Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

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Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby TonyConga » Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:34 pm

I have been playing percussion for about 15 years now and for the past 4 years or so have been playing in three different rock bands. I don't really play the congas Cuban style, I play more 70's rock style. So for years I had this mid-range set of LP's. I finally dove in a bought a high quality set of LP congas.

LP Classic Top Tuning Series 11" Quinto Wine Red/Chrome
LP Classic Top Tuning Series 11-3/4" Conga Wine Red/Chrome
LP Classic Top-Tuning 12-1/2" Tumbadora Wine Red/Chrome

Here is a link LP to the Tumbadora for description of the drum:
http://www.lpmusic.com/products/congas/ ... oodchrome/

The LP description says: "Natural rawhide head" So I am assuming all the heads are cow cow skins. Very think heads! I LOVE the top tuning, that part of the drum is amazing!

Spent about $1,800 on this beautiful set. Really well built and has a pretty good sound but each drum has a horrible ring and the LP skin's are extremely thick.

Here I am playing them at a wine bar: http://youtu.be/hWFAZvuQ9W8
and here playing with a James Taylor tribute band: http://youtu.be/xlWl79aJ61g

My temporary fix for removing the ring is placing a string inside the drum tied from nut to nut hanging about 5" below the heads with a this strip of cotton towel draped over the string hanging down about 12". This completely removes the ring but also muffles the tone a bit. Definitely not the best solution. But if I remove the string and towel the ring comes back loud and strong.

Does anyone have "ANY" suggestions on what can be done to remove the ringing?

I saw on one guys website that he sanded the heads but did not give any details on that and has not returned emails. Has anyone heard of sanding down the heads? Would this help with ringing? If you have heard about sanding down the heads I would like some details on how to do this?

LP just ignores me. I would be extremely grateful with any help anyone can provide.

Thanks!

Regards, Anthony
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby Mike » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:36 pm

TonyConga wrote:The LP description says: "Natural rawhide head" So I am assuming all the heads are cow cow skins.

No, they are not really cow, but water buffalo. Rawhide is a pretty vague term, not meaning much at all.

TonyConga wrote:I saw on one guys website that he sanded the heads but did not give any details on that and has not returned emails. Has anyone heard of sanding down the heads? Would this help with ringing?

That will not help to stop the ringing which is inherent to the shells.
You were on the right track to place something into the shell that absorbs the overtones. A piece of foam would be my material of choice.
Peace & drum
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby Marcus » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:42 pm

Tony,

Welcome to the club!

Do a search on this forum for drum ring. You will find numerious treads with advice on how to reduce ring all the way from hanging or attaching dampers inside to changing out your heads with custom skins.

My production drums rang until I put some custom high quality steer skins on them. I also got set up for the method that Congalou provided using high strength magnets on fiberglass rods so that I could have an easy way of changing the foam to maximize tone and minimize ring. But with my new skins I really did not need to use that set up.

I would suspect that you have water buffalo but I could be mistaken, they are inherrently ringy--not from personnal experience but from my research on the forum.

good luck, marcus
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby TonyConga » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:48 pm

Mike,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I was trying to figure out if the ringing overtones was from skin or shell. I have seen conflicting information on this on the internet. It's just seems that I should have to do something to muffle the sound of a brand new drum. I finally dive into buying a professional set of Classic LP's and I have overtone problems on all three drums. Very sad. So the foam your talking about. Would that just be one small piece glued to side of inside drum about 6" below the head? More than one piece of foam?

One this I have noticed with this new drum is that the skins are extremely think, twice as thick as my previous LP's. Like playing on wood. Will that change over time? Very frustrating about the overtones.

Thanks for the help.

Tony
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby TonyConga » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:56 pm

Thanks Marcus,

I will definitely do some digging on this forum to get some ideas. Interesting about the skins probably being water buffalo vs. steer. I will have to investigate. So Steer heads just a lot better?
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby Marcus » Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:30 pm

Tony,

The way it was explained to me is that the environment that the animal lives accounts for the properties of the hide. Waterbuffalo being wet a lot, ie the water in waterbuffalo, just produces a hide that tends to ring when mounted on a drum. Since most production skins are waterbuffalo due to its lower cost then most productions drums will ring---man am I taking a lot of jumps here, but this is what I have been told.

Also wood can have an effect. A inside finished drum will bounce the high frequency tones rather than absorbe. I believe it was Issac that said that some woods like djembe woods inherrently produce a ring due to the dense nature of that wood. I would not sand my production congas on the inside because you never know what moisture/dry will affect the shell.

There is a whole subject around replacement skins, go thick and you mute the ring but also the tone. some skins inherrently reduce ring, but there are alot of views on this. When I replaced my heads, I used a good quality flesh ring, thick and strong--may have reduced ring also because the head was mounted a bit more secure.

Man there are so many reasons and solutions.

Do the research like you have mentioned and then start with the easy stuff.

good luck, marcus
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby Marcus » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:02 pm

Tony,

Finally read the specs on the LP congas that you have and LP says that there is a layer of fiberglass to help support the head tension. I always hears and thought that that layer of fiberglass tends to create the ring you have been mentioning.

Try the sticky back felt pads that you can find at a hardware store and buy a bunch and start placing them uniformily around the fiberglassed areas.

Trial and error,

Marcus
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby TonyConga » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:11 pm

Marcus,

Thanks for the response. I have noticed the fiberglass ring on the inside of the drum in the area of all the metal bolt hardware stuff. I actually found a method that has almost nailed it. The method is using thin weather stripping on the inside of the drum barrel spiraling down to the bottom of the drum. I did this two all three drums a couple of days ago and pretty happy with the results. The ringing and overtones are not totally gone, but that't the thing I don't want them totally gone just not as bad as they were. I still want a nice crisp sound that projects. This just about does the trick .. Very happy!

Note: I did NOT put any weather stripping directly on the underside of the head like the guy in the video does. I do not recommend that. Just the spiraling strips on the inside of the barrel.

Here is a youtube video of a guy using this method for a remo djembe. Works well with LP Classic congas as well :D :D :D
http://youtu.be/6h7T-4P7-xc

Here is a photo of the Self-Adhesive Weather Stripping - pretty close to what I used.
http://www.unionhillsacehardware.com/wp ... rstrip.jpg

Tony
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby Kaban » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:38 am

Real cow/steer skin will get that ring out. Beside the water buffalo skin tending to be ringy, the siam oak also tends to have more overtone.

I played the Classic, the new Richie Gajate (tilia wood) that are "Classics", and the 50th Anniversary Classics (hickory). The siam oak (rubberwood) had the most overtone. I had the employee at the store listen to me, he said the same. I really liked the overtone of the top-tuning Classics, they sound great! Get some older classics, I have read that they tend to be broken in?
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby Kaban » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:58 am

Watched the Youtube vids, the drums sound good. You sound good too, very musical, even though your technique is off. If you want to start improving your technique, making your slaps and tones tighter try out Johnny Conga. I have improved a lot under his instruction, plus he knows how to play EVERYTHING and will teach you it! No joke
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Re: Getting rid of ring in new congas skins - help

Postby TonyConga » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:54 pm

Thanks Kaban,

I know my technique is not good. I am self taught and just play what I like. I have never learned proper technique. I just love playing. Johnny Conga... I will check him out. I never have learned the one hand slap, I really need to learn that. I have always compromised using two hands to gt my slap.

I am just going to have to play a lot more to break these classic in!

Tony
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- help

Postby JohnnyConga » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:21 pm

Hi Tony ..I can help you if you want it...I see your more of a 'tapper' than a 'hitter' on the congas..you also do a off the edge finger hit(not a slap)..but i understand you have your own style and you never had a 'mentor' on the conga drums...so if your interested in expanding your technique and sound development email me at johnnyconga@live.com and we go from there...Tks!..and Tks Kaban!..c u soon!..
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