Analogue solutions to e-challenges

Friday, 22 December 2017 9:40 am

Electronic drummers tend to look for hi-tech solutions where sometimes a simple mechanical device is the best answer. This month, Allan Leibowitz looks at two practical products for e-drummers.

JLH-DC001 Hi Hat Drop Clutch

Double kick players often need to lock their hi-hat in the closed position to free up a foot. Sure, it is possible to recalibrate the module for closed sounds only, but what happens when you want to revert to the full variability again?

Acoustic players have relied on mechanical hi-hat clutches to lock the hats in closed position, but release them when needed. Those clutches, however, have not been compatible with electronic hi-hat cymbals – until now.

The JLH-DC001 has been designed to work with Roland VH-11, VH-12, and VH13 hi-hats and consists of a special adapter and a Gibraltar SC-DC Quick Release Hi Hat Drop Clutch.

The clutch is simple to fit. You remove the stock Roland collar and fit the clutch holder to your hi-hat pull rod in the closed position. You then align and tighten the Gibraltar part. It literally takes a couple of minutes and you’re ready to play. No need for any recalibration or adjustment and, as an added bonus, the replacement assembly actually stops the top hat from rotating.

To lock the hats, simply push the lever – either with your finger or with a stick -  and to release, press the pedal.

While it’s designed for movable Roland hats, the clutch could work with other e-hats with a standard rod assembly. That said, it was not compatible with the special mounts of the NFUZD, 2Box or GoEdrum hats on our test bed.

It sells for $65 and is available from AxeTrak or on eBay.

TripStick Pro

I stumbled across the TripStick Pro when looking to upgrade my mesh head rebound test rig. Alas, it didn’t quite meet that need, but it’s an interesting drumming accessory worthy of a closer look.

The official description is “a spring-loaded adjustable delay stick offering a kaleidoscope of endless rhythmic possibilities”. Think of TripStick as an extra hand when you’re playing.

The first impression is that the TripStick is a thoroughly engineered piece of gear, with an intricate mounting system designed to attach the ‘beater’ to the shell of a drum. It’s highly adjustable, and if you can’t get it into the correct position using the standard mount, you can remove part of the hardware and attach it to a cymbal stand.

The main body has a shaft into which you position a stick (or a brush or mallet). The height can be adjusted to create louder or softer hits, and the rebound can also be finely tuned.

If this sounds complicated, using the TripStick is quite the opposite. The extra stick rests on the head and basically bounces when you hit the head with your regular strikes. So, you hit once and the TripStick is bounced onto the head, doubling your stroke. It can be adjusted to play the most subtle ghost strokes or full-force hits – and everything in between. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the device, giving you the option of a single rebound or multiple, delayed strikes.

Inventor Pete Asarisi claims the TripStick can be played on any surface, and it was certainly at home on electronic drums and cymbals. It was very responsive on mesh heads and on rubber e-cymbals, and lived up to his promise of expanding the kaleidoscope of drumming nuances.

 Asarisi is working with digitalDrummer to design a version for mesh head rebound testing, but that project actually requires undoing much of the precision control he has built into his regular line. We’ll keep you posted about that, but in the meanwhile, we’ll continue to enjoy the extra speed and variety delivered by the TripStick.