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tambourine and shaker tracking

Member for

21 years 3 months
anyone have good techniques for tracking tambourine and shaker? i've experimented but can't find the right sounds. they're subtle ingredients in any song, but can also add a lot.

mic placement, condenser vs dynamic, different pre's - all info appreciated.


Member for

16 years 9 months

drumist69 Wed, 08/30/2006 - 16:45
I've had good results with a large diaphragm condensor mic, although I suppose a small diaprhagm condensor would be fine as well. I use an M-Audio DMP3 preamp mostly, or a Mackie VLZ board. I usually play the instrument about a foot from the mic, and tend to work the mic as I'm playing (I mean move the instrument around the mic, left to right, and closer or more distant...think like vocal mic technique!) I've found the shaker or tambourine is the biggest factor, though. I have a tamborine with nickle jingles that sounds crappy no matter what, and one with brass jingles that always sounds nice. The shaker I use is a 20 ounce Pepsi bottle about 1/3 filled with dry rice. From my experience (which is just intense home recording...I'm no pro!) I've found that the tambourine and shaker both seem to need pretty heavy EQ treatment to get the right sound. For example, on a shaker, I'll cut everything but the highs, and probably boost those a bit. On a tambourine, I've gone so far as to pitch shift it down somewhat to get a darker, richer tone. Here's a link...
Link removed
Listen to the song "Tattoo" uses both shaker and tambourine, and I was pleased with the way they sounded on this track. Hope this helps! ANDY

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Sun, 09/10/2006 - 17:05
hey chris, you're in san diego too? i visited golden tracks a year or so ago and met steve when he first got his wunder pres. those are pretty bad ass.

anyway, i record tambo and shaker with a 57 about a foot or two away usually. depends on the song. i just don't think you need to overthink some percussion instruments. i have tried recording tambo with condenser mics and they just end up sounding too harsh to my ears. the 57 seems to even them out for me.


Member for

16 years 10 months

took-the-red-pill Sun, 09/10/2006 - 22:38
I just recorded a tambourine. I think I broke every rule there is and the sound was great. It had that off in the distance kind of feel that went perfectly with where I wanted it in the mix.

I put a condenser in the middle of my 5 X 8 tile bathroom, with the capsule pointed AWAY from me, toward the back wall. I stood in the doorway and shook the tambourine and BINGO!

Sometimes the dumb things work