Our Aha! Moment

Wonder how we got started in this business? It’s a good story, and it started when BG walked into our offices in the spring of 2005. BG, we soon learned, was a bass drum instructor for several well known competition pipe & drum bands in the area. He’d heard we were pretty good at figuring out solutions for the sign and visual communications industry, so he asked if we could put graphics on a bass drum head-graphics that would last, and not ruin the drum’s sound. As we interviewed BG to understand what had been tried in the past, why it hadn’t worked, and what performance characteristics were going to be required of these graphics, we realized that this was going to be substantial challenge – and was going to require a collaborative effort. The ideal solution, as BG outlined, would:

1. allow for full color, custom, photo quality graphics to be incorporated on to a
bass drum head;
2. allow for these graphics to be durable enough to withstand constant beating;
3. be able to physically last for years;
4. be able to graphically last – to retain color and image quality – through
exposure to all types of weather, also for years;
5. be able to be stretched tightly over a drum shell;
6. not interfere with the desired tuning of the drum;
7. produce a sound mirroring that of a non-graphic head;
8. be available at a cost both reasonable and competitive.

Whew!

We spent months experimenting with different fabrication methods, various materials and combinations of materials, different application techniques, etc., all with BG evaluating our efforts. His critical input – and his ear – were really important to us, because our experience in and understanding of the production process needed to be guided by the musical results our experiments generated. We achieved items 1 though 5 pretty quickly, but finding a way to achieve items 6 and 7 were a lot more difficult.

The end result of this extensive testing was a process that met every one of the requirements above. The first time BG showed up at one of his bands with our heads on his drum, the response was incredible. A second set was ordered immediately, and at the first competition this band attended, BG and the other bass drummer were swamped with requests for information on how / where / who made their drum head graphics. DrumImage was up and running.

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