Benefits Backed by Science: ErgoSonic Angled Shell Marching Bass

A recent research study scientifically proved the ergonomic and acoustic benefits of ErgoSonic Percussion’s angled-shell marching bass drum compared to traditional marching bass drums.

Acoustically, the ErgoSonic drum had the same pitch quality as other drums, but ErgoSonic’s drum measured in with “enhanced drum tuning, significantly improved acoustic presence and evenness of sound,” according to the study performed by engineers at Binghamton (New York) University.

“We are extremely pleased with the study results as they scientifically confirmed what we’ve anecdotally known for years—our drums have excellent sound quality and make the marching and playing experience easier and more enjoyable for the musician,” said Ken Turner, president and founder of ErgoSonic Percussion in a press release. “We are grateful to both Binghamton University and New York state for helping to make this study possible.”

The researchers evaluated the ergonomic benefits of both bass drum types with mechanical design analysis and field testing. The ErgoSonic drum weighs less and has a lower center of mass, resulting in 67% less effort for a person to move forward and 14% less effort while crab-walking side to side.

For the acoustics, they tested the drums in an anechoic (echo-free) chamber to measure the decay and character of the sound. Research showed that it is easier to adjust the decay ratio of the sound on the ErgoSonic drum.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Ron Miles, Ph.D. candidate Mahdi Farahikia, and undergraduate student Ari Massias conducted the research and presented the findings of this study at the Acoustical Society of America’s 174th meeting held in New Orleans from Dec. 4 to 8, 2017.

“This angled drum design is found to provide a smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic instrument that produces sound that is essentially equivalent to that of conventional drums,” says the research abstract.

The study came about through New York state’s Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence, which connects mid-level and small businesses with faculty and students from New York universities to perform research related to their products.

Click here to read the presentation abstract.


About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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