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Chapter 10. Hammerhead Live: > Sidestick - Pg. 365

MAKE: PROJECTS Eccentric Cubicle Figure 10.102: Real drum stuff. Dumpster plywood. Kick Drum and Snare The Kick Drum and Snare are harder to fake. Lower frequencies require a large scale membrane in motion, and the attention grabbing crack of a snare is dependent on snare wires slapping against a tight head. So we're gonna need to make some drums. Working on a budget of . . . lessee . . . $19.50, we're not going to be steam-forming multiple plies of instrument-grade maple into shells, and outfitting said shells with custom-machined brass lugs. This is not a problem. We do need a few supplies though, so it's down to the local music store and straight back to the rental department. We're looking for hoops and heads. [Figure 10.102] It is entirely possible to forgo purchasing metal hoops and fabricate what you need out of wood. Thanks in no small way to the efforts of Ray Ayotte, maple hoops have been popular options on high-end drum kits for years, so it's not like there isn't precedence. The fly in the ointment is the material cost of real hardwood dimensioned properly for the purpose. Soft- wood and plywood won't cut the gig, and we're already using bendy and warp-prone materials for the frames and bearing edges. Having the hoops equally flexible is simply "not on" if we're to have even a remote hope of being able to get the drum head in tune. This means (barring the sudden appearance of 4' of maple 1" x 12") metal hoops, which come in two flavours: stamped and cast. Triple-flanged stamped hoops are cheap and forgiving. Cast hoops are costly and precise. Guess which type we want? As for heads, despite the longstanding popularity of stretched animal skins, modern-era synthetic heads are the only rational choice for this project: they're tough, consistent and immune to the effects of humidity. There are countless fla- vours of drumheads, ranging from extra-thin uncoated single- ply Mylar numbers used as the wire side heads on orchestral snare drums to multi-ply Kevlar weave monstrosities popular with our more heavy-handed brothers and sisters. We're not gonna be picky. The dimensions we're looking for are 13" for the snare, and 16" or 18" for the bass drum. The hoops can be ugly as sin, as long as they're round and flat. Head-wise, anything reasonably unabused, single-ply and lightweight will work for the snare; the bass drum wants as heavy as possible, preferably two-ply. Most rental departments have a few boxes of, er, battered drum components that are a trifle overabused to send out on 354