Djembe with ringing sound

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Djembe with ringing sound

Postby Socrates » Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:09 pm

Hi y'all,

My djembe has a ringing sound when I play the tone or slap. Kind of metally sound. The djembe is of good quality. Well, I trust the store where I bought it and they have a deal with the percussion school I'm having classes at now, so they're supposed not to deliver low-quality stuff. But as I say the sound rings, so you hear tones at three frequencies: the low bass frequency, the mid-frequency present at tones and slaps and a high frequency ringing sound. Does anyone of you know why this could be? The sound is there before and after rope tightening. And for the rest I like my djembe!

Regards,
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Postby James » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:30 am

Hey Socrates,

Ringing came up over here http://djembefola.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=93& and Dugafola suggested that the rings being loose could be the source of a ring.

Does that possibly lead to uneven tension around the skin and that causes the ring.

I don't know I suspect there's many reasons why djembe's ring. I've had a horrible ring on an older drum of mine and it's really annoying... :)
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Postby bubudi » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:37 am

hi socrates,
you didn't notice the ringing sound in the shop before you bought it?
never trust a shop to tell you what a good djembe is!
the reason your school has a deal with that shop could be because they provide them with the cheapest drums, and can have nothing to do with the quality of the drums. that said, even shops with good quality drums can sell duds from time to time. ask the shop manager if they are willing to replace it and next time, bring someone with you to help choose a good drum. try to pick someone who is an experienced player and has played at least several djembes. you are in amsterdam so you should have a lot of shops selling djembes. why not go to a few shops to compare their drums?
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Postby Socrates » Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:23 pm

The skin is not so thick and I tightened it myself. I don't have special tools so I just pulled the vertical ropes as tight as I could without getting too many blisters on my hands. To get the right tension I went round with the horizontal rope 2 1/3 times. I did the last 1/3 round contiguously, so no skipping. Maybe the combinations of (new) thin skin and uneven tension can cause the ringing sound?

About the quality overall, the djembe was bought by a percussion teacher, but not the one who's really into djembe. I'll ask my real djembe teacher what she thinks of it. And I do still trust the store but who knows, maybe they didn't test the djembe themselves too well.
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Postby bubudi » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:19 am

It sounds like you could have probably gone a fair bit harder on the vertical ropes. if you're worried about blisters get yourself a clam cleat. it's a clam-shaped device that grips rope well... costs next to nothing and is available in all boating stores. you can buy one in many stores that sell djembes. here's a picture of it:
Image

A thin skin will definitely tend to carry a lot more ring. I would go to the shop personally and see what else they have. if you just bought a new drum it should have a good skin on it and not have such a bad ring on it, even if it's not properly tuned! if you don't have the option os swapping it i could make other suggestions, but like with anything else, you need good materials to start with.
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Re: Djembe with ringing sound

Postby Rhythm House Drums » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:53 am

Ringing and overtones are usually caused by uneven tension in the skin. Figuring out why the tension is uneven is the difficult part. It could be an out of round bearing edge that pulls a little more tension in one direction, it could be a thick spine from the goat that shrinks up when the head dries and makes the spine higher pitched than the rest. The key to eliminate the ringing is to get an even tone all the way around the head of the djembe. Tap all around the head... when you hear a tone that's lower pitched, pull a few diamonds under that section of the head. It's easier and looks better to fix this with the verticals, so your diamonds aren't all out of whack... but... sound is more important than appearance so do what you gotta do!

You also need to pull your verticals tighter. You shouldn't be able to squeeze the rope together. Use leverage... a 2 foot dowl rod works well. Just wrap the rope around it and use it for leverage. Put a cloth or something on the drum so the dowel doesn't scratch it up.
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Re: Djembe with ringing sound

Postby bubudi » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:13 am

Rhythm House Drums wrote:Ringing and overtones are usually caused by uneven tension in the skin.


you're bound to have unevenness in a rope-tuned djembe. some of the best players prize the overtones in their djembe. excessive ringing, on the other hand, is usually due to other factors.
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Re: Djembe with ringing sound

Postby Rhythm House Drums » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:19 pm

bubudi wrote:
Rhythm House Drums wrote:Ringing and overtones are usually caused by uneven tension in the skin.


you're bound to have unevenness in a rope-tuned djembe. some of the best players prize the overtones in their djembe. excessive ringing, on the other hand, is usually due to other factors.


True you can't get the tension perfect with rope.. but you can get perty darn close. Some overtones are nice... This fella doesn't like his, which is usually a cause of a drum that isn't tuned evenly. A lot of times the spine shrinks more when it dries causing the spine to be higher pitched than the sides... this causes bad overtones. I had a long conversation with the peeps at DrumSkull about this(those guys are extremely helpful). I've tested the theory on quite a few ringy drums... proper tuning tension fixed them all. (even ones with loose rings, or rings really low on the head).

I've heard a lot of the Ivory Coast shells with this ring... it's not because the shell rings(which I've heard people say), it's just the opposite (Iroko wood is soft and doesn't have a natural ring much at all) it's because these drums are less expensive and are usually peoples first drum, which... dont get tuned properly. I've taken a bad overtone/ring out of Iroko shell, Lenke, and Hare... I'm convinced it's all in the tuning...

Now things that can make a drum not easy to tune evenly are things such as wavy bearing edge or uneven shape to the bearing edge, an out of round shell and loose top rings. But ultimately these things cause the head to have uneven tension...so... the ringing is from uneven head tension.

I tap all the way around the head about a half inch to an inch in front of the bearing edge. Dont listen to the attack (finger or stick (lightly) hitting the drum) listen to the after thought.. the ring, the sustain. this is what you want to get correctly pitched because it is here that the overtones either make the sound or kill it. Where the pitch sounds lower.. pull a diamond or two directly under.
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