Animal skins simply were drumheads – forever – for thousands of years – skins were fixed over wooden frames, tuned by a natural heat source and struck by a human hand or some handmade object. Eventually, for “trap style” drumsets, calfskin proved to be make the best heads. Around 1918 you started seeing advertisements for where to purchase a set of drums – all with calfskin heads.
Around 1957 Mylar came along and – well, everybody loves a new thing, especially one that you can use outside on a cold and rainy day – so, soon everybody was playing on Mylar drumheads. But, not everyone did. No. Some people, people with cool names like Ringo Starr and Levon Helm knew what was what about the beautiful tonal difference that calfskin makes. Drummers like Jay Bellerose still do. Calfskin-headed drums sound warm and dry and round. Within certain tunings calfskin can be “barky” or “trashy” in ways that Mylar just can’t. Not to mention, the feel is glorious. These heads have a natural springy-ness to them which makes playing the drums a more joyous and energizing experience. Calfskin. You no longer have to source, build or lug around calfskin-headed drums tuned by different wattage lightbulbs (yes, they did.) to get the sweet sound of calfskin into your music. You can use these loops instead.