The lion’s roar is a friction-based percussion instrument that is often used in sound effect applications, producing a fascinating semi-pitched moaning sound. It is not often sold, but is relatively easy to create.
The first requirement is a drum. It does not necessarily need to be a high-quality shell; in fact a lion’s roar is a great use for an old shell. The drum should be a tom-tom with a minimum diameter of about twelve inches. The ideal diameter is around sixteen inches—this is large enough to give a satisfyingly low tone while being small enough to avoid the unwieldiness that inherently comes with larger drums. While the depth of the tom-tom is not super important, ensure that it is deep enough to give plenty of room for the tone to resonate. Finally, it does not matter if the tom-tom has one or two heads, as only one will be used in the final product.