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Thread: simple way to control conga overtones

  1. #1

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    Default simple way to control conga overtones

    I have tried many different approaches to controlling conga overtones over the years and recently came up with a simpler, customized solution.

    Take a 5" by 24" piece of blue camping/sleeping pad foam (easy to cut from a full-size pad which is typically less than $10 at your local sporting goods store)

    Stick a 2" piece of velcro (hook side) to end (on the same side).

    Stick a 2" piece of velcro (loop side) to bottom inside of the conga on two opposite sides.

    Insert the foam sheet and secure hook sides to velcro (with curve arc'd into inside of conga).

    This works great to get rid of unwanted bass and treble overtones. You can use different widths to "tune" the dampening. I've found that 5" is the right size for my Matador conga/tumba and 6" is the right size for some old 28" LP fiberglass drums.

    Update: here's a photo of the foam mounted on my conga:




    Anyway, thought this might be of interest.
    kdr
    Last edited by kdrabbit; 06-29-2015 at 12:34 PM. Reason: added photo

  2. #2

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    Cool Re: simple way to control conga overtones

    Welcome aboard, kdr!

    Sounds a bit like putting a pillow in a bass drum, but it's a cool way to do the job (not to mention you can't see it)!

    Glad to see another hand-drummin' brother in the forum!
    keep the beat goin' ... Don't keep it to yourself!

    Charlie

    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." --Henry David Thoreau, "Walden," 1854

    "There's a lot to be said for Time Honored tradition and value." --In memory of Frank "fiacovaz" Iacovazzi

    "Maybe your drums can be beat, but you can't."--Jack Keck

  3. #3

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    Default Re: simple way to control conga overtones

    Quote Originally Posted by kdrabbit View Post
    I have tried many different approaches to controlling conga overtones over the years and recently came up with a simpler, customized solution.

    Take a 5" by 24" piece of blue camping/sleeping pad foam (easy to cut from a full-size pad which is typically less than $10 at your local sporting goods store)

    Stick a 2" piece of velcro (hook side) to end (on the same side).

    Stick a 2" piece of velcro (loop side) to bottom inside of the conga on two opposite sides.

    Insert the foam sheet and secure hook sides to velcro (with curve arc'd into inside of conga).

    This works great to get rid of unwanted bass and treble overtones. You can use different widths to "tune" the dampening. I've found that 5" is the right size for my Matador conga/tumba and 6" is the right size for some old 28" LP fiberglass drums.

    Anyway, thought this might be of interest.
    kdr
    Thanks for sharing Mr. Rabbit!
    - Tom

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  4. #4

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    Default Re: simple way to control conga overtones

    Here's a couple photos of the dampers for conga and tumba. The velcro is attached just to the inside of the bottom edge where you see the edge of the foam pad.

    Conga:


    Tumba:

  5. #5

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    Default Re: simple way to control conga overtones

    There is something that I wish someone had told me when I was starting out:

    If you have an issue with overtones, check to make sure that the tension on all the lugs is the same all around. If your drum is tuned so that the pitch is the same when tapping the head near each lug, but you find that the tension on the lugs are not the same (such as one too stiff and another too loose), this is because your rims are out-of-round. Even it the pitch near all lugs is identical, you will get overtones because the drum is not perfectly round. (Imagine a perfectly round pond and an oval-shaped pond. When you drop a pebble into the round pond you get circular ripples. When you do this in an oval pond, the ripples reflect from the edges at different speeds, causing all sorts of points where the ripples collide. This is what happens to a drum head when the rim is not round.)

    Remove the heads and use a ruler to measure with width of the top edge of the shell. Rotate the ruler in increments of 60 or so. If you find that the rim is slightly wider in one direction, that is a source of the overtones. Pop on the head and firmly tighten the lugs that are in line with the direction where the rim is wider. This way you can use the head to slowly bring the rim back into round. This can take time - even several months. In the meantime, you can tune up the other lugs for playing, but when not playing, loosen those lugs all the way down while maintaining tension on the other lugs.

    Once the rims have been returned to being round and are stable, get into the habit of substantially dropping the tension on all lugs whenever you are not playing. This might seem like a pain in the neck, but when the rim is perfectly round, tuning is easy. When it is out of round, it is a nightmare.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: simple way to control conga overtones

    Quote Originally Posted by JFairweather View Post
    There is something that I wish someone had told me when I was starting out:

    If you have an issue with overtones, check to make sure that the tension on all the lugs is the same all around. If your drum is tuned so that the pitch is the same when tapping the head near each lug, but you find that the tension on the lugs are not the same (such as one too stiff and another too loose), this is because your rims are out-of-round. Even it the pitch near all lugs is identical, you will get overtones because the drum is not perfectly round. (Imagine a perfectly round pond and an oval-shaped pond. When you drop a pebble into the round pond you get circular ripples. When you do this in an oval pond, the ripples reflect from the edges at different speeds, causing all sorts of points where the ripples collide. This is what happens to a drum head when the rim is not round.)

    Remove the heads and use a ruler to measure with width of the top edge of the shell. Rotate the ruler in increments of 60 or so. If you find that the rim is slightly wider in one direction, that is a source of the overtones. Pop on the head and firmly tighten the lugs that are in line with the direction where the rim is wider. This way you can use the head to slowly bring the rim back into round. This can take time - even several months. In the meantime, you can tune up the other lugs for playing, but when not playing, loosen those lugs all the way down while maintaining tension on the other lugs.

    Once the rims have been returned to being round and are stable, get into the habit of substantially dropping the tension on all lugs whenever you are not playing. This might seem like a pain in the neck, but when the rim is perfectly round, tuning is easy. When it is out of round, it is a nightmare.

    Wow, what a substantive and insightful first post! Thanks for that valuable insight JFairweather and welcome to our Drum Chat family! Kick off your shoes and stay awhile!
    - Tom

    See the new Drum Bum Store!





    When you shop at Drum Bum or BuyGifts.com, you help with the costs of operating DrumChat.com. Please consider patronizing their fine stores. Whether you need unique music gifts for friends or just want a little something for yourself, Drum Bum is the place!

    For coupons and specials, join the Drum Bum mailing list.

    Buy Gifts for Drummers. And don't miss the free Drum Lessons!

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