About The Tube Drum
Inspired by the Blue Man group, we decided to build a PVC pipe thwacker thing... a " Tube Drum " .. technically known as a "plosive aerophone" . Starting with a very long 20 foot (6 metre) pipe (that's a 57 Hz fundamental, for those without a calculator)... we thwacked, and we sampled and we sawed... we thwacked again, and we sawed again -- we went back to the hardware store a few times -- until one last little piece (6 inches / 16 cm) gave us the high C6. This gave us the ﬁve octave completely multi-sampled 63 note Tube Drum.
A Virtual Virtual Instrument
We didn't actually keep every pipe length, so we don't have a 63 note rack of pipes to take a photo of. It would have been a bit big for the studio anyway. We cut and re-used the same pipes, sampling as they got shorter.
This instrument uses 63 different pipes, multi-sampled and round-robined There are enough velocities to give it some dynamics, and it is very dynamic. You can hit these things with your hands, but the sound is very soft that way. To get the full BlueMan GroupTHWACK you need to use plastic bats, or shoes, ping-pong paddles, etc. We found we got the best THWACK from a plastic sun-tan-lotion applicator.
In any case, we provide both the full Paddle thwack version, and the soft Palm thwup version. The soft ﬂesh version might be appropriate for some applications, it has a kind of Udu-like, gentle quality to it.
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