Earlier last year, a fantastic new drum dampening material known as DrumDots emerged on the scene and made quite a significant buzz in the music community. Like previous versions of dampeners, DrumDots were designed to not only reduce the natural over-ring in toms, but also to create a more desirable natural tone upon striking, thus helping drums (and cymbals) obtain a much more desirable sustain and natural warmth in the studio and on the stage.
Let’s delve into some of the various aspects of DrumDots that make them unique to the competition.
SHAPE: Unlike similar products DrumDots are circular, not rectangular or square. This allows them to be placed closer to the edge of a drum. Another unique design characteristic is that DrumDots are beveled. This allows full contact with the drumhead right to the edge, helping it stick without being sticky. This full contact is critical to consistence over tone control.
PACKAGING: DrumDots come in a nice clear hardshell case where all 4 dots are placed side by side. This creates a better, cleaner dot that never runs the risk of sticking to another dot or melting into another one while gigging on a hot summer day. The dots are placed easily in and out of the case and because of that they stay very clean. They also are easily rinsed with soap and water and lose no tackiness of any kind, adhering right back onto the head with the same ease as a new set.
SOUND: We experimented with several different uses of DrumDots. On toms they do what most dampeners do…they control unwanted over-ring, giving the natural tone a quicker, more desirable, decay and adding overall warmth to the sound. To our ears, rack and floor toms sounded bigger, thicker and warmer making the them sing while never sounding choked. We also used them on cymbals where they really shined. A bright crisp loud cymbal becomes a warm cymbal in mere seconds. Bright cutting hi-hats become dark and funky, big ride cymbals go from typical rock characteristics to jazzy earthy sounds and back with great ease. DrumDots on cymbals are just fantastic in a small room where volume is crucial. How about dots on snare drums? Now there’s a real treat. Placing 1-2 dots on a snare creates that big fat 70’s Sound City type drum sound when tuned open. That dry toweled Ringo sound circa Abbey Road was also easy to achieve with 2 dots and a rolled up tissue as opposed to a large tea towel. I used dots in at least 4 different combinations on my snare for a recent show to capture various sounds in a single performance, and they store nicely right on the bass drum edge where they can be moved back and forth as needed.
COLOR: DrumDots are very striking to the eye, and when you first crack open a new set and peel them out of their case you can’t help but admire their clear color and sharply embossed logo. Such things might seem inconsequential, but drummers take great pride in their gear and keeping such necessities clear and not colored is fantastic. On stage or in the studio they’re barely noticeable (as they should be) and they tend to blend in perfectly to your head or cymbal color.
PRICE: DrumDots retail for slightly over $12 (with shipping), which is a tremendous bargain considering the great detail in which these are made and the longevity in their packaging. A 4-pack of DrumDots will most likely last you quite a long time and you’ll take great pride in taking care of them.
IN CONCLUSION:DrumDots are certainly a welcome addition to the world of studio and performance tools. The company took an existing product and upgraded all the previous limitations to provide a world-class product that every studio, roadie, and drummer will want to own.
DrumDots Drum Dampeners
DrumDots are certainly a welcome addition to the world of studio and performance tools. A world-class product that every studio, roadie, and drummer will want to own.
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