Rototoms do not have a traditional drum shell. Instead, the drumhead and counterhoop are mounted on an aluminum frame (spoke) through which the tension rods are attached to a bottom frame which is mounted on a threaded center bolt. Rotating the frame raises or lowers the tension, thus raising or lowering the pitch of the drum.
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. They are also a valuable tool for teaching timpani, in that they require much less space while approximating the sound and feel of traditional timpani. Their versatility has led to the widespread use of Rototoms in recording studios, soundtracks, percussion ensembles and symphonic music.
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