This question is one question that would be running through the minds of many. The Cajon drum looks like an instrument that does not have any use in the studio. However, some people have been able to pull this off, and the Cajon drum keeps getting popular in studio use each day and there are many models from various brands. For some percussionists, the Cajon drum is a popular instrument. A number of them know it for its key features and peculiar sound, while some others know it for its unique shape and size. Interest has been growing for the use of this instrument over time, and modifications have been made to ensure it can quickly adapt to use in the studio. The Cajon drum did not change from the usual wooden box, despite the difference in the sound in both the standard and modified versions.
If you have ever seen a drummer sitting on a little box and playing it, then you have seen a Cajon drum. The Cajon drum produces melodious grooves that one can easily embed into studio works and the likes. It is no wonder that the Cajon drum is ideal for some genres of music such as afro music, Cuban music, and flamenco music. Therefore, using the Cajon drum in the studio would require a lot of skill and practice if you want to perfect using it in your studio. But you would have to bear in mind that knowledge of sound engineering and mixing is not enough as knowing the instrument being mixed. You must understand what the Cajon drum is and what it can do before you can fully harness its qualities in a studio. A proper understanding of a musical instrument enables you to produce top quality sounds from the instrument, due to the appropriate knowledge of the natural sound of the instrument, tuning of the instrument and how edited sounds are supposed to be.
Can one use cajon drum in hip hop music?
If you are worried about using the Cajon drums for hip hop music, then put your doubts and worries to rest. The Cajon drum can be used in hip-hop music. This is because the Cajon drums are like a summary of the conventional drum set. In some cases, the Cajon drum comes with a snare drum for convenience, versatility, and dynamics of the sound. The snare is to enable producing a wide range of sounds like the deep thud of a bass drum or the snare sound itself. These features make the Cajon drums quite ideal for use in hip-hop music, and it is believed that it would do very well in rap music. Taking the Cajon drums to the streets would not only be excellent instrumental support for rap battles, but a unique way to add flow and groove to the event.
Recording the cajon drum in studio
The structure of the Cajon drums is one of a kind, and one can only but wonder if the Cajon drums can be recorded. The thing is that knowing the natural sound of the Cajon drums is what makes it easier to handle in any situation. We would discuss how to use microphones with the Cajon drums later, but it is worthy of note that the Cajon drum requires two microphones; one in front and another at the back. A person that doesn’t know anything about the instrument or is just seeing the Cajon drum for the very first time would not know that the drum requires those two microphones compulsorily.
For instance, a snare drum can be recorded standardly using two microphones; one for the batter head on top and one for the resonant head at the bottom. Although, the typical method is to use a single microphone for the batter head. When you notice two, you should be able to perceive that it was done due to the need of some particular sounds, and this can only come from knowledge of the instrument.
If you want to enhance the low-end sound of the Cajon drum, you would have to place the microphone at the back closer to the hole or place the whole Cajon drum close to a wall for acoustic reverb. The effects of the wall add more resonance to the low-end sounds, and it is known that hard surfaces produce livelier sounds than padded surfaces. Since studios have more padding to avoid echo effects and other forms of room effects, getting the natural sound would need your expertise in sound mixing and placing the microphone. For studios with hard surfaced recording rooms for their acoustic instruments, a single, distant microphone (one with a full range capacitor) would do just fine.
In some other cases, placing the microphone at a very close distance to the hole is the only workable option. The closeness of the microphone is to ensure that a lot of sounds do not escape, and one way to make this more effective is by using a sound booth or isolation screens.
A bass drum microphone, with a full-range capacitor, is often used at the back of the drums to enhance the low-end sound. If you do not want the low end sounds to have too much bass, then the best option is to place the microphone at 20 millimeters from the hole and a 45-degree angle. Cardioid capacitor microphones usually capture the batter head sounds.
You would get a complete sound by mixing the sounds from the two microphones, and ensure that you flip the polarity of one of the microphones since the two are oppositely facing each other. Other forms of editing are done with an equalizer and mixer.

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