Recording my flute

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BKWeid
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Recording my flute

Post by BKWeid »

I’ve been dabbling in recording my flute playing. My iPhone doesn’t capture very good sound, it seems. Is there simple hardware that would give good sound quality? Zoom products, perhaps? I don’t need multiple tracks capability, nor a professional studio. I’m looking for a simple solution. Hopefully, there is a unit with a good quality integral microphone.I intend to use the device for my own improvement and perhaps to capture recordings to share.

I did search for similar topics, just saying.

I appreciate your assistance.
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by fatmac »

Yes, a Zoom recorder should work quite well.
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BKWeid
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by BKWeid »

I think I'll pick up a basic model Zoom recorder. Thank you.
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Conical bore
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by Conical bore »

I have H2 and H5 Zoom recorders. They're very good for minimalist recording and have far better quality than a phone recording. I have higher-end recording gear but I'll bring out the Zoom recorders when I want something quick and easy.

I'd recommend the Zoom H2n model because the form factor is good, with front-facing mics so it's easy to place vertically on the shelf of a music stand for a quick recording. Or you can use the tripod socket on a tripod or boom mic stand for the ideal angle just above the flute embouchure.

The other models like the H5 with top-facing mics are a little fussier to set up and aim properly. They do provide the option of using better mics with the XLR inputs, but by the time you get that far into recording, you might want a different interface anyway.
BKWeid
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by BKWeid »

Ah! Conical bore, excellent recommendation and information. Thank you. That is helpful.
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by PB+J »

At various times I did a lot of recording and audio engineering in a low level semi professional way

If you can find the best sounding room in your home to record. You generally don't want to "close mic" a flute because you get too much air noise. If you back the mic off, you pick up the sound of the room. You want it to be a nice sounding room. It doesn't have to be big, or really reveberant. But maybe try a few different rooms, and when you find a nice sounding spot move the recorder around to see where it sounds best. Professionals who work a lot in specific studios have usually identified the spots in the rooms where mics will give the best sounds for specific instruments
Last edited by PB+J on Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BKWeid
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by BKWeid »

I’ll definitely give that a try. I’ll do some experimentation with rooms. That is helpful to know to move away from the microphone. Thank you for the suggestions.
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by NicoMoreno »

This is a really basic question, but you're putting the mic near your embouchure hole, not the bottom of the flute, right?

That's something I've seen occur a fair amount, but sorry if it's really too basic for you :)
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by fintano »

Maybe this is TMI, but here goes.

The closer the mic is to the instrument, the more instrument sound you get. The further away, the more room sound you get.

If you are recording at home, unless you live in a converted church, your room sound is not so good, because the ceiling is too close to the floor, and you will get a boxy sound.

Conversely, if you mic right up on the instrument, you will get all kinds of weird artifacts that you didn't know you were producing. Your friends won't tell you about these because they normally don't sit with their ears within 6 inches of your embouchure. Plus key noise and so on. It doesn't sound the way you like to imagine yourself playing in your session.

My experience in home recording is to use a directional mic about two feet above, pointing down at the embouchure. You might go closer.

I think that flute sounds a lot like a human voice, so you should chose a mic that is targeted at voice. Generally speaking, this is a large diaphragm condenser mic.

The key is, if you are recording at home, you can afford to be a bit obsessive about finding the right tone. It doesn't cost you anything. Try lots of different positions and whatever other variables you can work with. Spending a couple of days just trying different configurations can pay off. Or you might consider going to a better mic.
BKWeid
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Location: Utah

Re: Recording my flute

Post by BKWeid »

Definitely not too much information. I appreciate the direction. It’s all very helpful. I picked up a Zoom device and I’m learning to use that now. Amazing how hard it can be to find a moment when the house is quiet!
PB+J
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Re: Recording my flute

Post by PB+J »

I don't think you need a big space to get a good sound. You can always add giant celtic mysticism enya reverb later, if that's your thing. Often a small or short reverb sounds much better. But any space will have all sorts of phase cancellation issues going on. I remember testing the space I used for my home studio--you send a sine wave sweep through your speakers, with a mic that records the sound in your room. The sweep goes from low inaudible through to high inaudible. Then the software compares what the mic SHOULD see with what the room is actually amplifying or canceling. It's pretty striking: the room imposes a lot of EQ. I notice how different my flute sounds to me from room to room.

If you have a spouse or friend with patience and good ears it's a huge help.
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