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Tech: Amplifying the wind section

Cappuccino 14 Oct 18 - 09:20 AM
punkfolkrocker 14 Oct 18 - 10:57 AM
Jack Campin 14 Oct 18 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,KennyB sans Kuki 14 Oct 18 - 02:58 PM
Cappuccino 14 Oct 18 - 03:35 PM
Tootler 14 Oct 18 - 04:49 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Oct 18 - 05:09 PM
GUEST 15 Oct 18 - 03:54 AM
G-Force 15 Oct 18 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 15 Oct 18 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 15 Oct 18 - 11:34 AM
Bob TB 15 Oct 18 - 01:58 PM
Cappuccino 15 Oct 18 - 03:58 PM
Cappuccino 17 Oct 18 - 06:18 AM
doc.tom 17 Oct 18 - 06:36 AM
Jack Campin 17 Oct 18 - 06:53 AM
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Subject: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Cappuccino
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 09:20 AM

Can anyone help me with an amplification puzzle? We have cheerful little ceilidh band (you can see us here, though without our fiddle player: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu4vzTt2cRA&t=7s, and if the clicky works, it might be this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu4vzTt2cRA&t=7s ) and in general,we get a reasonably decent balance of sound in a pub or small hall. But when we play a larger hall, I have a problem with the wind section of the band.

I can handle the amplification of the fiddle, bodhran, guitar, melodeon, mandolin and and bass guitar. My puzzle is our two players who handle whistles, recorders, clarinet and miscellaneous blow-down things.   Now, these two are fine musicians : one has been in pit orchestras and the like for decades, and they both sight-read a music score faster than I can read a newspaper.   Their parts are ‘arranged’, so they generally have music stands in front of them, which of course get in the way of microphones.

Yesterday we were playing a ceilidh in a big hall with a vast high ceiling, so the sound was going everywhere except where you wanted it.   I tried everything to get a decent sound from the wind section – dynamic mikes, condenser mikes, and eventually a combination of both going through two separate amp systems at once (!), and still I couldn’t get the wind sound to cut through the rest of the band properly.

Does anyone have any helpful tips on recording blown instruments?
Many thanks
Cappuccino, Norfolk, UK


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 10:57 AM

If not too expensive for live gigs, possibly clip-on wind instrument radio mics...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 11:26 AM

Headset mikes for flute family instruments. Clarinets are more difficult since the sound comes out of the holes all along the instrument - the most effective I've seen was used by the Turkish gypsy virtuoso Selim Sesler, a small downward-pointing directional mike fitted to the barrel.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: GUEST,KennyB sans Kuki
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 02:58 PM

this is not folky? but demonstrates clip on mikes for wind instruments

mike/ amplifying wind Instruments

If you are going to use the cheapies on amazon/ source Chinese open this thread again and Ill explain how to make them last longer


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Cappuccino
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 03:35 PM

All much appreciated, thanks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 04:49 PM

I play harmonica, flute, low whistle & recorder in a ceilidh band and I simply use a small diaphragm condenser mic mounted at face level and about 8-12 inches away. I have a music stand that clips to the mic stand which means there aren't two stands getting in each other's way. Our pianist also plays high whistle and she just uses a dynamic mic

It all seems to work and we achieve good balance of sound with the various instruments in the band which include fiddle, melodeon, concertina and percussion..

Could your problem simply be mic positioning?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Oct 18 - 05:09 PM

Our flute player also has his own clip-on mike. We have a fiddle player who occasionally plays whistle so she just plays close to a standard Shure mike when on whistle.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 03:54 AM

Yes to clip-on mics.
But make sure they are SUPERCARDIOID or HYPERCARDIOID. You want them to have as narrow a width as possible, otherwise they'll pick up too much of the other instruments.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: G-Force
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 05:53 AM

The whistler in our barn dance band uses a headset mic.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 10:13 AM

I agree with Jack that clarinet's a PITA. Most of the sound comes out of the tone-holes, so you want to point a mic at rightangles to the middle of it, then you want to back it off to even up the distance between the notes, then you've got a low signal so you up the gain, then you turn it down again because feedback. (I think there is some tone from the bell, if you have a spare channel & want to get that finicky. But not too close - I once had to deal with a pub "sound man" who insisted on gaffataping a mic right up inside the bell. This captures no sound at all).

Microvox used to do things with velcro - a little capsule mic on the barrel plus a gooseneck bent round over the bell. But that was a while ago. There are more serious solutions, which often seem to involve drilling holes in the woodwork and forking out large sums of money.

I'm guessing recorder would have similar problems ? I've never mic'ed one up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 11:34 AM

No, the recorder is easy - like any flute, the sound radiates from the edge the airstream hits.

You have a slight problem with instruments like ocarinas and Asian or Eastern European whistles where the voicing is on the back. And dizis must be a pig.

I guess oboes are like clarinets?

Stupidest sound guy I've ever encountered was one who tried to amplify a harp by pointing a directional mike at the strings. Most harpists now fit their soundboard with internal contact pickups.

Pictures of Selim Sesler I can find on the web show him using a barrel mike, not the directional one I saw him using in a live concert. I don't understand how barrel mikes can work - I once used a mike fitted into a tube welded onto the headjoint of a flute picking up the inside of the bore, and it shrieked like a banshee when you hit high D because the mike was right over that note's antinode. Sesler was not exactly reticent about high notes.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Bob TB
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 01:58 PM

My start with whistle and recorder would be to close mic with an SM57 above and from the side. I've seen it work well. Even an SM58 should work. Clarinet does need something further away as already said. Again SM57 should be acceptable with the right EQ but I might try a C1000.

If the sound was going everywhere with a room with a "vast high ceiling" the problem is more than likely with the speakers than the mic. For a mic at a typical PA distance the room reverb picked up should be way lower than the direct sound from the instrument. Keep the speakers aimed at the audience not into the space above - people are excellent for absorbing sound. Point them down if possible and at head height. Keep the level as low as possible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Cappuccino
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 03:58 PM

Thanks,all.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Cappuccino
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 06:18 AM

From: GUEST,Richard Robinson - PM
Date: 15 Oct 18 - 10:13 AM

I agree with Jack that clarinet's a PITA.

Sorry - it's what?
-Cap.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: doc.tom
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 06:36 AM

Definitely clip-ons and, as said before, cardiod or hypercardiod. AKG used to do a magnificent range - dunno if they still do. And at the risk of teaching mother to suck eggs, have you used the mid-range eq to bring the wind instrumewnts forward in the mix?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Amplifying the wind section
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Oct 18 - 06:53 AM

PITA = Pain In The Arse.


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