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2007 NAMM Show Report: Drum Roll, Please!
By: Scott Kahn

Unfortunately, our drum editors had extremely limited time at the NAMM show this year, so our coverage isn’t as in-depth as you may have hoped for, but we did find at least some of the coolest stuff happening in the world of sticks and skins, and a lot of it was electronic!

We already mentioned at the start of this report the revolutionary kick drum pedal from Drumnetics that runs on magnets, but that wasn’t all that made loud noise at NAMM. What also impressed us was:

R.E.T. Percussion

R.E.T. Percussion’s electronic drums were fantastic, perhaps because what we saw were drum triggers sporting real acoustic drum heads! Featuring short-depth shells and real heads, these kits felt like the real deal, but with 60 dB of sound dampening inside the shells, they were quiet like you expect electronic drum pads to be.

Particularly cool was one kit connected to a new interface – the Alesis Trigger|io. This USB/MIDI Pad interface acts as the interface to the drum pads and provides a pure digital path from the drum triggers into the host computer supplying sounds from software like BFD and Drums From Hell.

Tama Drums

Tama introduced some amazing drums in their Limited collections. The Starclassic Performer Limited Edition kits featured birch shells and very cool paint jobs. The SuperStar SK and SL Hyper Drive kits featured shallower “fast-response” toms matched to an extra-deep kick drum. Again the colors were hot, and the hardware (Rim-mounted toms, etc.) was top-notch.

Simon Phillips introduced a signature snare drum featuring a composite maple/bubinga/maple shell with modified triple flanged hoops. Visualize Borat admiring the snare, raising his thumbs, and commenting, “Nice.”


We spent some time checking out the sound of Yamaha’s new flagship, the DTXPRESS IV. The drums sound great, and the expandable storage on SmartMedia cards, combined with sampling capabilities, makes it very easy to play with sampled audio material. Fun stuff!

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