Snare drums and tom-toms used in drum sets often produce an undesirable high frequency ringing sound when struck. Drummers have historically applied DIY damping solutions to address this ringing, placing objects such as wallets and tape on the heads. A variety of inexpensive commercial products is now available to dampen drums in a more controlled manner. The most commonly used products consist of small adhesive pads that can be placed directly on the drum head at desired locations, either singly or in combinations. An experimental investigation of the ringing drum head modes and the effects of the damping pads is reported. Decay rate measurements indicate that the (3,1) and (4,1) modes often contribute the most to the ringing sound, and that these modes are strongly affected by the damping pads. Another class of commercial dampener consists of thin annular rings of Mylar® that conform to the perimeter of the drum head. These free-floating rings produce a similar damping effect, but dissipate energy through a different physical mechanism. Experimental results for both types of dampeners are presented, and discussed in terms of viscoelastic and squeeze-film damping mechanisms respectively.
June 20 2019
Physics of musical drum head damping using externally applied products
Randy Worland ;
Randy Worland, William Miyahira; Physics of musical drum head damping using externally applied products. Proc. Mtgs. Acoust. 5 November 2018; 35 (1): 035004. https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001011
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