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 Post subject: mic technique?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:55 pm
Posts: 18
Hi lads,

this has been asked some times I guess.. Still I didnt find proper answers..

I am planning to record some songs with whistles, low and high. I have a large diaphragm condenser microphone (MXL 770) to do the job. I tried some recording with the low d, and wasnt happy with the results.

So, how to properly mic a whistle? Maybe in front of the fipple isnt the best way since a lot of breath noise and stuff will be recorded. Maybe little bit above the whistle and mic pointing downwards? What about the distance?

Thanks for any insights.


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 Post subject: Re: mic technique?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I only tried recording a whistle once, a low D, & I used a USB mic plugged into my computer, about 12" away from the middle of the whistle, It came out sounding OK.

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Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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 Post subject: Re: mic technique?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:33 pm
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I've recorded a variety of instruments through high sensitivity studio mics. With instruments like flute and whistle, that have a narrow zone of air and sound coming out of them at high pressure, you should try to aim the instrument a little off to the side, rather than directly aiming at the microphone. The possibility of the mic getting hit with an air pressure wave, is a different physical effect than the "loudness" or volume of the sound out of the instrument. Large diaphragm mics don't like close-range high pressure waves of air. The same problem can happen with percussion instruments. The microphones will likely need to be adjusted for volume/gain, once you find the preferred position to approach them at. I'd suggest a distance of about 8 inches away from the mic to start, but it remains for you to find what result you want.

Explore options by trying them out. You might find slightly different audio quality, EQ or compression effects showing up with different distances from the mic, and different angles of aim. Super-close proximity to the mic might add a compression effect, and further away may open up the sense of presence and flatten out the dynamics a little, which you may want. If you record a player using a high dynamic range (volume low to high), that can cause headaches later, if miked too closely, when you want to keep the natural sound and not use software compression much, and retain natural room ambience originally captured. A low-dynamics player might be miked very closely.

Experiment. But I fear that one consistent danger you'll find is to record too close (within about 6 inches of the mic) and aiming directly at the mic. Give it a try. When using stage/dynamic mics, things are different. A standard Shure SM-58 or SM-57 reacts very differently than a Rode NTK or Neumann or any other quality studio mic. From what I've seen people consistently play very close to stage mics, as in, within 5 inches, and it sounds fine, as long as they don't blast the mic with a pressure wave or gobs of enthusiastic spit.


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 Post subject: Re: mic technique?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:37 pm
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Location: Missouri, USA
I'll second the suggestion above that experimentation will be needed. For anecdotal info, I use a Shure SM57 and record with the mic about 6-12 inches away from the whistle and pointed just below the fipple to avoid too much "air/wind noise."

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