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Old 11-28-2012, 03:42 AM
dkerwood's Avatar
dkerwood dkerwood is offline
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Default Mounted slapstick?

Hey, guys, I'm playing in a community orchestra as the only percussionist. I do enjoy the challenge of performing the entire percussion section alone, but I've run into a problem with "Sleigh Ride."

I'm sitting at my set, playing bass with my right foot, sleigh bells with another bass pedal on my left, snare with my left, and temple blocks with my right. At one point, I need to use the slapstick to create the "whip" sounds in the piece, but I haven't had much luck figuring it out.

I have access to a small one handed (spring loaded) slapstick, but it's too small and not loud enough to cut through. I tried a larger manual slapstick, but I couldn't pick it up fast enough. I tried slamming it shut on a percussion table, but I got the sound of the impact on the table as much as the crack. I'm thinking maybe to put some cushion underneath- I'll try that next rehearsal.

I guess my question is- has anybody thought about and solved this before me? Is there a mounted version? A nice design that I can make myself? Thoughts?
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:41 AM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Mounted slapstick?

Haven't seen a mounted version, it's one of those things that really requires a motion, not just pulling the spring-loaded panel back.

I've done my share of orchestral work, and would normally always strive to play everything manually. If there aren't enough hands, try to recruit someone from another section who's not playing that piece, or has a free hand when the slapstick needs to be played.

But if you're really strapped for covering the parts, technology can come to the rescue. The Alesis Sample Pad will playback up to 14mb of CD quailty mono samples (after all, aren't most percussion instruments actually mono?) Just get/create the samples you need, sleight bells too, triangle, whatever, and load them into the pad. You can play up to 4 samples per preset, and I think there are 8 presets. Of course you'll need a small amp, but it would solve your problem, and allow you to play snare and the pad at the same time. Price on the Sample Pad is $199, and a suitable small amp is around $125. Just don't run any major dums through it, but it'll be fine for mid-ranger and high-end sounds like a slapstick!

When not using it for the orchestra, it integrates well with the kit gfor tambourine, shakers, sfx, etc. :)

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:02 AM
jakester jakester is offline
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Default Re: Mounted slapstick?

have you thought about miking the small spring loaded whip. I'm pretty you already have a pa system at the venue ask the sound engineer to mike it for you. But the sampler pad wouldn't be a bad idea either, instead of an amp you could hook it up the the pa system
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