Discuss gear and techniques for recording and stage performance
By improviser388
#6189
I plan on performing in some small festivals in order to make a few bucks here and there. This would be in aspirations of being able to record some music. So first things first. I have a very nice bass djembe a sm57 and a cord for it. Now I don't have an amp but besides that what do you think I should purchase for performance/recording.
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By bops
#6193
Depends...

Are you recording other instruments as well? How many?
What do you plan to do with the music once it's recorded? Sell it on CD?

Depending on your needs, you basically have two options:

1) Portable recorder - small, cheap
2) Laptop + sound card (firepod, fp10, something like that) - big, expensive
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By Rhythm House Drums
#6194
I've got the SM57 as well and like the sound I get. I like a sharp bass, one that doesn't last through the next few notes, so I've stopped micing the head and the bottom. I just mic the head with the SM57, usually about 6" or so from the head and instead of pointing directly at the head, I set the mic off to the far left side of the head and angle the mic to face the center (just slightly). The SM57 doesn't have much gain on it's own, as it's main use is for snare drums and to mic amps... I use a mixer Behinger 802 (fairly cheap but works for me) and I said the trim (gain) to about 1/2. I like to up the highs and the lows on the EQ (built into the mixer) also because it seems like the mids from the SM57 are a little suffocating. I would recommend picking up some sort of mixer, or at least an EQ so you can get your sound just right. Your amp might have one built in, but a mixer will give you more control. Also, the above mixer will allow for two XLR ins, so you can mic the bottom end (another sm57 or an sm56 or a more expensive kick drum mic) if you want and adjust the eq for that mic to just pick up lows, that gives a fuller sound.

The toys and gagets out there for live playing are endless.. it just depends on what you are trying to do. Anther idea for you is to get some sort of looper (I have a boss RC-20XL)... so you can play an accomp. part live, loop it, and switch to soloing over the loop for a bit, then play the loop along with the looper, cut the looper off (all controlled with a foot pedal on some) and phase your accomp part into something else... loop that... etc.. :) With a mixer you could also prerecord some tracks (or dunun phrases) and plug your Ipod or whatever up to it, than play that through the mixer and jam out with it.

Ok... so all that was for playing live... for recording, I plug my SM57 into the same mixer, than feed the mixer into my mac. I use both Cubase and Logic Pro... more of Logic Pro these days, but there are cheaper programs that do most the same functions (laying multiple tracks, moving around parts, editing at wave level, adding effects, etc.). I don't do anything professionally, just like messing around for myself and cause I like drums and technology :) I posted another post in this same recording section and promised some examples... haha... still on the to-do list about 5 below the honey-do list :)
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By Djembe-nerd
#8096
I did a small event yesterday, with some Indian drums and a singer. The others were on mics but I chose not to as mine was tuned tight and loud enough for the small hall. But when things started and I had to play for 5 hours, it was hard on the hands playing at max intensity. I tired to mic the bottom as the bass was sounding low without mic, it worked for a while but then since the mic was put in the ground, it statred giving interference and had to remove it.

Next time, I will try and put a mic as RHD says (on the left, since I am right handed and that moves for the bass more), but will one mic pick up the bass good enough for a puch in a event?

Thnx
By bubudi
#8098
mic'ing (not too close) with finger style playing technique seems to be the go in the environment you're describing. you can always turn the mic on/off - for example, you could do your solos unmic'ed with full intensity. try a bass mic on the bottom but keep the level fairly low in the mix to avoid distortion on a cheap p.a.
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By Djembe-nerd
#8136
The other drums were being played mostly with fingers, but I was just playing tone, slap and bass. It was Ok in the beginning but when it went on for 5 hours, it was hard to keep up the same intensity.
try a bass mic on the bottom but keep the level fairly low in the mix to avoid distortion on a cheap p.a
I will try that. The bass was the one that was getting lost actually.

Thnx
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By bops
#8140
When some instruments are running through a PA and others aren't, the sound will carry irregularly throughout the hall. Your drum might sound great near the stage but not so great in back, or vise-versa. It's better to mic everything if you're micing some instruments, even if the louder instruments get a lower treatment in the live mix.

A good setup is to use a drum mic (such as the SM57) on the head, and a kick mic on the horn. If you only have one mic, it's normally better to put it on the head (about 3" off the skin). Unless you're trying to emphasize the low frequencies.

BTW: full intensity for 5 hours? Seriously?
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By Djembe-nerd
#8147
Your drum might sound great near the stage but not so great in back, or vise-versa. It's better to mic everything if you're micing some instruments, even if the louder instruments get a lower treatment in the live mix.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will do this next time.
BTW: full intensity for 5 hours? Seriously?
There was a minute break every 6-7 minutes, but that was about it. My hands are still aching at the knuckles and wrists. :-(