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More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics

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JedMarum 03 Apr 01 - 03:11 PM
Murray MacLeod 03 Apr 01 - 03:23 PM
Whistle Stop 03 Apr 01 - 03:41 PM
UB Ed 03 Apr 01 - 03:42 PM
JedMarum 04 Apr 01 - 10:27 AM
GUEST 04 Apr 01 - 10:53 AM
Whistle Stop 04 Apr 01 - 12:35 PM
UB Ed 04 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: JedMarum
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 03:11 PM

We've had a few threads touch on this subject, but I hope we can focus specifically on the experience folks have had with internal condenser mics - for use in the amplification of acoustic instruments.

Fishman, and I believe others offer blender combinations, ie an under saddle matrix pick-up with a condenser mic that is mounted internal to the guitar. The on-board electronics allow yuo to mix the mic vs. pick-up ratio. I know that Crown offers a mic that is mounted internally and wired in a manner similar to that of a pick-up. Are there others? If so, who is offering them?

I have heard the blenders, and they sound good, but not great (no better, really), and I have heard the Crown, which sounds better, but has a boxy ring. I'd like to know more about other people's experience with these products.


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Subject: RE: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 03:23 PM

Highlander offers a combination under the saddle pickup and internal condenser mike. Since Martin Simpson endorses Highlander products I had always assumed that he used this combination set-up, but he told me he only used the pickup, and didn't see any need for the internal mike. FWIW.

Murray


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Subject: RE: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 03:41 PM

Jed, thanks for a gear thread; I've been drifting into the BS threads against my better judgment, and this is a welcome change.

I use the Fishman Rare Earth Blend model, which couples a very nice magnetic pickup with an internal condenser mic. The blend model costs significantly more than the pickup alone, and I'm still not sure it was worth it (I have two, one in each of my two primary acoustic guitars). When feedback is not an issue, I blend in about 20 per cent mic to 80 per cent pickup; when feedback is an issue, I just use the pickup by itself. I think the sound is slightly better with a little mic blended in, but in truth the mic doesn't add much, it is very sensitive to position, and it can add undesirable noise along with the slightly "airy" quality it imparts.

When you come right down to it, miking the inside of the guitar body is not a great idea, acoustically speaking -- sure, it keeps the mic out of your way, but it's basically like sticking a mic in an echo chamber and hoping for the best. The latest iteration of the Rare Earth Blend pickups has a condenser mic on a detachable gooseneck that extends above the strings, over the end of the fretboard. I haven't heard one of these yet, but it's clear that Fishman is looking for a better way to do things, presumably because they recognize the shortcomings of putting the mic inside the guitar.


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Subject: RE: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: UB Ed
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 03:42 PM

Jed, I haven't personally used one, but stood next to a couple during live performances. Both were under saddle piezo/condensor combos and the only way to make the feedback screaming stop (and stop the ear bleeding) was to disable the condensor. This is consistent with what I've heard on this forum and in discussions with musicians hanging at the shops.

As near as I can tell, condensors are best suited for recording. They apparently can be used "live" if complimented by instrument EQ with each pickup using its own PA input.

So,

If you're playing live and want the sound closest to your instruments "true" sound, use Spaw's SM57.

If you're playing live through a good system and can tweak it, use the under saddle piezo.

If you're recording in a studio, get thee to a condensor mike (I know, why not the SM57?).

Spaw, can you blue clicky us to the previous threads?


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Subject: RE: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 10:27 AM

These thoughts (above) are pretty much what I'd been hearing, too. I have a friend who just put a Crown mic inside his Martin. I haven't heard it yet, but he likes the sound. I think UB Ed sums it pretty well. Under saddle pick-ups work fine for on-stage. Add a good dynamic mic on a stand or use one in lieu of the pick-up when you have an ideal sound stage setting - and use condenser mic/s in the studio.


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Subject: RE: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 10:53 AM

Just to try and clarify some of the points being made here. I assume when you talk about putting these mikes inside guitars you really mean back electret microphones. True capacitor (condenser) microphones are really only suitable for studio use being rather large and delicate (suffer from humidity and shock) and require a relatively high polarising voltage. Some of the posts above seem to be mixing these two together when really they are quite different beasts.

Ian


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Subject: RE: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 12:35 PM

Agreed, Ian -- the little electret condensers go inside the guitar, "real" condensers belong in the studio. However, recently some companies have been comiong out with stand-mounted ("real") condenser mikes that they say are suitable for stage use. Not sure what makes these suitable for the stage where others are strictly for the studio -- anyone know anything about this?


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Subject: RE: More Gear Talk - Internal Condenser Mics
From: UB Ed
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM

Alright, so Spaw's too busy bashing Americans. Lets see if this works. Previous threads on pickups:

Acoustic Pickup Help

Pickups for Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic Amplification

Options on Pickups for Acoustic Guitar

Amplifying a Mandolin

The 'Rare Earth' acoustic guitar pick-up


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