Unfortunately, during our session, the yellow pad on my drum controller started peeling off. Apparently, all the hits to the center were making the middle bow up and not only pull out of the sides, but also break the glue seal holding it in place.
Now, the pad itself still worked if you hit it directly or if you hit any part of the pad that hadn't peeled up. I tried contact cement to hold the pad down. It did, but there was still the middle sticking up. It nullified the strikes from the mallets. Not good enough.
I didn't want to shell out $120 for a new drum controller. Then, I remembered: I had a double cymbal expansion kit from Mad Catz that I had never installed. I quickly added it on. And it worked great.
For a while.
I scored my first full combo with it. However, the vibrations from striking it loosened the clamp. Eventually, the cymbal would be resting on the unit itself. So, I went and epoxied the stuff in place. Then, I ran into Problem 2. The cymbals, to give them that tilt action like real cymbals, rests on a pole with a triangular tip. However, the cymbal itself, where it goes on the pole, has a thin rubber membrane. It tore after a day of casual use.
Result: the cymbals were tilted down, resting against the support pole. Any time I struck them, I got a plastic clack louder than the one for the drum controller. I could hear it over the stereo I have my game system plugged into!
I wanted to try fixing the controller myself. But I decided to do some leg work. I stopped by a GameStop and asked if they had replacement drum controllers. Sure. How much?
Well, that got my attention. Less than half what I thought it was? I decided to give fixing it a whirl, and if I couldn't do it, then I would head out this morning before the Swim Buddies practiced again, and just buy the new set.
Didn't work. I show up at GameStop. The same woman from the night before was there. "Didn't work, huh?" Nope. I give her $50 and head home. I also picked up a set of silencers. It wasn't so much to cut down on noise as to lessen the impact from the mallets and hopefully make this set last a little longer. The silencers do reduce the noise a little bit, but the fact is I am now free of that Godforsaken racket from the cymbals and can focus on the Zen of the Rock Band experience.
Oh, and how did the Swim Buddies do? Mornblade is getting better. He only failed out once, and that was on a Pretenders song. When someone bombs in Rock Band, going into Overdrive (those white notes) can bring them back up to three times. He went out, and he saw the thing on the screen indicating I could bring him back. We both cried, "THE DRUM SOLO OF LIFE!", and he was back in.
But he is handling songs by a variety of singers, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Gogos. I'll have his ass in shape for karaoke yet.