Mic-ing Percussion

So, for the most part you want to use a small capsule condenser. This will apply to all the hand-held percussion. Tambourine, claves, shakers, cowbell, finger cymbals etc.

For conga and djembe type drums a condenser will help with the slap.

Dynamics not so much slap. For some non western drums a 2 mic approach works best. ex. The djembe, put a large diaphragm dynamic at the end of the drum about 6 inches will yield a ton of low frequencies. Mix this with a mic on the head side and you will get a great sound. Mallet keyboard instruments like xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, bells etc. work well with a condenser about 2 feet in front of and 2 feet above the playing surface. With these you need to be carful that you don’t get too much mallet noise.

What are YOUR favorite percussion recording techniques?

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