Welcome to back to the podcast! This week we have a very special guest on the show, Mike Martin. Mike is the Founder and owner of Predator Percussion. Mike specializes in the crafting of custom segmented stave snare drums.
Kevin and Richard had the opportunity to test out some snare drums from Predator Percussion which they will be reviewing for you today. Rich and Kev received two completely different snares, but the overall consensus is same. They Kick Ass!
1:30 – 8:00 – After Richard introduces Mike and Predator Percussion we jump right into what started the idea of Predator. For Mike, it all started after an injury on the job that limited Mikes playing behind the kit. Mike has always refurbished his drum kits throughout the years, so it just seemed natural that he started making his drums. Even as a teenager Mike would look through the Trader for materials to create drums since he didn’t have the funds to buy the newest gear back in ’84.
8:00 – 13:00- It wasn’t until the 7×13 Walnut snare that Mike had donated to his local church and met his partner, that Mike knew he wanted to turn this hobby into a business.
Kevin asks “why stave”? If you have ever played on a stave snare the difference in sound compared to a traditional snare is evident. Stave snares tend to resonate sound from top to bottom. This sound happens because each segment is glued together vertical creating an easier pathway for the sound waves to travel. Mike had originally started stave construction out of necessity but continues it because of its outstanding results.
13:00 – 17:30- Kevin who has expressed lots of interest in wanting to start learning how to make stave snares says that of all the ways to make a drum stave might be the easier route as far as the equipment needed to start the process. Mike invests a lot of math into his construction of a drum since everything has to be within hundreds of an inch to correctly line up and achieve the perfect symmetry to be able to start the stave process. Even tho creating a snare with this process might require less equipment it is in no way an “easier” process. Mike does prefer the stave method because it produces more undertone in the finished product.
17:30 – 20:00- Now the snare reviews! Mike will break down the specs of each of the drums starting with Kevin’s. After the specs, have been given Kevin and Richard will provide us with their feedback about the experiences they had with these beautiful snares.
Specs for Kevin’s stave snare:
Walnut Stave Snare with Satin finish 7×14 walnut*
- 7/16 thickness
- Double 45° bearing edge on batter side
- Black/Satin fade finish
- Black nickel tube lugs and die-cast hoops
- RCK throw off
- Evans heads and PureSound snare wires
*The wood was reclaimed from a bank in Louisville, KY!
20:00 – 30:00- Kev’s Review: After impatiently waiting, Kev received his snare in time for practice with his heavier band Sharptooth! Out of the box, this snare had a medium-tight tuning, but given the room size of the rehearsal space Kevin tightened up the tuning to help it cut through the bands mix a bit more. The projection of this snare is off the charts in a good way! Kevin played a few shows with this snare unmixed. Even without the mics, this baby was ringing throughout the venue. The beauty and craftsmanship of this drum make it stand out on its own, but the real perk to the drum is its response and versatility. Tuned high it cuts like a sword and can hold any tuning you throw at it. This Predator Percussion snare is the first experience Kevin has had with a walnut shell and based on this it will not be his last.
30:00 – 42:00- Richards stave snare Specs:
African Padauk Stave Snare with clear finish
- 7×13 African Paddock
- ¼ thickness with milled in re-rings
- Double 45° bearing edge
- Sphere legs with chrome die-cast hoops
- RCK throw off
- Clear finish over the natural wood
- Evans heads with PureSound snare wires
Richard’s review: Although Richard did not have as much play time with his drum he did get to use it in some great settings. Richard tuned his snare low and by low, I mean lower than he normally would since this snare deep. Richard brought this snare when he practiced with Evan Ryans and Jessica Bordeaux and was able to explore the dynamic range and playability more. The response and cut of this snare even at a low tuning produce the sound that Rich has always looked for in a snare with the added advantage of showing Rich that it’s easier to tune drums with attention to detail.
42:00 – 55:00- Before closing the show Richard talks with Mike about a new drum build the two have been collaborating. The collaboration that has been going on between Rich and Mike is something that Mike does with every customer he gets. If Mike is making your drum he prides himself in finding out exactly what sound you desire and takes every possible avenue to achieve it. Since custom drums are more an investment Mike makes sure that each client is completely satisfied with the look, sound, and overall feel of your drum before moving to the final step.
Richard ended up with a 7×14 Red Oak stave snare with a charcoal stain with a lacquer finish on top.
Thanks for tuning into this week’s show! Thank you, Mike Martin for allowing us to test and review your amazing Stave Snares. It was an honor to hear how Mike has grown his hobby into a serious business.
Be on the lookout for the new predator percussion website being built by Richard and his team at the Digital Sync
Links for Predator Percussion
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