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Publication numberUS3551580 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1970
Filing dateJun 17, 1969
Priority dateJun 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3551580 A, US 3551580A, US-A-3551580, US3551580 A, US3551580A
InventorsThomas R Glenn, Marion C Waters
Original AssigneeThomas R Glenn, Marion C Waters
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and plural miniature drum-type musical instruments producing percussion sounds and electronic reproduction system therefor with carrying case
US 3551580 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Thomas R. Glenn:

Marion C. Waters. 9453 Alder St.. Cucamonga. Calif.

June 17. 1969 Dec. 29, 1970 Inventors Appl. No. Filed Patented METHOD AND PLURAL MINIATURE DRUM-TYPE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS PRODUCING PERCUSSION SOUNDS AND ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION SYSTEM THEREFOR WITI-I CARRYING CASE 24 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 84/1.02, 84/1 14 Int. Cl ..Gld 13/02, G d /00: GlOh 3/00 Field of Search 84/ 1 .02,

Primary E.\-aminer--W. E. Ray Anoqggv-Jess M. Roberts ABSTRACT: A plurality of miniature drums are connected by miniature air columns to corresponding pickups for converting low level percussion sounds into electrical signals, which signals are mixed, amplified and then converted into high level sound through a loudspeaker or fed to a recorder if desired. A carrying case is provided on which the drums are removably mounted to permit packing the system in the case for transportation. Tones from other musical instrument pickups may be combined with the percussion sounds in the mixer.

4L n in '7 F 6 56 5a 56 45 52 35 35 4? 34 36 40 44 4'&

15' 16 17' 15 j 20/ I? 9 Speaker- 5 M16 flap/war 6 ap /,5 23 l 25 f BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION A set of conventional drums includingpfor example, two tom-tom drums, a snare drum, a floor drum and a bass drum, is relatively massive and expensive. Such a set is packed into a number of cases for transportation and substantial time and effort is required to pack and unpack the drums. One object of the present invention is to provide a set of instruments that has the same sound-producingcapability as a conventional set of drums but is drastically reduced in size,'cost and weight.

In playing a set of drums, the volume or amplitude of the sound is dependent solely on the physical effort of the drummer and therefore the drummer must work unduly hard. A further object of the invention is to reduce the physical effort to produce the sound of a drum or drums at a given high level.

A standard set of drums is limited to percussion sounds of conventional character but it is often desirable to modify the character of the sounds drastically and it is often desirable-to produce entirely new percussion sounds. It is a further object of the invention to provide such versatility in a set of percussion instruments.

A still further object of the invention is to make it possible to play a set of drums in a given room space and to use soundamplifyingmeans together with loudspeaker means to broadcast the sound of the drums in the same room space. Such an arrangement would enable the drummer to play loudly with very little physical effort. The problem, however, is that the sound radiated into the room space by a conventional drum set is unavoidably at such a high level as to conflict with the broadcast sound to an unacceptable degree. 7

A similar problem arises in recording music produced b string and wind instruments along with conventional drums FIG. I is a diagrammatic representation of an embodiment 'of the invention to serve the same purpose as a conventional drum set;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of one of the miniature drums;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of a miniature drum with a portion broken away; 5

FIG. 4 is a plan view of an annular body of foamed plastic material that may be employed in a miniature drum that is employed to reproduce the sound of a conventional bass drum;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary diagram similar to FIG. 1 showing how a mixer that receives signals from the five miniature drums may also be wired to receive electrical signals from other instruments to produce a composite signal for broadcast or for recording;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention which includes a carrying case for transporting five miniature drums, the carrying case serving as support means on which the five miniature drums may be releasably mounted in playing positions; and g FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view, partly in section, showing how a small diameter pipe carrying one of the miniature drums and the usual solution is to place the drums in a separate room. The present invention teaches a solution that makes it possible to keep the percussion instruments in the same room SUMMARY OFTHE INVENTION To produce the sound of a conventional drum by a lightweight compact structure of relatively low cost, the invention employs a miniature drumlike instrument having an air chamber with a diaphragm for the production of low level percussion sounds. A small diameter tube provides a miniature air column to transmit the sound from the air chamber to a pickup on the end of the tube and the pickup converts the low level percussion sounds into electrical signals for amplification. The inside diameter of the tube may be as small as one eighth inch and the length of the tube may be l2 to inches or more.

For the purpose of simulating the sound of a conventional drum set, the invention employs a plurality of miniature drumlike instruments with a corresponding plurality of tubes to transmit the signalsto a corresponding plurality of pickups and the electrical signals from the various pickups are fed to a mixer having one stage of amplification. The composite output of the mixer may be used in any desired manner for broadcasting of the sound or for recording of the sound for future reproduction. The percussion sound may be broadcast in the I same room with the miniature drumlike instruments because the direct sound that is produced in the room by the miniature instruments is at too low a level to interfere with the broadcast sound.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings, which are to be regarded, as merely illustrative:

may be mounted in the top wall of the justable manner.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Referring to the diagram in FIG. I; the selected embodiment of the invention includes five miniature drumlike instruments designated 10-14 respectively which are connected by suitable tubular means to corresponding pickups or amplifiers designated 15-18 respectively which may be in the form of high impedance earphones, The five pickups are connected by corresponding cables 20--24 to a mixer-preamplifier 25 which may have one stage of amplification and which has five adjustment knobs 26 corresponding to the five pickups In this particular embodiment of the invention, the preamplifier 25 is connected to an amplifier 28, the output of which is fed to a loudspeaker 30.

The tubular means for connecting miniature drum 10 to the pickup 15 comprises a short length of galvanized pipe 32 of one eighth inch inside diameter together with a short length of carrying case in an adplastic tubing 34 that has an inside diameter of three eighth inch and is telescoped over the end of the pipe. The short length of plastic tubing 34 serves to dampen out mechanical vibrations of the pipe 32 and the plastic tubing may be telescoped to various degrees over the pipe for the purpose of adjusting the length of the tubular means as may be found desirable. In like manner, the tubular means for the second drum 11, comprises a pipe 35 and a piece of plastic tubing 36 and the tubular means for the third miniature drum I2 comprises a pipe 38 and a piece of plastic tubing 40.

For reasons which will be'explained, the tubular means for the fourth miniature drum 13 comprises a relatively short pipe 42 and a relatively long plastic tube 44 and the tubular means for the last miniature drum 14 includes a one eighth inch pipe elbow 45 which is connected by a short one eighth inch nipple to a relatively long plastic tube 46. v

The miniature drumlike instruments l0--14 may be of any suitable construction for producing percussion sounds. In this instance the miniature drums l0 and I1 serve as tom-toms; the miniature drum 12 serves as a snare drum; the miniature drum 13 serves as a floor drum; and the miniature drum 14 serves as a bass drum. It has been found that practice pads such a REMO WEATHER KING practice pads may be readily and economically adapted for this purpose.

Such a practice pad, which is intended to be placed on a fiat surface such as a table to produce muffled percussion sounds for drum practice, contains a mass of foamed plastic sounddampening material. To adapt such a practice pad forthe purpose of the invention, most or all of the foamed plastic dampening material is removed from the interior of the drum and the bottom wall of the miniature drum is bored to provide an .opening for connecting the miniature drum to a tubular means that provides a column of air for communication with a corresponding pickup.

By way of example, FIG. 3 shows how a practice pad may be used for the miniature snare drum 12. The practice pad has the usual diaphragm 48 above an air chamber 50 and the bottom wall 52 of the practice pad has an aperture to receive a one eighth inch pipe nipple 54 which is clamped to the bottom wall by a pair of cooperating nuts 55. The pipe nipple 54 is connected to a one eighth inch coupling 56 which in turn is .connected to the previously mentioned pipe 38. A plurality of the purpose of any of the five practice drumsqln this particular embodiment of the invention, however, the two miniature tom-tom drums and 11 are modified 8 inches practice pads; the miniature snare drum 12 is a modified 10 inches practice drum; and the floor drum 13 and the bass drum 14 are both modified 8 inches practice pads. The miniature bass drum 14 preferably contains a circular body of foamed plastic material that is designated 62 in FIG. 4. A disc of such material is usually inside a practice pad and it is a simple matter to cut out a central area of the disc.

Each of the practice pads is tuned for the desired effect by adjustment of the screws 60 and the character of the percussion sounds produced by the miniature drum is further controlled by the length of the tubular means that connects the miniature drum to the corresponding pickup. The length of the'smalldiameter air column between the miniature drum and the corresponding pickup should be at least 12 inches and preferably is at least 18 inches but the length may be as much as 40 inches or more. Within limits, increasing the length of the sound column lowers the tone and decreasing the length raises'the tone. If the tubular means that connects a miniature 'druniito. the corresponding pickup is progressively shortened below a length of inches the sound progressively approaches the character of the sound of a miniature drum instead of a full-size drum. The diameter of the air column is not critical and may be more then one eighth inch in diameter but, in general, either increasing the diameter of the air column or increasing the length. of the air column increases the amount of energy that is required to produce a given effect.

A feature of the arrangement shown in FIG. 1 is that the miniature drums 1014 are so small that they may be struck .relatively lightly to produce the desired effect from the loud- 'directly into the room space. Consequently the speaker 30 may be employed in the same room space without any significant conflict by the sound waves produced in the room spaced by the miniature drums. It is also apparent that the physical effort required by the drummer is well below the physical effort required to play a conventional drum set. FIG. 5 indicates how the electrical signals from the pickups 15-19 may be combined with electrical signals from pickups of wind and stringed instruments to produce a composite 'output. In FIG. 5, a mixer-preamplifier 64 is connected by the previously mentioned cables 24 to the previously mentioned pickups I5- l9 and the mixer-preamplifier has five corresponding adjustment knobs 26. In addition, a series of cables 65 from other pickups of other musical instruments including wind and stringed instruments are connected to the preamplifier 64 with the electrical signals from the cables adjustable by corresponding knobs 66.

The output fromthe preamplifier 64 may be employed in i any desired manner. Thus the output may be fed to an amplifier 68 for operating a loudspeaker 70 and/or the output may be fed to a suitable sound recorder 72.

FIG. 6 shows by way of example how a miniature drum set shown inFIG. 1 together with the mixer-preamplifier 25 may be incorporated into a surprisingly compact and lightweight portable structure. The structure includes a carrying case having two boxlike sections 74 and 75 that are hingedly interconnected in a well-known manner.- In F [G2 fiztlie carrying case is opened up and stands on one end withthe two sections 74 and 75 at an angle of approximately 90?. The tom-tom 10 is mounted by its pipe 32 on theupper end wall of the carrying case section 74 while the tom-tom l1 and the snare drum 12 are mounted by their pipes am 38 on the upper end wall of the carrying case section 75. Since it is desirable to tilt the two tom-toms 10 and 11, the corresponding pipes 32 and 35 may be provided with swivel joints or, as indicated in FIG .{6, the

pipes may be simply bent to the desired angles. Tojfacilitate such tilt adjustment of the torn-toms the pipes 32 and 35 may be made of relatively soft metal.

FIG. 7 shows by way of example how the pipe 32 of tomtom 10 is adjustably mounted in the upper'end wall 76 of the carrying case 74. The upper end wall 76 is provided with a circular opening 78 to clear the pipe 32. The pipe 32 extends in a freely slidable manner through a three eighths inch galvanized pipe nipple 80 that is threaded into a floor flange 82 with the floor flange anchored to .theunderside of the end wall 76 by suitable screws 84. The nipple 80 is bored and tapped to receive an angular setscrew 85 that may be tightened to anchor the pipe 32. n

To support the miniature floor drum 13 in playing position,

an arm 86 is pivotally mounted inside the packing case section 74 and is provided with a half inch coupling 88 at its outer end, the coupling being equipped'with a previously described angular setscrew 85 (not shown). A leg in the form of a half inch pipe 90 screws into the lower end of the coupling 88 to support the coupling from the floor. The pipe 42 of the floor drum 13 with the flexible tubing 44 thereon slidingly extends through the coupling 88 into the interior of the pipe leg 90and a portion of the pipe is cut away on one side to form an aperture through which the flexible tube 44 extends. It is apparent that the tom-tom drums l0 and 11, the snare drum I2 and the floor drum 13 may be adjusted in height by simply looseningthe corresponding angular setscrews'85 and, if desired, the drums may be sufficiently elevated to permit the drummer to stand up.

The miniature bass drum 14 is permanently mounted by means of a suitable bracket (not shown) inside the section 74 of the carrying case in spaced relation to the wall of the carrying case section to make room for the elbow 45. A pedal mechanism 92 with a striker 94 for the base drum 14 is releasably attached to the lower end wall of the packing section 74. The preamplifier 25 may be mounted in the interior of the section 75 of the carrying case.

With the various miniature drums 1013 at the elevations shown in FIG. 6, the drummer may play the instruments in sitting position with the legs of the drummer straddling the packing case section 75 to permit operation of the pedal mechanism 92 by the left foot of the drummer.

To dismantle the assembled structure for transportation, the miniature drums 10, 11 and 12 are unscrewed from their corresponding pipes for stowage inside the carrying case and the corresponding angular setscrews are loosened to permit the corresponding pipes to be withdrawn into the interior of the carrying case. The floor drum 13 is unscrewed form its pipe 42 for stowage in the carrying case and the corresponding angular setscrew 85 is loosened to permit the pipeto be lowered FIG. 6 is so compact that the carrying case may be as small as 8 inches by 16 inches by 24 inches and may weigh only 18 pounds when fully packed. in contrast, an equivalent conventional drum set weighs on the order of 280 pounds when packed for transportation and, of course, the miniature drum set may be manufactured for only a fraction of the cost of a conventional drum set.

The miniature drum set is highly versatile in that it is a simple matter to substitute one miniature drumlike instrument for another and miniature drums of various structures may be selected for special or unusual effects. For example, an ordinary tin can may be used to provide a tin diaphragm and air chamber for producing percussion sounds. As another example, a coffee can may be used with plastic cover serving as the diaphragm.

Our description in specific detail of the selected embodiment of the invention will suggest various changes, substitutions and other departures from out disclosure.

We claim: 1. In an apparatus for producing music, the combination of: at least one miniature drum-type instrument having a chamber with a diaphragm forming a wall of the chamber to produce low level percussion sounds in the chamber;

pickup means spaced form the instrument to convert sound waves into electrical signals; a conduit placing said air chamber in pneumatic soundtransmitting communication with said pickup means; and

transducer means electrically connected to the pickup means for utilization of the electricalsignals for controlled reproduction of the percussion sounds.

2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said transducer means includes amplifier means;

3. A combination as set forth in claim 2 which includes speaker means connected to the amplifier means to broadcast the reproduced percussion sounds.

4. A combination as set forth in claim -1 in which said transducer means includes sound-recording means for subsequent reproduction of the sounds.

5. A combination as set forth in claim 1 which includes a plurality of miniature drum-type instruments and a corresponding plurality of pickups connected thereto by a corresponding plurality of conduits; and which includes means connected to the plurality of pickups for mixing the electrical signals therefrom. said mixing means being connected to said transducer means.

6. A combination as set forth in claim 5 in which said mixer means includes means for modifying the electrical signals from the respective pickup means.

7. A combination as set forth in claim 6 in which said mixer means is a preamplifier and which includes an amplifier connected to the preamplifier.

8. A combination as set forth in claim 7 which includes speaker means connected to the amplifier to convey the mixed electrical signals into sound.

9. A combination as set forth in claim -1 which includes a plurality of miniature drum-type instruments and a corresponding plurality of pickups connected thereby by corresponding plurality of conduits;

which includes a carrying case for transporting ments, pickups and conduits; and

which includes a corresponding plurality of means to support the instruments in operating positions on the carrying case, at least some of the support means being releasable to permit stowage of the corresponding instruments inside the carrying case.

10. A combination as set forth in claim 9 which includes an instrument corresponding to a bass drum, said instrument being permanently mounted inside the carrying case for operation with the carrying case open; and which includes a foot pedal mechanism for striking the last-mentioned instruthe instrucase.

11. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said conduit is of a length greater than 12 inches.

12. A combination as set forth in claim 11 in which said conduit has an inside diameter in the range of one eighth inch to one half inch.

13. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which at least the output end of the conduit is made of plastic material to dampen vibration of the conduit.

14. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said conduit is adjustable in length to vary the character of the percussion sounds that are transmitted to the pickup.

15. A combination as set forth in claim 1 which includes sounddampening material in the chamber of the miniature instrument to modify the percussion sound produced therein.

16. A combination as set forth in claim 15 in which said dampening material is a body of foamed plastic material of an annular configuration to provide an unimpeded central air space in the chamber; and in which said conduit is in communication with said central air space.

17. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said drum-type instrument is a conventional practice pad with at least a portion of the sound dampening material removed from the interior thereof.

18. A method of substantially matching the percussion sound of a conventional drum, characterized by the steps of:

providing a miniature drum having an air chamber and a diaphragm for producing relatively low level percussion sounds, for example a miniature drum of the size on the order of 8 inches in diameter and 1 inch in depth; providing a pickup to convert the low level percussion sound into electrical signals; providing a miniature air column to convey the low level percussion sounds to the pickup; amplifying the electrical signals; and converting the electrical signals into high level sound.

19. A method as set forth in claim 18 which includes employing tubular means to provide the miniature air column to transmit the low level percussion sounds form the miniature drum to the pickup.

20. A method as set forth in claim 19 in which said tubular means has an inside diameter of substantially less than 1 inch and is of a length of at least 12 inches.

21. A method as set forth in claim 20 in which said tubular means has an inside diameter of no more than three eighths of an inch and has a length of at least 15 inches.

22. A method as set forth in claim 21 which includes placing resilient foamed plastic material in the miniature drum to modify the percussion sounds.

23. A method as set forth in claim 18 which includes the step of broadcasting the high level sound in the same room space as the miniature drum with the sound in the room space emanating from the miniature drum at a sufficiently low level to avoid distraction from the broadcast sound.

24. in the production of music wherein the sounds of wind and stringed instruments are converted into electrical signals which are combined to produce a composite electrical signal:

a method of adding a drum effect to the composite signal,

characterized by the steps of:

providing a miniature percussion instrument having an air chamber and a diaphragm to be struck for producing low level percussion sounds;

transmitting the low level percussion sounds from the chamber through a miniature air column to a pickup means for converting the low level percussion sounds into electrical signals; and

adding the electrical signals from the pickup means to said composite electrical signal.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3659032 *Jun 25, 1971Apr 25, 1972Gordon H MayPercussion instrument
US3725561 *Sep 14, 1971Apr 3, 1973Gibson IncMethod of electrically reproducing music and improved electrical pickup for practicing the same
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US3956959 *Feb 20, 1975May 18, 1976Sanyo Silicon Electronics Co., Ltd.Electronic percussion instrument
US4168646 *Jul 24, 1978Sep 25, 1979May Randall LElectro-acoustically amplified drum
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US20110172011 *Jun 10, 2010Jul 14, 2011Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Game drum having micro electrical mechanical system pressure sensing module
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CN102125760BJan 14, 2010Apr 30, 2014鸿富锦精密工业(深圳)有限公司游戏鼓
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EP1326229A1 *Sep 5, 2001Jul 9, 2003Shingo TomodaAnalog electronic drum set, parts for drum stick, analog electronic drum set and foot-pedal unit
EP2728575A1 *Oct 16, 2013May 7, 2014Roland CorporationPercussion instrument
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/723, 84/641, 984/365, 84/DIG.120, 84/742
International ClassificationG10H3/14
Cooperative ClassificationG10H3/146, G10H2230/281, Y10S84/12
European ClassificationG10H3/14D