recording congas

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Smashh, Jul 24, 2017.

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  1. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

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    Do congas need to be off the ground when being miced ?

    Im having trouble with them cutting through on live gigs , and I have hi pass filter on desk
    up around 300 hz to get enough level without feedback.

    What microphones are better on congas?
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    They do sound better off the ground, live and in studio. Unless the sound you want is focused on the hand taping and not the actual note of the conga... when directly on the floor the displaced air can't leave the instrument and shock it.

    A good old sm57 or 2 will work for live or recording but if you want a fuller sound you can use any common overhead condenser mic.

    As for feedbacks, I never had more trouble with congas than other on stage instruments. A good balance and ring out maybe in order.
     
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    You also may think about in-ears if the venue and stage monitors can't allow healty levels needed by the player.
     
  4. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    It's probably not necessary to put the congas in the percussionist's wedge mix, possibly not necessary in other wedges, depending on the size of the stage and the stage volume.
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    I don't often have feedback problems miking congas, but when I do, I use a Beyer M88 dynamic mic on a short vertical stand up inside the body of the drum positioned a few cm below the head. You don't need a lot of pre-amp gain!
     
  6. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies , Our set up live is very small with no foldbacks , and the FOH 12 qsc speakers just a tad behind
    us( for monitoring ourselves ). Maybe it is this positioning that is causing the feedback at a lower level .
    I will try a 57 next gig . Not sure what our percussionist has been using , some silver metal mic with a switch .

    I will see if she can get them off the ground too because , to me they sound sorta strangled with not as much lower mid
    as there should be .
    I will post a report and let you know what works better just incase someone else has the same issue later on .(y)
     
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  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    That could be the issue. Not to say you can't do that, put the main speakers behind you, but placement makes a difference. If it's the higher frequencies that are feeding back, try raising the speakers so the tweeters aren't aimed at the mics. If it's the lower frequencies, you'll have to lower the volume or use eq. Speakers and mics are essentially omnidirectional at low frequency.
     
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  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if congas need to be on a stand to be mic'ed, but I do think they need to be up off the floor to sound their best.

    Be aware that certain mic stands, and even mics with poor internal shockmounts, can allow low vibrations to regenerate up through the stand and back into the mic. Your rumble is a low one, so it could be physical vibration.
     
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  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

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    The answer to "do congas need to be off the ground" can be answered by simply looking at one........A 57 or equivalent is the perfect mic for conga. I have had great luck with the Audix D2 and their rim clamps on congas. A mic that is even more focused than the 57 with almost the same sound.
     
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Are you using one conga? 2? 3?

    My first choice for live would be a 57 and a 58 because of their rejection. While I would most certainly accent those with an over head pair of SDCs for the studio, I'd avoid using any condensers for live work. If you have 2 congas, I'd use a 57 up top for the "slap", and maybe a 58 from underneath for the "body".
    Using an HPF as you mentioned doing is also a good idea.
    And I would definitely have them mounted on stands so that they are lifted off the stage.
    IMHO of course.
     
  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Something like these are very handy :
    mjnH19010s0aQayc6FIPfkw.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRUmKpEDI5SK7xVYyJoe3h9pIMsAENapsmUC7FOHXaVHqDYNitG.jpg

    I have seen some players putting them on the floor but they often keep one between their legs in an angle to open the bottom a bit.
    But I thing I like them more on a stand and seeing a player standup makes the performance look more alive. (just my own opinion here ;) )
     
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  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Honestly, in all my years of playing in bands -those with percussion players - and there have been several - I don't think I've ever seen a conga rig placed directly on the stage floor. They always had legs built into the conga or were placed on stands as Marco ( @pcrecord) showed in his post above.
    I also don't recall there ever being any real sonic "problems" with the rig - other than some of the players who thought that just because they owned some congas, timbales and blocks, that they were a "percussionist". LOL.
    The thing is, some of the worst percussionists I ever worked with were drummers - and pretty good ones too, as was their main instrument. But the two positions are entirely different. I'm not implying that all drummers are poor percussionists; I'm sure that cats like Mike Shreve or Stewart Copeland would probably be great at it ... but I don't think that it's the general rule. I'm a pretty solid studio and live drummer in the pop/rock/funk styles... but trust me when I tell you that I'm the LAST guy you'd want on a percussion rig.
    ;)
     
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  13. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    :)
    Seriously, I can easily imagine that a lady that barely hit the percs would be a feedback hazzard...
     
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Well, if I'm understanding you right, someone who plays that softly is actually apt to cause more feedback - because your FOH guy is gonna have to crank the gain to get her to be heard through the mix... and that's where your more apt to have feedback problems... the hotter the mic, the more chance of that happening.... unless youve got someone really good at ringing out the system. ;)
     
  15. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    That's exactly my point !
     
  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    @pcrecord
    Lol. I know it was your point, Mon Ami.
    I was supporting your position in responding to what Smash (@Smashh ) was saying, about his percussionist playing very softly. ;)
     
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  17. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

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    yup , they aren't the best quality conga , and the shakers / triangle etc come through that 1 mic placed over and
    between the 2 congas nice and clear.
    So I suggested getting them off the floor to stop them being strangled .

    And your right guys , they are played fairly softly . I have played with a percussionist who hit his congas
    with a real slap and he actually broke a skin during a gig . He had hands like leather though .

    I feel like if they are not up there in the mix its just a waste of time setting them up .
    Also being up loud helps the taste of the player come through , for better or worse ...lol
    Thanks for weighing in :)
     
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  18. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I don't think it's yet time to throw the baby out with the bath water....
    If you like having a percussionist for your act, and you feel that under normal circumstances that it benefits you, then try working with your current percussionist to bring that benefit back. If she's good at what she does, fits in musically, and her only problem is that she plays too soft, then work with her, and help her to understand what you feel needs improving. If after a certain amount of time, she's still not giving what the band requires, then obviously you have a decision to make...
    FWIW I'd rather deal with a player who doesn't play loud enough versus a player that always plays too loud. ;)
    Is she good at what she does, pal? I mean... Besides her lack of power... Does she sit in the pocket with drums and bass well? Does she have chops and tastefulness that under normal circumstances would sound good and add a pleasing texture to the music? Or, are you using her just because she's available, and just so happens to own a percussionist rig? There's a big difference between those two scenarios. ;)
    -d.
     
  19. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

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    Marco , those stands look the ticket ,Will suggest them (y)

    Donny , she is a fantab person , great singer and sits in the groove with percussion .
    I think ,to help with our musical growth ,we need more interaction with our limited
    instruments ( 3 piece , guitar , drums and percussion ) , and so require more headroom on congas .

    My wife and I have tried working with bass players in the past but the sum of the parts
    is better , IMHO , with a great singer addition for the harmonies ,
    I have been using a midi pup to get a bass sound on low E and A strings ,and a looper .

    My wife , huge ups to her ! , has learnt to play the drums pretty much self taught,
    and can play with the loop ,that Ive recorded live ,while she sings the verse/bridge , and
    make it sound like no one is a passenger .This is the reason why the sum of the parts with
    a bass player isn't as great .( haven't found the right one ) The general public here
    aren't interested in the music as much as the singing/harmonies and a strong simple 4 beat pulse.

    The clubs , pubs here won't pay enough bucks to support a 4 or 5 piece band on a regular enough basis.
    The few 4 /5 piece bands here get stuck playing the crowd favourites every gig , which are fun
    to drink and sing along to , but not to play week in week out IMO .

    Oh yeah , we will try lifting the congas up off the floor first and Ill ket you know how it goes .
    I will hint , that playing them harder would help .
    I don't normally talk about playing technique with fellow band members because Ive seen
    it being overdone in past bands. Nowadays I just like to cherish what gets created from all sides
    of the group with each ones own idyo syncs , because theres gold in our flaws .(y) ( within varied margin of error ):LOL:
     
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