February 13, 2004
Compact Conga Fun
[ Edit ]
Today was one of those momentous days in the life of a drummer. I finally bought new heads on my drums at home. After, oh, about three or four years, those old ones needed to go. I played a friend’s drums today at a session, and they sounded so much better than mine, it was upsetting. So I had to break down and do it. Tomorrow I’ll actually get to play them and see how they sound.
While I was at the music store, I bought one of these. The Compact Conga is a pretty remarkable instrument. It’s like a drum pad, eleven inches wide by two inches thick. But it sounds great. It’s possible that a real conga player would think it’s crap, but it sounds pretty sweet to me.
It has Giovanni Hidalgo’s name on it — I guess he helped develop it with LP. You certainly want to hear him on real congas too, but this realvideo clip of him playing this pad is pretty sick.
This makes me want to work on my conga technique, which is a good thing. I look forward to taking this on a gig and working with it.
Incidentally, the music store I went to is now the only drum shop in Chicago. For the past sixteen years, The Drum Pad has been the only place around, and it can take an hour to get there from Chicago (because of traffic — it’s about 15 or 20 miles away). Andy’s Drum Shop is a fine place, with good selection, good prices, and nice people. I plan to visit that place more often. The only problem is that it’s not easily accessible from the El for me. Such is life.
Posted by Joe
do you know how to "mute" your compact conga? I just got mine and it there are no instructions on how to mute it for quiet playing
I haven't really thought of muting it. Playing with my hands, it seems like it's usually pretty easy to keep things quiet. If you want to be able to hit hard and still be pretty quiet, you could try something like Moon Gel on the conga head. Check that stuff out and see if it works.
hey Chris and Joe,
I'm using two compact conga's for my tiny setup ( 2 comp. conga's, 1 cajon, 1 stand with 14" crash/ride, small barchime & woodblock) and for a better tone i atached a small rubber patch under the skin. Now i can produce a better tone with a higher skin tension : less overtones and nicer slaps ! when i have to mute it, i'm using a large sponge between the snare stand and the conga (it may not touch the skin)
Thanks for the tips, jeroen. I'll have to give that a try. How big a rubber patch do you use? Is it like a piece of moon gel?
it's about 4 cm's wide and 2mm thick, it's almost the same size as the black LP spot.
Great tip, have to try that. Because I got fed up with the heavy snare-stands, I've produced something myself. Please take a look at my site if you like.
I'm not normally inclined to keep advertising links on here, but that's a pretty interesting looking stand, Arnoud. So it stays. However, I'm changing your link to the english language version, since this I expect that's what most readers of my site will be looking for first. Thanks!
Thanx Joe, although there is nothing commercial or advertising overthere, they're just for my own use.
Like the Logic things you write as well, I'm still struggling with the score-editor. Did you manage to get a decent percussion-score out of it?
Jeroen: Your setup is almost identical to mine! Would you like to share experiences? Mail?
Also I'm not too much into drums that I clearly understand what rubber patch to use. Can you point me in some direction, or is this something that you can buy somewhere?