Inventions, new ideas...

Manufacturers, brands, skins, maintenance, stands, sticks, michrophones and other accessories for congueros can be discussed into this forum ...... leave your experience or express your doubts!

Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby akdom » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:20 am

Hi Galou

As Abakua implied, once you have a great drum and great skin, the ringing is not a problem anymore.

What kind of manufacturers did you approach? Conga makers? If so, it is obvious that they won't be interested in such a device. BUT, manufactures of equipment and hardware might...

Keep us informed.

And thanks again for saving my life with the new hooks you sent me.

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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby congalou » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:14 am

Hi guys,

Whopbamboum, I will post videos playing open tones this week.

To my mind, and as Jorge say, overtones are not a big problem when you play in a band, but when you work alone or when you recording, they could be embarrassing. And, some ring come from the skin, other from the shell (shape, material), my system stop the shell ringings.

On my pink drum, for exemple, the skin is very good (same thick caw on your drums, B) but the shell (fiberglass) give lot of ovetones.

For the moment, I have contact congas makers, i will try equipment manufacturers. I will keep you informed.

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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby congalou » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:37 pm

Hi, here is new vidéos,

Bad sound once again, but you can hear the difference.

Bass, open tone, slap...

without my system :

with my system :

I'm searching, I'm searching !!!!

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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby lpcongaplayer » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:15 am

Speaking of inventions. Have you guys seen the new Meinl Foot Cabasa?

Awesome stuff!!
Billy: Mommy! I want to be a drummer when I grow up!
Mommy: Now, Billy. You know you can't do both.
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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby Whopbamboom » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:04 am

Off-topic, yes. But I've tried out that foot cabasa at NAMM this year. It seemed to only have the capability of short "chick" sounds. There is a screw that allows you to make the sound either when only pressing your foot down ("chick"), or also when you move your foot down and then up ("chick chick"). I'm planning on getting one, it seemed useful to me. But I don't think it allows for any longer notes, such as what can be had when rolling a normal cabasa with the hand or on a leg.

Back to the original topic...
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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby congalou » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:24 am

Hello guys, my patent is pending, so here it is !!!

With this system, you can reduce shell overtones as you want. All the acoustic foam centered in the inside of the shell for maximum effect, or just little foam on one side for a discreet effect.

Taped with a magnet on the inside plate.

But, let's have less talk and more photos !!

Available on

Atténuateur gros plan.JPG
Au coeur du tambour.JPG
Différentes atténuations.JPG
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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby Mike » Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:36 am

Fabulous, Gaël! :D

I take it that you can combine or arrange the foam discs according to your needs.
I would guess the further apart, the higher is the dampening effect.

Well, you might make many a conguero happy with this device,
considering the many complaints about shell ringing on this forum.

BTW those magnets must be very strong ? :?
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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby congalou » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:09 pm

That's it Mike !!!

And the magnet is 7 kg strong....

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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby Anonimo » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:14 pm

Last edited by Anonimo on Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby BMac » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:29 am

Someone described earlier in this thread what is known as the "poor man's patent." I don't think that terminology was used in this thread, but the process of mailing yourself a description of your invention hoping to use the postmark and sealed envelope as proof of invention is called just that. That process is generally held as laughable in legal circles. I wouldn't count on that process to help you in any way.

Here are some facts (with just a bit of opinion thrown in for flavor):

One year from any printed publication anywhere (website forum posts probably count) describing your invention, offer for sale of your invention in the U.S., or public use of your invention in the U.S., any right you might otherwise have for a U.S. patent to your invention is lost if you have not filed a patent application of some sort. So, if you are interested in gaining U.S. patent protection for your invention, keep it quiet or know that once you let the cat out of the bag, you must take action within one year to gain a formal "priority date" or you may lose all legal hope of obtaining a patent. An NDA (non-disclosure agreement) probably does not protect you from this one-year expiration of rights if you offer to sell your invention in the U.S.

The U.S. patent system is a complicated mess of laws and regulations. The patent office will take some special care in dealing with individuals who represent themselves. The office calls such inventors "pro se" applicants. However, patent examiners will only go so far in helping you understand the mess you will likely find yourself inhabiting. They may even make well intended suggestions to help you gain a patent, but their suggestions may only gain you such hopelessly limited protection that you'll never be able to enforce your patent. Patent attorneys and patent agents are available to help you. Expect to spend $6000 to $10000 to gain even a modestly valuable utility patent if you hire a representative. Expect the process, from filing a patent application to gaining a patent, to take several years.

If you are sincerely interested in initiating the patent process by yourself, you can start by filing a provisional patent application. Type up a description of your invention. Take some photographs or make some sketches. Refer to the photographs/sketches in your typed description. Use little arrows with numbers if you can manage that to clarify what features you are describing. Concentrate on what your invention is. Concentrate on describing its structure. Describing its advantages is okay to give some context to your descriptions, but be sure to describe what it is, not just what it does. Describe bolts and rods and pads and hardware and such. Don't just type about your love of drumming and how your invention makes you feel. Bear in mind that your photographs/sketches need to look good in black and white reproduction. Don't use color. If you're using photographs, make photocopies and look to see if you can still discern details. Put everything on white 8.5 by 11 printer/copier paper. The Patent Office will ultimately scan everything for electronic storage and will throw away the original. So everything needs to be capable of black and white scanning. Make up a title for your invention, just a few words, and type "Provisional Patent Application for" followed by the title you make up at the top of the front page of your description document.

Include your name and address below the title or provide your name and address on a separate page in front of your description document. Include the name and address of anyone else who helped you invent the thing.

Write a check or get a money order, for example a U.S. Postal money order, for $110. The dollar amount may change at any time. You can look for the updated amount by finding the "Provisional application filing fee" at: ... htm#patapp
(or look for the current fee schedule at

Put it all in an envelope and mail it to:

Commissioner for Patents
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

Keep a copy of everything.

You'll receive a "filing receipt" for your provisional patent application within a few weeks. The receipt will indicate your filing date (the day the Patent Office received your mailing). At that point, you can legally say you have patent pending status for one year from the filing date. If you take no further action to gain a patent, stop claiming patent pending status after one year passes.

Your provisional patent application will not be examined and will not become a patent. The Patent Office will only keep it on record electronically. Within one year of the date indicated on your filing receipt as your filing date, if you file a more formal utility patent application claiming the benefit of priority of your provisional patent application, the Patent Office will generally treat your utility patent application as if it were filed on the provisional filing date. This is a good thing, patent applications are considered according to priority. So by filing a provisional patent application, you get one year to get together the money to hire a professional, or change your mind, or find an investor, or sell your idea to a company ... etc ... all while boasting that you have patent pending status. If you do intend to hire a patent agent or patent attorney, approach them as far in advance as possible. They may not be able to do a good job if you give them only a few days before the one year anniversary of you provisional filing date. If you intend to write a utility patent application on your own, then I can only say "May God help you friend."

You shouldn't expect a company representative to take you very seriously if you haven't at least filed a provisional patent application. Their time is worth money. If you don't invest something in your invention, why should they?

Be skeptical of any company that promises to help you develop and commercialize your invention. There are more scams out there in the invention development industry than you want to know. You'll need to formulate your own business plan. Be skeptical of any company who tells you they'll handle everything, from prototyping, to patenting, to commercializing, if you'll just pay them $$$. The only thing you can be sure of when you pay them that $$$, is that your money will be spent. Whether you ever see any of it back or not will be much in question.

Most importantly, don't believe everything you read on the internet. In fact, everything I've just typed may just be a bunch of lies. I might just be an imaginative twelve year old. Nothing here constitutes legal advice. I'm just typing. In fact, you never should have read it. Excuse any spelling or grammar errors, I didn't get paid to write this.

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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby BMac » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:36 am

Oh yeah, I've reduced ringing in a conga by pouring epoxy into the interior, carefully avoiding contaminating the head, and then dumping sawdust in there to stick to the epoxy. So the interior of the drum becomes fuzzy, and absorbs high-frequency ringing. It's cheap, and it may work for you. It is probably impossible to undo, however. Once it's done, it's done. There ain't not getting that mess out of there. I did it with a rough carved one-piece shell and it worked wonders on the ringing.

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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby Thomas Altmann » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:30 am

Oh yeah, I've reduced ringing in a conga by pouring epoxy into the interior, carefully avoiding contaminating the head, and then dumping sawdust in there to stick to the epoxy.

Netherland's company Afro Percussion did that with their fiberglass congas, I think in the 90's. Not sure whether they used epoxy; the sawdust used to come off easily.

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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby CongaTick » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:15 pm


Patents don't mean crap! They merely give the impression of protection, and unless you have a ton of money to hire lawyers to go after somebody that you feel has violated your rights, you can be screwed by anybody who runs off to China/Vietnam/India/the Philippines/BanglaDesh, etc and contracts for cheapass manufacturing of your product. The only thing you really can do is to get the jump on the slime that would rip you off. Make it yourself. And since this is not a high tech product involving tons of complex circuitry--a cottage industry style model using friends and family to churn these out as needed for local sale and mail/internet order would probably work. Otherwise, don't expect any interest from the majors. A superb idea, Congalou, made by a truly innovative artisan and lover of the conga. Congratulations.
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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby bongosnotbombs » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:27 pm

I am also working on a project that should evolve in this direction.
Get a lawyer that will work for a percentage from whatever reward you receive from the company that purchases your idea.
The lawyer will assist with patent applications, non-disclosure agreements and contracts.
Something like this should be good for a decent upfront fee and residuals.
Good luck.
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Re: Inventions, new ideas...

Postby congalou » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:16 pm

Hello guys and thanks for your comments,

In France we have our "poor man's patent" : envelope SOLEAU. It's a two exemplary envelope, you put your documents inside the two exemplary, send to INPI (institut national de la protection industrielle) They date it, keep one envelope and send you the other. It's the first thing to do when you have an idea in France, not very expensive and official. I have made mine approx two years ago !!!! before made my patent.

You are absolutely right, I can be screwed... It's possible. I realy don't wish it, because it's not nice. But I know some bad industrials are making instruments for money and don't have regrets to copying the others guys ideas..... It's sad..... Not sport....
And thanks for your congrats, it's cool !!! I have record few days ago and I'm happy because it really works !!!! 8)

If I can give you an advice, be careful with lawyers. The first I met ask me 150 - 200 euro per hour of work and tell me that he needed at least 10 hour of work for a NDA.....

As we say in France, he saw me has a six weeks old rabbit...... :shock:

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