Skip to content

Mixing a Cajon and Shaker – Luke Williams Session

Mixing a Cajon and Shaker – Luke Williams Session


Hello Everyone! We’re back with a new batch of articles and videos and we’re going to start you off with a session I recorded and mixed here at Signature Sound Studio. There are a few elements to this song but to start off we’re going to focus on the percussion instruments, which are the cajon and shaker.

I placed an AKG D112 on the back part of the cajon to capture the lows and a Shure SM57 pointed at the front to capture the attack. We also used a couple condenser AKG 414 microphones as room mics in order to give a small reverb sound to the percussion as a whole. Then we recorded the shaker in stereo with the two AKG 414s, panned left and right. Let’s explore the sound of the percussion and how we mixed it. I used an EQ to clean up some of the frequencies for the the mic on the back of the cajon.

The EQ on the back of the cajon is very subtle. We’re using a compressor plug-in on the front of the cajon to help add some definition to the sound of the attack. I’m also boosting the highs with an EQ to make the sound of the attack cut through more. Lastly, I used an EQ on the room mics to cut the mid frequencies and boost up the high-mids to help clean up and define the sound.

I also used a reverb plugin on the front of the cajon and the shaker to give their sound more ambiance and width. It’s a very smooth reverb that’s easiest to hear when the tracks are soloed. In the mix, it gives the percussion part a more open, spacious feel. Let’s listen to the amount of reverb we’re using.

If you’re a beginner and you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask and if you’re more advanced discuss how you would’ve approached and executed the recording and mix, because as we all know there is more than one way to do it and we can all learn from this and other peoples perspectives. Thanks again and until next time!

Luke Williams music/writer