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Help: Condenser mics for instruments

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SlickerBill 31 Jul 02 - 03:08 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 31 Jul 02 - 11:25 PM
treewind 01 Aug 02 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 01 Aug 02 - 03:28 PM
michaelr 01 Aug 02 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Claymore 02 Aug 02 - 05:35 PM
Big Mick 02 Aug 02 - 08:34 PM
SlickerBill 06 Aug 02 - 03:07 PM
open mike 06 Aug 02 - 03:40 PM
SlickerBill 07 Aug 02 - 12:09 AM
Kaleea 07 Aug 02 - 02:39 AM
SlickerBill 07 Aug 02 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Claymore 07 Aug 02 - 05:30 PM
Kaleea 08 Aug 02 - 03:20 AM
Shanghaiceltic 28 Dec 04 - 05:25 AM
bigchuck 28 Dec 04 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 07:35 PM
Kaleea 28 Dec 04 - 11:41 PM
EBarnacle 29 Dec 04 - 11:24 AM
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Subject: Condenser mics for instruments
From: SlickerBill
Date: 31 Jul 02 - 03:08 PM

I was grateful earlier this year in 'catters' help in my search for a decent, yet reasonably priced condenser mic for home recording. I settled on an Apex 430, which ran me about $250 Cdn, and sounds great to my ears.

A friend and I got together recently so he could try out the mic on his set up, and we got to thinking whether it might be wise for him to look into a good instrument mic, and then of course we could swap back and forth.

So, any suggestions? I've checked the permathread thingy here and can't seem to find what I want. Besides, time and experience bring along more suggestions. So what about it; a reasonably priced condenser mic for acoustic guitar, fiddle, etc. for a modest home studio? sb


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 31 Jul 02 - 11:25 PM

GHS has a line of condenser mics available from Elderly Instruments (and probably lots of other places). Click here and scroll down to GHS.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: treewind
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 02:51 PM

KM184's are nice but a bit pricey :-)

I use AKG bluelines for general workhorse instrument miking, If I'm already using both KM184s. If you don't like the response pattern you can get omni, hypercardioid and figure-8 heads for them. More details Here

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for uilleann pipes
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 03:28 PM

How about those who play Uilleann pipes sharing with us how they amplify their pipes on stage. I have heard that they use condensers on flexible necks on the drones and the regulators, and a combo unit on the chanter consisting of a sax reed pickup and a mic. How about it, folks?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 07:32 PM

I use the AKG C 1000S, and am pleased with it. Check out musiciansfriend.com, they sell it for $200 US, and have a vast selection of other mics as well, priced from $10 to $2,600.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 05:35 PM

Mick, when I do Uilleanns I use a Beta 57 facing 45% down the pipes, towards the regulators and the end of the pipes. Facing up the pipes will pick up wind sounds, and sometimes the bellows. For the chanter I use another series of Beta 57s in a vertical X-Y pattern with the X mic phased 180% from the Y mic. This allows the complex sounds from the apron (or pad on the knee) as well as the chanter to be picked up without having the sound fade from one mic to the other. You can, however, do a really neat stereo effect by slightly panning the X mic to one side with the Y going to the other and then using a slow Leslie effect back and forth on both mics. At that point it's easy to pick out the dopers in the audience... they lean over 'till they fall out of their seats.

But frankly I don't use condensers, (I have Shure BG 4.1s and AT MB 4000s) as the crisp highs actually put out a harsher sound. In fact, over some twenty years, I don't use condensers unless proximity is a problem, I need sizzle to "sell" the instrument, or the Sound Rider specifically calls for one. I use an insert into the mains which uses a BBE to drive a Behringer Tube enhancer to clean up my highs, and then condensers become nothing but "noisy children." But hey, piddle in the puddle until you find the middle of the muddle, and then fix it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:34 PM

Claymore, that is one of the most informative posts in this type of thing that I have seen. I have started a thread on the Chiff and Fipple Uilleann site and I am going to link it here. Wonderful info!!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: SlickerBill
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 03:07 PM

Thanks for the replies. Been gone for a week working crew at a rock fest and haven't got back to the thread. Thanks for the sites guys. Any more? Keep em coming. sb


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: open mike
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 03:40 PM

There are in-the-instrument mikes called Mini-Flex which used to be manufactured near here. they are good, require their own AA battery, have a flexible stem which can be set at the best acoustic place in the instrument and allow you to be plugged in, but not have to stand in one place to reach a mike. I rtecommend a pick-up for amplifying your acoustic instrument....


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: SlickerBill
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:09 AM

The guitars we use actually already have the electronics to plug in; mine's a Prefix blender system on a Larrivee L05. The thing is to plug in and use a condenser mic as well, then mix the two tracks, which we fid adds a bit more presence on the recording.

I've heard the AKG C1000 is a pretty good mic. Anyone done comparison shopping between this and some other? SB


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: Kaleea
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 02:39 AM

I have had difficulty in miking some acoustic instruments also, as the beautiful sound can't quite be accurately projected, but hey it's better than not being heard, I suppose. I have had the most difficulty in miking my Autoharp (Fladmark) which has an incredible range of highs & lows & reverb like crazy! I have not yet found the right mik for that, and since I bought the autoharp second hand--the deal of the century!- I did not have the opportunity to ask the luthier to install a pickup, which would of course be the most preferable. I have been told to try certain mics, and to place them above my left shoulder facing the back of my autoharp, but it just does not accurately reproduce the sound, and since I switch between a couple of other instruments during a set (or tune!) it is difficult to logistically have the right mics when & where I need them. Any suggestions? Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: SlickerBill
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 02:53 PM

Kaleea; would fiddlers be any help to you? Seems they have similar problems to the one you've described, and may be able to offer some advice on how and where to mic the autoharp. sb


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 05:30 PM

Another problem I've experienced.

I play an autoharp custom built by a guy named Brinker in PA (sort of a Fladmark acolyte, but willing to do a custom celtic drone tuning and bars). The cheap way involves getting a Radio Shack lavaliere mic ($30) and string it over your left shoulder so that it is positioned behind the 'harp. [Bryan Bowers uses a similar set-up with a Shure choral mike].

If you need to switch out from the 'harp to something else, get a Morley A-B-AB switch ('bout$40) and run the harp mic to the A input and your other mic into the B side of the Morley (it's a 1/4" TS connection so pick up a 15 foot Female XLR to TS Male, to go from the back of the mic into the Morley). Then run the Morley to a good DI box to go back along XLR lines to the Mixer (I recommend the Behringer DI 100 - $65). You will need a short 1/4" to 1/4" cable to the DI, and an XLR line back to the mixer. DI's convert 1/4" Tip Sleeve input to 3 line XLR low impedance lines.

If you are within 20 feet of the mixer you will not need the DI (Direct Inject) box and just use a 20 foot 1/4 to 1/4 TS cable to the mixer. The Morley will allow you to use both the 'harp mic and the other mic (AB) or either of the mics separate (A or B). BUT, because you will not be able to attenuate either the mic or the lavalier (or pick-up - see below) UNLESS they are in the A or B mode, if you have the extra lines to the mixer always use them.

I know this sounds confusing, but I don't have a lot of time here, so have a sound person or music store sales person explain and demonstrate the above.

NOTE: the RS lavalier mic will feed-back if the 'harp is not carefully taken off your shoulder. The alternate that I use myself, is a Dean Markley Acoustic pick-up ($50) which can be used on most acoustic instuments, but sounds very nice on an autoharp. It's a round wooden covered device that sticks to the back of your instrument with a special putty that is removeable. Experiment with the harp's sweet spot (which, for mine, is four inches up the back from the bottom of the harp, and four inches in from the bass side). Then send it to a DI and back to the mixer.

Finally, if you only have one mic to work with all your instruments ( like an autoharp, banjo, bodhran, and guitar - my personal set up) and you do not have a sound person to change the gain with each instrument, do the following:

One Shure 57 mic on a boom set to the front (for the 'harp set high aimed 45% down to the sound hole - other instruments, aim above the fingers - experiment, etc.) Get the 15 foot XLR-F to TS-M cord mentioned above to a volumn pedal (Morley makes one, as do others). Use the short TS to TS to get to a DI and from there to the mixer on an XLR. Follow the pedal directions to set the volumn pedal to the minimum for the banjo or bodhran and the maximum for the autoharp. Then play with it 'till you get the settings right. The EQ will suffer, but chop the bottom off the bodhran setting or the bass proximity of the guitar, and pull enough highs to get rid of the string strike and clatter of the harps chord bars, and you should be OK.

Again, if you have problems understanding the above, hie thee to a sound man... Good Luck - gotta go...


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: Kaleea
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 03:20 AM

Thanks, I think I'll go to a sound shop later today (after I sleep a few hours!) & see what I can find! Since I have band practice tonight, I can have the guy who owns the PA to look it all over & see what will work for us. Then, I'll just have to use a regular mic for the other instruments--I sure can't have a really live mic close to my pennywhistles!


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 05:25 AM

Becuase the pub where I play (Blarney Stone, Dong Ping Lu, Shanghai)regularly gets very noisy on a Friday night we all have had to use amplifiers and a sound deck to get over background noise.

Initially I micced/miked (is that the correct spelling, jOhn please help) up using a Schaller contact mikes on the rim of my bodhrans, however I was not over happy with the sound as these tpyes of mike just tend to pick up the bass end as they do not operate acoustically.

Then we tried playing against a normal mike on a stand, better,but keeping a correct distance from the mike head was awkward as it tended to get in the way when you were bracing and pushing the skin with the left hand.

More so as I have several bodhrans of varying sizes which all meant I was constantly adjusting my position with regards the mike as well as adjusting the stand boom.

While I was over in the UK recently I picked up a Yamaha MC7 pickup mike and a Yamaha ST9 pre-amp. What I like was that it could be clipped to the rim or the cross bar and had a flexible connection to the mike head so I could position the head very quickly with regards distance from the skin. It does not get in the way and is easy to move between drums.

Though primarily designed for wind instruments it has a good wide frequency range and picks up the whole sound from the skin not just the bass vibration from the rim as the contact mike did.


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: bigchuck
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:03 PM

I have used the AKG c 1000 in the past and like it very much. It also records well. Currently I am using The C1000 as a vocal mic and an Audio Technica MB 4000C (Midnight Blues series) as an instrumental mic which has worked very well for me. The A-T mic is reasonably priced...we sell it at the store for $129.00. In performance I play banjo, guitar, and mandolin through it.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:35 PM

Ditto like AKG 1000s.Samson C-01 are nice and at a good price.

also have a look here


PB


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 11:41 PM

I have yet to find a mike which will clearly reproduce the sound of my instruments-expecially the Bodhran & the Autoharp. I will, however, see if I can find one of those locally. If it works, you may hear me whooping all the way from Kansas.


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Subject: RE: Help: Condenser mics for instruments
From: EBarnacle
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 11:24 AM

For the past 20 years, I have been using a pair of Radio Shack peanut lavaliers y'ed into a stereo jack for my concertina. When set up, they attach to velcro tape on top of the pinky rests. I get fairly faithful reproduction but have to remember to replace the batteries with some regularity.


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