Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

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Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Ernesto Pediangco » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:43 pm

Historic examples in the development of mechanical tunning systems for Afro / Latin drums, can trace a time line of developement that began as a necessity when Latin drums like congas, bongos & timbales were developed to accompany dance bands primarily. Like the development of the American drum set, Latin drums are from ethnic cultures and from contemporary drum designs from American drun industry. Timbales as we know of have 2 lines of development. One being orchestral tympani of European orchestras & the military snare drum which had become an orchestral drum, became a vaudeville & theater band drum added to various tom toms, etc. The portable version of timbales as we know in modern use is derived from the American & European metal drum shell industry where much experimentation & industrial advancements refined the drum in the days of calf skin drums & were re designed to mate with the standardized plastic heads in the 1960's. The tuning system was a key element in drum shell design as a shell & drum head tensioning system with many varieties of designs that were narrowed down to the best universal application we see in modern drums today. The Latin / Cuban styled timbales with heavier nuts & bolt tuning & with crude L bracket tunning system, was a commonly available hard ware store or garage shop variation that early custom timbale builders used since they did not have access to refined tuning systems or drum shells. Simple metal rolling machines that made metal pails & mop buckets, were put into service to make limited amounts of hand rolled ( non drum company shells ) shells that shared the construction of metal pails & buckets. This is obvious in the shell design in the sound edges & reinforcement beads used in the shell to make them more rigid and resist damages caused by the crudeness of its tuning & mounting systems. Such early shells were functioning fine with low tensioned calf heads but were not up to par for use with plastic heads. When comparing the typical Latin timbale derived from small shops building drums for the emerging Latin music industry in America ( it is all economy driven like the music industry ) to the pre existing drum companies of America & Europe, there is an evident crudeness of design. The size of the tuning rods or bolts are in the case of timbales, unnecessarily large & in combination with a crude L bracket shaped lug on the shell, puts the tuning rod further off the wall of the shell than a drum set tuning system which is particular as to how it eliminated the stress of leverage against the shell or in its alignment of the system to work with the shell wall design to maintain the roundness & integrity of the entire drum. Latin timbale, conga & bongo tuning systems are crude & not well engineered as Drum set industry refined designs. I will post samples and point out the weak design elements versus the refined designs of drum sets. How ever, designs should be refined as to the nature and higher torque tensions of Latin drums which require heavier duty shells & tuning system parts & configurations. Latin drums w/ mechanical tunings have not evolved since the 1950's ! Only the cosmetic appearances and the weight or style of conventional crowns & rims differ from the 50's designs.
Cuban Timbales.jpg
l_50d44f8860a247abb300567f53b77c04L&L.jpg
!Bn8(P2Q!mk~$(KGrHqIH-CQEuQienuW3BLlkEzwsDg~~_12GBTimbales.jpg
[attachmen
Unknown12.jpg
Gon_Bops_Timbales_Large_1.jpg
Ernesto Pediangco
 
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Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Thomas Altmann » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:55 pm

Hi Ernesto,

can you show us that particular sponge ball detail for the bell? I have heard about it, but I have never actually seen how it was done in the old days, where the slits were made etc..

Thomas
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Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Ernesto Pediangco » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:25 pm

@ Tom re" sponge ball mounting of Charanga bell : I do not have a picture of it mounted but in Leedy2's photos you will see the slit in the ball slides over the cow bell handle, another slit would fit over the cold rolled timbale rim w/o touching the rubber to the head. A cord would be tied to the bell handle & tied to a hook which was hooked to the bottom of the shell or a L bracket lug to lift the bell so its floating above the drum head. This allowed the bell to ring w/o being bolted down, which chokes the bell. This placement over the head added resonance. Recently, Gon Bops new bells have a thick metal vise clamp welded to the bells which choke the bells, adds lots of dis harmonic cross talk among all the bells clamped to a metal post on the stand which adds the cross talk sympathetic vibrations of the shells & the bells & the metal post. This is so non musical of drum companies and is contrary to what drum set builders have designed drum sets for, which is independent clarity & free resonance of the drums & other music making accessories. This old school method worked quite well & was easy to do.
Ernesto Pediangco
 
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:12 am
Location: Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Ernesto Pediangco » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:34 pm

Ernesto Pediangco wrote:@ Tom re" sponge ball mounting of Charanga bell : I do not have a picture of it mounted but in Leedy2's photos you will see the slit in the ball slides over the cow bell handle, another slit would fit over the cold rolled timbale rim w/o touching the rubber to the head. A cord would be tied to the bell handle & tied to a hook which was hooked to the bottom of the shell or a L bracket lug to lift the bell so its floating above the drum head. This allowed the bell to ring w/o being bolted down, which chokes the bell. This placement over the head added resonance. Recently, Gon Bops new bells have a thick metal vise clamp welded to the bells which choke the bells, adds lots of dis harmonic cross talk among all the bells clamped to a metal post on the stand which adds the cross talk sympathetic vibrations of the shells & the bells & the metal post. This is so non musical of drum companies and is contrary to what drum set builders have designed drum sets for, which is independent clarity & free resonance of the drums & other music making accessories. This old school method worked quite well & was easy to do.

I will find a sponge rubber ball & add it to my timbales for a photo to share of this, and to show various bell post designs on timbale kits. Size & bulk are usualy ememies of practical bell mountings and companies like Pearl & Gon Bops have gone the wrong direction in their designs for Timbales. Lp & others have evolved to be heavier but not nessesariry better. Thats why I use vintage Rogers & Slingerlands w/ my home made solutions to mountings !
Ernesto Pediangco
 
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Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Anonimo » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:00 pm

POST REMOVED BY THE AUTHOR
Attachments
SUNP0080.JPG
Sponge Ball or Rubber Ball this is a sponge ball
SUNP0081.JPG
With drum key and U clamp
SUNP0082.JPG
How it would mount on timbales with sponge ball normally on timbale were wing nuts were used. Old timbales cuban timbales or design like LP.
SUNP0084.JPG
this how later in late 40- 50's it was used on tension rod tunning key and U clamp
Last edited by Anonimo on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Anonimo
 

Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Anonimo » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:55 am

POST REMOVED BY THE AUTHOR
Attachments
gonbops timbales.jpg
Gonbops timbales
Anonimo
 

Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Thomas Altmann » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:18 am

Thank you for the info, Cuco.

The sponge ball looks like you taped it to keep the bell handle in place, isn't it? Are you saying the ball was stuck over one of the wing nuts, or was it attached to the rim? With calf skins, the rim came sometimes down almost at the level of the drum head (no, not entirely); so that wouldn't have been a reliable design. The wing nut idea makes more sense. On your photo, however, the ball seems to be completely outside of the rim.

Greetings,

Thomas
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Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Anonimo » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:45 am

POST REMOVED BY THE AUTHOR
Attachments
SUNP0089.JPG
Here you see on Leedy drum key u clamp to tension rod
SUNP0091.JPG
here you see wing nut going up between ball and bell . Ball served as a pressure point up against wing nut
SUNP0085.JPG
look of bell on drums
Anonimo
 

Re: Developements in Latin drum tuning & drum design

Postby Thomas Altmann » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:22 pm

Thank you, Cuco. Those photos show everything pretty well.

Thomas
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