Roto Toms for Hire
A unique and inventive design, these were invented in the 1960's in the USA. They are basically drums without shells but have the benefit of an ingenious tuning mechanism. The Remo drum company in the USA now distribute these drums throughout the world and they have become extremely successful. The mechanism that sets the drum apart is that the counter hoop is connected to a central rod. Therefore if the player turns the drum either way, the pitch of the drum will change. The drum sizes available range from 6" to 18" which gives a huge range of notes per drum. Modern composers such as Tippett and Sawer have composed for Rototoms. The Rose Lake by Tippett uses just over 3 octaves of Rototoms and requires several players to cover the range. Remo has also constructed a pedal Rototom which are very rare. This allows the player to tune and de-tune the Rototom by use of the foot as well as the hand. However, the pedal Rototom is somewhat temperamental and can cause problems.
RotoToms versatility has led to the widespread in recording studios, soundtracks, percussion ensembles and symphonic music.
RotoToms are built with a rapid-tuning system, allowing for instant tuning in a range of more the one octave. Tuned to the high range, they produce excellent Latin percussion sounds. Equipped with timpani heads, they produce the timbre of timpani but with a distinctive tone. Their versatility has led to the widespread us of RotoToms in recording studios, soundtracks, percussion ensembles and symphonic music.