Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

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Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby blavonski » Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:04 am

Hello Forum members and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all!!

Apart from the handsome new brands that aren't so distinguishable from the "Classic Brands" that Chtimulato refers to in the previous post, here's my new brand out of Berlin, Germany: http://www.tumbaupercussion.yolasite.com/
Please do visit...

Also, I want to express my appreciation for this Forum and many of its knowledgeable and engaged members for creating a platform that inspired and educated me in my interest, turned passion for firstly playing and subsequently building and restoring Latin Percussion instruments. It all started here for me just over 10 years ago by stumbling onto this site on my search....

Thanks and stay healthy and sane and have fun playing your drums!
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby Thomas Altmann » Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:22 pm

Hi blavonski,

good to know you are there, in Berlin, 3 hours from my town (almost around the corner for Americans :D ).

Your bongos look nice, a bit like artisanry, or handicraft. I like the look of brushed steel.

Doesn't say anything about the sound, though - which is still the raison d'être for any drum. And the playability, response, feel. What about a soundfile? And/or someone who demonstrates your instrument on YouTube, somebody who can say something nice about it, preferrably a "name" musician (meaning, not me f.i.)? I'm sure you have already thought about that, too.

The narrow U-s on your rims are beautifully designed. However, I'm afraid that the more traditional broad V-s would distribute the tension better around the rim, also keeping them from warping under high tension.

For your page, it would at least be useful to specify the measurements.

Please take my comments as positive suggestions!

Happy New Year,
Thomas
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby blavonski » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:24 pm

Hello Thomas,

Many thanks for your reply and thoughts. Yes, they are handcrafted, handmade. And the hardware is likewise shaped and formed by hand with manual devices that I designed and made for those processes.

Regarding the sound and feel, well, nothing beats hands on and you’re more than welcome to come to Berlin and play them to draw your own personal impressions. Naturally having sound demos is good and that’s on my list. But, a quality demo takes time and the right equipment to do. And as you well know, the quality and characteristics of any drum recording is determined by the quality of the recording and its acoustical environment. From my experience, it’s better to have no recording than a non-representative or a bad one. However, as I’m just getting off the ground as it were with my drums, hopefully in time there will be some satisfied customer feedback to offer those interested.

I’m happy you like the hoop eyelets, (Ösen). However, the issue of the crowns warping because of their form is not a concern for me. As we’ve seen on Isla, some early Gon Bops including Ritmo, (Particularly Mat’s newer design) Bongos and Batas for example as well as many early Cuban bongos and congas, a narrower form of the eyelets isn’t a recipe for crown warping. And no one here, at least to my knowledge, has ever expressed any fear or first-hand knowledge of the crowns on those drums warping as a result those designs. Also, with that in mind, the material width of the “V” flat bar eyelet design can be deceptive in regards to rivet placement, because that’s where the actual pulling is taking place no matter how wide the eyelt's stock is or how much of it is touching the crown. I actually have a design/prototype for a flat bar eyelet as well and am in the process of designing a device with which to make them in order to have an optional crown design in the future.

Your suggestion of posting the drum measurements on my site is well taken. I originally had the sizes there but removed them because of space, as well as assuming that anyone interested in a professional Bongo would be aware of the relative common shell sizes for them. Those presently on my site as well as in the wings are
Macho: 7 1/8” & Hembra: 8 3/8”- 8 1/2”.
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby Chtimulato » Fri Jan 07, 2022 3:53 pm

Hello everybody. And belated happy new year.

I've been knowing and appreciating Blavonski's work for quite a while now, he knows it.
But I like the raison d'être. :wink:

Stay safe, everybody.
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby Thomas Altmann » Fri Jan 07, 2022 6:29 pm

Hi blavonski,

From my experience, it’s better to have no recording than a non-representative or a bad one.


Yes, that's certainly correct. YouTube has become a pure PR platform, for example. True, there are some great educational videos, but they wouldn't even exist without the purpose of self-marketing.

...the issue of the crowns warping because of their form is not a concern for me. As we’ve seen on Isla, some early Gon Bops including Ritmo, (Particularly Mat’s newer design) Bongos and Batas for example as well as many early Cuban bongos and congas, a narrower form of the eyelets isn’t a recipe for crown warping.


Right, I remember the Requena design, for instance. All I can tell is that once on my 9" Gon Bops bongo which has 4 flat V-shaped eyelets, the crown had started to get out of shape. It didn't stay like that, fortunately. You can imagine that those 4 points were relatively wide apart on the 9" drum. On my Schalloch congas, which had still been assembled with assorted hardware elements of other brands, they used Sonor crowns with really wide V-s. On the smallest drum, the rivet points are almost equidistant. It doesn't really look right, but I understood that basically this was the design for an optimal distribution of the tension.

Anyway, it isn't necessary to construct the crown in this way, especially if the rim itself is thick or heavy enough. As you correctly remarked, other brands use a similar narrow design as well, and the drums play great.

I have never gotten to Berlin that often, except for a one-time batá project with Florian Schade and Otti Köhler (who is now living in Oldenburg, I think). That was like 30 years ago, Jeez ... I would also like to meet Robby Geerken one day. He must be very good. But at the moment I'm not travelling at all.

Thomas
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby Chtimulato » Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:46 pm

Thomas Altmann wrote:
On the smallest drum, the rivet points are almost equidistant


I read somewhere this was the design of the crowns on the Fat congas. The author of the post stated this allowed an equal and secure tension everywhere on the crown.
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby Thomas Altmann » Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:29 am

Just for an illustration, a photo of the Sonor crowns. The crowns have 6 Vs for the bigger drums, so they all correspond to the same principle.

Sonor crowns.jpg
Sonor crowns on my 1986 Schalloch's.
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby blavonski » Sat Jan 08, 2022 2:00 pm

Hallo Thomas,

Thomas Altmann wrote:I have never gotten to Berlin that often, except for a one-time batá project with Florian Schade and Otti Köhler (who is now living in Oldenburg, I think). That was like 30 years ago, Jeez ... I would also like to meet Robby Geerken one day. He must be very good. But at the moment I'm not travelling at all.


I actually know and have played with both Florian and Robby. Florian I know more personally and played only privately with him. He’s a very good percussionist and knows a lot of rhythms. I met him through other musicians many years ago. About five years ago he wanted to put together a Batá Ensemble. So a Cuban Babalao on Onkóklo and I on Itótele began to practice with him learning the rhythms from him playing Iyá. I recall him talking about the project that you mention here after he returned from Cuba in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Small world…

Anyway, I really enjoyed learning and playing the oru seco. But, it was and is a lot of information to digest and retain. And I was already busy enough with having to practice repertoire on bongó, conga and maracas along with cajón to be able to keep up and play the gigs that I was most fortunate to have at the time. - I was playing with an Argentinean troubadour who sadly passed away last year. He had a small ensemble playing many different styles and had me playing all these instruments and sometimes at the same times including chimes and campana and expected me to be able to play them all correctly-. So, I decided to let the batá go for the time being thinking I would pick it up later perhaps if possible, but then Corona hit and like so much of the music scene, it never picked up again. I’ve done a few repairs and mounted some skins for Florian and saw him last about a year and a half ago at a private jam.

Robby Gerken is also very good. He had private instruction as a kid here in Berlin from Changuito. He also has organized Workshop engagements for Changuito here in Berlin when the Meistro is in Europe. How can he not be good…? At any rate, I also had the pleasure about 7 years ago of playing and sharing the stage with him once on Bongó in a Latin Jazz group as well as at a jam or two. He also plays folklorico, mostly Rumba, Abakuá. I believe he plays exclusively Tumbadora. I’ve never seen him play any other drum, at least not publicly. I’ve mounted skins on a couple of his student’s congas a while back. Of the Latin-percussionist hier they are among the ones who worked the most or did work before the scourge hit. And as German latin-percussionist in Berlin go, they’re the most known and respected I think. They both have spent time in Cuba and speak Spanish fluently and are likewise real tight with the Cuban scene here.
Have you had contact with Florian since then?

Regarding the SONOR Rims and eyelets. I have two Sonor 12" Tumbas 70's & 80's models with such crowns. The wide form of the eyelets with the equidistant placement on those rims are quite neccessary I think due to the rims being not only characteristically and relatively larger in diameter compared to other conga brands, but most importantly perhaps because they are also narrower, at just over 15 mm, I believe. I think it also helps that for support the flesh-hoops are 6 mm, rectangle, (Keilstahl) stock. I like the design and they are well made. My only problem with them is that they are a bit too large in diameter. But, one gets use to it. They seem to fit your Schallochs nicely though. And the eyelets on yours appear to be later model that are able to accomodate a round Flesh-hoop.

Hopefully things can get back to some kind of relative normalcy soon!
Last edited by blavonski on Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby Thomas Altmann » Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:17 pm

Hi blavonski,

yes it has proved problematic to build batá groups over here. My last project was brought to an end by Corona, too. I don't think I will ever try it again, I've gotten tired ...

I haven't spoken to Florian since then; at least I can't remember.

It still blows my mind that Robby's father just hired Changuito for a year or so to stay in Berlin and teach his son. He must have paid him everything, which at that time was at least more than Changuito would have earned in Cuba. Some twenty years earlier, my father had tried to talk me into becoming a banker and keeping music as a hobby. Some people are just lucky.

As to returning to normalcy - I think we'll slowly come back, but we'll never come home again. This freakin' pandemia will stay in our social consciousness forever, and I'm not even talking about the virus ...

Thomas
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Re: Happy new Year from Tum Bau Percussion©!

Postby blavonski » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:26 pm

Hello Thomas,

yeah, I know what you mean. I think that it blows a lot of people minds, particularly percussionists...That's a very different learning experience to have than most non Cubans for sure.

Thomas Altmann wrote:As to returning to normalcy - I think we'll slowly come back, but we'll never come home again. This freakin' pandemia will stay in our social consciousness forever, and I'm not even talking about the virus ...


I agree. The politicization of Covid 19 has already influenced us in so many ways, most significantly younger people socially, the benefits of which are being enjoyed by those determining its course. My motto is, hope for and do towards the best that is possible with in ones sphere of influence. Something will open up...but, you're right I think, coming home is never the same once you've left for any significant time.

Be well,
Blair
Good Vibrations,
Mr. Blavonski
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