RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Product Showcase — November 2020

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Nov 04, 2020

    gigKAT2 with malletKATKAT PERCUSSION
    MalletKAT 8.5 with gigKAT 2 Controller 
    The malletKAT 8.0 has been using a controller process that has been around for a very long time, hooking into a laptop in order to control the malletKAT, and to adjust, program, and store sounds, patches, and settings. Now, KAT Percussion has announced that you can ditch that bulky laptop. The malletKAT 8.5 comes with the new gigKAT 2 controller module. The gigKAT2 has 256 voices of polyphony and can play simultaneously on all 16 MIDI Channels. Just call up the User Kit on the malletKAT and enjoy. Included in the sound set are many vibes, marimbas, timpani, steel pan, chimes, bells, xylophone, crotales, and orchestral and Latin hand percussion and drum sets. KAT Percussion has also updated the playing surface to NuBAR pads, which provide better response and feel. The NuBAR pads are UV resistant, making the malletKAT 8.5 an optimal choice for outdoor performance use.

    The gigKAT 2 sounds are in addition to the 127 Factory Setups designed to work with General MIDI sound Modules and 127 programmable User Setups that include features like splitting, layering, poly/mono modes, and more that come standard with every malletKAT model. All models also incorporate FSR technology, delivering superb feel and response. The MalletKAT is an expressive and powerful alternative to traditional marimba and vibraphone instruments.

    “The gigKAT 2 fundamentally changes the setup and the scope of the malletKAT,” says Mario DeCiutiis. “Existing malletKAT users will not be left out in the cold. Anyone with a malletKAT 4.0 or newer can upgrade to the new gigKAT 2 module with the purchase and installation of a moderately priced new chip.”

    There are three models in the MalletKAT 8.5 line. The MalletKAT Express offers a compact and lightweight 2-octave design, which can be expanded to 4 octaves. The MalletKAT Pro offers a 3-octave design and can be expanded to 4 or 5 octaves. And the MalletKAT Grand offers a standard lightweight 4-octave design that can be expanded to 5 octaves.

    For more information, visit

    KHS LuminoteKHS
    Luminote Instruments
    Luminote instruments are colorful, engaging, high-quality percussion instruments for musicians of all ages. Their modern designs feature enhanced comfort grips, vibrant contrasting colors, and easy-to-clean and sanitize plastic materials. Luminote instruments provide a rich, creative experience and encourage deeper musical interaction, whether at home or school, in the studio or on stage.

    The Luminote Maracas have a slim, ergonomic design with flexible shock absorbers inside the handle that make playing comfortable and fun. Play lots of crisp, high, and low-shaking beats or tap the shell to maximize sound effects.

    The Luminote egg shaker pair include one red and one blue egg that are modern in design, easy to hold, and produce a variety of sounds.

    The Luminote blue agogo with an innovative, ergonomic design features a pair of durable resonator boxes in different sizes connected to a comfortable handle. Play samba-styled high and low percussion beats, rhythms, and endless sound effects. Includes built-in mallet storage.

    The Luminote red vibrashaker is light weight and comfortable to hold and play. The sturdy handle provides an easy and balanced grip. Strike the ball against the palm of hand for vibrating sound effects. The resonating chamber features metal hammers that produce deep, rich sounds.

    The Luminote tambourine is light and sturdy with quality jingles and an easy comfort grip. An pair of internal shock absorbers connect the handle to the rim, providing an improved playing experience with less impact on the wrist, and the hollow handle serves as a resonator box. Adjust and balance the high-low pitch with fingers, creating endless whispering jingling effects.

    The Luminote drum shaker is easy to play with a wide spectrum of sound effects. Vary the sound by finger movements over the shaker’s head. Modern design enables one-handed playing with an easy grip.

    The Luminote guiro is comfortable to hold and durable. A unique design produces a wide variety of sound effects by scraping, tapping and pressing on the flexible body. Mallet is secured with built-in holder.

    The Luminote six-piece percussion stage pack is perfect for use at home, in the classroom, or on stage. Perfect for adding percussion effects to your musical performances. This stage pack comes complete with storage bag.

    Roland TR06 drROLAND
    Three Models Added to TR Drum Machine Series 
    Roland welcomes three new instruments to the TR drum machine family. Based on the TR-8S, the TR-6S Rhythm Performer delivers next-generation TR performance in a compact and affordable package. The TR-06 Drumatix is the latest addition to the Roland Boutique series, blending the sounds and workflow of the ’80s-era TR-606 hardware with modern enhancements. Also based on the TR-606, the TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer expands Roland Cloud’s Legendary series with another renowned TR instrument. 

    TR drum machines have driven music culture for decades, forming the backbone of hip-hop, pop, and electronic styles and defining the sound of multiple genres and subgenres. Roland continues to honor the historic legacy of the TR series and expand the product family, offering both modern recreations and innovative new instruments that bring fresh, creative possibilities to today’s musicians, producers, and DJs.

    The TR-6S delivers the same speaker-pummeling, window-rattling, body-moving sound of its bigger sibling. It features a 6-track sequencer and the most iconic rhythm sounds in music history, all in a battery-powered box that fits just about anywhere. Authentic recreations of legendary Roland drum machines like the 808, 909, 707, 606, and more are included, and users can mix and match them with preset and custom samples and futuristic FM tones to create exotic hybrid kits. 

    The sound of modern music owes a lot to the classic step sequencer, and the “TR-REC” variety found in early Roland drum machines in particular. The TR-6S employs the same tried-and-true approach, elevated with real-time recording and modern enhancements. And with an array of expressive effects, users can take their rhythm tracks to new levels. The TR-6S is a high-quality USB audio/MIDI interface too, perfect for mobile or minimal production setups.

    The TR-06 is a detailed replica of the Roland TR-606 Drumatix from the 1980s, with some major modern upgrades. This new Roland Boutique version captures the distinctive tone and iconic look of the original while reimagining it with bold new sound-crafting potential. Users can control tuning, decay, and pan for each instrument or crank up the internal gain for each circuit model and push it into warm overdrive or aggressive distortion. An onboard compressor adds fullness and punch, while the tempo delay creates depth and space.

    Like the original, the TR-06 has a familiar and straightforward step sequencer, but it’s been updated with advanced features like sub-steps for ratcheted parts, step-loop for instant pattern slicing, and more. With five trigger outputs and a trigger input, the TR-06 integrates nicely with modular setups. It's a high-quality USB audio interface too and features battery operation and a built-in speaker for production on the go. 

    With the TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer, the underground ’80s classic is now available as a plug-in for DAW music production. The software version has the same sound and behavior of the original, plus powerful new features that virtually modify the circuitry for more sound choices and faster, more fluid programming.

    Like the TR-06 hardware, the TR-606 plug-in offers tuning, decay, and pan on each instrument and the ability to overdrive the internal circuitry. The step sequencer has been expanded with lanes for each sound, and each pattern has eight variations plus adjustable flams, sub-steps, and soft hits.

    Users can pair the TR-8S or TR-06 with the TR-606 and enjoy the benefits of easy hardware and software integration. Patterns can be shared between the TR-8S and TR-606, and the TR-06's knobs are pre-mapped to the plug-in for intuitive, hands-on workflow.

    The TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer, along with all instruments in the Legendary series, is included with the Ultimate membership level of Roland Cloud. All paid levels—including Core and Pro—start with a free 30-day trial of Ultimate. In addition, any Roland Account holder can purchase Lifetime Keys for individual Legendary series titles.

    To learn more about the TR-6S, TR-06, TR-606, and Roland Cloud, visit

  • Product Showcase — October 2020

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Oct 14, 2020

    BSP soundart drum

    SoundArt Snare System Update
    Black Swamp has released an update to their SoundArt snare system, featuring the new Arch Throw. The original SoundArt Strainer was the first trio snare system directly integrated into the throwoff, giving players accurate and unprecedented control of snare-unit tension.

    The updated Arch Throw functions exactly the same, but with a modern, stylish design. The shape matches the existing arch-style tube lugs, with a universal adjustment knob now on the strainer side. Adjustment knobs have also been updated, along with the wire-wound snare unit now placed in the center of the drum.

    The updated throw is available on SoundArt snare drums  five inches or deeper and the Black Swamp line of Symphonic Field Drums. For full product details, visit

    DW Space Carbon SnaresDRUM WORKSHOP
    Space Carbon Snare Drums
    Drum Workshop Inc. (DW) has introduced the all-new Collector’s Series Space Carbon snares, a sonic alternative to wood and metal snares.

    The versatile properties of carbon fiber have given the composite material a legendary reputation among notable drummers across several musical genres. Its impressive strength-to-weight ratio combined with a non-porous, glass-like reflection make it the perfect snare material to deliver brightness, articulation, volume, projection and dynamic range. Its unique tonal properties offer a completely different sonic quality to that of metal or wood drums.

    Utilizing upcycled, high-grade carbon fiber from private sector space manufacturing, the snares are available in DW’s most popular sizes (6.5x14-inch and 5.5x14-inch), as well as the new Piπ (3.14x14-inch) sizes. Assembled by hand at the California Custom Shop, Space Carbon snares can be ordered in any available hardware color option; choose from chrome, satin chrome, nickel, black nickel, and gold. Professional-grade features include MAG or Mini MAG Throw-Off, 3P (3 Position) butt plate, True-Pitch 50 tuning, True-Hoops, True-Tone Snare Wires, DW Heads by Remo, and more.

    To find out more, visit

    New Play Series Collaboration 
    Native Instruments recently released Butch Vig Drums, a collaboration with renowned drummer and producer Butch Vig, best known as co-founding member of the alternative rock band Garbage and the producer of the seminal albums including Nirvana’s Nevermind, Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, and Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown.

    It is the first in a new line of artist-created Play Series instruments, bringing the signature sounds of world-famous music producers together into intuitive and inspiring instruments with great-sounding presets and real-time control.

    The sounds of Butch Vig Drums were recorded at United Recording’s iconic Studio A in Hollywood, then further processed through a bespoke selection of analog and digital preamps, compressors, stompboxes, and more at Vig’s home studio GrungeIsDead. Expect hard-hitting drums, grooves, and FX presets created by one of rock music’s most influential producers, with hands-on control for easily programmed drum tracks that work in a variety of styles.

    Butch Vig Drums includes 21 individual drum kits, each with 16 one-shots created using Butch Vig’s distinctive approach to percussive sound design. Each kit also comes with 16 preset MIDI patterns, which can be triggered using a MIDI controller or edited within any DAW using drag-and-drop technology. All sounds can also be further processed using a range of powerful Kontakt insert and send effects.

    For more information, visit

    New Yorker Gets a Fresh Look
    Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP) has announced 2020 updates to their compact, portable, and versatile line. Created especially for the on-the-go drummer, New Yorker Series drums are a recommended choice for students, working drummers, and players looking for a simplified setup that won’t sacrifice sound.

    The lightweight PDP New Yorker four-piece kit has been re-designed to have an even more compact footprint. New for 2020 is a smaller, 14x16-inch bass drum and slightly larger 5x14-inch snare drum to go with the 8x10-inch mounted tom and 12x13-inch floor tom. The new configuration is ideal for local gigs, rehearsal spaces, and home studios. Also new for 2020 are three new durable laminate finishes: Pale Rose Sparkle, Electric Green Sparkle, and Black Onyx Sparkle.

    PDP Brand Manager, Rob Dean, commented, “The 16-inch kick is a blast to play and can do so many things with different head combos and muffling techniques. Poplar is a soft wood, so it works well for these smaller sizes. And when we first showed them at NAMM, we were excited to see the reaction from younger drummers when they saw these cool new finishes.”

    The travel-friendly sets are fitted with low-mass, Teardrop Mini Turret lugs, DW True-Pitch Tuning, a versatile bass drum mount with auxiliary clamp and Remo drumheads. A bass drum lifter is included for optimal pedal placement and beater height. Designed in California by DW, the kits feature all-poplar wood shell construction with “soft” 45-degree bearing edges that deliver a warm, punchy tonality.

    To find out more about the revised PDP New Yorker kit and all the other PDP drums and accessories, visit

    Sabian Complex ModelsSABIAN  
    New Complex Models 
    Building on the success of their popular HHX Complex series, Sabian has added four new models, all in odd sizes. “Odd sized cymbals have become a go-to for many players who want to add some non-traditional flavor to their setup,” says Sabian’s Master Product Specialist Mark Love. “In the R&D process for these new models, it became clear that’s where they belonged.”

    The 17- and 19-inch HHX Complex O-Zones are the first odd-sized O-Zones Sabian has introduced, and they fit very nicely into the HHX Complex family. They deliver a dark, explosive attack and are some of the most aggressive effects cymbals Sabian has produced. According to Love, "They also work surprisingly well as go-to crashes."

    The 21- and 23-inch HHX Complex Medium Rides are a perfect blend of old- and new-world craftsmanship. “These odd sized rides are some of the sweetest rides we’ve made to date and have a controlled tone and character that will sit well in any mix. They feature a dual hammering process that brings out the sweet rich tone, while allowing the warm/dark undertone to stay in tune with the stick articulation," says Love.

    All four models are topped off with a heavily hand-hammered bell for a distinct Complex cut.

    Sabian Royalty RideThe Royalty Ride
    What was the ride cymbal that Roy Haynes so masterfully played on Chick Corea’s 1968 album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs? With the gracious permission of jazz great Chick Corea, Sabian was given the rare opportunity to study this cymbal, a gift that he received from Roy himself. Mark Love, Sabian’s Master Product Specialist had one goal in mind: preserve the feel, sound, and integrity of this legendary instrument.

    “We have replicated many vintage cymbals in our Custom Shop over the years. We know what happens to a cymbal over years of use, and the transformation can be dramatic. We record all the obvious visual specs and the way the original is constructed, then decide whether to aim for how the cymbal sounded when it was brand new or as it sounds today, which in this case is over five decades of use. We decided to go for the sweet spot of shortly after the cymbal is broken in. This would ensure the replicas contain some of the original sparkle that can still be heard on Chick’s album, but that would have been lost over time.”

    The 18-inch Royalty Ride is a replica of Chick’s ride, as heard on the revered 1968 recording. Sabian will be introducing this legendary re-creation to market in a limited quantity of 250. As with all Sabian Limited Edition models, these cymbals will be individually numbered and will include a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Chick Corea.

    For more information, visit

  • Product Showcase — September 2020

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 02, 2020

    DRUM WORKSHOP DW Pi Space Carbon
    Pi Snare Drum

    Drum Workshop Inc. (DW) is launching a new custom Collector’s Series piccolo snare drum with a new size inspired by π, the mathematical constant known throughout the scientific and mathematical world. The new Pi Snare Drum is available in any California Custom Shop diameter with a depth of 3.14-inches. Also offered is a 14-inch diameter option constructed from Space Carbon, a high-grade material that is upcycled from private sector space program manufacturing.

    The drum features a newly-designed two-piece mini turret lug that houses independent lug receivers, as well as the compact Mini MAG Throw-Off. The Mini MAG is ideal for snare drums less than 4.5-inches deep and available separately to easily retro fit on any custom-shop snare drum. It features a magnetic drop-style mechanism that keeps the snare wires engaged at all times and can be fine-tuned precisely via the knurled drumkey tension adjustment. In addition, the Universal Mini MAG Throw-Off can be retrofitted to virtually any snare from 4.5 to 8 inches in depth. Other pro-level features on the new Pi snare include DW 3.0 steel True-Hoops, 3P (3 position) Butt Plate, True-Pitch 50 tuning, True-Tone 20-stand snare wires, and DW Drum Heads by Remo.

    Resident DW Drum Designer John Good commented, “We’ve been wanting to engineer some new hardware that would allow us to accommodate shallower depths. Rich Sikra and his design team did an outstanding job on the new lug and Mini MAG. We even designed a new mini Collector’s badge to fit these drums. So many of our top artists are interested in new and unique sounds these days; this new Pi drum has its own sonic character.”

    The surprisingly loud Pi snare possesses a wider than expected tuning range, giving substantial body to its sound for such a shallow drum. Quick and snappy with dry, crisp, clean fundamental tones, it offers an alternate snare voice for drummers and is perfect for an auxiliary snare drum.

    To find out more about the Pi snare, visit

Contact Us

Percussive Arts Society
110 W. Washington Street Suite A 
Indianapolis, IN 46204
T: (317) 974-4488
F: (317) 974-4499