Review of RTOM’s Black Hole Drum Mesh Practice Set
If there’s anything to know about drummers, it’s that we’re loud, both behind and away from the kit. But there’s a time and place for noise, and a thin-walled apartment is not one of them. RTOM’s Black Hole mesh practice set is perfect for musicians who want to avoid a complaint for their neighbors and still jam out in the comfort of their own home.
These muted pads maintain the stiff feel of a drum set while producing a fraction of the sound. It’s so quiet that your neighbors wouldn’t even know you were playing unless they saw you. The tension of the mesh pad is adjustable, just like tuning a regular drum, so it can be looser or tighter depending on your preference. They’re also easy to install; you just pop them on top of your kit and start playing, no assembly required.
Of course, the high price will deter many, especially college-aged drummers on a budget. For professionals and anyone playing long-term, though, the investment will pay off in the long run. While they dampen noise, other cheap brands lie directly on the drums heads, meaning they still create more sound than some might be comfortable with. The Black Hole hovers above the drum pads themselves, holding on from the metal rim, meaning there’s no chance for any resonance to shake the drums and make more noise than necessary.
On top of that, the mesh maintains a greater surface tension that allows drumsticks to bounce off the same way they do a regular drumhead. Other mute pads made of foam or plastic tend to cushion them, slowing you down while you play and taking away the stick’s essential rebound that allows you to play faster. These foam pads also can tear easily with use over time, while a few tightening fixes any lost tension the mesh pads have.
However, there is the glaring issue of no cymbal pads. This set is often suggested to be paired with a set of quiet cymbals, which can ramp up the cost an uncomfortable amount. The mesh pads can also be temperamental if you’re a heavy hitter. The kick drum, in particular, is susceptible to collapsing, eating up your time having to tighten the mesh every now and then.
Despite this, their high quality and longevity make the price well worth it if you’re interested in investing in these mesh pads. Once you buy them, they’re with you for the long run.