In this free tutorial for Production Expert, Pro Tools Expert Technical Editor James Ivey shows you 5 of his favorite tips for recording hand percussion like tambourine and shakers.
Tip 1. James starts by looking at a way to turn a very ordinary sounding tambourine into a powerful sounding one by playing two instruments taped together to combine their sounds.
Tip 2. James then shows you 3 different playing positions to get three different note durations out of a single tambourine. By simply tilting the instrument over when it is struck you can get 3 very different durations of note.
Tip 3. It goes without saying that the microphone you chose will play a massive part in how your percussion track sounds but with a little planning you can get the right tone with mic choice alone. James shows how recording with either a Sontronics Saturn multi-pattern condenser mic or a Sontronics Sigma ribbon mic can completely change the sound and "vibe" of a track.
Tip 4. The distance you are away from the mic makes a difference. We all know this as the proximity effect but it's not just something that affects the voice. James shows how the playing position relative to the microphone can change the dynamics of a shaker part.
Tip 5. For this final tip, James found himself raiding his children's toy cupboard for their toy instruments. Some of which only cost a small amount but they sound great when played the right way.
If you have any other tips for recording percussion instrument and making your music sound more "real" please do share them below in the comments section.