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Author Topic: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon  (Read 26742 times)

BobWitte

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 01:12:25 pm »


If you want to mic, an SM57 on a mic stand usually works fine for each cajon. Forget the MD421, they break easily, are expensive to repair, have less gain before feedback onstage and are not significantly better for live sound than an SM57. None of the top level conga players I know in NYC use MD421s for live sound, just for recording.


Differing opinion - we use multiple MD421's for live sound all the time for Toms, Brass, Conga, sax, etc.  Never had one fail. Plenty of gain (of course, none of these instruments should have much of a GBF issue).

Now, that  mic clip IS an issue though....

George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 03:17:03 pm »

Although they are not as rugged as SM57s, in a church environment with hand drums (cajones) and care taken setting up and putting them away, MD421s would probably be fine. I am still not convinced that in a live setting they would sound noticeably better than SM57s on cajon. In fact, I am not convinced you need mics at all, unless it is a really big church.

Here is a performance we did with two guys who really know how to play cajon, Cuban style, no amplification for the cajones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjHBsdQv714

Gene Golden on the higher (quinto) cajon and Skip "Brinquito" Burney on the lower cajon for those of you who know Afrocuban music. The two vocal mics near them were muted for that song, the only mics that were active were the vocal mics off camera. The audio was recorded with the stock camera mic. There were about 150 people in the room, which is normally a very echo-y room when empty. Even though the vocals were a little too loud for the very live room, the unmic'ed cajones come through fine. This was an impromptu memorial tribute rumba for a drummer who had recently passed, Orlando "Puntilla" Rios.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 03:28:29 pm by George Friedman-Jimenez »
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Daniel Childers

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2011, 11:25:41 pm »

Although it's been stated several times before, I'd like to echo the SM57 method.  I have mixed cajons several times before with various dynamic mics, and I prefer a 57, with the diaphragm just inside the hole.  Start with a slight angle toward one of the slapped sides to catch the click (if it's a snare cajon, angle towards the strings), and if more click or HF is needed, increase the angle.  Of course, EQ and compression will be your best friend with any mic to get the best rich sound.
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Mark Sexton

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 11:45:18 am »

I'm thinking about purchasing a Cajon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cajon)for my own use during more acoustic-style worship environments, and I'm wondering if anyone here has had any experience throwing a mic on one of these things.  I have seen on other forums folk using a Senn 421 and the like, but as firm believer in the "If you can't do it with an SM57, you shouldn't be doing it at all" method, I want to stick to something simple -- that and I have 57s, I don't have a 421.

My brain initially either wants to mic in the sound hole like a kick, or from the front bottom pointing where the hands go.

Thanks in advance.
My go to for a cajon is a D6 on the hole and an SDC on the front snare side.

The following are serviceable solutions that I'll use depending on the music style, mic inventory, and channel count.

D6 on the hole, 57 on the front.
57 on the front.
57 on the hole.
57 on a pad inside the cajon.
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Mark Sexton

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BobWitte

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2011, 12:43:21 pm »

Not arguing that SM57's are good, just chiming in on the comment of the 421's reliability.

Cajon, non mic'd is an option unless the size of the church or if the worship team in using IEM's and/or any recording (audio or video) of the service is happening or any sound be sent to other rooms....

We always mic everything! Worst that can happen is that you don't need to use the mic's....

Kent Thompson

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2011, 04:16:27 pm »


If you want to mic, an SM57 on a mic stand usually works fine for each cajon. Forget the MD421, they break easily, are expensive to repair, have less gain before feedback onstage and are not significantly better for live sound than an SM57. None of the top level conga players I know in NYC use MD421s for live sound, just for recording.


Differing opinion - we use multiple MD421's for live sound all the time for Toms, Brass, Conga, sax, etc.  Never had one fail. Plenty of gain (of course, none of these instruments should have much of a GBF issue).

Now, that  mic clip IS an issue though....

 I recently had an md421 repaired it was not any more expensive than repairing any other microphone (in fact the Shure I repaired cost more). I have not had it be a liability as far as GBF goes and it sounds better than most microphones do on more things so when the Cajon is not in use it is easy to find other uses for it.
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Justin Bartlett

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2011, 03:14:59 pm »

I'm thinking about purchasing a Cajon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cajon)for my own use during more acoustic-style worship environments, and I'm wondering if anyone here has had any experience throwing a mic on one of these things.  I have seen on other forums folk using a Senn 421 and the like, but as firm believer in the "If you can't do it with an SM57, you shouldn't be doing it at all" method, I want to stick to something simple -- that and I have 57s, I don't have a 421.

My brain initially either wants to mic in the sound hole like a kick, or from the front bottom pointing where the hands go.

Thanks in advance.

My favorite approach so far has been a Sennheiser e614 small-diameter condenser on a short stand as far in the hole as I could get it (pretty close to the snares).  I find cajons to have *plenty* of low-end even with this setup, and it picked up the slap and snares quite well.  I actually liked this better than the D6 in the hole / SDC on the front approach.
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Brian Lemmon

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2011, 12:50:44 pm »

We've been using a Cajon on and off for the last year. I've been happy using a Sennheiser e902 in the hole. If the stage is on the quieter side I'll also use an AT Pro37 on the front.
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Stu McDoniel

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2011, 11:01:16 pm »

I'm thinking about purchasing a Cajon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cajon)for my own use during more acoustic-style worship environments, and I'm wondering if anyone here has had any experience throwing a mic on one of these things.  I have seen on other forums folk using a Senn 421 and the like, but as firm believer in the "If you can't do it with an SM57, you shouldn't be doing it at all" method, I want to stick to something simple -- that and I have 57s, I don't have a 421.

My brain initially either wants to mic in the sound hole like a kick, or from the front bottom pointing where the hands go.

Thanks in advance.
The sm57 is really an "ok mic" ...go with cardiod condensor instead of dynamic.  I mean really you are talking about a mic that is ancient in design with the 57.  Try the Audix I5 if you want dynamic.   
I try to avoid 57's and 58's with all the really fine microphones out there that totally BLOW them off
the map in sonics.  I think coloration comes to mind with these two models.
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Niels Hempel

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Re: "Real-world" ways to mic a Cajon
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2011, 09:27:02 am »

I think multiple mics is overkill and clutters the stage with mics/wires.  I stick one sm57 in the hole and put a nice compressor on it like a DBX160... nothing but compliments about how good it sounds.

In the studio I would use two mics though.
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Niels Hempel
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