Recording Classical Harp

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by miclevel, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. miclevel

    miclevel Guest

    Tomorrow I'll be recording classical harp. I pretty much have any combo of mic and pre to choose from. I've been getting a few different recording techniques tips from friends.. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA need to be a little more specific.

    I would ask this in the acoustic music forum. Also, tell us what mics you have, what pres you have and is this live or a session.

    What is the acoustic like?

    BTW - welcome to RO!


  3. miclevel

    miclevel Guest


    Royer ribbon mics u 87s km54s Two neve pres. la 3s. SSl j series.

    It will be a Classical harp solo. Live room is about 15x15. I was looking at what placement and different perspective miking.

  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Yikes...15x15 - you're going to have some serious phase issues, particularly in lower mid frequencies.

    I would go with a mildly close pair (perhaps ortf) and then pick up the room sound with a spaced pair.

    I would hardly call that small handful of mics and 2 preamps "any combo of mic and pre to choose from." I might be inclinded to use the 54s, but I don't think I'd use the others. I'm not sure which Royers you have. I don't think I'd use 121s - SF1, SF12, or SF24 maybe, but given the dimensions of the room, figure 8 won't work so well.

    Good luck and let us know what you plan on doing.

  5. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Sounds interesting. Is this a recital, or a recording session? I ask this because you may be able to move the harp around a bit for the best position in the room. 15x15 is indeed pretty small, and you're going to have some serious issues depending on the wall treatment, ceiling height, etc. You may have to just work in close, get the best detail you can, and add reverb/ambience later.

    If you can find a bigger space, with a lot of wood and room for the instrument to breathe, you'd be in better shape.

    For spot mic'ing a harp in a bigger (orchestral) ensemble, I simply go with an SD mic, about 2/3 of the way up the height of the strings, aimed across the entire harp area, opposite side of the player's music stand and sightline to the conductor. I stay out of the way of his/her pedals, music stand, etc., but get in close enough to get more harp than the rest of the ensemble. (This is too close and narrow-beamed for solo harp work, however.)

    For solo work, I'd take an approach similar to Jeremy's, including wider spaced omni's, and a center stereo pair for a warmer, more detailed sound. You may want to try XY as well. I've never done MS recording with harp, but in that room, it might be worth a try. (Maybe put the harp in one of the corners, as well?)

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