magic of Harmony
A double-side tank drum is a constant experiment for our team thus far. It turns out that there is a huge number of variations that combine two harmonies on the two sides of a tank drum. Our task is to make these harmonies sound and complement each other without any mixing, interrupting and sound muffling.
We can achieve it in different ways: due to theoretical and consecutive practical selection of notes and scale degrees for the harmonies we use; due to location and size of tongues on each side for each harmony; or by reaching a balance of resonating parts of the tank drum body.
After tuning, every double-side tank drum is carefully listened to, and every single tongue is banged with an intense finger attack in order to control its bounce characteristics, sustain, and the overall reaction of the instrument to the sound wave generated by a particular tongue. It occurs that we aren’t sometimes satisfied with the sound of one or two tongues. It generally happens because of the tongue impaction: it’s unable to open up, to sway, and to release its sound wave. The sound muffles, quickly extinguishes and fades. Then we switch to plan B: we consider what we have to modify to “unleash” the sound. Sometimes we have to change just one or two notes, and in some cases, we alter the whole harmony.
Therefore, when someone wants to order a double-side tank drum, we always suggest them to choose the tuning mode for one side only to have space for experiments on the other side. We want to know what scale mood the person wants to hear on the other side, and tune the harmony in accordance with their wishes. But the most fruitful solution comes out when our customer agrees to describe only the desired scale mood of both sides, their sound depth and range. Thus we deal with a real stretch of imagination.
P.S.: Over the 4 years of my passion to this wonderful instrument, I’ve thoroughly played hundreds of different tank drum tuning modes, sizes and models, but I haven’t’ managed to find my favorite tuning type. That’s because almost every tank drum excites me in its own way. But if I couldn’t play different tank drums on a daily basis, and it was necessary to make my choice at once, I would probably choose a double-side one.