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American Recorder Technologies
Review by: Christopher Golinski
Imagine that you’re playing a show and feeding off the contagious energy of the audience. The crowd is so loud that you can’t hear yourself, so you begin to dig into your kit a little deeper. They can take it, so you dish it out. You get to the bridge of the tune and lay into a steady four on the floor. You close your eyes and revel in the moment when all of the sudden, something doesn’t feel right. Is the stage rumbling from the energy in the room? No. Soon, reality hits you and you are reminded that you forgot your drum rug. As a result, your bass drum has decided that it needs some space in your relationship, just a hair out of reach of your foot.
Wait! This second scenario gets better. Here, you realize that the crowd is really feeling your band and you have, yet again, forgotten your rug. Better yet, those in charge of the backline forgot to tell you that the kit had no throne. Now, you are stuck with your kick drum tied with rope to the back of the folding chair you are playing on. We think that by this point, the sanctity of a good drum rug is important.
American Recorder Technologies has their own unique answer to this problem in the Drumsetter drum mat, and while we feel that it is an admirable product (does the job and is super-comfy), we find the Drumsetter best suited to players on gigs where they aren’t pressed for time at setup, and for studio/session use.
The Drumsetter is essentially not a rug, but rather a bundle of smaller pads — six 2’x2’ interlocking square sheets that make up a 4’x6’ rug, constructed of a combination industrial grade stain resistant carpet and ½” closed-cell foam. The outer edges of each segment are beveled for a smooth transition from the rug to the stage floor. The rug’s design is intended to resist the movement of your drums, protect the floor beneath, and provide dampening of unwanted noise and vibration.
The underside of each panel has directional arrows to ensure proper setup, and the segments come in a carrying case for easy transport. Carrying our drum rug in a gig bag of its own is certainly a nicer, cleaner alternative than rolling up a dirty drum rug and throwing that in our car (or worse, hauling it through New York City on the subway).
We found the Drumsetter only took us a few minutes to assemble, but under the stress of a lightning-fast setup at a club gig, we would still lean towards simply throwing down a one-piece drum rug. As anyone who has played a rock gig with multiple bands on the bill in Los Angeles or New York City knows, every minute of setup time matters, and having to first assemble a rug is a luxury many of us can’t afford. For our cover band gigs, though — where we’re setting up to play multiple sets over the course of an evening, setup time is a non-issue.
Aside from being used as a drum rug, American Recorder Technologies suggests that the Drumsetter could also be used as stage rug for standing players, and it comes in other sizes in order to suit various configurations (in case you’ve got a nice triple kick drum 13-piece setup for your ‘80s hair band tribute act). Finally, the package comes with a drum key and belt clip (as we all know how easy it is to loose those).
It should be reiterated that once the carpet was assembled, it held our drums quite well. And for other musicians, we observed that standing on the rug felt very comfortable.
On the American Recorder website, the claim is made that the Drumsetter is the “… easiest to use and most portable drum rug ever made.” We can’t agree with it being the easiest — it’s a rug with some assembly and tear-down required, but it is indeed highly portable, with none of the nasty, dirty side effects of hand-carrying a beer stained, dirty and dusty rug.We do support their claim that this is the “most comfortable drum rug ever made” — or one of them, at least. For studio use, it’s a great choice for both the comfort and the dampening that it provides (the latter of which is likely to go unnoticed on a live stage). But for the busy gigging musician, we think it’s going to be up to you to decide if the extra setup time is worth it or not.
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American Recorder Technologie
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