Newbie seeking advice on amplifying an indian hand drum

Discussion in 'Drums' started by bobbyb607, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. bobbyb607

    bobbyb607 Guest

    I am playing a 2-headed cylindrical indian hand drum called a pakhawaj. The skins are weighted with the "black spot" like a tabla. I am self taught, and play this instrument using fingering techniques that are more related to another south indian drum called a mridangam. The sound can be much more weighty than a tabla and has a really nice warm sound to it.... I believe it has a lot of potential to add new color to various world beats as well as conventional funk, r'n'b etc...

    I had a question about amplifying these drums (I havent played in public yet but hope to do so sometime soon)....

    In home recordings, I used a Shure Beta 57 or a Shure PG 81 condenser and the drum sounds nice in combination with other instruments.

    In a live situation with other instruments, what is my best bet? Mike it directly and use a keyboard amp? I tried a Roland 150 KC-350 amp with my beta 57 mike at a local store and it sounded reasonable. Would anyone recommend a mike called a Shure Beta 98H/S that comes with a gooseneck and is apparently good with congas?

    Alternatively do people have experience with using an accoustic guitar tye transducer pickup? I cannot access the inside of the drum.....Would I attach it to the wooden cylindrical part or to the skins themselves?

    Any insights would be appreciated
  2. VulcanDC

    VulcanDC Active Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Home Page:
    hmm... i engineer a lot of indian classical percussions and instruments....

    yeah.... the pakhawaj is really an ancient instrument which is pretty close to the mardangam...

    I would put in a small dia condenser on the 'theen' and on the 'daggha' i would put in a large dia condenser... (in the studio)...

    for live stuff... i would suggest small dia condenser on the theen and a dynamic mic(SM58) on the Daggha... then send them through a tube amp for added warmth...

  3. VulcanDC

    VulcanDC Active Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Home Page:
    and about your question on transducers... with my experimentations with it,... it did not work...

    dont put the transducer on the skin... put it on the body... I hope you get the sound u are looking for...

    good luck
  4. bobbyb607

    bobbyb607 Guest


    many thanks for your feedback, really appreciate it, I will try out your suggestions.....

    I talked to someone recently who uses a accoustic guitar transducer pick up on the inside of a clay Odu drum....he sends this thru a keynoard amp with a bit of reverb and gets a real nice sound out of it for live applications....

    the Odu is actually much closer to a ghatam, and of course the pick up can go on the inside of the drum....which is not possible on the pakhawaj...

    thanks very much

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