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  #1  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:55 AM
XAiracobraX XAiracobraX is offline
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Default Djembe Mic selection

Hey guys, so I have been playing the djembe live and so far have used a sm57 and sm58. Both sounded somewhat "dull" if thats the right word. They don't pick up the crisp, warm, character of the drum. A friend of mine has recommended me to get either a shure SM81 or a shure beta 87a. This is live with an acoustic guitar and vocals playing with djembe. Two questions:

1. In that live setting, would an SM81 pick up too much of the noise?
2. Can I use a beta 87a somewhere on a drum set?

I have looked around and found many recommend the sm57...I am looking for something more crisp. Thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2011, 06:33 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Djembe Mic selection

It sounds to me that maybe the microphones placement was wrong. Maybe there was an over abundance of proximity effect from positioning the microphone too close to the sound source. There are very few things in this world that sound bad being miked with an SM 57. Many specialized microphones could probably sound better, but anything I put a 57 on sounded very nice. Maybe it was overly EQ'ed, I hear this frequently and not with just SM57s. A Shure SM81 is a fine condenser microphone with a high frequency response a bit more linear and reaching close to the 20,000 cycle range. It's almost too flat and clinical at times and It too can sound muddy if it's used too close to the instrument, but it does have a two position low frequency switch on the body of the microphone to help remedy this. I never worry about a microphone picking up too much noise, you just have to position them to take full advantage of their pick-up pattern. When on the road, the SM81 is a great overhead and hi hat cymbal microphone. I've used Beta 87 As for vocalists and hi hats and they are much brighter, in my opinion, than the other two microphones above. If it fits, the 87A would probably work well on the snares batter head also.

Dennis
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:20 AM
XAiracobraX XAiracobraX is offline
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Default Re: Djembe Mic selection

Its placed between 2" to 5" away. I hold the drum with my legs so I am not as steady as a stand. You recommend further than that with a sm-58?
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:30 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Djembe Mic selection

Quote:
Originally Posted by XAiracobraX View Post
Its placed between 2" to 5" away. I hold the drum with my legs so I am not as steady as a stand. You recommend further than that with a sm-58?
What make microphone would you put more than 5" away from a sound source? Just wondering. And yes, 2" away will cause a proximity effect build-up. The more you move the sound source, the farther the microphone has to be from it to balance the level, unless you're compressing the audio.

My question was a trick question. Being a Shure SM58 has nothing to do with what distance it is used from the sound source. It is still a cardioid pick up pattern (heart shaped) just like a majority of microphones you're probably using.

Are you sure there is no damage to the element causing a high frequency limitation to the microphone?

Dennis
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:03 AM
XAiracobraX XAiracobraX is offline
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Default Re: Djembe Mic selection

I don't know enough about microphones to answer the question of damage....but I can say it sounds the same as the rest of the sm58 mics the vocalists use, when used as a vocal of course.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2011, 10:51 AM
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Skulmoski Skulmoski is offline
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Default Re: Djembe Mic selection

I have been a long time customer of Drumskull Drums who specialize in West African drums and drumming. They have a microphone system for djembes:

http://www.drumskulldrums.com/en2/22...33&MainID=2833

I have not used this system but if they sell it, its going to be good.

GJS
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:21 PM
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Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
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Default Re: Djembe Mic selection

I have had very good results with the Audio Technica AT35. It is a small condenser that clips to the instrument, so you'd be free to walk about the stage with the djembe. I have used this amazing mic for djembe, tablas, snare, toms, sax, acoustic bass and many other instruments. It is durable, stays out of the way and delivers amazing sound.
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