ddrum promises ‘big things’

UPDATE: August 2, 2022: Evan Rubinson has been “removed from his role as CEO/President of Armadillo Enterprises”. This was announced in a letter to staff and customers by Pam Rubinson, owner Armadillo Enterprises. It is not clear whether this change will impact on the details below.

With two e-drum releases in recent months, ddrum is promising to step up its activity in the market segment from which it arose.

American distributor Armadillo took over the Swedish e-drum pioneer in the early 2000s, hoping to capitalise on the solid reputation which had been growing since 1983.

Over the years, the brand has become synonymous with external, clip-on triggers which enjoyed huge support as the company branched out into acoustic drums.

Armadillo CEO Evan Rubinson appreciates his father’s thrust to get the brand onto big stages through famous artists like Carmine Appice and Vinnie Paul who became the faces of ddrum acoustics.

“Although I see a lot of merit in that mentality, I have a slightly different approach, as I appreciate the ddrum brand for what it is – a historically, standout electronic brand,” says the current company boss.

Now is a good time to embrace electronic and hybrid drums. “As you can imagine, the proportion of sales of e-drum products is significantly greater in large cities like New York, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc., as they have limited space for drum equipment, not to mention restrictive noise ordinances and potentially unhappy neighbours,” says Rubinson. “For these types of locations, we see e-drum products edging out acoustics by close to 30%. That being said, territories with a bit more space tend to consume more acoustic drums than city dwellers, but we see e-drums still outperforming acoustics by close to 10% in these areas as well.”

Despite the flood of offerings from large and small competitors, ddrum triggers are still trusted by touring drummers, with the company recently releasing a Vinnie Paul tribute trigger pack of the exact configuration he uses on tour.

There have been a few upgrades to the basic triggers over the years, but Rubinson stresses his “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy.

“That being said, over the last three years, we have been diligently working on updating the aesthetic, design and functional features of two of our leading triggers, in an effort to combine the best of both worlds into a totally new package. The new trigger will feature a brand-new transducer, an updated aesthetic design, a quarter-inch jack (as opposed to XLR) and a few small surprises to boot,” he points out.

The next step will be to “embrace ddrum’s full potential across the acoustic and electronic drum categories”, according to Rubinson. “We have been working on a module to succeed the ddrum 4SE which was, and still is, one of the most famous and widely used modules in the world,” he says, adding the new version will be “bigger, better, superior in every way”.

digitalDrummer first heard of ddrum’s plan to step it up at NAMM a few years back, but progress has clearly been slow.

“To develop a truly remarkable module that has the capability to outdo the 4SE – which is largely considered to still be the market leader 20 years later – takes immense time and effort to perfect. This is a key focus of ours currently, and I think everyone will be very impressed when we are finally ready to unveil it,” Rubinson promises.

Pushed for further details, he remains tight-lipped: “I’m not at liberty to say much, but here’s my teaser: we are utilising a cutting-edge, US-developed, military technology that will be incorporated into a couple of our new e-drum products. Let your imagination run wild. We are in the final testing stages, so stay tuned for a 2023 update.”

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