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Recording bongo's

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sheld, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Has anybody had any experiance recording these.

    We have had this song knocking around for the last eight months adding and deleteing different elements everytime we play around with it, i got it out again the other day with a group of friends and decided to add some bongo' to the intro, a friend has offered to bring bongo's and play them on thursday, any advice on how to get the best results (mic techniques/placement would be appreciated. i have a stereo pair of C414s C1000s sm57-58 NTK. :D
  2. MilesAway

    MilesAway Guest

    I've had some encouraging results close-micing each drum /w a 57, then dropping a pair of LDCs (3035s in my case) back a few feet under heavy compression. I mixed the LDCs as my main stereo pair, then brought up the 57s to add a bit more punch where required, as well as helping to place the mics in the stereo feild.
  3. sheld

    sheld Guest

    where did you close mic from top/bottom???
    how did you set up your stereo pair XY..

    Cheers im gonna try a few different techniques before the recording on thursday.

  4. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    For live gigs, you'll never go wrong with an SM57 on percussion. For studio work, you may need some more detail, esp if the bongo's are light and airy; there's often some hand noise used to create the sound.

    I'd try both - the dynamic for the punch, and perhaps a stereo pair of condensers (if you have the track/inputs available). I'd try a SDC mic first, but if you don't have 'em (KM-84s or even a Studio Project C4), try the 414's.

    You'll want to give yourself a lot of headroom and gently limit the peaks of course (depending on the skill of the percussionist), either when cutting the tracks or in software in post. Try not to overdo it if you want the sound to remain exciting in the mix.

    What I always like about well-recorded bongos is how they can "POP" out of a track.
  5. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Thanks im starting to get a picture of how im going to attempt this now, ill use the C414s as the XY stereo pair starting at maybe 12" away and move around until i find the most pleasing position, gentle comp on focusrite TTPro, Then ill close mic each drum from the top with the 57's coming in sidewards pointing at the centre, as you would with a snare. Once recorded to HD ill play around with the transient of the close mics keeping the level below the stereo pair. am i going down the right road here????, Ill let you know how it sounds.

  6. chrispick

    chrispick Guest

    Just to say: Do you have to record these in stereo? Spatial mix decisions depend on your song and context. You could probably get great results with a single 421. I raise this suggesiton because many people default to stereo recording techniques, even if it may not be best for the mix in total.
  7. RecTeach

    RecTeach Guest

    INSERT I just saw some comments about recording with compressors and "squashing" the bottoms yada yada..... Let me say to you with the strongest of suggestion that recording with effects is a very dangerous proposition because once it's on there it's there. However, if you record dry THEN you can try every try of compression eq setting you want before you print to disk and you're not locked into that ONE that you did when you laid down the track. Make sense??

    Here are several options that all work well:

    Put the mic 6-8 inches back and about 2 feet above the drums pointing down at almost a 90 degree angle.

    Shure SM81
    Brauner Phantom C
    Soundelux U195
    Sennheiser MD421 II
    Royer 121

    Neve 5012
    Great River MP-2NV
    Crane Song Flamingo
    DBX 386

    For Stereo
    (2) DPA 4006 - if you want more room
    (2) DPA 4011- if you want less room
    (2) Shure SM81
    (1) Royer SF12 - stereo mic (duh!)
  8. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Lowell MA
    Home Page:
    I'd probably close mic them with Audix D2s and maybe some sort of stereo configuration with condenser mics a few feet back.
  9. MilesAway

    MilesAway Guest

    I mic'd everything from the top and my condensors were in A/B, not XY. I should also mention that Bongo's were NOT the only instrument being tracked. The percussionist also had a few Congas and various shakers/tambourines/etc... and would move back and forth between them over the course of the song.

    re: compression at tracking... for something like hand-percussion, you're going to need it, plain and simple. If you've got good outboard compressors, there's no reason not to use 'em on the way in if you've got a good idea of how you want the tracks to sit in the final mix.

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