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gringobabu

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Reply with quote  #1 
For practicing in the home I have a small 8" self-powered speaker and a good microphone.  But when I hooked it up the sound from the baya is unacceptable - sounds more like I'm hitting a piece of metal with a hammer!  I've talked with an audio engineer and he suggested getting an in-line graphic equalizer to moderate the signal from the mic.  Does anyone have any experience with choosing a decent equalizer that would do the job?  And any general directions on the EQ levels would also help.  Thanks!
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gringobabu

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Reply with quote  #2 
Also, any info on speakers that people have found work well for home practice.  Thanks!
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david

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have found that it is only partially a question of eq,  A full rich bayan sound is also a question of compression.

As far as EQ is concerned the first step is to have a fairly broad boost centered at about 100Hz -120Hz (use a spectrum analyzer to help you find the sweet spot to bring out the bayan. 

In addition compression is helpful.  The critical thing about the compression is attack an decay characteristics.  The attack time should be extremely short.  If the attack is too long the spike (attack) of the bayan will not be affected.  The release is also important.  It too should be rather short.  If it is too long, then any each stroke will be unduly affected by the stroke before it.  Look at the tracings on the screen to find the sweet spot.

In the old days they may have EQued it, but the compression happened naturally.  It was built into the process in the form of tube compression and tape compression.  If you are looking to replicate the classic sounds from some of the old recordings, this is also a point to consider.

In addition there are the usuall considerations of recording room acoustics, microphone selection, and mic placement.  These are certainly important, But I consider them of secondary importance when compared to EQ and compression.
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #4 
COULDN'T AGREE WITH DAVID MORE!!!

Here's my 2 roop addition
1 - I ALWAYS use a double mic setup for live tabla
Reason: a single mic WILL work - But I personally feel - the sound of each disparate drum is compromised by a single mic - you CAN get a happy medium (done it many times especially where speed setup is a necessity) but I feel there is always a tradeoff where it favors one from the other.
I have proven this with the pepsi challenge to hundreds of talba players both casual and maestro level over the last 40 plus years.
I will have them place their choice of a single mic in their chosen position & we will sound check til we find the sound they are most pleased with
then
I will then place my choice of mics 1 for baya - one for daya and my "basic" eq settings & have them play leaving their mic in position muted - (any good combo will work)
within a couple minutes their eyes widen & they are amazed at the difference.
This has been done with very basic sound systems, all the way to my soundcraft - allen & heath - and studiomaster boards through a 10K watt setup with JBL line arrays & 5k -  subs - compression on channels and mains and 32band graphic eq's as well as 4 way sweepable eq on the individual channel to great results & very happy musicians.

2 - The ONLY thing I would add to David's EQ recommendations (which again are spot on - he is a maestro with MUCH experience on this topic) is try & experiment with freq around 2K - this is the frequency where the hand slaps the skin & will give a more penetrating sound without any additional boom on the low end. - In western kick drums this is the crack you hear when the beater hits the skin & gives that satisfying lightning crack & ring to the top end of your lower frequency drum sounds (also - really adds a nice dimension to the - for lack of a better word - woop woop when the player goes from a low to high press on the skin)

hope this helps
Hamletsghost [cool]


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gringobabu

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks David & Hamletsghost for your input! This is the kind of info I was looking for.  Knowing the frequency levels for the baya and daya is really useful.  Questions:

1) Is there an equalizer I could use that would help with the 8" speaker (Rockville RPG8) I am using?  There is no input EQ on it and only Bass and Treble for the output.  Turning down the Bass has improved the sound of the baya, (not such a wooden sound), but wondering if an EQ unit would help any more.  (It's been recommended that I get a 12" speaker  - that the 8" just doesn't have the bass capabilities).

2) David, your info on compression is new info to me.  My purpose now is to have a good sound for home practicing and occasional informal group sessions.  Would you recommend a compressor for such a purpose?  And if so, do you have a favorite?

3) I've been using an AKG C1000S and am considering getting a Shure SM57 to try out the difference.  Any thoughts on these or other mics?

Thanks again...
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david

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Reply with quote  #6 
As far as compressors or concerned, it is largely a question of taste.  Almost any compressor will work if you spend the time to understand each one's peculiarities. I am very partial to the ART Pro VLA II.  However I had to switch out the tubes before I was really happy with it.

As far as microphones, that is a whole different subject.  I have more than 50 mics spanning the spectrum from a $3500 Neumann U87 all the way down to a $20 Czechoslovakian military surplus piezoelectric microphone (don't laugh, it has its uses).  So this is really a question of setting up your microphone locker.  I would say that starting off with a couple of Shure SM57s is a very safe and conventional way to do this.
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #7 

Ok let’s open the preverbal can-o-worms & head down ol rabbit hole😉

First - davids assessment of ”almost any compressor“ etc will work Is spot on - But definitely “as long as you spend the time learning the peculiarities” 
you have to learn how it functions - budget or extravagant they all have their own nuances

second - mics ( hey David I really wanna know about this Czech military mic)
again you should be building your mic locker - 57‘s will function just fine just as MANY touring players will ask for the single 58 placed between the 2 tablas. I have written many times about tabla mic choices here on the forum & you can find these posts in the archives - lengthy treatise on mic choices.
In the shortest way possible. My current setup for tabla going back MANY years for live touring large & small - the temple system - as well as our much larger house system are an EV ndym 468 for the bayan and a shure BETA 57 on the high side..... 

(although I am currently saving up for 2 new Avantone mics for tabla- dholak- mridangam- phakwaj- nahl- etcetcetc - one for high -one for low side - I will report on those after I take the plunge- you never stop building that mic locker - I’ve got mics that I actively use all the way back to the 60’) 

lastly - speakers for home - practice - small gigues - jam sessions- larger gigues.
anyone who knows me is aware I’m a huge fan of JBL’ inherent sound especially for Indian music
i have purchased new - used - raw speakers to reload other brand cabinets for close to 50 years - it’s just my thing.
along with fane - wem- altec lancing- Bose - ev - custom purpose built - you name it.
currently - and more to the point for you - I recommend a JBL eon 615 - why you aak? - simply - the sound - the portability - the versatility- the power - price  - size - oh did I mention the sound - 
4 of these are my current throw in the car & do a gigue system AND I DONT NEED A SUB.
at my age & physical condition I can’t carry 8 foot stacks or line arrays anymore  perfect for anything from gigue to practice - as well as used for vocal - keyboard or drum monitors on stage with our large permanent system
the 15 will offer an extended range that will take care of all your drum needs with a built in 1000 watt digital amp - 2 separates mic/line input channels with separate levels & master - no board needed but I do use with a small soundcraft when needed - Bluetooth-preset eq shapes - on & on - all in a package that weighs 39 pounds (the separate amp I replaced with this complete package weighed 60) add 4 very friendly handles & costs less than 500 bucks.

but BRIAN isn’t a 15 with a K of power overkill???

not on your life - my mantra of live sound has always been
“you can always turn it down”
these are just a wonder package & will adhere to the - buy one & done philosophy.
weather used for practice mains or monitors they are the most versatile speaker I’ve found in years - 

go try them out you can’t go wrong

well that’s it for now.
keep banging the skinz


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gringobabu

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks so much for the extended replies! You both have so much experience with gear. I assumed audio equipment and setup have been popular topics in the past on this forum. I’ll take a look at the archives.
Best Wishes.
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