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Recording Percussionists

These are probably stupid questions, but what is your process for recording and/or mixing & mastering percussionists? I'm thinking particularly of Gocoo or Amampondo (groups) vs. Greg Ellis or Budgie (single drummer). I've always been impressed with how you get them to shine. Do you have any tips, or certain presets you use?

Examples:
1) Getting the individual Pondo's parts to work together for the multi-layered finale of Conga Fury.
2) Getting Gocoo to stand out in a fairly loud song like Zwara, how you kept them from getting "buried" in the mix. I've found in my own work that its very easy to bury Gocoo (samples) or taikos in general.
3) On a track like Immaculate Crucifixion, how you get that drum kit to be so loud and badass without overpowering everything else?

For the record, I am a complete amateur at stuff like this, in every sense of the word.

I can only really say the things i couldn't have done without...

Mabi and his amazing rhythms and personality

A warehouse room untreated that reflected percussion and drums perfectly

Greg Ellis with his unbridled demon anger when pushed to play like that.

Gocoo was a nightmare to fit in, as i recorded it so badly,and took many nights of coffee cigarettes and tweeking.

I am not a trained engineer so i did what i thought sounded good though trial an error and then when mixing i would get in people like Greg Hunter who would have to fix my mayhem, and he is an amazing engineer, in fact i could do with him now, as this track i am on is killing me... 😛

oh and a massive set of speakers that would shake the skin off your bones...

Very interesting, thank you! I don't even know how the hell you would record Gocoo for a studio recording, and then try to fit them as a piece of a larger ensemble. Those drums disappear so easily too, I remember when trying to remix Zwara!

Thanks for the replies...I can tell you that all of that mayhem certainly produced quite the finished product!