I am certain that there are many people out there like me who, when the time came for Rock Band 2 to grace our home theatre rooms, did not want to cough up the extra moolah for the new instruments since the original Rock Band peripherals still worked just fine. And, I am also certain that many people have witnessed the newer equipment in action and said to themselves, “If only I could get my drums to sound nice and quiet like the rubberized Rock Band 2 drumset.” I found myself asking this question recently as my makeshift solution (a bunch of rubber bands wrapped around the tip of my sticks) was proving to lack the effect that I was seeking by comparison. So, I began my search for another solution. And that’s when I discovered that there are drum pad add-ons on the market to help reduce the clackity-clack of the original Rock Band drum kits.
At first, I was keen on trying to get my hands on the official Harmonix product. However, after a month of seeing “out of stock” plastered on their site and seeing independent suppliers asking $10 or more above the original retail price of the same product, I opted to seek out another, more cost effective, option. And that’s when I came across www.rockingrepair.com. I placed my order and a week later, voila! Now, having spend a full month with them in action, here’s what I think…
The pads themselves are made with 3/16 open cell neoprene and have a full adhesive coating on the backside to help keep them attached to the kit. They are a dark charcoal colour, which surprisingly improves the aesthetics of the drum kit once in place.
The good news is that they are quite effective at reducing the noise of the drumming significantly. They aren’t quite as effective as the Rock Band 2 drum kit, nor quite as good as the official drum pads from Harmonix. By comparison, I’d say that these third party pads from www.rockingrepair.com reduce the noise about 85% as effectively. However, for the difference in price, I am certainly happy with the result. There is definitely value inherit within their functionality.
In searching the internet for a reasonable solution I discovered many opinions that people who made their own pads or purchased third party products were having trouble with getting the pads to stay in place. Some even had to resort to using industrial strength two-sided tape. Invariably, this would not be good if/when they ever decided to replace their pads. This is where I have more good news about these www.rockingrepair.com pads. They have managed to stay attached to my kit despite my best efforts to beat them senseless. However, I am only good enough on the drums to play at “hard” level. Some experts out there might be more successful at this goal, but I believe that these have some serious staying power.
Here is the only place where I question the quality of the product. Now, before I get into this, let me explain my particular scenario. I currently live in a house with three other guys. As a result, Rock Band being the popular game that it is, my kits (yes, I have two Rock Band drum kits) get used quite a bit more frequently than the average consumers. So, after having these pads in operation frequently for a few weeks now, and for longer stretches of time than most, one of the pads has begun to fray at its contact point. And the strange thing is that it is on the red pad which doesn’t get used nearly as much as the yellow. So, it is my belief that since the yellow pad silencer has taken far more of a beating while remaining perfectly as it arrived to me and the red pad silencer has begun to fray, that it is simply a matter of having received one pad made from slightly weakened material.
The drum silencer pads from www.rockingrepair.com may only do 85% of the job that official pads do, but at one-third the price they can’t be beat. Even in the unlikely scenario that I have to replace them three times over the next 3 years I will have paid the same as the retail versions. And, by then, the game will probably have faded out of popularity or a far better musical rhythm game will have released that will become “all the rage.” But, if you are in the market for this type of product, I highly recommend saving yourself a few dollars and giving www.rockingrepair.com a chance… especially if you are a casual gamer who doesn’t play that often. However, the more hardcore (daily) Rock Band enthusiasts may find themselves needing a replacement or two after a while. Either way, these quality pads are worth a shot. If nothing else, they will tide you over until you can get an official rubberized set at a decent price.