professional musicians: how should I mic my tabla?
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Neruda

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since moving into my dorm room, I've been having a blast jamming with all the other musicians on my floor (I'm in the music hall, so what do you expect
). I've been handling almost all of the drumming while others play guitar and bass. I'm alright when I play my doumbek, which is an extremely loud drum and requires no amplifying in order to keep up with electric guitars (I'm capable of drowning them out, actually). But when I try to play my tabla in a live setting or with multiple guitars, I inevitably get drowned out. attempts to mic them by using a large hand-held microphone through a guitar amp always have dreadful results, and so right now I want to learn about what I need to do to successfully amplify their sound. is the microphone the only problem? Because I know I'll need to buy a mic designed for this purpose anyway (the type that I can clip onto the straps of my drums). Like these:


anyway, I could really use some guidance and advice regarding this issue. What sort of amp do I need? what style of microphone? where can I buy these items, and for how much? what's the most inexpensive route I can take and yet still get good sound? Is this application impossible to begin with?

thanks in advance.
 
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BeeEss

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Neruda:

As a live sound mixer for quite some time I find that I really like the sound of the Audix D-series mics for drums of all types (without spending significantly more money). Here's the link:

http://www.audixusa.com/dseries.htm

Depending on how fancy you wanted to get, you could clip a mic to the top of each drum or one on top and one underneath for a bit more low end sound. I know for certain they are available at Mars Music.

If those are a bit to high for your budget, the first thing I would recommend is a Shure SM-57. "57's" , as they are known in the SR world, are inexpensive, indestructible microphones used the world over for many many years and for many many applications. They are as much of a legacy product as the SR world has; chances are you have seen one just about anywhere you have seen a sound system. You shouldn't pay any more than $100 per mic for them, available at practically any shop that sells pro audio gear. They are handheld, but often you will find packages with a 57, cable, and stand at a very reasonable price.

http://www.shure.com/microphones/models/sm57.asp

As far as other clip on mics, AKG and Sennheiser both have models to choose from; I have worked with the AKG but prefer the Audix and I think they are in roughly the same price range (don't quote me on that, I'm not completely sure).

As a "sound guy", however, this scared me:
Quote:

using a large hand-held microphone through a guitar amp


This is not a good idea, especially if the guitar amp does not have a specially designed channel/components for use with a microphone: you can thrash a woofer in a guitar amp really quickly doing that, I have seen it happen (not pretty).

I think what I would do in this situation is go with a small powered PA speaker to use as an "amp". These are routinely available at chain music stores (a la Mars, Guitar Center) and will suit percussion amplification much better than any guitar amp. Check out JBL's EON series:

http://www.jblpro.com/eong2/eon_old.htm

The EON (power) series is a self-contained PA speaker and amplifier. In particular, the EON 15 PAK would be perfect: you can connect up to three sources (mics) and it has a smidge of built-in equalization so you can tailor the sound to your liking without a bunch of mixers and outboard gear. The models listed in the link above are the "old" EON series, they have introduced the EON G2 series with twice the onboard amp power. In your situation, I would guess that the original series (they are grey instead of black) would suffice at a much lower cost. You should be able to pick up really clean ones used at a substancial savings.

There are a number of competitors to the EON line now (although it was the first in its price range on the market) that provide essentially the same functionality. Worth mentioning are entries from Yamaha (MS300, MS400) and Mackie (SRM 450). There are others in several price ranges. I am going out on a limb here, but if you go to one of those chain stores they should have someone there who can help you out. If you're not sure, post or IM me what they try to sell you on and I'll tell you whether they're full of BS or not


There are, of course, an infinite number of other possibilities, these just came off the top of my head. Pro audio is my forte; it is how I eventually plan on making a living (*cough*, if you can call it a living)... gonna go ahead and get that MIS degree just in case
. Let me know what you find out--
BeeEss
 
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Neruda

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BeeEss, thanks for the reply. I bookmarked the Audix microphones, although they are too high for my budget (whatever that is--do I even have a budget yet?). I'll keep the shure in mind as well, although I'd prefer the clip-on mics if I had my druthers. Any clip-ons you could reccomend for less than $100? I don't need this to sound perfect (yet), just acceptable!


thank you also with advice in regards to the amp. I didn't think a guitar amp would work, but I didn't know what the other options were. A PA speaker does sound right for the job.
 
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