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15.09.2013 admin
It would be impossible to choose one drum over another in the review set - the choice will come down to style.
All-access interviews, in-depth gear reviews and world-class tuition with the UK's best-selling drum magazine. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Tama has done a fine job of narrowing down the choice of snare drums and, in among these eight SLP snares, you're likely to find at least one to suit. Back in May, we checked out the four metal-shelled snares from Tama's eight-drum Sound Lab Project.
Over the last decade a number of adventurous instrument makers have used steel pans, propane tanks and custom alloy “shells” to create a new breed of melodic percussion: steel tongue drums.
Borrowing design concepts from traditional wood models, steel versions feature “tongues” of varying lengths cut into the top of the drum in a circular pattern.
Each articulation includes between 25 and 40 samples per sampled note, for a total of 3114 samples. User interface controls are available for the Garrahand patches to alter chromatic playing modes to the instrument’s original keys and scale – along with numerous other keys and scales. Support rekkerd.orgIf you appreciate this website, you can become a patron below, or make a donation through PayPal (no account required). Many thanks to James Wiltshire, Richard Hasiba, Pavel Vladykin, and Shannon McDowell for showing their support through Patreon! The ethos of Provenance is to build unique instruments from historically noteworthy reclaimed materials. In his Essex workshop, Provenance's Tim Broughton takes reclaimed materials of fantastically varied provenance and fashions them into unrepeatable instruments.
You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission. Each of the metal SLPs were suitably impressive and though respectably priced, would grace centre-stage alongside snares with a much heftier price tag. From the steel-guitar flavored, Americana-tinged opener The Sea to the elegiac piano-and-strings-laced ballad Josephine to the dramatic, church organ-driven title track closer, it's a stylistic country mile from the widescreen hard rock of Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and The Cult, all of whom have been powered by Sorum's robust, world-class drum chops."I've always loved singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, people who can take you right inside their feelings," he explains. The drum is placed in the percussionist’s lap and is struck with fingertips for a soft sound, finger pads for a slapped sound, and thumbs for a harder tonal “knock”.
The larger 1Tone is a nine-note model that originates from Israel and is tuned to the “Hitzaz” scale (sometimes written as “Hijaz”) in the key of D. Despite it having only seven tongues, each was individually tuned through the sampling process to make the drum playable in a chromatic fashion. User interface controls are available to control the depth of automatic sample rotation and other humanization features. This month it's the four metal models under the microscope - a review of the wood shelled snares will follow later.

Overtones of adjacent tongues ring sympathetically with the note that is being struck to create complexity of sound.
It has a resonant and “ringy” quality that creates a beautiful droning background to performances. Patches for each drum have been created to automatically switch articulation types based on velocity or modwheel position. I wanted to do something that was straight from my heart, something that I could feel confident about singing at this stage in my life." While Sorum admits that it might take a minute for some of his fans to adjust to the sight of him strumming a guitar and fronting a band (he calls his new outfit Matt Sorum's Fierce Joy), he notes that singing doesn't come unnaturally to him. During much experimentation, Tama's R&D people considered shell composition and thickness, rim style and type, strainer and so on. In search of what Tama describes as the "right snare drum", the firm has spent a great deal of time researching and experimenting with various types of shell, shell thickness and drum hardware. The end result, for what Tama describes as "the keystone of any drummer's sound", is a set of snares with their own unique sonic and visual identity.While there are distinct differences between each model, there are also many common elements. From these 'Lab' experiments Tama has produced eight sonically different drums and, as a guide, categorised them into suggested genres and playing styles.BuildWith its natural maple finish and subtle grain, the Classic Maple is perhaps the most understated of all the drums out of the four. These include the snare throw-off, non-adjustable butt-end, 'hold-tight' tension rod washers and the excellent Evans single-ply batters and snare heads. Tama needed some sort of datum line, which using the same heads ably provides.Of the snares up for review, the two that seem to be closest in terms of build and appearance are the Vintage Steel and Super Aluminium. Like the other two maple models, this also features the retro-styled brass tube lugs, but is fitted with a Starcast die-cast hoop.
Both boast retro-style brass tube lugs and include the newly designed triple-flanged 'Sound Arc' steel hoops. We particularly like the tamo ash outer ply, which is reminiscent of a pattern left in the sand by an ebbing tide - it is a beautifully grained wood.Certainly the odd-one-out of the bunch is the G-Bubinga which is the only drum to have the gun-turret style Starclassic lugs. These were specially developed for the SLP series and feature a small inward-facing top flange.
With its bubinga burl outer and black nickel metal work, the G-Bubinga is absolute eye candy - only to be enhanced by the deep nickel plating. The plating and the snare throw-off is the only common element, shared with the Power Maple. Apart from the slight depth deficiency, the only way to tell each of these apart at a single glance is by the slightly smoky yellow hue of the nickel-plated Vintage shell.The brutish Black Brass and comparatively cute Sonic Steel look so dissimilar it is hard to imagine these models are from the same series. The Midnight burl finish of the Power Maple is also quite beautiful, but this is almost too dark to get the full benefit of that wonderful grain with any clarity.
The brass is the only model not to feature a centre ridge, which coupled with the relatively small Starclassic streamline nut boxes creates an illusion that this drum is much deeper than the Sonic Steel. All the wood models here feature Tama's liner-drive snare throw-off and butt-end, which is adjustable at both ends of the strainer - not just the lever end, as on the metal snares. Upturning the bold as brass model shows off the larger-than-life 42-strand snare strainer - this time however, it is big and that is no illusion!We particularly like the contrast of the brushed nickel of the Sonic Steel's shell against the chrome plating on each of the other metal components.

This adjustment has a ratchet system that avoids the snare strainer slackening off mid-performance. They were made by people together in rooms, cutting to tape – listening to them, it's like you were there.
These include the hi-tension lugs, which form a bridge over the centre ridge, and the triple flanged Mighty Hoops. Each drum has the benefit of Tama's Patented 'Hold Tight' washers - this is a combination of a steel cupped washer housing a rubber ring which butts-up and grips against the drum rim avoiding potential de-tensioning. If I can try to give somebody that same feeling with my music, then I've really succeeded."Matt Sorum's Fierce Joy's Stratosphere will be released on March 11th. With the exception of the plating and the 1" diameter reduction, the hoop design is one of the few similarities with the Black Brass model. Hands onThe first of the four to be played is the 13" G-Maple, which out of the box sounds surprisingly good.
Hands onFresh from the factory, the tension is fairly tight and most of the snares only require the slightest tweak to get the pitch the same at each lug point. Aiming for the sweet-spot centre produces a dry woody crack, then by hitting slightly off-centre, provides only the slightest overtone which is immediately snapped shut, thanks largely to the natural gating effect of the die-cast hoop and smaller diameter. Once cranked up as near pitch-perfect, it's the 5"-deep aluminium drum that is the first to be awarded with a firm wallop. Instantly this gives a powerful and authoritative crack with little or no overtone from the head itself but, just for a split second, a satisfying ring emanates from the shell. Having played around with the tensioning, raising it and then dropping it slightly from its previously table-tight factory pitch, we settled on a pitch where the drum produces a tantalisingly powerful and rich snare sound.After a few whacks upon the Power Maple, we realised this isn't going to sit back in some dark corner. We instantly warm to this drum; it is full of a character that belies its depth - time for some funk!The Vintage Steel has a much fatter and a more open sound than its aluminium cousin, evoking a vibe matching its 'vintage' description. Combining its fundamental power with a well-placed rim-shot across the Sound Arc hoop is akin to firing a double-barrelled shotgun early on a Sunday morning - it will wake everyone!
Its ready acceptance of a wide range of tuning makes this a surprisingly versatile drum, but it's great for those 'loose' songs that require subtle feel, where ghost notes effortlessly flow to gently blend in the gaps and not just some on-the-beat strict quantise.
Playing blisteringly fast is not its bag (think '80s massive snare sounds), perhaps owing to the dampness caused by strainer wires, but it is rather forceful and certainly rocks.Lastly, up in the basket sits the light, subtle-grained Classic Maple, which at first appears far more laid-back than its Power Maple mate.
The Sonic Steel cries out for reggae off-beats, where a sharp tuck into the groove can give a track an amazing lilt.
The Classic is a truly 'classic' sounding wooden snare that seems to respond to all levels of tuning - it's capable of rocking it up or simply taking a laid-back approach and playing some tasty jazz. This drum rocks: it is deep and dark and demands to be struck loudly with little finesse and where the double pedals go into overdrive.

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