Electronic Cajon features among some of the most applicable percussion instruments in the world today. This is because they have been supplied with electronic functionality, making them excellent for any situation.
They have come to the world at a time when they are most needed. Many percussionists love them because of the versatility they provide in terms of sounds while keeping the traditional feel of a Cajon.
I have become quite a fan myself. And it is not just because they are extremely popular. They are instruments that offer great street performance, playing a small gig, and basically working on different musical genres.
And Roland’s electronic Cajon is perhaps the best the market has to offer as this kind of drum set. Roland has been a key player in creating high-end musical instruments.
They have proved again in their Cajon.
What is an electronic Cajon?
There are so many instruments for drummers in the market, right? So chances are you have not yet heard about an electronic Cajon.
Well, don’t worry, you are in the right place. Here is what you need to know about an electronic Cajon.
The Cajon, in general, is an extremely versatile music instrument. It also comes with portability like no other. It has been equipped with a variety of acoustic music.
Everything is housed in a small box. This are the features that make it very attractive. If you are looking for the traditional feel of a Cajon with a modern touch, then the Roland EC-10 El Cajon should be a great choice.
It contains both the sounds and the looks you need any acoustic musical instrument. Well, it is electronic, but sometimes I don’t see its electronic music.
Usually, a Cajon measure 12-inches high, 12-inch wide and 12-inches deep. It is a small square box on which a player can sit while doing their performance.
Another thing you will notice is there an ergonomic position that allows easy and quick playing. You will never find any issues with this device if you are a performer who loves working in the streets.
I used to think a Cajon is just another crazy music instrument inventors have put on the market to make money. Then I learned they have a really deep and fascinating history.
This is a percussion instrument with its roots in South America. In fact, the literal meaning of the word Cajon is a box or a crate. Hence, the name describes the instrument’s shape.
The construction of a Cajon is pretty interesting too. Because it is a piece of acoustic music, you can expect it to have a great sound altogether.
The electronic Cajon we are discussing in this guide, for instance, comes with plywood sides and a hollow body. One side is a bit thinner than the rest of the sides.
Also, Cajon has a hollow back. This feature allows that player to build different tunes.
Note that a player sits on the instrument while using it. For centuries, the shape has remained the same, just like its playing patterns.
Despite this, the electronic Cajon has revealed a real significant possibility. Even with the traditional look and design, it is quite a charming piece of instruments.
To tell the truth, I never liked the sound qualities of a Cajon. And don’t get me wrong, they are not bad.
I just think they are not adequate for various musical styles. It is like they don’t have what it takes to offer different styles of performance.
But the new Cajon technology has resolved this issue. It comes with a bunch of sound possibilities, all of which sound like the traditional Cajon performance.
Anyway, a Cajon generally gives out excellent sounds, depending on your choice. For instance, a player can produce bass sounds when they hit the middle of the instrument’s front part.
And when you hit in the middle of the top, you will realize higher notes.
They can be changed, though, so that the middle becomes the bass. In this case, the upper part of the front plank can produce the snare sounds.
Another interesting thing about these instruments is they can be played by hands or sticks. So, if you the kind who loves the tradition of acoustic drumming with hands, you are covered, as well those who use drumsticks, brushes, and mallets.
About the Roland Electronic Cajon
Roland managed to create a breakthrough in the global market of Cajons. It came as a coincidence to the popularity they have gained in the world of drumming. For the past three decades, this instrument has managed to popularize different musical styles from Africa, the Caribbean, and South Africa.
And because they are very popular, the electronic Cajon has fit right in. It offers and easy approach to getting various sound needs.
It has been described by many as the ‘hybrid.’ And since Roland has been on the lead of creating the electro-acoustic Cajon, many musicians find it revolutionary.
The instrument offers a unique concept that would have been impossible. Such creativeness can only can from the world’s top producer.
The black finish of the piece will leave you amused. A gazing upon it feels as though you are watching the myriad of bars and acoustic cafes.
The El Cajon is greatly pimped-up. This is the feature that makes it stand pit.
On the outside, it looks like any acoustic Cajon. However, a more in-depth look reveals a highly playable instrument fully loaded with various electronic sounds. You will get ranges from diverse percussion, sounds effects, and Cajon samples.
Its built is simple. It is an original rectangular box from MDF. It comes with a contrast tapa matching with Sapele veneer.
Pretty conventional, right? Well, try getting inside, and you will discover hidden sensors just like any you will find in Roland e-drums.
The is a sensor, for instance, just under the front edge. This triggers tones like the ‘edge.’ Then there is another one a bit lower, which produces the ‘head’ sounds.
Roland has crowned its latest model, the EC-10EL, a name that comes from its Spanish Origin. As you may already know, ‘EL’ means, “the one.” But in the case, it is just a prefix for Electronic Layering. And because the Cajon produced sounds by electronic waves, mixed/layered with natural sounds, it becomes a tool in its own league.
One good think about the EC-10 is how easy it is to power. You can either use the mains, through the PSU (supplied), or simply use batteries. This makes it greatly portable for a busker.
It comes with 60 velocity-sensitive sounds divided into three categories. First is the traditional Cajon sounds, and then the percussion, as well as SFX. You can easily select any of these sounds for playing through the top part of the box.
There is a good handle on the upper/ rear part of the instrument. This can easily handle a Roland amplifier. The art servers two purposes – as a handle, and as a sound home.
On one end of your hand, there is a recess, while on the other, is a hole that allows emanation of acoustic tones.
The mains input is at the rear back, though a little lower. This part also carries the battery casing, the mix-in for MP3 and CD players, and a jack out. There is also volume and trigger balance in between the “head” and the “edge.”
The feel and the sounds
I like the natural acoustic taste of a Cajon. I have been using one for some time now, and it makes me feel quite at peace.
This is why I like playing the EL-Cajon naturally before switching the electronic sound. You may also like to do this, just for the feel of the immediate promise that comes with the instrument.
There is a beautiful crisp slap near the top, which gives out a full and heavy sound. This can be nicely echoed by the unusually functional snare rattle under which, by the way, enhance the Cajon excellently.
The Cajon comes with an LED section that illuminates to show one character in the numeric display. The display/controls are quite large, which brings out a clearer view of the display.
Now, if you want to get the best from this device, I would suggest you start by trying out several EC sounds. You can then mix them artistically with the acoustic tones.
The bass has a pretty fat reverb sound with surprising enforcement. The lower frequency samples like the vintage, Cajon foot, dubstep, and many other sounds will change the way you play.
As stated above, the instrument comes with great blending/ layering, which offers effective synchronization, with no latency. And before I forget, the electronic sounds can be listened to through an amp/PA directly. This feature can be pretty exciting, consider the acoustic outlook of the Cajon.
Consider also, that this item comes with highly applicable complementary sounds. I liked using the “Voice Year,” which quickly grinds down.
There is so much more one can do with the combination of electronic and acoustic samples on the EL- Cajon. You can literally transform the instrument with a sound like Afro Stomp and Ambient snare.
- A highly innovative instrument.
- Great sound choices.
- Extremely portable.
- It a tad gimmicky on the “Voice Year.”
There is no denying the Electronic Cajon is a revolutionary tool. I thought the internal electronics would affect its traditional properties, but they did not. This shows just how effective it is.