Leather beater

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Anyone here tried a leather bass drum beater?
I saw one at NAMM from a company called Low Boy. I liked the feel and sound when I tried it out, and it's been in the back of my mind ever since.

For many years I've used Danmar Wood Beaters, the red ones that look like candy apples. I loved them, BUT I've had some troubles. They dent my kick heads right away. I've tried all kinds of different impact patches, and even double up on the patched to thicken them. Still get dented heads on first use.
Also, back in august I was doing some gigs and notice that there was a slight buzz sound on impact if my foot wasn't high enough on the pedal or if I wasn't hitting extremely hard. It was subtle, but I could hear it clear in my in-ear mix. It drove me nuts, and eliminated the option for any kind of dynamics in my kick playing that wasn't at 11.

I checked out Low Boy, and they can be a little pricy, especially if what they have in stock isn't appealing and you want to get your beater customized. I tried to customize what my "ideal" beater would be and they turned out to be something like $75 each!

So, plan B...
I went to a local leather store, bought some scraps on the cheap, and glued them to the hard plastic side of the beaters that came stock on my Yamaha pedals. Took them out on the road (along with my Danmar's just in case) and tried them out.

Well, I used them every single night on tour (5 shows in Germany, 3 in the states) and I don't think I'm looking back any time soon. I also ended up using them on week-long recording session (10 songs), and they sound fantastic.
Great punch, wonderful articulation with lower dynamics, no bouncing off the head, no buzz, full control over the pedal.

Just wanted to share, and see if anyone else has used leather before.

I also ended up making my own leather impact patch for my live kit. The leather-on-leather sound is great, but not mandatory. I only used that for 2 shows of the 8, and the difference was minimal. In the studio I just had the regular Aquarian patch, and the leather against it was awesome.
 

Jbravo

Senior Member
Now you’ve got me thinking! I used to hand make gun leather...I flatten my felt beaters fast, but I’m not a fan of wood or hard plastic ones. I’ll have to do a bit of research and see what I can come up with!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm imagining that really thin glove leather would sound better than a piece of belt leather. Why I don't know, it's my imagination.

I'd like to try this as well.

With really thin glove leather.

Not belt leather.

Really thin glove leather.
 

Jbravo

Senior Member
Hey Larry- any idea what kind of leather you’ld like to see used? :)

I’m kinda thinking a felt core wrapped in heavier leather...
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I'm imagining that really thin glove leather would sound better than a piece of belt leather. Why I don't know, it's my imagination.

I'd like to try this as well.

With really thin glove leather.

Not belt leather.

Really thin glove leather.
Judging how quickly I wear down the felt beaters to literally nothing, I can't imagine this would last long at all in thin leather.

What about the reverse, though... Make drum head patches from leather? Easier to replace maybe and works with all your other beater styles?
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Anyone here tried a leather bass drum beater?
Premier made a two way beater that had leather on one side, and a soft fluffy material on the other side back in the 70s. Phil Collins used to use it with Genesis and Brand X. I'm really surprised that no one has made something similar in all this time. They sounded and felt great, and they lasted too.
 

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Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I'm imagining that really thin glove leather would sound better than a piece of belt leather. Why I don't know, it's my imagination.

I'd like to try this as well.

With really thin glove leather.

Not belt leather.

Really thin glove leather.
The leather I used was a bit thicker than glove leather, but not far off. I agree that thick belt leather might be too much. If it's too hard and thick it would probably not be that different from just using the plastic side or a wood beater. It needs some cushion.

Haha... "Hard and thick"
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Haha... "Hard and thick"
...That's what she said. =-D

I could see a baseball glove-type leather being used for durability. Wood just tears up a head too quick, but I suspect felt wrapped baseball glove leather would do a pretty good job.

Maybe a leather pad on one of those Iron Cobra beaters?

I'll try a few experiments and see what I can come up with.
 

Jbravo

Senior Member
Had a little time today, so I cut a leather disk for the beater on my Trick pedal. It’s about 3/16 thick and made out of vegetable tanned leather I had around from when I used to make holsters, etc.

I haven’t had a chance to try it because my honey just went to bed, but I’m hoping it takes the edge off the plastic beater sound. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow...I attached it with carpet tape, so I can remove it if I don’t like it. But that stuff sticks pretty well so it may be enough if I do keep it on.
 

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Jbravo

Senior Member
Update: it sounds really good! Takes the plastic edge off without sounding woofy. It also hasn’t moved at all after about an hour of playing- I think the carpet type will be fine. With every strike it just seats it. On with the long term testing...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
That's a great tip. I'm definitely trying this.

Are you the actual Johnny Bravo I've seen on TV?

Yours is the best avi in my book.

I'm annoyed that I didn't think of it.
 

Jbravo

Senior Member
That's a great tip. I'm definitely trying this.

Are you the actual Johnny Bravo I've seen on TV?

Yours is the best avi in my book.

I'm annoyed that I didn't think of it.
No Larry, I’m the slightly overweight, bald, middle aged Johnny Bravo they won’t let on tv... but I do have moments of obtuseness, and I’m convinced I’ll never understand women including my wife, if that helps. :p
 
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