs. That inner tension along with the type of material and the design shapes the sound and creates a couduit that allows the drum and heads and pad to work together very nicely.
Cons: Tape may un stick during heavy travel for gigging. Easy problem to fix, but keep an eye out.
Overall 4.5/5 Sticks.
Reviewed by Tucci (@tuccinotmatt)
Holding it down on a beautiful DW kit; he even manages to grab a different stick without changing the beat. All and all, well done from the host of Late Night.