ProLogix All-N-1 Russ Miller Signature Practice Pad

ProLogix All-N-1 Russ Miller
Signature Practice Pad
>>Way Beyond “Tap, Tap, Tap”
by Chap Ostrander
KEY NOTES
• Great playing response
• Well conceived to offer
multiple practice options
E
veryone needs to practice. The question is, how, where, and when? Some practice pads make so
much noise that they can be as annoying to others as live drums. And if you’re a teacher using such
pads in a lesson situation, you often have to shout to be heard above them. ProLogix has an answer. Let’s
see if it’s your answer.
• Pricey for a single pad
More Than Meets The Eye
The All-N-1 Russ Miller Signature Practice Pad is a 13"-diameter red gum-rubber pad atop a 3/4"-thick
Baltic birch base. A raised rim around the pad is made from the same rubber as the pad surface. A nonslip disk on the underside of the base keeps the pad in place on a tabletop or your lap. The pad’s 13"
diameter lets it sit comfortably on a 13" drum, while a thoughtfully placed Hoop Groove around the bottom of the base allows it to sit on top of the rim of a 14" drum. Three
Russ Miller’s Brush Maps and Groove Wedge add
cutouts around the circumference of the pad accommodate
instructional and sonic options to the All-N-1 pad.
the arms of a snare stand basket.
The red playing surface of the pad offers
pretty low-volume response. A blue muffling
disk can be placed over this surface, lowering the volume even more. The disk
also reduces stick rebound, turning the
unit into more of a chops-building
pad.
The ProLogix pad was originally designed by drummer/inventor Jason Edwards. Then Russ
Miller got involved and made
A Remo FiberSkyn 3 drumhead
insert provides an excellent
brush surface.
The red playing surface
is made of gum rubber
for quick rebound.
The blue muffle insert reduces stick
sound significantly. It also reduces
rebound, turning the pad into a
“chops exerciser.”
Reprinted by permission of
Modern Drummer Publications, Inc. © 2007
some significant contributions. These include a Remo Fiberskyn 3
“drumhead” insert that makes a great surface for brush practice. The
sound of the brushes is very apparent, making the practice effective.
Russ also worked on Brush Maps, which are solid inserts (sold separately) that fit over the primary pad. The Maps contain working diagrams
that show the placement and direction of eight different brush patterns.
Color coding identifies the right and left hands, and arrows indicate the
direction for playing the pattern. The Maps cover a range of musical
some practice pads). The rubber
rim on the All-N-1 pad stands
up solidly and invites all
manner of rim work,
including the Johnny
Rabb freehand technique.
The Brush Maps
proved to be an
effective means of
communicating brush
patterns to my students. It’s difficult
to teach brush
work when stuThe D-Lux carrying bag can contain the pad
dents don’t have
and all inserts for easy portability. It can also
some kind of
accommodate sticks and accessories.
example they
can watch and emulate on their own. The Brush Maps put the
brush strokes right in front of them and guide them through the
patterns. The ProLogix Web site indicates that more artists are
getting involved with the pad, which could mean more Brush
Maps in the future.
Bagging It
In addition to the All-N-1 pad, ProLogix also offers the DLux 16" Traveling Practice Pad Bag. It’s roomy enough to take
the pad and several lesson books, with foam-lined pockets for
storing the Brush Maps and the blue and brush inserts. A stick
pocket on the outside easily holds several pairs of sticks and
brushes. A deeper square pocket can take keys, cell phones,
metronomes, and other items. The carrying handle is padded
for comfort, and there’s a shoulder strap as well. A plastic
insert protects the bottom of the bag.
Wrap-Up
Eight Brush Maps are available as a separate set.
styles and feels, and they provide practical instruction to the novice
brush player. A video produced by Russ for the Prologix Web site
demonstrates all the Brush Map patterns.
Russ’s involvement in the All-N-1 pad’s design also called for two
drumkey screws that attach his Yamaha Groove Wedge (sold separately). If you want to practice clave, cascara, or cross-sticking, this is your
accessory. The cool thing is that once you’ve mastered the patterns on
the pad, you can then take the Wedge off and add it to your drumset.
I enjoyed working with the All-N-1 pad. It was big enough to place
between my student and me so that we could both play on it. And the
sound level was such that I could speak and be heard while we were
playing. The sound created by the wooden base was satisfying to work
with, and the response of the pad and the rim made that work easy.
The blue insert was great for working finger exercises and for muscle
building, and the Brush Maps were very helpful for instructing students
in brush basics.
The All-N-1’s price may seem a little steep for a single pad. But the
pad is really a complete system, with quite a bit of versatility to offer. As
such, it’s almost a must for teachers or players with a dedicated practice
regimen. Get one and you’ll get some serious practicing done.
It Ain’t Just Tapping
My favorite aspect of the ProLogix pad system was the sound of the
pad itself. I loved the resonance of the wood base, especially when the
pad was suspended on a snare stand. When the pad was placed on a
snare drum, the Hoop Groove made a great connection, and I could
moderate the snare tension on the drum to achieve the desired sound.
The red surface provided a great practice tool. Of equal value was the
rim. I love being able to practice stick patterns involving rimshots without having my ears pierced by the sound of a plastic rim (as found on
THE NUMBERS
All-N-1 Russ Miller Signature Practice Pad . . . . . .$149.99
Includes Fiberskyn and blue muffle inserts
Eight signature Russ Miller Brush Maps . . . . . . . . . . . .$35
D-Lux 16" Traveling Practice Pad Bag . . . . . . . . . . . .$170
Yamaha Groove Wedge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$65
www.prologixpercussion.com
Reprinted by permission of Modern Drummer Publications, Inc. © 2007
NOVEMBER 2007 • MODERN DRUMMER
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