Sometimes, the simplest products are the most innovative ones. Case in point: the SledgePad. It’s a bass drum damper that’s made of acoustic foam, providing deeper, more consistent, more resonant sound than a load of your dirty whites. And, it won’t shift around during travel between gigs, either.
“When I first started playing drums, I would take whatever my mother had lying around that she wasn’t gonna miss, and I’d start putting stuff in there until I got the right sound,” SledgePad’s Founder, Mike Vermillion, said, echoing the early experiences of many a drummer. “The thing that I hated about that was, you would put your drum in a case, go to your next gig and everything would move around. If you had a front head on with a small port, you really can’t get in there, and you can’t adjust your dampening. And it’s just so annoying when you’re playing and you know everything’s not right inside the bass drum.” Bearing that in mind, Vermillion designed the SledgePad to be slightly oversized, so that the pressure of the front and back of the bass drum holds it in place. Adhesive strips further protect the SledgePad from unwanted shifting during travel.
The SledgePad’s unique design also ensures that it lies flat against the bottom of the bass drum; this serves to open up the drum’s insides for added resonance. “It doesn’t overdampen the drum,” Vermillion confirmed. “It allows more airflow. I get the comment all the time that it’s just the right amount. Drummers don’t want their drums to be dead; they still want the low-end thump. They don’t want it to sound like it’s packed with half a load of laundry or a sack of potatoes or whatever.”
There are four variations of SledgePad to fit any size bass drum. In contrast to similar drum-damping products that take a one-size-fits-all approach, each size is custom made for the drum depth. The patent for SledgePad’s design was approved on December 13, 2016.
Thanks to its simplicity and the tremendous sound it delivers, SledgePad has already gained traction among drummers in the know. “Over the summer, we got Johnny Rabb to pick it up, and he used it all during 2016 on his tour,” Vermillion enthused. SledgePad is also one of the founding members of the newly formed Drum Gear Alliance (DGA), and it will work to foster emerging drum product companies at the NAMM Show in the future.
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