Damn it.....seriously!!

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Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby alifaa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:14 am

I have been trying to get skins to sound like my drum teacher's for 2 years now, and always put in 150% effort in cranking, gently bringing it up to pitch, super tight skins, etc, and not quite getting there.

Through a series of events (unexpected pop, new skin shipment from Drumskull, new regulations), I have the answer......LIMED SKINS!!!!

I have had natural skins always, and just put a skin on my new DSD Djalla djembe because the old one popped for no apparent reason after 6 weeks. 3 days drying, one round of cranking the verticals and it sounds way cleaner and brighter than the Wula drum that has had careful crankage for 6 weeks (gone around one whole row of diamonds and re-cranked the verticals twice now).

DAMMIT!!!!

That was the missing ingredient.........if only I had've known, I would be happily skinning way more drums due to recommendations from my teacher.

Lesson learnt.
Check out my website - http://www.tanamasi.com for my new e-book, "Dark Art of the Dunun"...come over to the dark side of drumming!!
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby bkidd » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:59 am

Liming huh? That makes all the difference. Do a lot of people apply this step? I've never heard of it for djembe skins.

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-Brian
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby EvanP » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:06 am

Is liming the same as covering the skin with ash and drying in the sun? If so I've seen videos of that practice.
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby alifaa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:32 am

Lime treatment is used to get the skins through Australian customs. I am not sure if it is done in Africa before they get to the US, as I have received 20 skins from Drumskull in the past that weren't.
It is only now that they are providing detailed documentation that they need to be lime treated, so all future skins will arrive like this.
Check out my website - http://www.tanamasi.com for my new e-book, "Dark Art of the Dunun"...come over to the dark side of drumming!!
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby e2c » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:16 am

I have never heard of it for djembe/dunun skins - or frame drum skins, or darbuka skins (goat, calf or fish).

alifaa, what do you mean by "limed"? (Just wanting to make sure I understand the process and what is done to the skins...)
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby alifaa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:42 am

Excerpt from the customs letter:
"Flint dried goat skins removed of hair...cleaned with boiled water and lime and acid treated to kill all living organisms, remove hair and fat."

Don't ask me how they do it, DSD might be able to assist with that.
Check out my website - http://www.tanamasi.com for my new e-book, "Dark Art of the Dunun"...come over to the dark side of drumming!!
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby Tom » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:31 am

For as long as I can remember skins have been limed in and exported from Guinea. Players in Guinea do not use limed skins because of the side effects of liming. The liming process removes the natural oils from the skins, which decreases life span. Also, players here say they don't like to play limed skins because they are too hard on the hands (saying that it makes their hands hot). Personally I do not like limed skins because, although it does give a brighter sound, it takes away the texture of the sound.
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby michi » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:38 am

I agree with Tom. Limed skins tend to break sooner than ones that are just dried without any chemical treatment. Having said that, there is a lot of variability there. Overdoing the liming will weaken the skin. But, if the treatment is gentle enough, I don't think it does so much damage that I wouldn't use a limed skin.

A lot depends on exactly what chemicals are present in what concentration, the temperature, and how long the skin is exposed to the chemicals. If a skin comes out bright white, with not traces of pigment visible anymore, chances are that the treatment was fairly strong. That will make Australian quarantine officers happy, but not necessarily the player :)

I also agree with Tom on the brighter sound. You get nice crisp slaps, but the tones tend to come out a little anaemic. Still, I suspect that an African skin that has been limed will still tend to sound better than an Australian one that has been limed. (I've tried Australian limed skins quite a few times in the past, with mixed results; I have no experience with African limed skins at this point, only dried African ones.)

For a limed skin (whether Australian or African), I would recommend to go up a notch in thickness, to compensate for the brighter sound from the liming. This will also help somewhat with longevity.

Cheers,

Michi.
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby Trog » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:39 pm

I like Gin and tonic Limed..
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby michi » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:43 pm

Trog wrote:I like Gin and tonic Limed..

That remark is sooo 1 king ksing… ;-)

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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby e2c » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:43 pm

(b)limey! ;)
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby drtom » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:23 am

I'm glad you found the sound you've been looking for .

Just a word of caution. Limed skins contain residue. Remember what effect the lime had on the goatskins, so wear gloves to avoid contact with the wet skins.

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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby michi » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:29 am

drtom wrote:Just a word of caution. Limed skins contain residue. Remember what effect the lime had on the goatskins, so wear gloves to avoid contact with the wet skins.

I would have thought that, by the time the skin has been in water for several hours, pretty much all the residue would be diluted into insignificance?

I guess it won't hurt to be careful, but I wouldn't be too concerned about this…

Cheers,

Michi.
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:29 pm

I have not played on limed skins for any length of time, but Guinean players who have tell me that the limed skins can "tear your hands up". How much this is true probably depends on exactly how the skins were treated, which I am sure varies.
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Re: Damn it.....seriously!!

Postby alifaa » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:04 am

michi wrote:Limed skins tend to break sooner...


Quick update - just popped, under the rings. bugger.

Will have to re-do with the purse string looser than I would with a natural skin, treat it with care and caution.

Crap. :p
Check out my website - http://www.tanamasi.com for my new e-book, "Dark Art of the Dunun"...come over to the dark side of drumming!!
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