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Has anyone done an internal mic mount for congas? If you've done it or heard it done I'd like your opinions, and if you haven't done it I'd still like your thoughts on what the issues might be--pros and cons, etc.

I'm looking at it ONLY from a 'cool install' point of view--on all other aspects I'm clueless. I've not seen ANY references to the practice.


LittleJames Mon, 03/11/2002 - 19:18

If anything it will make the drums that much heavier to lug around, drilling a hole into the shell will affect the overall pitch of the instrument and some might argue that it would destroy the integrity of the drum etc......

You want one mic close to the head for attack and the "ring" and if you have a spare, mic the bottom for pure tone. Works for me.

flemingkr Tue, 03/12/2002 - 07:04

The mic weighs 4.5 oz, the drum weighs 480 oz. With mounting bracket, etc., we're only adding about 1% to the gross vehicle weight here. In my application the drum isn't ever going to move anyway, so that's not a concern.

If the mic were mounted as depicted for the tom, you're right, there's a hole drilled thru the shell--but it's plugged with a flange-mount connector. So I can't see how this 'hole' could change the pitch of the drum (at least no more so than the 2-dozen other plugged holes that are already in the drum shell). But why would anyone care? Just leaving the drum sit for a day and the pitch changes by at least that much (with natural skin heads) I'd think.

Concerns I'd think folks would have might include:

a) giving up a mic by permanently mounting one in the drum
b) not being able to constantly fiddle with the mic location
c) changing the 'shape' of the internal cavity of the drum by putting a mic there

Has anyone done this with toms? I'd love to know what it sounds like relative to an external, single-mic setup.

LittleJames Tue, 03/12/2002 - 19:24

Hey Bongo Boy my comment about weight was a joke, you see I have a dry sense of humor or maybe I have no sense of humor at all.


Your conga shells have a specific frequency at which they resonate. In other words the shell has a certain pitch to it. Drilling another hole in it will change this resonate frequency and you might not be able to get the same tone out of the shell after any drilling is done. Which might or might not make tuning your congas more difficult. You can change the pitch of your drum heads very easily but changing the pitch of you drum shell to get a pleasant pitch out of it is much harder to do.

Micing your drums from the inside won't give you much of an advantage sound wise. And if anything you'll lose that wonderful ring from those pops you've worked so hard on.

If this is not enough information to dissuade you and you must install mics in your congas try this simple experiment. First, place a mic on a boom stand and postion it underneath your conga, record a simple phrase. Next, place a mic over the top rim over you congas aiming towards the center of the drum head, about 1 inch from touching the drumhead and record the same simple phrase.

If you liked the first one onstall the mic in the drumhead if not save the time and effort and simply mic from the top side.

Well enough chit chat. I hope you find a solution that you'll be happy with and that you'll enjoy.


flemingkr Wed, 03/13/2002 - 03:25

Okay..I like the approach--that makes sense.

I'm new to conga and found your reference to the "wonderful ring" funny--only because I've been asking other folks about it and how to get rid of it! In fact I was only last week trying to get a side-by-side demo set up to compare my ash drum with a fiberglass drum to see if fiberglass might eliminate the ring.

But this may not be the same ringing you're talking about--my 'problem' occurs almost no matter how you hit the drum, and almost no matter where you hit it. You can damp out the head by leaning your elbow into it, smack the head (anywhere) or even the side of the shell, and still hear pretty much the same ring. Coming from the shell, not the head, since it has about the same sustain. Irritates me!

--just got some feedback from Rob Schnell at Audix. He told that while the D2 does make a fine install inside the conga, the sound is metallic and not too desireable. So there it is--slick as heck but sounds moderately crappy.

riconga Thu, 03/14/2002 - 16:45

you could drill 10 holes in the shell and it would make little or no difference to the sound. Audix was right they will sound like shit inside the drum. the audix miics are great for conga my friend just used them on his album (Bermudez Triangle) and they sounded great. Ive been using one mic over the drums (3) at about 16 inches lately and have been happy with the sound. its fast and easy. have had good luck with soundelux 195 lawson 251 and at 4033 to a lesser degree.
good luck rrrrrrrrrrrrr