Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2014 Edition

Packrat Barry


Co-Oddity of the Year 2014

Entering The Post-Drum Era

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.

Drum Hardware for Tim Burton

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.

Mr. Oogie Boogie

And speaking of Tim Burton, both the Nightmare Before Christmas character (above) and the vaguely Steam Punk crystal (below) cycled through different colors.

  • Truth Custom Drums
  • 8054 SW Nimbus Ave. 6-H
  • Beaverton, OR 97008
  • (503)-641-4050

An Inner Glow

DrumLite's goal is to bring the attention back to where it belongs: the drummer.

This is certainly an easier approach than the turing your drums upside down.

Ms. Anderson's Tailors

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.

½ d × π + d

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.

Sounds In The Round

Multitasking Percussion

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.

Let No Tool Go Uncustomized

While most of these are decorative, the one in the lower right has two distinct, and valuable functions.

For the Pirate Percussionist

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.

21st Century Washboard

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.

Innie or Outie

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.

Like Mr. Bubble for Snare Drums

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."

Plumb Your Drum

The only modification to the drum shell are small adhesive velcro tabs that help keep the spring-loaded rig in place.

Plecostomus-Like Mic

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.

Bespoke Drum Sticks

Sticks don't come any more tightly matched than this.

A Limited Market

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.

  • Airturn
  • 2525 Arapahoe Ave. E4-451
  • Boulder, CO 80302
  • (720) 381-1706

Token Non-Oddity

It seems that each year a drum kit catches my eye, not because it's odd, but because it's just beautiful.

Next Up: Instruments

©2014 Barry Wood