How can I mic my doumbek so that I can play in a band with other amplified instruments?
July 29, 2010 10:21 AM Subscribe
How can I mic my doumbek
(hand drum) so that I can play in a band with other amplified instruments?
posted by Afroblanco to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been playing the doumbek for 13 years, and in that time, I have never found a satisfactory way to mic it. This has been a severe limitation on my musical endeavors. As a general rule, I play with musicians who amplify their instruments. Think electric guitars, often with effects and distortion. Lately, I've been playing with techno/house DJs.
Typically, I'll use two mics -- a top mic and a bottom mic. I do this because the doumbek has a wide range of souncs, from a high "ping" to a nice bass bounce. The top mic goes above the drum head, the bottom mic beneath the opening of the drum. This works for the most part, but I can only turn the volume up so far before it starts to feedback something fierce. Unfortunately, this maximum volume is usually a good deal lower than the other amplified instruments.
Another problem is that, when mic'ed, my drum sounds especially flat and lifeless. I don't know how to describe it -- it seems to lack tone, warmth, and depth. It sounds more like I'm trying to play on a tin can.
I'm open to any novel arrangement you can think of, provided that it doesn't cost thousands of dollars. Think different kinds of microphones, pickups (?), mic positions, equalization strategies, effects processors, whatever. Please keep in mind that I am a layman as far as sound tech goes, and don't really know anything about it. But I'm willing to learn!