Any percussionists out there?

Is this a good deal?

Now that I have a decent mic (SM-57), I’ve been collecting some basic percussion instruments (tambourine, shakers).
I think they add a little bit of life to my otherwise static sounding midi drum tracks.

Anyways, I came across this bongo / conga set at musician’s friend.

The price seems pretty reasonable. I’m just curious if anybody has any experience / advice, or even tips on how to record them. :)


I too am collecting percussion for the same reason - plus it’s great fun to play.

I can’t say if those bongos are good but I can say that I get great results with the cheapish bongos I do have. I’ve miced them using a couple of condenser mics to give a little stereo spread, and it works well.

Like drums, it seems that tuning is everything.



I can’t comment on the price. Seems not too bad, but not knowing about the construction quality or sound these things will make is tough. Pawn shops or used music gear stores are a great place to buy this kinda stuff if you live in a city big enough to support such places. Get to put you hands on 'em that way.

I almost always record stand mounted hand drums like this from on top, in mono. I usually use a SDC. Dynamics are cool, but often sound a bit tubby to me. The hand slaps don’t seem to translate too well with a dynamic, and I like me some room sound on my conga tracks. You can also mic 'em from the bottom, and that’s actually what I prefer for stuff like a small djembe or dumbek that gets held under the arm. It takes a lot of dicking around with mic placement to get a good sound on congas. You don’t need to hit good ones hard to get the best tone, and that means recording them with an acceptable level can be a challenge. And some very light reverb or compression with a long release helps bring the resonant tones of the drum to a place where it can be heard well in a mix.

Also, skin heads. Heavy skin heads take a while to break in and get sounding good. Plus they go out of tune faster, especially with temperature and humidity swings. 25 years of drum playing means I have tons of hand drums around, all over the house and the studio space. Great fun, they are, and versatile. You ever hear of a band called The Subdudes? Find a copy of their record “Lucky”. No drums on that record, though you’d swear you hear a drum kit. It’s all a single tamborine with a calf head, played by a very talented guy…

Wife is a drummer but I still use the Boss DR-670 for my home recordings. But I do get a much better sound by recording the Kick,snare,hi-hat and cymbals all seperately. That way I can keep the kick in the center and pan the others somewhat to give them more life. Makes the mix sound better…of course adding these instruments will give it life too…

“Oak shells” -> should be pretty good

Also, a couple of 57’s should do the trick!!