The 4-in-1 drum practice pad from Movement Drum Co. offers flexibility and portability that many other drum pads don’t offer, but it also comes at a slightly higher price. It’s a worthy buy for drummers who want the features it offers, so let’s take a look at what’s good and bad about this one.
Size and Portability
The first thing that most owners will bring up about this drum pad is that it’s not too big and easy portable, while being big enough to be playable at the same time. The pad is 12-inches in diameter, which is 2 inches short of a typical snare drum. The pad is lightweight, and it is frequently mentioned that this is easy to carry around either in backpacks or while traveling.
Compared to some of the bigger, bulkier and heavier drum pads out there, this one strikes a great balance between being big enough to play comfortably but also being able to carry it around with you easily.
The drawback is that it is lighter in weight to some pads, and if you prefer a heavy feeling pad for playing with heavier sticks or needing more mass to hammer on, this might come up short.
What are the 4-in-1 Features?
This pad is advertised as 4-in-1 and here’s how that works:
- The top surface is made from silicon rubber and is designed to feel like a typical snare head for practicing purposes. The top also features a rim, which is made from plastic but is durable during play. The rim is nice because although you might not actually use it when practicing, it forces you to practice with a rim in the way which is good for when you translate your chops to a real snare drum.
- You can flip it over, and there is a slightly softer, more quiet surface on the bottom, but with no rim. This surface is better for if you need to keep quiet or if you want to exercise your chops with a little more muscle.
- A laminate surface insert that you can put on the top of the pad to get a more articulate feel
- A conditioning surface insert, also for the top of the pad, that promotes a low-rebound feel which can be good for conditioning and practice
The best part about these options is that you will have more of a chance that you will find a surface that will fit your preferred practice style and feel with just one purchase. With many other practice pads, you only get one surface type, and if you don’t like it you’ll have to go out and start your search again.
People who use the laminate insert quite a bit say it tends to wear out or get beat up quite quickly compared to the other surfaces, so if you play hard when you practice, that might be something to keep in mind. The rest of the pads and the conditioning insert hold up well to repeated use and practice.
This practice pad isn’t completely silent, but the rubber pads are decently quiet compared to some other types practice pads. The laminate pad has the most sound attack of the 4 options, and the conditioning surfaces are the most quiet. People who use this drum pad mention that they tend to use the bottom side of the or the conditioning pad when they are trying to keep quiet from their housemates.
Here’s a quick video from Movement Drum Co. that does a good job of showing what to expect from actual noise levels with the different surfaces and amounts of playing force.
If you have neighbors or roommates to worry about, noise shouldn’t be a problem with this pad. If you have downstairs neighbors, just make sure to mount the pad on something that doesn’t vibrate down into the floor (like a stand on a thick rug) or just play with the pad on your lap.
The rim seems to make the most noise when you hit it, as it’s hard plastic, so rim shots will make some noise.
- 4 surface types
- Portable, 12 inch size
- Sits easily on your lap
- Not completely silent
- Laminate surface isn’t overly durable and wears out
- Price can be steep for beginners or low budget buyers
At around $60, the Movement Drum Co. 4-in-1 isn’t the cheapest drum pad, but it’s also quite affordable for what you get. The build quality is great, and with the inserts and 4 surface options – if you want that type of flexibility – it’s worth the extra dollars over a single surface pad of comparable size.
This is a good drum pad for those who want to practice on the go or have a quality, small pad around to knock out some licks and practice at home. If you aren’t sure what you prefer for surface types, this can be a great option with the 4 different pad options.