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Humidity, for natural skin...?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:09 am
by Ebongo
For longer usage what is the ideal humidity and temperature range for natural skin heads? :idea:
From a general hardware store I picked up a digital thermometer (brand Acurite) that displays the percentage of the humidity.

Re: Humidity, for natural skin...?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:18 pm
by Marcus

Suffering from that right now. In Seattle been very cold and dry. I got 3 humidifiers going in the house and they are having trouble keeping up. The skins are dry as a bone and just do not vibrate much. Now others in cold weather states have this all winter so I really ought not complain much.

I heard that 50-60% is good for human skin so I assume that is a good starting point for Conga heads. I have also placed a about a 2 inch square wet sponge piece on a piece of slate and the congas over it. Adds humidity to the underside of the skin or the untreated side, but then tuning tends to change.

good luck, marcus

Re: Humidity, for natural skin...?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:28 am
by Ebongo
My thermometer shows around 28%, and my mule and steer skin ManitoPercussion is dryer and rougher here than a week ago when i was in the south, so i always tune low after every use. But my thick Moperc cow skins are still smooth although a bit drier also. Wet sponge under the drum is a nice idea, thanks.

Re: Humidity, for natural skin...?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:02 pm
by Marcus
I usually wring out the small piece of sponge so as not to add too much moisture and then check the progress. I have production congas that are finished on the inside. Not too sure if the Mopercs are sealed on the inside. Dry weather can not be good for any wood instrument I would imagine. I think mainto steer is just a bit tougher and minimally processed so that makes sense. I apply shea butter from drumskulls and then play them for awhile. Feels really sticky and weird but bangs in the butter. I figure it is just a conga head massage and part of the more intense breakin that natural steer seems to need.

My quinto was just seriously muted but I do have too thick of a skin on it to begin with. Need to change it out with a more appropriate thinner head, either mainto steer or greek mule. Both are about 1.8mm the quinto is 10.75 inches not the 11 inches normally seen.

curious what skin, mule or steer you would suggest for my quinto.

peace, marcus

Re: Humidity, for natural skin...?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:30 pm
by Ebongo
Both sound nice. Mule gives a higher louder slap.

Re: Humidity, for natural skin...?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:29 pm
by Marcus
I think I am going to try the thinner of the Mule I have for the Quinto. Been thinking awhile and it just seems like to path to follow at this time.


Re: Humidity, for natural skin...?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:55 pm
by BMac
This just in regard to the question about whether Mopercs are sealed on the inside.
Mine don't look sealed. They look like raw wood to me. Looks don't always tell all.
Maybe Michel adds a light oil that soaks in and disappears ... I don't know.
But it looks like raw wood.
There is definitely not a thick sealing poly coat or anything like that. They are sealed on the outside.

I would think a hard inside seal would harden the sound ... supporting ping and tack like acoustic artifacts from hand contact at the skin surface ... I'm thinking that would not be good ... but ... just kinda guessing here. But my guess is somewhat based on my experience in softening the sound of a drum by adding an layer or fibrous wood shavings to the inside of a drum to soften the sound ... it worked.

These kinda discussions catch my eye for the technical content.