Wood Bass Drum Beater.


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 Outlaw Drums is proud to present a Revolutionary new design in kick drum beaters that will get you noticed!  Using End grain boards much like chopping blocks, gives a harder, deeper sound. Each comes with a Polished Stainless Steel rod, Plus a replaceable felt pad. The wood is born of the same first generation heart pine wood; The wood that has become the signature of the company, these Hammers provide a larger kick presence than ordinary felt beaters. The Hammers incorporate two different angled impact sides that provide two different impact results.  One side remains round while the other is angled on a perfect 9 Degrees to meet the kick drum head straight on.  Meeting the kick head “straight on” provides maximum coverage and contact with the head, increasing the effect on the strike-zone.  Utilizing an angled beater also extends the life of the drum head. Buy it once, play it forever with Lifetime Warranty!! To buy click HERE

Just being around this old lumber feels like it’s telling you a story of where it’s been. Even when the saw blade starts to cut the wood, the fragrance of the wood fills the air, and you can’t help but wonder about the lives touched by this lumber. Every piece is different in its own way. Some with old bolt and nail holes with the square holes left from the old cut nails. Others still have the original saw kerfs. These unique boards are one-of-a-kind and when they are gone they are gone. It takes about 80 years for the wood to gain that reddish color. It’s getting harder and harder to find. Old tobacco barns, plantation homes, mills or bridges, built before the 1900’s, are about the only places you can find it.

The process of reclaiming this wood can be painstaking. The collection of these boards has to be carefully executed and every board has to be checked with a metal detector to ensure that no nails are hit with the planer knives. Because of the slow growth rate, Long leaf pines were not replanted. Lumber cut today is referred to as new heart pine. 


What does pine wood sound like?

The sound that pine makes!

We were sent two Outlaw snares to review with Modern Drummer, an eight-lug 6×13 in “chestnut glaze” finish, built from the Wilder timber, and a ten-lug 5×14 in “reborn blueberry,” reclaimed from a nineteenth century home that was torn down in 2013.  Both drums feature chrome tube lugs, triple-flange chromed steel hoops, a Dunnett three-position roto-style throw-off, an Evans G1 Coated batter and Snare Side 300 bottom, and PureSound snare wires (twenty strands on the 13″ drums and sixteen strands on the 14″). The stave-style shells of these drums are thick and cut with sharp bearing edges. The exteriors of the shells are painstakingly finished to maintain a rustic look and textured feel that hearken back to the buildings from which the drums are built.
    The 6×13 has one of the original nails in the shell, and the vent is actually a 1″ bolt hold. The 5×14 drum has a cool-looking blue/chestnut finish on the inside and outside of the shell that was applied meticulously by hand to match the weathered look of the building from which it was build. Outlaw’s .125″-thick “forest guard” metal badges are modeled after the shield worn by the U.S. Forest Service, which was established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 to preserve the country’s natural wonders. All of these features combine to give Outlaw snare drums a world-class appearance with a lot of history and vibe.
    Sonically, both drums were bright and snappy with strong articulation and nice snare response. The 13″ turned out to be the more versatile of the two. It sounded very lively and popping tuned very tight, while a medium tuning brought out an open, all-purpose voice. Lower tunings produced a fat and punchy sound with a nice pitch bend in the sustain. The 5×14 had a similar overall tone, but it performed  best at medium and lower tunings, where the natural brightness of the thick pine shell was counter-balanced by the depth and punch created when the heads were at a lower pitch. Even detuned all the way, this drum still had a strong, sizzling presence. No muffling was required on either snare during our testing.
    Outlaw also uses smaller pieces of reclaimed timber to make wooden bass drum beaters, and custom snare racks are available. Drum collectors, take note!
Michael Dawson

Outlaw Drums

Outlaw Drums Heritage Series

When Michael Outlaw first decided to try using building-reclaimed lumber from a centuries old building, he, by chance, chose the original estate remains of a former Confederate veteran.  That soldier, Charles Edward Wilder, enlisted in the 17th GA Infantry, part of Benning’s Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia.  Upon returning from the War, Wilder built his home from the wood of the native pine trees that grew on his land.

At that time, those trees were over 200 years old, dating back to the 1600’s.  Trees of this age and type provide extremely hard and dense wood with a very tight grain pattern.  Taking up residence in a building for 150 or more years would also provide even-curing and drying to that old timber.

With all that in mind, it made perfect sense to me that those historical origins should not be forgotten, but rather, celebrated.  I suggested to Michael that he should make a special set of drums celebrating those early roots by embedding Civil War Era bullets into the shells alongside all-else that makes Outlaw drums so special.

Putting our minds together, it was decided to make the first drums a matching set of snare drums.  We took into consideration that many aspects of the drum design should there-fore be mathematically kindred in order to achieve balanced, complimentary instruments.  That philosophy played out well.  The Primary Snare measured 6” x 14” with ten tube lugs, the Secondary Snare at 6” x 10”, had six tube lugs.  Construction of the shells was to be a stave design with reinforcing rings for added strength.  Michael uses what I think is a very interesting bearing edge that seems like his own “hybrid” approach, falling somewhere between a rounded vintage edge and something more modern.  Whatever he considers it, I have to feel that along with everything else he does, helps to creative that “Outlaw Sound.”

Both drums were made from the same board of reclaimed lumber.  In doing so, we would absolutely know that they were of the same tree and survived under the same conditions.  The idea was to timbre-match the drums as close as possible, making them a matched set.

Hardware for both drums was employed with the same strategy.  The 2.3 mm counter hoops, retro tube-lugs and air vent, were all black nickel-plated.  Matching Trick 3-position snare strainers and butts were mounted along with PureSound Snares.  Outlaw Drums impressive maker’s badge that mimics the U. S. Forrest Services badges rounded out the metal parts.

For these first two drums of the series, I was able to find a set of Civil War Era bullets that matched as close to the specs that the drums were designed too.  All four bullets were wood-struck:  two hit dead-on, producing a mushroom shape, the other two hit at about a 45 degree angle.  Two of them were Confederate and two were Union bullets.  This would allow me to place one Confederate and one Union bullet to a drum, each with a different configuration.

To finish off the design, we went with a rough wood exterior and an aged white and blue plaint motif to give that weathered look that harkens back the history of an old building.  Showing through the weathered paint is the bare, natural wood, again exemplifying the age of the wood and the building it must have come from.  A dab of dark, blood red paint was applied around each bullet-strike, to high-light the projectiles.  The blood-color was also added to help represent the terrible cost and history of the conflict.  When all three a hues are taken into consideration, the drums fly the colors of both sides of our History:  red, white, and blue.

How a drum looks is a very important quality in its desirability.  But most importantly, it needs to be a great sounding drum as well.  With Outlaw Drums I certainly have a winner here.  The stave shell construction of hard, aged Heart-Pine wood, gives these drums a very reflective, lively sound.  That “lively” quality is a very controlled openness, void of any unpleasant overtones or ringing.

While being incredibly sensitive, they are earthy and warm, loud and responsive, crisp and deep.  These drums have a powerful presence to them so they won’t be lost in a mix, nor do they have any unpleasant, over-powering tendencies.  Especially well suited for outdoor stages and loud environments, but versatile and sensitive enough for any application.

The secondary snare worked out especially great!  Tuned properly, it’s a higher octave version of the primary snare.  Very effective for accents, effects, or adding grace notes.  When needing to maintain a subtle backbeat, it becomes a thinner, smaller sounding version of an awesome snare drum.

Outlaw Drums Heritage Series brings a lot to the table with these superior instruments.  No detail was over-looked.  For those who identify drums with history, this is something you’ve been waiting for.  For those who just want a really bad-ass set of drums, well, Outlaw has something for you too.  Outlawdrums.com.072916bluedrum