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#38859
Hi all,

I'd like to get some thoughts on what djembe I should get for my second purchase. My first was a nice traditional djembe, but I can't stand the tuning process, and the inconsistencies. I have a home studio, and I need to be able to adjust things fast - both up and down. I'm picky about setups on my other gear.

I don't want to debate traditional vs modern, tempting to you as that may be!

What I'm keen to hear is what is a really good solid purchase, that will have a decent sound. I'm not into traditional playing per se - I'm more of a modern improvisor, innovator, if I can even say that.

I see that the Remo Black Earth 12" seems to be a good price at the moment- even compared to the brown 'earth' finish which I don't quite understand. Should I be considering the 14 instead? What about LP or pearl?
#38860
Your best option would probably be to find a music store or two where you can try them out. Pick whichever you think sounds best.

In terms of sound, these drums won't sound like a djembe. Instead, you'll get a drum sound that isn't what a djembe sounds like.

Michi.
#38861
What michi said but in my own words. ;)

Now, if you're interested in the sound of a djembe and not just a drum labeled 'djembe', I have a pricey suggestion that'll spare you all that bothersome tuning.

Purchase a good authentic African hardwood djembe shell, a good African goat skin, side plates, lugs and a crown hoop and assemble yourself a 21st century Robodjembe that's easy to tune.
#38867
ok, thanks guys.

It seems it may take a while for my ear to tune into that classic djembe vs modern 'djembe-ish' sound. Although I must say, a Ukulele vs Martin comparison does seem a little stretched!

At the moment I am content to focus on a remo 12" or 14" - these seem the best of the bunch. If needed, I can use tricks to dampen the ringing.

I'll let you know how it goes.
#38868
drtom wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:44 am
Purchase a good authentic African hardwood djembe shell, a good African goat skin, side plates, lugs and a crown hoop and assemble yourself a 21st century Robodjembe that's easy to tune.
Yep. This would be probably by far the best compromise in terms of quick tuning and realy good sound. The only problem is, it would be pricey and you would have to built it by yourself...
#38871
boromir76 wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:51 am
Yep. This would be probably by far the best compromise in terms of quick tuning and realy good sound. The only problem is, it would be pricey and you would have to built it by yourself...
There are people who can do the work for him, but this would add to an already pricey project, and (from previous posts) my impression is that DG is pretty handy.
#38889
Hi Folks,

Well, I found a person in my town selling a remo mondo 12". I am very happy with it - here's my review.

Build: very good indeed. good quality tuning screws and apparatus. The head is a fiberskyn 3. I understand they also have the skyndeep, but I don't understand the difference. Essentially, I think this is a plastic head with a product known as tyvek on top to provide that fibrous element that is core to natural skins.

Practicality: off the scale. it is quite light, but more importantly, I can tune it to an exact concert pitch in minutes. down 3 semi-tones, up 5 semi-tones. It literally takes 2-3 minutes. For me, this is a godsend because I sample drums and use them in different settings. The fact the head is rapidly replaceable is also reassuring.

Sound: this is the controversial part. I found this video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODeFhKXoU14
In this overview, you can see how to reduce the 'ring' that people complain about by adding some padding inside the body. This essentially replaces the damping effect that wood applies to sound waves inside the body of the djembe. I made these changes, along with a small dampening foam onto the head itself (2 inches piece close to the edge). What I find is that the skin is VERY fussy where you place the foam on the skin from the inside. It either makes no difference at all, or a substantial difference. This is no doubt due to the wave nodes and natural vibrations of the skin. After some trial and error, I have a very convincing djembe sound that compares to my other drum with a goat skin head. There is no doubt the goat skin head has a thicker, punchier sound. For me, it does not outweigh the other benefits of the remo djembe.

I should add that I am a vegetarian - so this is an added bonus for me. I do compromise on my vegetarianism on rare occasions - but it is a re-assuring element that may or may not apply to you.
#38891
DrumGoon wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:42 pm
After some trial and error, I have a very convincing djembe sound that compares to my other drum with a goat skin head.
Good to hear you found what you were looking for! Care to post a video review or a sound sample?
DrumGoon wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:42 pm
I should add that I am a vegetarian - so this is an added bonus for me. I do compromise on my vegetarianism on rare occasions - but it is a re-assuring element that may or may not apply to you.
The goat skin is a vegetarian's skin, you know?;)

Jokes aside, production of plastic and synthetic shell also uses natural resources and creates pollution. Plastic waste is especially dangerous to marine life. So, if we look at the whole lifecycle of a product, goatskin might even be a more sustainable option.
#38895
I know what you're saying korma - you're talking about the full frame of the value chain. In that respect, it's hard to tell.

I do know the remo shells are 100% recycled wood chips/pulp though.

I will not be posting sound samples in the near future. If you're really keen, follow that link to youtube video above. In it - at the end - the guy has a quick play on the modded remo drum.