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Djembe Miking

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by dyarb, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. dyarb

    dyarb Member

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    Location:
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    Hello All, my name is Daniel, I am the technical director intern at a church in Tulsa, OK. I have a few posts on the lighting forum, however this will be my first post on the sound side of the world. I mixed for our college service last night and we decided to add a djembe last minuite, now normally my first intuition would be to take a kick drum mic (I prefer the beta 58 or audix d6) and actually go in the hole of the bottom side of the drum and also go in on the top with a sm57. Last night however with my lack of notice, I only had time for the 57 from the top. For future refrence, are there any better miking techniques that I could use in that situation, or is there a mic made that is just a great sound for a djembe or hand drums in general. We are starting in house recordings so it would be great to get some feedback on this. For a live situation where the floor is cement, the walls are drywall, and we have a low ceiling, i was wanting to know a good eq for that drum, it had a lot of resonance and i tried dialing out the low mids and that helped a little, but I know there has got to be a better way. It is a 16" drum so it has a very low bassy sound.

    Thanks for the feedback,

    DYarbs
     
  2. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
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    I think you have the right idea as far as mics to use. I like to use a Beta 98 on the rim (so it moves with the player) and an M88 on the low end, but that is just my preference. The combination you listed is good. A lot of your eq concerns depend drastically on the system you are mixing on, and the individual drum itself. I do not believe there is a generic eq for any instrument. It depends on the system, style of music, player, actual instrument, etc.. I think you are headed in the right direction by trying to eliminate the resonate frequency. That is my $0.02.

    ~Dave
     
  3. spiwak2005

    spiwak2005 Member

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    Occupation:
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    Funny you should ask this as I'm looking over a band's rider and input list for just this thing. This particular band requires a Beta 98 on the top and a Sennheiser E 604 for the bottom. They also run compressor on the top and a gate on the bottom. As far as other hand drums, they spec'd the Senn E 604 for a lot of things (Doumbek, Cajon, Bodhran). The show's next weekend - I'll post more after I see exactly what they do.
     
  4. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    Location:
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    We normally use an SM57 on top and a Beta52 on the bottom. I really like Dave's suggestion of an M88 on the bottom and a Beta98 on top...wish I could try that. EQ is really dependent on the source and just how much "whack" and "boom" I need/want.
     
  5. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    Check out this thread on PSW:

    PSW Sound Reinforcement Forums: LAB Lounge => Anybody ever mic'ed a Djembe??

    Lots of discussion, including some really interesting back-and-forth between myself and a guy there who plays djembe and is very well-versed in salsa, who had recently seen a salsa musical I used to mix. We get into a bit of how the djembe was used somewhat non-traditionally in that show, and how differences in how I mix vs how the guy who took over when I left the show mix affected the djembe and whether it still sounded "right" as a djembe. (We over-hyped the low end a bit, because it was doing the "kick" line on "Tumbao", a hip-hop crossover song that Celia Cruz did late in her career; mixed right, it still sounded like a djembe, just with a bit more oomph, but mixed wrong, it just sounded muddy.)

    --A
     
  6. TDsteve

    TDsteve Member

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    Try using gel dampers on the head to remove the majority of the excess low bassy sound.
     
  7. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    Wow, holy re-appearing ancient thread, Batman! ;-)

    Anyway...you want to tame it with EQ, but gelling this drum isn't really recommended. This type of drum is supposed to be kind of boomy and resonant. That's just the kind of instrument it is! If you dampen it, it's not going to sound like a djembe :p

    --Andy (yup, I'm still here, just been busy and quiet, sorry to have been so scarce!)
     
  8. 2mojo2

    2mojo2 Active Member

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    Location:
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    I am curious about the set-ups that are being used for Djembe and other hand drums.
    How, physically, do you mic the lower end of a djembe?
    Are you bringing a mic on a boom stand in low and close and praying that it does not get stepped on or bumped?
     
  9. bishopthomas

    bishopthomas Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Owner of Sound/Lighting Company
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    It depends on many things. What kind of drum? Is it moving or stationary? Is it on a stand or on the floor? Each situation is different. Knowing in advance and/or coming prepared for whatever the situation brings is the only thing you can do.
     

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