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Microphone Hunt!
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=89947
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Author:  Yavor [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Microphone Hunt!

Greetings!

I've been wanting to record my folk woodwinds (including a Bulgarian kaval, an Armenian duduk, an Indian bansuri, a Swedish overtone flute and different woodwhistles from the Balkan area) for projects of mine recently.
Tried to do it with my pair of trusty small membrane condensers which I use for guitars and mandolin and unfortunately did not get a good result. Tried in mono and sereo, tried one close to the mouth and one either over/below the hands or at the rear end of the woodwind, tried different angles and distance, even ORTF stereo failed...
I was getting quite a lot of noise and hiss (even with windshields and different positioning), noise gates only robbed me of the subtle ornamentations.
Also, the instruments sounded different, almost as if there was a filter. They sounded not only more distant, but the midrange was kind of scooped, and the high frequencies were strongly boosted
I wanted to ask, if you guys could reccomend me any microphones for the studio-recording (not live usage) for folk woodwinds.
I'm looking for a natural sound and low self noise.
So what are you using? What are your preferances? Condensers, dynamic mics ore ribbons? Normal mics or swannecks attached to the instrument? Any specific model?
Would appreciate any help strongly

Cheers!

Yavor

Author:  krabben [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

First of, I'm just another amateur recording stuff at home and teaching myself. I'm using a AKG perception 420 condensor microphone to record my whistles most of the time. It think it captures the sound pretty accurately.

For example:
In the video below im playing a overton low A whistle, recorded through the AKG 420, no EQ just a little reverb added.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GLq1WJ8hKQ&

Author:  Yavor [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

Thank you for the reply!
As far as "just an amateur" goes; don't discredit yourself or your ears :-)
The recordings all sound good, really enjoyed "the Old Birch Tree". You have a new subscriber :thumbsup:
Might I ask if you have had experience with other microphones or ever had problems with breath noises (inhalation bein audiable, I mean)?

Author:  Tim2723 [ Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

I've never done recording myself, but I've spent a lot of time being recorded in studios. My experience has been that the technicians start out with very elaborate, expensive microphones and usually end up with something simpler that works. Most times they eventually use a good quality dynamic vocal microphone set up for recording the voice. It seems that if a microphone will give an accurate recording of the voice it will also record wind instruments very well. I guess that sometimes simpler really is better.

Author:  bogman [ Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

I've had the opposite experience to Tim. In my opinion you can't get the best recordings out of wind instruments with a dynamic vocal mic and I've found that generally the better the mic the better the recording. On a budget the AKG 420 that krabben suggests is very good value for money. It's like the wee brother of the excellent AKG 414c - which is pretty much the industry standard workhorse studio mic - it's to the studio what the sm58 is the the stage. However, the difference if you can get your hands on something like the Neumann U87 is quite remarkable. On the last studio recording I did we did a blind test with various mics on both whistles and pipes - just by recording four channels at once. The producer, who's very experienced with trad instruments was really surprised at how much better the Neumann was than the very good AKG 414. I've no experience with the instruments you're playing Yavor but I'd suggest you get what you pay for. Hiring is a very good option.

Author:  Yavor [ Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

Thank you guys for the replies!
Hireing unfortunately is not really an option, since my muse is kind of fickle-minded :D
I guess it all depends on the instrument and the mic.
I think of looking for a studio somewhere near me and then asking them or even paying to test out their mics...
Anyone have experiences with tube or ribbon mics?


P.S.: I've had the idea of recording the room, and not the instrument directly with a sort of "ambience" micing using my small membrane condesners. Will try it next week and see what comes out

Author:  Gabriel [ Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

Get yourself one or two Line Audio CM3 and you'll be happy. They're about 120€ each. That money can't buy you a better mic and they're very seriously tested against Neumann and Schoeps and compete easily. I have two and they're the best mics I ever had, extremely neutral and clean sound, no "mic tone" at all. There's quite a rave in the pro audio scene right now, so get them while you can...

Author:  tompipes [ Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

I have 2 of these in my home studio and they make for a fantastic sound on an uilleann pipes chanter.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/AKG-Percept ... 1391480.gc

for flutes, whistles, etc. This mic is really good too.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Sterling-Au ... 1446804.gc

Tommy

Author:  Tonehole [ Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

krabben wrote:
First of, I'm just another amateur recording stuff at home and teaching myself. I'm using a AKG perception 420 condensor microphone to record my whistles most of the time. It think it captures the sound pretty accurately.

For example:
In the video below im playing a overton low A whistle, recorded through the AKG 420, no EQ just a little reverb added.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GLq1WJ8hKQ&



Hi there,

Just wanted to say I was really impressed by the sound quality I heard via my laptop from your recording. Do you not need to use two, for proper stereo though?

I'm hoping to try out a Rode NT5 pair sometime.

Author:  highland-piper [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

I have small diaphragm condensers. I get the best recordings of my whistle by standing perhaps six feet from the microphone. When recording my pipes I use a stereo pair in an ORTF configuration. I don't have any recordings at the moment because my website is gone.

If you are recording the instruments and want the most realistic sounds, then small diaphragm condensers are generally regarded the way to go. If you want to change the sound (as is most often the case where multiple sounds will be mixed) then things get a lot harder.

Someone recently suggested a shure ksm141 to me. In the past people had suggested an sm81. Both those are around $400 each.

Author:  Squeeky Elf [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Microphone Hunt!

A ribbon would to be the way to go if you wanted to smooth out the top end and fatten up the mids. I really enjoy the Beyerdynamic m160, it seems to flatter just about any source. The m260 is similar except that it won't catch the lows that the m160 does. With winds you should be fine. If those are to pricey, I've heard good things about Cascade ribbons. I'm just a home hobbyist guy too, but those are my findings.

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