We offer fine tuned steel tongue drums. Each instrument is made with great care, love and devotion. Our FunTone drums are prepared by order with a certain intention towards their future owners. That is why we do not hold a ready-made stock.
1TONE was established and currently being run by Anton Koren who gave this instrument the name “steel tongue drum”. Since 2007 Anton has tuned a few thousands of handmade instruments.
Our goal is to make a fine percussion instrument with a unique sound that will leave a positive impact on it’s player and it’s environment.
We are looking for a sound that resembles the sound of a string, which always has all it’s partials (harmonics) perfectly aligned with it’s fundamental vibration. That’s why the string produces that long and “harmonious” sustain after it’s being plucked or stroke.
In our work, we try to imitate this behavior by tuning the first two overtones. The lowest partial is tuned to be one octave above the fundamental and the second one to be that octaves fifth – exactly like in a string. This is done by creating a perfectly balanced tongue with all it’s tensions in the right places.
This tuning process changes the natural metallic sound ( timbre ) of the material and so it can no longer be identified as metal by our ears. Instead the tongues sound more like strings. This is the reason that the vast majority of the steel tongue drums made today (which do not have tuned harmonics) actually sound more metallic.
We love tuning our instruments to various scales from different parts of the world, so if you are looking for a special scale or a mode that is not on our list, just ask us and we will gladly tune your instrument to it. It is also possible to tune to A=432Hz.
About the Funtone drum
The “FunTone” is the latest model of our steel tongue drum. Our premium “Pro” model is harmonically tuned having two partials ( overtones) tuned to each note.
We designed this drum to be very comfortable for playing. The form of the instrument has just the right angle for a natural wrist positioning making the playing experience effortless. This drum is very loud despite it’s small size, it can be easily heard in a busy street or while accompanied by other instruments.
After a long search for the perfect material, we have now found our favorite steel alloy. We treat the metal with carbon and nitrogen in order to make this instrument more resonant and responsive to touch, this also strengthens the body of the instrument turning the FunTone into a very durable steel tongue drum.
This tongue drum is made of two steel shells 1.5mm thick and weighs 4kg. The diameter of the FunTone is 40cm.
The history of 1Tone Drums
1TONE was established by Anton Koren in 2007. The first instruments that were built under this brand name were didgeridoos. These instruments are known as “single note” instruments that can play a wide variety of overtones, hence the name 1TONE. In late 2007 Koren discovered the work of a musical instrument maker Dennis Havlena from the US. Dennis have Inspired Anton with his idea for making a tongue drum from metal. The original instrument made by Denis was constructed from an empty gas tank and had tongue shaped cuts similar to those of the original African slit drum, he called it a “Hank drum”.
In December 2007 Koren created his own version of metal slit drum, he gave it the name “steel tongue drum” which is now the most common name for this instrument.
The following year Koren teamed up with Asaf Lebovich to build the “Eclipse” drum – soon to be the first fine tuned tongue drum. The idea was to create an actual hybrid between the African tongue drum and the Caribbean steel pan- an instrument that has one or two partials tuned “inside” each note. The instrument was designed to have one bass note in it’s center resembling a membrane. By 2009 each 1TONE tongue had it’s 1st harmonic tuned inside it. This was a real breakthrough in the field making turning the steel tongue drum into a fine tuned instrument. The production of the Eclipse drums ended in 2012 and was followed by the FunTone model.