Basics for Recording Percussionist

Discussion in 'Percussion' started by Skinnypuppy, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Skinnypuppy

    Skinnypuppy Guest

    Greetings all,

    Can any of you point me in the right direction for some basics on recording a percussionist in a studio setting? I need info on suitable mics and placement for a variety of percussion instruments - ranging from congas to triangle and other metallic-sounding items.

    Thanks in advance. John F.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Skinnypuppy, here are my suggestions and recommendations.

    Many people think to record the proper transients, you should use a condenser microphone. I don't think you should use a condenser microphone. Many percussive instruments become much too splashy sounding with condenser microphones.

    I much prefer using dynamic and/or ribbon microphones for recording percussion. Some of my favorites are the very inexpensive and popular Shure SM57/58 but I find that the Sennheiser MD421's sound much more awesome. I'll also frequently use the Beyer M160/130 ribbon microphones. I find those sound much more natural, full and never get splashy from a hyped high frequency response like one gets from a condenser microphone. They are however, quite a bit more expensive than the other two dynamic microphones mentioned but a wonderful tool to have for other instruments and voices alike. Generally, depending on the percussion instrument, I'll please microphones anywhere from 3 inches to 3 feet from the instrument. If you have a good sounding room, you may want to think about also placing a room microphone to print to a second channel? That would certainly give you a larger sound and a greater feeling of space which is quite nice with percussive instruments.

    Beating around the Bush (I can hardly wait for 2008)
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. chrispick

    chrispick Guest

    I agree with everything here 100% percent.
  4. Skinnypuppy

    Skinnypuppy Guest

    Thanks Remy for the specific recommendations and to you Chris for being so darn agreeable. :) I will likely pick up a couple of Shure 57s/58s and see if I can borrow the Sennheiser or a good ribbon mic. I have been hearing and reading quite a bit about ribbons for the last year or so.

    This is one of the few sessions for the current project that will be taking place at my home project studio. The recording room is a converted closet and is rather small and quite dead, so I doubt there would be too much value in ambient micing.

    John F.
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