microphone for violin

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by giorgio, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. giorgio

    giorgio Guest

    I am about to invest in some Studio equipment and microphones. I have a good buget .I am searching for a microphone suitable for violin and other string instrumnets.CAN ANYone help or advice on a mic that will do that job? :roll: thankyou again. :wink:
  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    giorgio; There are many many answers to your question, a lot of it depends on genres and musical settings.

    You should stop over to the Acoustic Music forum and repost your questions there. You can also search the topics for posts similar to this. I think you'll find a wealth of information there, and we'd be glad to chat with you more about choices.
  3. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    the best:


    tried their compacts with a cello..... awesome.... almost no eq needed!
  4. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Strings in the studio? Take a serious look at the Earthworks QTC and SR line. Even the TC20 is a serious bargain for recording strings.
  5. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    check out schoeps microphones. imo the best for strings.
  6. red_muze

    red_muze Guest

    i think that the miking of a violin will varry greately depending on the player, and part he has to play

    i like to treat expressive solo recordings, or solo parts as i would record a vocal chain. the goal here would be expression of the instrument.

    harmony parts i would record with smaller capsule microphones with soft sound. just to loose all of the excess details, and focus on the tone.

    the sound of violin players varries dramaticaly. and the microphone should be fitted with the player.

    some violinists have a pearcing sound and some have a corressing one. and so not every mic will work with both.

    colored and unnatural sounding mics can surprise you on many stringed sources. classical music is not something that has to "sound 100% natural" on the contrary, its about expression and higher emotions. somtimes its nice to have a bigger than life sound chain for a little flare ;)

    not all of us have a millions worth strad to play on. enhancing your sound is not a sin.
  7. mildav

    mildav Guest

    akg 414, dpa 4011, shoeps
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    414? Violin??

    Diffr'nt strokes for Diffr'nt folks - I personally think the 414 is way too thin and screetchy for violin. The 4011 and the Schoeps though - right on.

    Try the DPA mini mics too. Maybe Rich from Sonare will chime in on this - he uses the DPA minis and loves em...

  9. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I recently used the DPA 4061's on violins as clipon mics. I was VERY impressed- first time I've ever used a clipon mic and not had to touch the EQ. It is still a very close sound, but it was nice.

    The way I mic violin really depends on the style of music. Is it classical? Is it a bluegrass/country fiddle, jazz or something completely different (like a background part for a pop tune).

    In general, I love using Ribbon mics. I use Beyer 160's quite a bit and also Royer 122's. When using condensers, I like Schoeps, DPA and also tubes like the Schoeps 221b or the Neumann U64.

  10. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    hmm looking at my microphone selection, what would i use..

    i'd probably start off with something neutral so id have to choose the shure sm-81 and if that didnt cut it, id go to the studio projects C1.
  11. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    The SM-81 works pretty well, actually. When I mic up orchestral string sections outside for sound reinforcement or outdoor recording, I usually use SM81's. Ends up being about 20 of them on a section.

  12. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    I'd almost always record strings with a ribbon mic, that's mostly because I hate stratchy rosin noise.
  13. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    If you want to avoid the rosin noise, move the microphones off axis of the instrument. Mic from the side rather than from right overhead. If you think of the instrument as a plane where the strings are at 90 degrees, place the mics at about 30 degrees or so.

    You'll get the meat of the violin sound, but none of the production noise.

  14. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    Yeah, you can also mic from behind the player, down the hall, or in another building. That'll get rid of production noise.
  15. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest


    depends on the room somewhat - but here's the issues.
    Screech: get rid of it with mic warmth or, if required, incedent angle. The best way is a warm mic because when you take out the screech by putting the mic way off or behind the instrument (ie the alternative to a warm mic) you lost the character of the instrument which occurs, by design, in the top. ask any violin maker.

    Parts of the instrument: All the parts make cool noises. They add up to the sound of a violin. If the room is good enough that you can pull a mic back far enough to get the whole instrument, then you can just fine tune the sound by putting the mic wherever it sounds best. If, on the other hand, the room does not flatter the sound, I use two mics, coincedent pair xy, sdc, warm, cardiod, one pointing at the bridge and the other pointing at the neck, about 2 feet from the instrument, perpendicular more or less to the line of the instrument. This has worked well and received high praise from several high profile players.

    For the single mic approach, which I prefer, I like my AEAr84, which is screech proof. "butter for a margerine world" is the great quote on that mic. For the coincedent pair I have used km184 (would have preferred km84 in that application), and studio projects c4 (would have preffered schoeps or DPA per the other reccos).

    I have the Earthworks z30x (similar to sr77). The pattern is very tight, and proximity effect significant - so basically you can't use just 1 even with good room because you will lose the low end (mostly in attack) by the time you are far enough away to capture the whole instrument. With a pair, six inches away, (where the z30 is flat), you are really crowding the player. Not ideal, but, those mics are so great sounding that basically its hard to screw up.

    Come to think of it I've also used both c12 and u87 on violin and had pretty good luck. I tried a sure ksm32, and it sounded like hell (screech), and a c3000 was marginal to bad.

    So: think warm.
  16. bounce

    bounce Guest

    I own a C1 as well but would probaly say run from it on violin. I would opt for a ribbon mic or a tube mic with not too much sizzle on the top. On a budget, you might try a kel hm-1 ($100) condenser. I have used a Rode NTK and a Lawson L47 with great results (mic placement, right pre). I have recorded a LOT of solo violin, viola, and cello but don't have the DPA's or Schoeps in my budget yet ; )

  17. alexaudio

    alexaudio Active Member

    There are many excellent recommendations here...I concur with many of them.

    Ribbons in a small room, close situation works well. The off axis deal Ben spoke of can work quite well.

    I now have several choices for strings and am now in the process of adding another choice after demo'ing more microphones this summer.

    Royer ribbons are excellent and are now my first choice for close string mic'ing and guitar's as well. DPA's are a good choice (bought a 4061 this summer). I also have several types of Schoeps and found those quite useful and excellent. And surpirse as well, if you can get your hands on one, a 414 TL (which haven't been in production for years) can work well, I am fortunate to have 3. Can't say that for regular 414's, especially the TL-IIs - yikes, not good in this application due to its high frequency bump.
    I'd also try an MKH-800 as well.
  18. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest

    Alexaudio - could you email me privately? My Studio is about a mile from Corbett - in fact I've produced a couple of records at Corbett (but before your time, I guess) Ted McConnell. tmcconnell@cinci.rr.com

    If you wanted to try my AEAr84 I'm sure we could arrange it.

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