Advice and questions on making and fixing instruments
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By korman
#39260
Yesterday I tried to make a kensedeni using a plastic pipe and a bongo skin, but the hide is too stiff (or too thick?). I get acceptable tone when striking with finger, however, with a stick there's an unpleasant click upon impact which completely destroys the tone. Probably I should get a thinner hide, but maybe there is a way to soften the cowhide I've already put on?
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By Dugafola
#39261
best bet is to play it. or put something like shea butter on it and play it. or just take it off and start over with a better skin.
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By boromir76
#39271
Like Dugafola said, the skin has to be played and it will soften up because of that gradually. I had similar issue when puting new thick cow skins on dunduns. Thick skin is quite hard and has a somewhat plastic like surface and sound, when being hit with stick on the beginning. This clicky sound will disapear 100% with enough playing.
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By Dugafola
#39272
there's a misconception that thick cow skins are great for dununba drums. the goal is to produce sound. those super thick skins just do not vibrate enough to produce a nice deep loud sound....unless it's been really played in....years. a nice medium thick cow skin consistent side to side is the best bet for dununba IMO. you can go heavier on sangban and kenkeni....that's a great sound.
User avatar
By boromir76
#39273
Dugafola wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:26 pm
there's a misconception that thick cow skins are great for dununba drums. the goal is to produce sound. those super thick skins just do not vibrate enough to produce a nice deep loud sound....unless it's been really played in....years. a nice medium thick cow skin consistent side to side is the best bet for dununba IMO. you can go heavier on sangban and kenkeni....that's a great sound.
It depends on what you consider as super thick cow skins...but yes, thick skins sound probably better on sangban and kenkeni, than on dununba... I would not go as far to say that they sound bad on dununba, but they are somewhat more demanding to play, especially when playing traditionally: need more punching force to sound enough loud.
Last edited by boromir76 on Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#39274
oh yea much more energy and force required. forgot to mention that.
User avatar
By korman
#41432
[update] OK, so the problem is the clacky sound that new dundun skins have on stick impact.
Over these months I've done some experimentation, but still haven't found a magic solution.
- tried to tan the hide with oak bark. overnight did not work, two days did not work, either. maybe the solution wasn't strong enough (but I did not have more bark). the brown color of the skin looks nice, though
- tried the battery acid method (google it). overnight soak did not change the sound appreciably, and I did not want to leave it longer in the sulphuric acid solution
- tried several coats of neatsfoot oil. did not do a damn thing
:D

Now recently one experienced drummer told me that in Guinea they sometimes apply karite butter to the skin and wring it with hands many times to soften the skin. His dunun prepared with this method sound wonderful. Gotta try this. [/end update]