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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Recording hand drums?

Contributing Member

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
Jan 15th, 2012 09:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What mics, placement and other tips do you folks have for recording congas, bongos, djembe, and assorted percussion? We have a limited supply of mics (SM 57 & 58, Rode NT1A, a decent SDC), and only a couple of tracks to spare.
This is for a decent sounding demo at this point, not a finished album.

Contributing Member

Connecticut USA

Nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos
Jan 15th, 2012 04:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I’ve obtained great results with an SM57 on congas and bongos. Placement has been varied, but always near the head, and usually at 45° or 90° to the skin plane.

Contributing Member

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
Jan 15th, 2012 06:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

garp, Helpful,Thanks!

FDP Data Goon

Up the street...

from the Fred Meyer
Jan 15th, 2012 08:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yea, I've used a 57 on the old lady's stuff before.

Thankfully she just went digital with the Roland vdrum thing so my micing hell is a thing of the past.



Jan 16th, 2012 11:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Really any of the mics will work fine. Choice depends on what sound you want and how it will fit in your mix.

SM57 if you need mids and low mids emphasis and not a lot of high end detail (hand on skin)or room ambience or bleed from other instruments.

NOTE with the 57 it will be harder to mic multiple drums with one mic as it has less gain and less sensitivity than an LDC or SDC.

SDC if you want lots of detail and sharp transient response and the option to mic at a greater distance so you hear more room ambience.

LDC if you want full range, but don't need quite as much transient as you'd get with LDC, and as with SDC you have the option to get more room reflections.


Contributing Member

Floe, WV

A few BIG notes!
Jan 16th, 2012 12:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks Nick! All good stuff to consider. How do you think a carefully placed LDC (the Rode) would do for recording a 3 or 4 drum set of hand drums at once?
Advice on placement?
Pluses & minuses of room reflection with hand drums?



Jan 18th, 2012 01:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think it would do just fine.

As for placement, have the percussionist play as he/she will on the track, plug one of your ears and move around in front of and over the drums. Find a spot where it sounds balanced and good. Put the mic there!

With regard to reflections, it really depends on the room. If the room sounds good (no flutter echo, reasonably even low end response) then you may wish to mic further to get more ambience. If bleed from other instruments is an issue and/or the room doesn't sound good, mic more closely and use the cardioid pattern of the mic (assuming it has one) to help isolate your source.

Let us know how it goes.

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Recording hand drums?

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