Vic Firth Introduces The Mike Johnston Custom Collaboration American Classic NE-1
Mike Johnston has shared his musical mind as a world-renowned online educator since 2014. In tune with the constant journey of the student drummer, Mike knew he needed to create a stick that could get out of your way and leave you with no excuses for progressing on your journey. That is why he partnered with Vic Firth to design a pair of sticks optimized with a longer taper for balance, a modified barrel tip for response, and a diameter between a 5A and 5B for comfort. The American classic NE-1 makes it easier.
Mike pored over every design choice possible to find a tip shape, taper, length, diameter, material, and overall performance that would combine to make the best possible stick for your growth. Crafted with made-in-the-USA hickory wood, the American Classic NE-1 offers a strong tried and true composition.
“If you know Mike Johnston, you know he is all about the little details,” says Vic Firth Global Brand Manager Mike Weber. “Of course, at Vic Firth we share that appreciation for detail, so when we got together to design a new stick with Mike it really took things to a whole new level. As an educator, Mike wanted to create a stick that could get out of your way and let you focus on developing your skill behind the kit, something that wasn’t going to hold you back in making progress on your drumming journey. As soon as you get a pair of NE-1’s in your hands, you’ll feel the difference immediately. Mike really dialed in all the specs to make this something that is uniquely Mike but truly designed for players everywhere. This really is something special.”
The Mike Johnston American Classic NE-1 sticks are available at vicfirth.com, authorized dealers, and international distributor partners.
Vic Firth Launches The Nate Smith Signature Series Stick
For nearly two decades, Nate Smith has been impacting the music scene with his visceral, instinctive, and deep-rooted style of drumming. From jazz to fusion, R&B to hip-hop, from pop to rock and everywhere in between Nate Smith grooves like wind around the drum set. Now Nate brings that same energy and versatility to Vic Firth with his new Signature Series drumsticks. “We’re fortunate to have an incredible amount of talent in the Vic Firth family of artists, really the best in the world,” says Vic Firth Global Brand Manager Mike Weber. “We are so thrilled to welcome the immensely talented and always influential Nate Smith as the newest Vic Firth Signature Series artist. Nate is such a versatile and energetic player, and that versatility and effortless flow really comes to life in his new signature stick.
Developing a new creative tool with an artist is always inspiring. Working with Nate was certainly no exception. We genuinely think drummers all over the world are going to love Nate’s signature stick design.”
Being slightly thinner than a 7A in the grip, with added length and a medium taper for a smooth response and impeccable balance, this stick is great for sitting right in the pocket. Crafted with made-in-the-USA hickory wood, the Nate Smith Signature Series sticks offer a strong tried and true composition. The rounded barrel tip allows for articulation at any angle and lets you pull serious sound out of your cymbals.
The Nate Smith Signature Series sticks are available at vicfirth.com, authorized dealers, and international distributor partners.
Vic Firth Releases The New Rute-X Rods
Vic Firth understands that the familiar feel of drumsticks is missing from traditional rod designs. The new RUTE-X rods offer the comfort, response, and balance of standard drumsticks while further improving on the volume control, versatility, and alternative sounds players look for in the perfect rods. Optimized rimshot and cross sticking capability offer even greater dynamic sound control.
The Vic Firth RUTE-X rods come in four specialized models: light, medium, and heavy gauge premium birch as well as a durable poly synthetic. Each includes an adjustable dowel band to tune your sound and feel, plus a made-in-the-USA hickory wood drumstick handle with a rich timeless walnut stain finish. The RUTE-X rods are named as such because they’re the perfect cross between rods and sticks, and the “X” in the RUTE-X artwork design marks the spot where you get the perfect cross stick strike every time.
The RUTE-X light gauge rods feature 23 light gauge premium birch dowels that offer a softer touch and less volume and attack on drums and cymbals. The medium gauge rods have 11 medium gauge premium birch dowels for a mid-range volume and attack on drums and cymbals. For more volume and a clearer attack on drums and cymbals, the heavy gauge rods sport 7 heavy gauge premium birch dowels. The durable poly synthetic rods bring a warmer, more mellow sound on drums and cymbals with 10 durable synthetic poly dowels.
“RUTE-X rods are specifically designed to maintain the feel and balance of a drumstick while still providing drummers with an alternative sound as well as the ability to better control volume in settings like acoustic gigs, worship bands, studio sessions, or even while practicing,” says Vic Firth Global Brand Manager Mike Weber. “If you play with both sticks and traditional rods, these really allow you to get the best of both worlds and open up an even more creative playing experience.”
The RUTE-X rods are available at vicfirth.com, authorized dealers, and international distributor partners.