One thing players often overlook when choosing skins is how they will be mounted. We have seen many different mounting techniques over the years and here are a few tricks that can help tweak the sound of a new skin:
- Tight or loose mounting- Tight mounting means pulling the skin tight across the flesh hoop and really stretching the skin as it’s mounted over the bearing edge. Loose mounting is where you leave extra slack in the skin so it lays easily over the bearing edge and very little stretching happens during the drying process. Tight mounted skins will be thinner than the original material and tend to have higher volume and less movement during break in. Loose mounted skins are warmer and can actually end up a little thicker than the starting material. For instance a loose mounted skin at 1.6mm can dry to 1.8mm thick.
- Skin drying temperature- Once wet mounted, drum heads can be dried hot or at room temperature. Hot drying is very fast and causes the skins to retain their original density and thickness. It can be done at around 90-100° F. A small space heater placed in a half bathroom will do the trick. **BE CAREFUL OF FIRE HAZARDS-SHOWER CURTAINS, ETC!!!** Room temp drying takes much longer and the skin tends to stretch out more and get thinner as it dries.
- When mounting a new Premounted head, turn the head upside down like a bowl and put about 1/2″ of warm water in it. Leave to soak for about 15-30 minutes. You don’t want it to get wet all the way through, just on the underside where it will conform to the bearing edge of the drum. After it has soaked, dump out the water and towel dry the skin. Mount as normal on your drum and leave it to dry for 24-36 hours.