Drumtacs Tonal Control/Dampening Pads
By Dendy Jarrett |
Squishy Disks of Drum Love
by Dendy Jarrett
When someone says the word "tack," the first thing that might pop into a drummer's mind is a small pointed object that we wouldn’t want anywhere near our drumheads. But in this case, the DrumTac isn’t what you might expect.
These small disks are essentially sound control pads. Not to be confused with drum mutes, or competing gel-like pads, these dense cell-foam polymeric circular pads have a super-tacky back, but the tack is releasable and reusable. Also, this tackiness isn’t affected by temperature or humidity - they almost remind me of those 3M Command hooks and strips for hanging things on a wall, which you can simply pull and release without damaging your wall. Drumtacs function similarly in that you can use them for a long period of time, and if you want a different sound, you simply release them and move them to a different spot on the drum.
These perform much better than the average drum-dampening device because they won’t bounce or fall off the drum (even with impact from a rogue drum stick stroke). They don’t buzz or “frap” either. What I really like about them is that you can locate them strategically on the drum to dial in the right resonance response you want.
But wait, … there’s more. These don’t just work on drumheads. You can use them on top of or underneath cymbals to control overtone or run-away ring as well as with percussion, like the inside of a cowbell opening to control a run-away cowbell ring ("I Need More Cowbell"). The best part is they don’t affect the tone negatively when positioned correctly. Some other “sticky” mute products don’t allow for this because they lack the “cling.”
As Drumtacs say, “kill the ‘bwong’ — keep the ‘boom.’" This was my experience as well. Placing the tac an inch from the edge of the drum head produced a great impactful, yet toneful boom. The closer I moved the tac towards the drum's center, the less resonant it became.
Invented by Studio Lab Percussion, these foam squishy disks of drum love have become my new favorite sound control device.
Purchase Drumtacs at Sweetwater
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.