In the summer of 1996, TreeWorks™ Chimes was created by Mitch McMichen. It began in his garage in Nashville, Tennessee.
The first set of chimes was made with a hacksaw and a hand drill. It didn´t look like much, but that was the first step to crafting the perfect set of chimes. When asked about the early days of TreeWorks™, Mitch replies, “ I wasn´t trying to start a company. I was trying to find a sound.”
Sice then has grown to become the most respected chimes in the percussion world – used by top studio and touring drummers and percussionist as well as the top24 drum corps. The instruments are still handmade in Nashville, Tennessee and are unmatched in craftsmanship and sound quality.
There are three components to the sound of a TreeWorks™' chime: the cord, the mantle and the bars. At TreeWorks™, each component is a serious contributor to the totally clean, crisp presence that these fine instruments produce.
It has been said that we go too far to create the perfect chime - as if your music didn't matter.
Listen. It matters.
TreeWorks went beyond the common practice of buying cheap wood and painting or staining it to look expensive. All TreeWorks’ wood is rare, 60 - 80 year old, Black Walnut (jugans regia) from managed forest of Tennessee's Highland Rim Region. The grain and rich color can be attributed to its age and growth at high elevation. A proprietary steaming process intensifies the color by forcing the dark pigment of the heartwood to move throughout the board. Selections are then individually hand-picked from rough, kiln-dried stock. The boards are cut and drilled, then sanded – not once – but 16 times. It becomes a TreeWorks’ mantle when the final clear, oil finish is applied to each one, by hand.
The bars are the essence of the sound, and the true quality of TreeWorks is in the color of the sound. We never paint, tint, dip, anodize or plate the bars, (since this adversely affects the sound). Also rejected are stock, off the shelf, aluminum bars. TreeWorks uses only custom mill runs, certified to spec and quality tested. The alloy is an aluminum/titanium composition that is T-6 tempered at 350°F for 8 hours. Tempering provides a more consistent grain structure (at the molecular level) and imparts the clear, distinctive sound that is TreeWorks’ alone. Next, the bars are cut and precision drilled followed by polishing that bevels the edges to minimize friction against the cord. An art unto itself, the chimes are tuned by ear, with a gradual change in pitch, one at a time, bar by bar. No presetassembly-line cutting.
You’ve no doubt seen the chimes that hang from plastic clothing ties, and you’ve probably experienced the frustration of finding your bars at the bottom of your case, so it is no surprise to you that the strength of the cord is an important piece of the equation. TreeWorks’ CordLoc™ is a select composition of fibers chosen for extreme strength then braided and individually hand-tied to each bar. Every cord is locked and sealed to render it virtually indestructible. But even more than strength is the fact that anything that touches the bar affects the sound. The length of our cord ensures that the bars never strike the mantle and every knot is tucked inside the hole on the mantle where it cannot touch the bar and impede the sound.
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