So you killed a horse to make this? Ha, just kidding. I don’t know how they source these things but I hope ethically. So it’s about 20" in English/American standards? If so, that’s quite large. My shaman drum is 18" (460mm). Yours would be considered a “frame” drum (multi-sided) while mine is a “hoop” drum (as round as possible).
[quote=“Emma, post:1, topic:1575, full:true”]I LOVE the sound of it, a deep resonant ringing boom when I thump it, but helluva challenge to record. My dead-air studio fair RINGS with it… transients abound!!!
Here’s just a few plain beats from my studio, no added anything… It’s just a tentative beat using the beater in the picture, it’s also fun to use hands and fingers.
The tone changes quite a lot depending on where I beat, the horsehide varied quite a bit in thickness and with the colouration I am getting a feel for where the different tones are. It definitely responds to humidity - much better sound when it is dry . Quite a lot more resonance when recorded back to front…
That beater looks kind of small, mine has a much larger (beater) head. But I also like playing it with hands and fingers. The skin will definitely vary in how the sounds come, so you will gravitate to certain areas for certain tones, and others for variation. If your climate favours humidity, you may need to use a blow dryer or stove to tighten it up (though your default sound seems quite tight). Mine is the opposite, I have to use a damp cloth to reduce head tension to get a lower sound. What I found is that I have to record both front and back to get a good sound. I tune to what sounds good to me (usually rather low, E2 or F2 if you have a tuner) and mic the front head about 6-8" (for transients) and the back head about 6-8" or more (for tone). The back mic was even Omni as I recall, but a cardiod mic would probably do nearly as well.
My drum-meister advised me “listen to what the drum wants”. That’s radically different than the way we usually think. Our default is to tell the drum what to do. His philosophy is to listen to the drum talking to you and hear what it says to you (oo-wee-ooo). Tune it the way it wants to be played. I found this meant tuning it WAY down to where the drum shell would resonate with the drum head, as I said it’s about E2 or F2 for my drum (I use a guitar tuner). I can even go way down to C2 or C#2 but the drum gets a bit ‘flubby’ (but sounds awesome). It’s all about what you want the sound to be, how you want to interact with the drum, and how the audience or mic will hear it. The low sounds are better on the mic IMO.