Freer Percussion products are well known around the world for being the most unique and creative designs, materials and covering techniques. It’s our goals to have FP remain first in its class and a clear leader in the orchestral percussion market.
The iconic BDF1 is known as the Mahler 3 beaters. All of my products have been developed by necessity from playing in the orchestra and making something that fit a certain need. However, this one was initially developed in 1988 just for playing the Mahler 3 excerpts in auditions. As it turned out, it also worked great in reality with the orchestra! Below are photos of the first generations of this model.
This model has undergone many redesigns over the years and this year is no exception. Many people asked me to make a version that was slightly lighter and easier to maneuver but still enough depth of sound to provide that dark ominous sound necessary. By putting this model on a fiberglass shaft I’ve been able to accomplish this nicely. It’s now about 20 grams lighter than the older aluminum version and still sounds excellent.
This model comes with both sides of the felt UNVOICED so that you can voice them to your preference…or not at all. You can voice just the hard felt side so that it is less of a drastic contrast to the white, or you can voice the white side only to increase the difference or you can voice both sides to mellow out the entire sound. Just keep in mind that once you voice the felt you can’t really go back.
They sound great for other excerpts such as Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra and anywhere you have rolls and rhythms interspersed. Also perfect for contemporary pieces where you want as few mallets on your limited tray space as possible because not only are these two pairs of mallets in one but they also sound excellent on small tam tams and medium sized tuned gongs! Over the years these have turned out to become standard issue for contemporary set ups, percussion ensemble and solo recitals as well as the orchestra.
*Note the color of hard side green felt may vary slightly from photos due to the nature of custom made small batch dyed felts.
The BD8 continues to be a best seller because of its versatility. The only double ended mallet in the line, it features identical cores on each end with a hard green felt on one end and soft German felt on the other.
The BD4 has been one of our long time “go to” general mallets in The Cleveland Orchestra for many years now. Select Limited Edition Rosewood shaft with solid maple ball and weighted insert inside the head.