I’ve reviewed a fair amount of drum dampening products over the years. But, now I come to think of it, I don’t think I ever had much call for this sort of thing until more recently and I’m wondering whether that’s because I was better at tuning before – unlikely – or that I just hear more and am more concerned by that type of thing these days. I’ll say it’s the latter for now.
I was given a couple of packs of Sky Gel Damper Pads to try out, the 12 pack in deep black and the Ray Luzier Signature 18 pack in wine red.
These are, as you might have guessed, gel based dampeners which sit on the head, cymbal or whatever else you want dampened. They’re lightweight and sticky and can be put just about anywhere you might need one.
The 12 pack consists of 4x 20mm, 4x30mm and 4x41mm pads. They come in a cardboard container with a plastic carry case inside. The Ray Luzier Signature pack features 18 gels, 6x20mm, 6x30mm and 6x41mm, plus a key ring and signed photo.
I found the gels to work just fine and as expected when I tried them. They’re each a good size and easily cut down if needed. They’re not overly heavy either, although I could definitely feel the weight of the 41mm pad on the snare. On a cymbal, the pads just dried the sound up a bit so they decayed less.
Sky Gel says the pads are flexible, washable and durable and while I can’t really attest to the durability bit – when I tried them it was only in my studio – they certainly are flexible and washable. The company offers lots of variations on the gel pad design and in different colours too, some of which are nice and loud and others a bit more ‘sensibly’ coloured (i.e. black or clear for the less extravagant among us).
I’m sure some purists will always argue that this type of product shouldn’t be necessary if you ‘learn how to tune properly’, but that aside, there is still a time and place for this sort of thing and realistically, it’s something everyone should have in their spares box.
More over at – http://www.skygel.de/skygel.html