When one plays amplified, the whole world changes in comparison to acoustical performance,
even more so when it comes to recording.

Let’s start with an example. You are somebody else, not you. You don’t have any personal relation to this story.

So one day…

You take your loudest instrument, the one you love to busk with, and come to studio to record your favorite track. The sound engineer adjusts the volume, and you make your best blow. Then you see how the recorded track looks on the computer, and you notice a landscape with lots of little steep hills, and some are much much higher than others. After playing the track, you become aware those mountains are screams or toots… the other loud parts are not so loud anymore, because the peaks determine maximum loudness, and consequently loudness of everything. Thus diaphragm blows you played so hard to sound like kick drum are all somewhere in the back, because of the incredibly loud toots, a few that you have played. When you hear the recording, you are a bit disappointed because you wanted your power transferred to the recoding, and it didn’t happen.

What can one do about that?

Luckily, another didgeridoo player comes to the studio after you. She brings a long slim didgeridoo. Its volume must be considerably lower than your “bomb”. You ask yourself what kind of sound worm will she get from this didgeridoo if you and your “bomb” couldn’t blow out the loudspeakers?

Well, the mystic woman sits calmly on the floor and puts her slim didgeridoo close to the microphone. She starts and plays well. Well, but soft. However, you notice that she puts her didgeridoo a bit further from the microphone when she plays louder parts, and she puts it quite close when she plays soft parts. Since you are naïve in this story, you think: ”That’s nice, but it will make puny sound on the recording. She is not hitting the microphone hard enough”. However, you are polite and you say nothing.

Together you listen to the recordings and KABOOM! Every sound is big here! The subwoofer is doing some serious yoga to reproduce this one. And you realize this smart woman was using microphone proximity effect to make her bass, which is much lower than yours, sound more powerful and even louder. You see no peaks made the rest of the song unnaturally low in volume. You understand the playeress was using the same “live compression” technique as vocalists do when moving away from microphone while singing loud parts and vice versa.

Now, why can it be done only with such slim didgeridoos we call Canyon didgeridoos?

Well, it can be done with any didgeridoo. If you play on average 15 cm away from the microphone and move away another 15 when playing full strength, or come closer by 5 on soft parts, you will be able to create more of the total song volume. Sometimes, there is no need to do that. But sometimes there is a very good reason to do it. Because of the nature of various techniques, some sounds are always louder than others. For example, diaphragm blows are stronger than the tip-of-the-tongue technique. But for a particular song, we can choose differently. By regulating the distance to the microphone, we can adjust the volume of every sound. And if want the quiet voice takatakattacs to be louder than the diaphragm kick, we just move the didgeridoo closer.

So why did the woman in the story have a slim didgeridoo?

She had such an instrument to show us that neither physical power nor instrument loudness play an essential role in truly loud sounds. She also had a canyon didgeridoo because it in fact helps her to become really loud.


Firstly, canyon didgeridoos don’t have such high dynamics, so it is not necessary to move the instrument very much in relation to the microphone.

Secondly, Canyon didgeridoos have many sound qualities resembling the mass of the synthetic bass. They are deep enough to excite subwoofers well. Inner motorics of narrow Canyon didgeridoos simply allows “big small” sounds. It is a quality which is much easier experienced than explained. Listen and look at the sound and video samples now.