Recently, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) was held in Louisville, Ky. A number of Drum Corps International's partners were in exhibit at the event. Over the next few days, we'll spend some time catching up with them and taking a look at what's new in the marching percussion industry. Today we'll take a peak at what Pearl and Yamaha have been up to. Pearl The big news out of the longtime DCI sponsor is the introduction of the Articulite Series, a series of marching drums specifically made for the growing indoor percussion activity or for younger bands with smaller marchers. The most instantly observable feature of this new product line is that the drum shells are cut shorter. Even the bass drums are not as wide as one would traditionally expect (the 14-inch Articulite bass drum is the smallest bass drum Pearl makes). This cuts down on overtones and reduces ringing indoors, as well as contributes to a much lighter weight. The Articulite Series is also expected to sound clearer inside of domed stadiums. The new RM Series of drum carriers do away with traditional carrier vests, are molded to the body and are adjustable all around. Both the RM and MSG series now come in magnesium, which is stronger and lighter than the aluminum carriers. For those on a tighter budget, aluminum carriers are still available. Pearl has also introduced a new chime rack for up to seven extra chimes in the pit and added a new color to its drum shells, brushed silver. Yamaha The Yamaha company has introduced a new 4 and 1/2 octave marimba that extends down to low F to accommodate the increased demand for lower pitched marimbas on the field. The Acoustalon bars in the lower register are wider and thicker for increased durability. The Multi-Frame pneumatic struts make the instrument height adjustable and field worthy. Last year, Yamaha redesigned the marching toms and bass drums with new aluminum lug casings instead of zinc, allowing for more tone with less weight. Consequently, the toms are 50 percent lighter and 12 percent stronger, and the bass drums are 26 percent lighter and 60 percent stronger than before. Like the Pearl Articulate series, the lighter stronger instruments will provide a great advantage to bands with younger performers and band programs that need to maximize the life of their purchase. Tomorrow we'll take a look at the latest fare from Dynasty.
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