What is it about Cajons? They are everywhere! From buskers on street corners, to performers in the pub, you don’t need to go very far to hear someone playing one of these unique percussion instruments. In recent years there’s been a massive surge in popularity and this is possibly due to the large amount of sounds that can be produced and that anyone with a basic sense of rhythm can perform with them. With this in mind, I’d go as far to say that the Cajon is one of the most important instruments around because it has encouraged so many new players to get involved with music.
Sales of Cajons have grown, but so has the hobby of building your own, allowing players to produce a range of totally unique sounds tailored to to their own tastes. Continual innovation and customisation has only furthered the appeal and live use of these wonderful instruments. In an acoustic environment the intricacies and nuances can be heard clearly, complementing the guitar or other instruments around however, in a noisy pub or large stage, they can often just sound like someone hitting a box unless they are properly miked up. So what’s the best way to get a great live sound from a cajon?
How do you record a cajon?
From some research online, the general consensus is that placing mics at the front and the rear of a Cajon is the best way to capture its character. Another option is to use a boundary mic like the Shure Beta 91A on a towel inside. This can be a costly process. The Beta 91 costs around £255 and if you decide to dual mic it with something like an Audix D6 and an SM57, you’ll still be spending roughly £100 on each mic and you’ll need to have cumbersome mic stands placed around you when you’re performing, not ideal for a small stage and easy to knock over if you’re a particularly exuberant performer! What’s more, if you need some other sounds, you’ll need to get more percussion and potentially mic this stuff up as well. Suddenly the simple Cajon has grown several expensive arms and legs and given the sound engineer a headache. So what are you supposed to do? How can we preserve the distinctive sound without breaking the bank? What do you do if you want to want to add more sounds but don’t want to start drilling holes in your beloved, hand made box of beats?
Using the Roland EC-10M
The answer is easier than you think: buy a Roland EC-10M. This amazing gadget is going to revolutionise Cajon performance on a worldwide scale! So what is it and why do you need one? The EC-10M is really two things; a high quality clip on microphone specifically engineered for Cajon and a very special pre-amp module. All you do is clip the mic onto the sound hole at the back of the Cajon and plug it into the module which then plugs into your PA or Amp. On the module you can adjust the sensitivity of the mic, the output volume and even add compression to enhance the sound. The amplified sound quality of the Cajon is excellent, capturing even the most nuanced of performances, but this is only part of the story. The EC-10M allows you to layer other sounds which are triggered by your playing! This could be congas, tambourines, tabla or even industrial electronic kits which can either be mixed in or played instead of the natural Cajon sound! Additional sounds in each of the 16 kits can be triggered via the foot switches or by plugging in Roland V-Drum triggers and the electronic sounds can even be looped using the built in looper. It even runs on batteries! Imagine the possibilities!
Not only is the EC-10M the easiest way to mic a Cajon and achieve a great sound, it gives the Cajon player a wide array of amazing extra instruments in one box. What’s more, it’s only £229! If you are a Cajon player, you need one of these in your life!
Mind blowing busking sets and polished pub performances will be on tap with the Roland EC-10M! Pop into Red Dog Music for a demo today.
Oh, and don’t think you can’t attach it to things that aren’t cajons: