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Our Story

It All Began:

Bret Hutchinson created the Idiopan in 2010 after becoming intrigued by the idea of having a tunable percussion instrument that could play rhythm and melody which he could incorporate in his musical projects. He was inspired by Dennis Havlena's tank drum. With steel tongue drums in their infancy, Bret was driven to create a fully realized tunable musical instrument, compared to what the usual perceptions of steel tongue drums were.

Transformation:

By chance, Bret met Max Kundrat of Mid-East Mfg., Inc., at Andy’s Music in Chicago. Bret and Max hit it off and decided to work together and develop a way to make the Idiopan more accessible. The challenge was to reduce the price, increase production, improve the already high level of quality, offer more varieties and most importantly remain crafted in the USA. Idiopan.com is the result of this effort. We are very proud to say that all Idiopan tunable steel tongue drums are crafted in the USA. Idiopan tunable steel tongue drums truly are ALL TONE, NO TANK ™.

Work, Work, Work:

Bret was adamant about making steel tongue drums which produced pure tones without the tankiness. Being a guitar player, Bret pushed himself to develop the tuning system with the limitations of having an instrument that only had 8-10 notes. After much hard work and experimentation, Bret developed the first and only steel tongue drum capable of tuning to 100’s of scales with its unique magnet tuning system, providing warm, pure, rich tones ideal for harmonizing with any instrument. Bret was making each drum one at a time and was looking for a way to make the Idiopan available to a wider audience.