One Beat Better is a Philadelphia-based company that makes a unique hybrid idiophone/practice pad called Timbre Jam. Available in a variety of woods (maple, birch, walnut, and poplar), Timbre Jams produce a tonal sound that’s a cross between a tongue drum, a woodblock, and a temple block, but with a pleasingly subdued attack.
These square, wood instruments feature an open area just under the rubber playing surface, which can be stuffed with an included hard-foam dampening block to mute the sound for quieter practice sessions. As a practice pad, the Timbre Jam has an amazing feel and great rebound. Without the foam mute, you get a very musical and subtle woodblock sound from every strike. One Beat Better offers Timbre Jams with three different-sized openings to change the pitch (high, medium, and low). This allows you to combine several pads into a set to create a fun multi-tone instrument.
The Timbre Jam sits nicely on a table, drum, or your lap, or you can mount it to a cymbal stand via the optional metal tray and Magne-Mount. The Magne-Mount has several magnets on the top that connect to the bottom of the mounting tray. It also has threads that are sized to fit an 8mm cymbal stand. The trays are available for single, double, or triple configurations.
Each Timbre Jam itself has a magnet embedded in it, so it also attaches securely to the mounting tray without requiring clamps or screws. The magnets are very strong, so the block stayed in place regardless of how hard I struck it.
The Timbre Jam is an impressive multi-purpose practice device and percussion instrument. It is well designed and expertly constructed, and it offers a level of versatility that you can’t find from standard wood and rubber pads. Check them out at onebeatbetter.com.