9 Inch Log Drum - whole - Brad Ormand

06.14.2015 – Wood Drum, Mac Pro & WWDC

Every day after work this week, I carved just a little bit more out of the log for the large drum (about 9″) and finally finished it.  I used my wood mallet and 1-inch chisel for most of it, but I drilled some pilot holes with a 5/8’s bit, several times, on both sides to give me some tension relief so I wouldn’t just crack the outer shell as I hit it.  I had figured that I’d go to the hardware store to get a super long and fat bit later, but I was enjoying the chiseling, and I had already core’d it.

9 Inch Log Drum - whole - Brad Ormand

9 Inch Log Drum - cored - Brad Ormand

I set a flat rim up top, and sanded it down.  I went ahead and nailed a piece of mylar to the top opening and started seeing how it would sound.  It sounds awesome!  Like a real drum would.  I noticed that I was getting a lot of sub frequencies, too – like 30 to 50 hertz out of it.

Of course, the head isn’t tensioned really tightly like you could get with a commercial drum, but for now, I’d like to record some sounds off of it while it sounds low.  Earlier, I mentioned that I’d make a rim and lug system for it, but I didn’t have any large enough stock to go around it, and I wanted to just vibe with it and play it.  I think I’ll build a decagon rim (with 10 sides) or something like that to tension heads in the future, with some metal lugs bolted to the shell as I get a few more built.

(The pic was taken after a few days, and it got pret-ty flappy.  Moisture changes, etc.  on to plan B)

9 Inch Log Drum - temp head - Brad Ormand

And in other news…  my Mac Pro died again!  Welll..  actually either the display or the graphics card did.  Just in time for the Apple WWDC show!  It’s okay.  I looked at the diagnostic LEDs on the motherboard and they checked out – except when the display shuts down, the comp goes to standby..  Hmmm. Or maybe the comp goes to standby instantly and that’s what makes the display shut off.   I pulled the graphics card and reseated it,  I reset the PRAM, checked voltage on the backup batt, and reset the SMC.  Still nothing.

So, the next thing I’ll try is to rule out the display hardware itself.  This week, I’ll get some adapters to hook up to the female DVI ports on the graphics card and see if I can get any other monitor rolling.  I’m suspecting that the graphics card is fine, but that my monitor power supply blew.  Yeah, I’ve had that one since 2003.  so, yah – I just kept recycling it because it’s big and 1920 pix across, and new ones like that are expensive…  But, might be time.  I’ll test and find out.

And then…  The WWDC15 Apple developer conference was this week.  I spent a lot of time watching it.  I have an XCode project set up and waiting for me to start rendering objects to the screen.  I did a lot of Sprite Kit, SceneKit and Metal API research.  However, my 3D modeling package and toolkit is on my Mac Pro!  …So, gotta wait for the fix, there.  I have been brainstorming game ideas and have written and drawn out a few concepts.  I do love geometry and that kind of stuff, and I don’t do as much graphics programming as I did in the old days (5 years ago, etc).  So…  I’d really like to try to commit to some graphical software project and finish it and publish it.  I think I can do it, and the project log is helping me see where the bottlenecks are.