Being the jaded purveyor of Oddities that I am, it takes something special to get me excited About a new product. The Aerodrums were that product this year.
I could try to describe the Aerodrums but it would fall woefully short of reality. Just watch the video.
This company does custom drumhead artwork, but that's not what caught my eye.
If you look closely you can see the integrated microphone mounts.
And speaking of Tim Burton, both the Nightmare Before Christmas character (above) and the vaguely Steam Punk crystal (below) cycled through different colors.
My odd goggles have not lost their laser-sharp focus. I caught sight of this product that wasn't even being shown in a booth.
This is a bluetooth-enabled, iOS-era version of Laurie Anderson's drum suit for the masses.
Every once in a while I like to try to reestablish the neural pathways for seldom used knowledge still kicking around in my head. In this case it was old geometry forumlas to compute the circumference of the top of this interesting cajon.
The Televi is a West African percussion instrument that consists of two gourd shakers connected by a string. Josh Gilgoff has updated these with modern materials and added a glow-in-the-dark feature.
I was impressed Josh's ability with these but after trying them myself, I understood that even just performing the "catch" move was going to take dedication.
While most of these are decorative, the one in the lower right has two distinct, and valuable functions.
Along side other more technical products, NAMM newcomer Birdio was showing these skull and bone shakers.
I would not recommend the bone shakers for dog-owning percussionists.
Larry Burton gave me a demo of the Percussion Box. You can outfit it with various percussion toys as you see fit. I particularly like the addition of the whack-a-frog.
Popping out the port ring will change the resonant frequency of the drum and will also create a tightly focussed air column. I would not suggest that you subject a ribbon mic to that onslaught.
In the same way that Mr. Bubble cleans up the bathtub ring, Drum Clips deal with ringing snare drums.
…well maybe not in the same way.
…really it's not anything like the same thing.
In any case from now on I'm going to call problematic snare drums "Dirty Bert."
The only modification to the drum shell are small adhesive velcro tabs that help keep the spring-loaded rig in place.
The KickTone is a mic that hangs off of a KickPort. Much like the Yahama SubKick and the DQ MoonMic, this primarily captures the mid and low frequencies.
Sticks don't any more tightly matched than this.
Airturn has come out with a version of their iPad reader app that has stick-friendly pads for drummers. Of course that would require a drummer that can actually read. Apologies to my literate drummer friends for the cheap shot.
It seems that each year a drum kit catches my eye, not because it's odd, but because it's just beautiful.
©2014 Barry Wood