The story of the steel drum begins in Trinidad in the 1930s.
When Street Band skirmishes led to the ban of skin drums. So people in made drums from thick bamboo poles car parts tins and finally oil barrels.
Up with a whole new sound without skipping a Beat.
When people first started pounding on steel instruments, they inadvertently dented them. That’s how they discovered that each Dent produced a different pitch.
Now steel drums are dented on purpose to make a drum head. They cut a piece of Steel into a circle. They weld a metal ring onto it and then they position a metal shell or skirt on the ring and welded in place.
The drum is held in a big clamp while a worker pinpoints the drumheads exact center.
He places a measuring guide. They’re using it to Mark radial lines from the center to the rim.
This line is 10 degrees apart.
As the drum turns he draw a circular line.
Make a grid now. He pounds the head of the drum with a Pneumatic Hammer using the grid as a guide to ensure the work is done evenly.
It takes eight hours of hammering to transform the drum into a bow like shape. This is called sinking the drum then with a special guide for curved surfaces.
technician measures out another grid inside of the Bold drum head
He Antoine’s the notes.
Are about to be hammered out in this case a high B and Annie then he hammers down the steel around each one to shake the note.
Right takes skill and a lot of time up to 50 hours.
He trims the drum skirt to the correct length.
types of stencil of the company logo onto the skirt
This device is an electrical etching machine.
Uses acid and electrical current to eat away the steel exposed through the stencil now a technician wields an ultrasonic thickness.
She presses it against a note using high frequency sound waves the probe measures the steals thickness to within a fraction of a millimeter.
She grinds down the notes where needed?
Using a scribing tool. She scratches a line around each note, so it’ll be visible to the player.
Now it’s time to make sure they struck the right note to tune a steel drum. The technician plays a note with a stick and then dense it with a hammer to adjust the pitch.
You have to have an ear for this job. He hammers the note until it sounds right. Sometimes he turns the drum upside down to knock out a note from the underside.
for the fine-tuning, he relies on an electronic tuner a microphone delivers the sound to it and the lines on the screen tell him if the note is in tune or
Next he burns the border of each note with a blowtorch.
Then he cools it down with water the process tempers the steel making the notes more resonant. He Tunes the drum again checking for Flaws.
After the drum is chrome-plated. He Tunes it a final time.
Taking a hundred and twenty hours to make the steel drum now, it’s time to take a break and party to the steel band sound.