In this article the following percussion instruments will be discussed; The Darbuka, Frame Drum/Bendir, Indian Tabla, and the Cajon. These instruments create very unique drum sample sounds and can really add something extra when working in music production. Lets get started: Darbuka (also darabuka, derbouka (Fr.) or tarabuka) is a vase drum, and it is used especially in the Balkans, the Middle East and the rest of the Arab world. The right-hand turn (towards the center) the heavy beat, ‘doom’ and the so-called ‘branch’ on the edge of the drumhead. The left hand fills the rhythm (usually with additional ‘power). It is important to note that there are two types darbuka, the Egyptian and the Greek / Turkish model, both producing their own unique drum sound. You often play the Greek / Turkish model with the left hand to cut the edge of the drumhead (branch) with the fingers. However, when playing the Egyptian model that technique is rarely used and you will play the instrument differently. There have been many music producers that use these as hip hop drum samples. It adds nice diversity to the music. Some producers even go as far as saying it makes for the best drum samples they’ve ever heard due to the distinct ethic timbre. Continuing on, the darbuka in Greece, also called toumberleki is well known and often used in combination with a lira (kementsje). Which can create a very special sound. In case you are producing music and you want to implement the darbuka in one of your track. Make sure you find some real samples to make it sound as real and lively as possible.
Here’s a good video of these types drums:
Frame Drum / Bendir
A framedrum is a drum of which the drum head is stretched and tuned over a wooden, cylindrical ring. A clear characteristic for frame drums is that the drumhead diameter is much grater than the height of the frame or ring, creating nice drum sounds. Again just as with the darbuka when using samples, make sure you use real samples for adapting the frame drum in your music, for the best sounding results. You can even find free drum samples on the web, such as realdrumsamples.com, if you search well.
Congas (Great for Latin music)
A conga is about 70-75 cm high and is a safe drum, barrel-shaped and open at the bottom, which is usually played with hands. The trunk is hollowed to an hourglass-shaped vase, which is then covered with a shaved skin which is pulled right by ropes for the correct tension in order to produce the real drum sounds – this is why a lot of audio engineers use them for real drum samples, they just sound so authentic! The skin must be strong and supple. An antelope skin, therefore, is the most appropriate, but since the antelope poaching has become scarce and prohibited, goatskin is now commonly used. The origin of the instrument can be found in the Congolese Makuta drum back. This was taken to Cuba by slaves and eventually became important in the Cuban music. After 1930, New York’s jazz orchestras discovered the real drum sounds of the conga, and the instrument was gradually established in the western music. The conga received over the years a lot of changes in form and appearance. Today, the conga is thicker. The instrument is made of wood or fiberglass. Wooden congas generate generally warmer, fuller and deeper drum sounds than fiberglass congas…This is really reflected in conga drum samples too. However, congas from fiberglass usually have a brighter and slightly more powerful character than their wooden brethren. If you look hard enough, you can probably find some free drum samples of congas online…You won’t regret it.