RudiMats are a type of drum and cymbal silencer for quiet practice. They are manufactured by a British company called Coplan, which supplies all manner of rubber products to a wide range of industries worldwide.
Coplan's Simon Turner - a drummer himself - says the idea was to make a better product than previously available. The result is a double-sided laminated pad of medium density 5mm rubber and 3mm polymer blend neoprene.
The pads are rather soft and beautifully finished with a quality feel. The rubber deadens sound while the neoprene gives a pleasant stick response and extra durability. Most practice pads are made from rubber, but according to Simon, natural rubber on its own can dry out, harden and peel. Laminating the pad with the more elastic neoprene makes it harder wearing.
Although the neoprene is the intended playing side, we found you could play on the rubber side just as successfully. However, Simon admits the original idea behind the laminate was because Coplan can offer the option of customising pads by laser etching logos or phone numbers, etc, into the neoprene - something that might appeal to shops and bulk suppliers.
RudiMats also include cymbal deadening pads with a hole in the corner for hooking over the cymbal stand tilter. The circular 14" hi-hat pad has a hole drilled in the centre so that you can slip it over your hi-hat centre rod to sit on the bottom cymbal. The bass drum pad is different in that it's a single 25mm (1") thick disc of slightly less dense LD18 foam rubber, the same material the US Forces use for equipment protection in their flight cases.
The pad is not laminated because there's only a small central area that gets beaten, so a 3" diameter sticky-backed neoprene pad is provided. Fixed where your beater makes contact this serves as a hard-wearing target. The bass pad slots snugly under the hoops of your kick drum. A notch cut out of the top allows you to disengage the pad from the head easily, and a larger keyhole slot cut into the bottom prevents interference with your pedal.
The only problem is that because the pad is extra thick, it does affect the feel of your pedal. One answer is to take off the front head and lodge the pad against the inside of your batter head. Not so convenient, but still effective.
Coplan will supply individual pads but you get a better deal if you buy a set. Rock and fusion sets are the same price, although you can stipulate 20" or 22" bass drum with either. You can also opt to leave out the cymbal and hi-hat pads if you prefer. Finally, for those who just want a single small practice pad there's an 8" Minipad.