Tips for Recording Fiddle?

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Merryband1
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Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by Merryband1 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:36 pm

I'm working on that bluegrass with female vocals listing that ends tomorrow, and the fiddle is overmodulated. :shock: I used a wireless lapel mic pinned onto the bridge. I think I've done this before, but I don't remember it overmodulating. Should I just rerecord using a regular mic on a stand?

Thanks!
Merry

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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by funsongs » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:14 pm

Merryband1 wrote:I'm working on that bluegrass with female vocals listing that ends tomorrow, and the fiddle is overmodulated. :shock: I used a wireless lapel mic pinned onto the bridge. I think I've done this before, but I don't remember it overmodulating. Should I just rerecord using a regular mic on a stand?

Thanks!
Merry
After a quick look - this short tutorial seems pretty thorough.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFCr8cPOjFg
Hope that helps.
Good fiddling to ya... and good luck.

I submitted a few Bluegrass tunes awhile back - no reply yet.
Submitted two female Country songs - hopefully they don't sound too Old-School.
We'll see.
Cheers.
Peter Rahill - aka "funsongs"
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You Tube channel: Peter Rahill https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPaX4l ... ZiUvSQbN7Q
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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by Merryband1 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:31 pm

Thanks, Peter! I'll look at it first thing tomorrow morning. I just dozed off over the DAW. :roll: Time I slept for real.

Merry

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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by lesmac » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:50 pm

I have never recorded a violin so maybe someone who has may be better qualified to help. My advice is from information gathered and personal experience with my own acoustic guitar, a bit of a hodge podge but anyway...
I imagine many players probably have their own thoughts too or bring their own mic setup. The clamp ons are a good option and a second mic in tandem to capture more bloom from the instrument mixed in to taste would be cool.
There is a general rule that can be a starting point if you don't have the little mics for close mic ing... One and a half times the length of the instrument. Placing the mic above may be a good idea. Distance is a dance between room sound, preamp noise floor and mechanical noises/artifacts from close mic ing.

Mike Stavrou in a book called Mixing with your mind talks about finding the tip of the flame. Its where the sound blossoms out and you capture all the tone/timbre/ essence of the instrument. Not necessarily the loudest.

Have the player move around the room while playing. When the player says "yeah it sounds really good here", you know that the player is happy, always good. Maybe use two mics, one by the players ear and another in the position of your choice using the technique below. I sometimes put a mic up next to my right ear when recording acoustic guitar and another out in front of where the neck meets the body. If you think thats a bit over the top just use one.

Don't be scared to move around the instrument with a finger blocking one ear or one side of a can to locate the "piece of air" as Stavrou calls it in his book. He would then pick a mic he classifies as soft because the violin would probably fall into the category of a hard instrument. Basically try all your mics and a dull one without a presence peak could be just the ticket. Listen through the closed back cans and see if that piece of air you located with your one ear sounds as good with the mic in that spot.

I'm definitely no expert, just offering up a few ideas to think about.

Best wishes for a good session.

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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by Len911 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:59 am

I'm not sure what you mean by overmodulating, distortion, resonating, vibrating?

You could try hanging the mic from the ceiling. Attaching a mic to a vibrating instrument body, I could see maybe causing problems. The resin on the bow has an influence as well.

I could see where a fiddle or violin could be more challenging finding a sweet spot. Close in they sound boxy, but that may be best for the context. How they are bowed and the stickiness of the resin.

If you are eating the lavalier mic for lunch, it seems like you could afford to back off a bit and use a larger diaphragm mic and still capture, maybe better, the gritty, sticky and hard bowed fiddle. You might lose a little boxiness though.
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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by Merryband1 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:07 am

Thanks, Les & Len, and again, Peter!

I read your posts. Good ideas. I'll answer in parts, last come first served.

Len, I think probably I had the gain on the wireless mic receiver set too high, so it was basically into the red zone, without that showing up on the DAW, alas. Overmodulation is when the sound is going past the zero point on the monitor. Used to be (back in the good old days, before analog readouts became parts of expensive equipment and the cheaper ones all used digital), the needle would push into the red (unsafely loud) zone. If it was completely knocking the needle all the way to the right, overmodulation was guaranteed. Terrible distortion resulted, and any lyrics became unintelligible.
Also, the mic was flopping onto the body of the violin near the f-hole, so it probably was picking up vibrations from the body, too. Double trouble!

Les, the general miking information from that book is great! Thanks. I'll look for a copy of that. I might be able to hang the clip-on mic from a mic stand and try that first. Wish my cardiod mic hadn't disappeared. It would've been great. I have a couple of other mics I can try if I can't make the clip-on mic work.

Peter, I listened to the video and then watched the one that was queued up after it on miking strings. Both helpful. The first one looks like the mic clips on with a bigger alligator (if that's the right term) than what I have for the lavalier, currently just a tiny clip for attaching to a lapel. I might be able to attach it to the Snark tuner clip... Hmm. Clearly I'll need to think about this more in the future, when I have time. :) Also, those mics are much smaller than mine, which is teardrop-shaped and has a windbreak foam exterior.

The absolute BEST place to record the fiddle would be at church, but I'm out of time. I'd need to clear it with the deacon board, anyway. But, oh! our church has marvelous acoustics! Maybe some other recording, for some other listing. :)

I'll let you all know how this turns out. Thanks again so much!

Merry

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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by Tunesmith » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:02 pm

Merry,
I recorded a violinist twice..the 1st time was with a Sennheiser mic angled above the instrument..came out real nice..2nd time the violinist had a pickup but I don't recall what it was. I do a website for a violinist who has made excellent recordings..I could ask her how if you like.

I know it is probably too late to use any new method on this piece because of the deadline. Please post a link for us to hear if you want and wish you the bet of luck!

Linda

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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by Merryband1 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:23 pm

Thanks, Linda! Yes, too late for this listing, but definitely not for future recordings! I appreciate the input.

Incidentally, I posted a quick feedback request here: post534592.html#p534592

Thanks!
Merry

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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by VanderBoegh » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:52 am

Hey Merry, out of curiosity, why are you using a lavaliere mic to record the fiddle? I would approach it with a couple good condensers, one near the body and one 5-6 feet away for room ambience. Unless the fiddle player's arm & bow would knock over a mic stand? If so, try a boom stand and see if you can angle the mic in there.

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Re: Tips for Recording Fiddle?

Post by Merryband1 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:50 pm

Thanks, Matt! I used the lavalier (at first) because I don't have a good mic boom, and I don't really have a good mic for recording violin. Ended up using the microphone in the headset, which is the way our sound guy at church usually records my violin. More equipment (especially good mics and stands!) are on the list to get when I can afford it. :) The headset mic worked much better than the lavalier (which was awful!). Still a trifle hot, but it sounds all right in the mix, so it's all good.

Merry

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