FAQ’s / Support

At OffWorld Percussion, we put a lot of effort into making the products you purchase meet the highest standard possible.  If you have an issue with an item, please refer to this FAQ section. Many of the questions we get are answered here.

If your question is not answered here you can contact us at: [email protected]. Please provide a clear and detailed description of your concern and include photos/videos, if at all possible, so that we may better assist you in resolving your issue.  Your question may wind up becoming the next entry in the FAQ section!

Please note:  Our limited warranty covers ONLY manufacturing defects.  Signs of obvious neglect, mishandling or abuse will not be covered.

Question: Is the diameter the only difference between the 3 drum pads in the Aurora Series? Other than that do they sound/perform the same? Do they all come with the tambourine cymbal-style snare puck and the tripod screw-mount puck?

  • Answer: There are differences other than the diameter. The Visitor is smaller and thinner than its counterpart, the Darkside, which creates a sound difference. The Darkside, being larger and thicker, also has a different feel: more solid under the sticks and a little better rebound. The BYOSphere is the same size as the Darkside, but it has a rim. The rim offers its own uniqueness, but it also creates a slightly different pitch to the surface.
    All 3 adapt to the pucks available in the Aurora Series, and they all come standard with the Snare Puck and cymbal mount -you can choose which thread you prefer 8mm or 1/4-20. Options are available when you go to the product in our shopping cart. Here is the information page about our Aurora Series.

Question: I am looking for the closest feel to playing a Scottish snare. Would that be the Darkside then? The VML insert is for increasing the volume, but does not have the feel of playing on a snare, correct?

  • Answer: The Darkside would be the one to go to if you are wanting what Scottish Pipe Band players use. Some of them have told us the VML surface gives it the best sound closest to the snare, a couple prefer it without the VML. The VML can be peeled off if you find yourself agreeing with the latter. Also, if you are using a Kilpatrick harness, you might also want to add our Hammer bracket (pipe version). 

Question: Why does my pad look different than my friend’s pad?

  • Answer: In order to produce the unique look and feel of DarkMatter™, this special material is mixed under heat and pressure and poured directly onto each practice pad then allowed to “open-air” cure.  Any product which begins life as a hot liquid that solidifies once cooled will naturally show variation between each version.  Swirls, tiny bubbles, even the occasional dust speck, are all normal variations.  Be assured that an enormous amount of care goes into mitigating these effects as much as possible, and know that these differences in no way effect the playability or quality of the DarkMatter™ surface.


Question: What is DarkMatter™ and why is it better than other surfaces?

  • Answer: DarkMatter™ is an industrial grade polymer that has been “tweaked” to more closely replicate the feel of a Kevlar™/Aramid-Mylar marching snare drum head than the natural rubber traditionally used on practice pads for years.  DarkMatter™ produces a unique tone, tighter and sharper than rubber, which makes it more articulate, even on the smallest strokes.  The rebound of the material is also more closely analogous to a marching snare.  Since the majority of a person’s practice occurs on pads, rather than a drum, closing the gap between rehearsal and performance will naturally reduce the effect most drummers refer to as “Pad Hands”.


Question: Will the rim destroy drumsticks the way a real drum rim does?

  • Answer: The patented INVADER Rims™ element was designed to simulate the look and feel of playing a true drum rim as much as possible without ultimately damaging sticks the way a more “knife-edge” drum rim does. The surface area of the Invader’s rim is nearly twice as thick, creating a much greater area of shock experienced by sticks during shots, translating to considerably less overall damage over time. Any real impact to sticks could be better described as larger “welts” than dents or cuts. In short, you’ll more quickly destroy the same pair of sticks upon regular transition to the drum then you ever would on an INVADER™.


Question: Why are there holes in the center clamp for the Mothership?

  • Answer: We anticipated people may want to attach the clip to the Mothership. The hole in the clamp, along with the corresponding hole on the Mothership itself, allow you to use clothesline or a similar soft cord as a “leash”. Simply tie a knot or two in a length of cord, run the other end up through the bottom of the Mothership panel, then run it through the underside of the clamp and tie a second knot to connect the two together. Leave enough line to allow proper clamping.

Question: How do I ensure the longevity of the Darkmatter material and clean my pad?

  • Answer: Every OffWorld pad, with Darkmatter™, that leaves our facility (with the exception of VML surfaced pads) is pre-treated using TurtleWax™ Inside & Out Protectant.  This is available most places that carry auto-detailing products. Occasional re-application of this protectant is necessary to maintain the integrity of the material and avoid future cracking or crumbling if it gets dried out – what we like to call “care and feeding”.
  • To clean or condition, apply enough to insure that a clean paper towel won’t dry drag across the DarkMatter™ and wipe thoroughly to create a rich and deep shine and keep the surface slick.  Occasionally Windex™, or a similar window cleaner, can be used to deep clean prior to re-application of the TurtleWax™.  Other products such as Armorall Original Protectant™ will also work.  Rule of thumb: if it is designed to clean and condition the dashboard of your car, it will work on DarkMatter™. 



Question: I got a scuff on my DarkMatter™ that won’t come off using either window cleaner or TurtleWax™.  What can I use to remove this?

  • Answer: Since 2009 we have been trying a huge variety of chemicals on DarkMatter™ to see “what would happen”. Like Superman and Kryptonite, every material has an opposite that will damage it.  Avoiding those is key to extending the life of DarkMatter™.  NEVER use a solvent base product, like paint thinner or acetone, because these will dramatically damage your surface.  Rubbing alcohol is relatively safe and much stronger than window cleaner.  The strongest chemical we have found that works best is Wax & Grease Remover.  We use this to remove adhesive residue from DarkMatter™ as well as scuff marks.  It is important to understand the difference between a “scuff mark” that can be removed an actual “scrape” into the DarkMatter™ surface.  No amount of cleaning, regardless of chemical used, will remove a scrape.
  • Note: When using any of these stronger chemicals to clean your pad, it is always best to step down to window cleaner then finally to TurtleWax™ as a means of reconditioning your surface.  The previous treatment should be completely dry before moving on to the next.  Also, if using Wax & Grease Remover, be aware that the naturally occurring pores on your DarkMatter™ surface will expand.  These WILL eventually contract back to their normal size.

Question: I want to add a Vinyl/Mylar Laminate to the pad I own, how do I apply it?

  • Answer:  When DarkMatter™ is completely clean of any contaminates, it is naturally sticky and will grab the laminates as if they were adhesive (which they are not).  However, over time, this natural sticky state can be lost.  This is a normal process that occurs from continued use of conditioners, such as the TurtleWax™ Inside & Out Protectant.  You must thoroughly clean your pad using a Windex™ style product: using fresh paper towels with each application of window cleaner, scrubbing well, then allowing to dry.  Rub your finger lightly over the surface – if it feels like the DarkMatter™ grabs at your finger then it is ready. Sometimes, multiple cleanings, using fresh paper towel, are necessary to get as close to that original state as possible.  Remember to remove the logo before putting the VML surface on.


Question:  Will a VML surface work on my Gum Rubber pad?

  • Answer:  No. The surface is not tacky like the the DarkMatter surface, therefore the VML will not stick.

Question: What’s up with the bubbles on my laminate?  Can I fix this?

  • Answer:  The bubbles (pockets of air) between the Vinyl/Mylar Laminate and DarkMatter™ surface occasionally develop due to a variety of conditions: humidity, large fluctuations in temperature, and changes in altitude (such as airline travel). The solution is quite simple:   Using a credit card, or a similar thin but not sharp item, pry up the laminate closest to the area worst affected and peel the laminate back until it is beyond any air pockets.  Using a couple of fingers, slowly rub back and forth evenly, pressing the laminate onto the DarkMatter™ until completely re-applied.  If not satisfied, simply peel up and try again.  Once finished, run a finger around the edge of the laminate to complete the process.
  • Important:  If, after removing the laminate, the underside of the laminate or the surface of the DarkMatter™ become dusty or grimy – a condition which will prohibit the adhesion between the two – you should thoroughly clean both with fresh paper towels and Windex™, or similar product, and allow it to completely dry before re-application of your laminate.

Question: Will the VML™ crack over time? And if it does, what should I do?

  • Answer:
  • 1) The Vinyl-Mylar Laminate product is the combination of the two parts- The Mylar base, and the Vinyl top layer. The Mylar, which provides all the performance functionality, is a robust 14mm thick.  This material is, for all intents and purposes, nearly indestructible under normal playing conditions.  By contrast, the Vinyl top is actually a fairly thin material, originally designed for use as an auto-wrap, and is meant to serve as “paint”, giving the VML™ its visual appeal. Though the texture of the Vinyl might indicate a carbon fiber weave, it is not, and should not be treated as such.  Over time, this top layer will wear down, resulting in cracking and chipping. Drumming is, at its heart, an activity that puts two disparate materials together in a fairly violent fashion.  Either the sticks give, or the surface gives.  To produce a surface that would be impervious to such continuous impact would be costly and lessen the benefit as a rehearsal tool.  A granite counter top holds up really well under hickory drumsticks, but it is loud, obnoxious, and in no way provides a reasonable analog to a drum for which practice pads substitute.  In short, any surface will eventually show signs of wear.  This is why, with every Invader V3™ VML pad, we include a replacement center for this area which typically suffers the greatest stress. Additional center circles are available for purchase if you should need them.
  • 2) Your laminate may be cleaned with any basic window cleaner, like Windex™.  For scuffs, rubbing alcohol may help, or even Goof Off™.  Be very careful though!  Anything that would damage paint could damage the vinyl top.  Avoid ANYTHING abrasive, as these will permanently scratch the surface. If using a cleaner you are unsure of, test on a very small area to make sure it won’t cause damage.  No matter what you use, it is a good idea to finalize any process by cleaning one last time using window cleaner to remove any residue which may, over time, damage your VML™.

Question: How do I remove the VML™ surface?

  • Answer:
  • 1) Warm up the logo using a hair dryer and peel carefully and set aside, adhesive side up to re-apply later.  Then, using the hair dryer again,  warm up the laminate near the edge.  Don’t let the dryer any closer than a few inches to avoid damaging the DarkMatter™.  It should be really warm to the touch, but not too hot to touch.  About 5 seconds should do it.
  • 2) Using any flat, non sharp object, such as a butter knife or similar thing, pry up the edge of the laminate enough to grip with your fingers.  Once you can grab and slowly peel back, continue warming the laminate across the surface in the direction of the peel, this will loosen the adhesive and make it easier to pull.
  • 3) Once the laminate has been totally removed, there will, more than likely, be adhesive residue left.  You can warm up the residue in small sections and, using your fingertips, rub the “goo” into balls and remove.  THIS is the time consuming part.  You should use alternating fingers to ease fatigue.
  • 4) After all that, you can use rubbing alcohol and a clean rag (make sure the rag is saturated to avoid dry dragging across the DarkMatter™, which will scuff it) to scrub any remaining residue.  Once that’s done, you should be able to replace your logo and treat using TurtleWax Inside & Out Protectant or Armoral Original Protectant (both available in most places that carry auto detailing supplies) to bring back some shine and slickness.  Or, apply a new laminate.

Email us if you still have questions or concerns: [email protected]

Answers to questions about shipping

All orders will be processed within 24 hours of receipt, pending availability of stock to fulfill the order, and whether or not it is “Made to Order”.  All shipments depart our facility at 1:30pm PST Mon-Fri.

Questions or concerns about shipping feel free to contact us: [email protected]

Shipping time frame:

Please note that the actual date of hand off to selected shipper does not count towards total business days in shipping time. Please allow 5-7 business days within the United States and U.S. territories (depending on your region), including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.

Regular UPS (ground transportation) operations are Monday – Friday. Please visit the UPS site for more information:


USPS orders (International orders, and most accessories) are dropped off at the Post Office on Tuesday and Friday.

Answers about Terms and Conditions; Refunds and Exchanges; Order Tracking; Back-orders; Patents, Copyrights, or Trademarks can be found here:

Terms and Conditions