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Tips for recording Accordion and viola .

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by Artkoudos, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    Hello all !

    I have a new project to record. It's a folk band (condinental european folk music). The band has many instruments. There are two instruments that i don't have any previous recording experience. The viola and the accordion. For the viola the player is using a pickup (fishman V-100). To be honest i didn't even know the existence of these devices... since i've never used this kind of equipment i want to experiment with it and learn some useful tips about it.

    I am also thinking to mic up the viola and decide afterwards which one of the two tracks is the one i prefer. I've seen someone micing up a viola (in a gig) with an AKG SE300E. The result was good and this microphone is available to me for this session but any suggestions on microphones and mic placements would be more than welcome..

    For the accordion i am still waiting for the musician to give me some information about the equipment he uses so i can have an idea about his approach. Some extra opinions though, are always beneficial...
     
  2. gilligan204

    gilligan204 Guest

    I work with a lot of polka bands, and ussually I wil stero mic the accordian with a pair of AKG C1000, (not the best mic) but that technique works well. On occasion, I use a AKG C12 (the tube) just about 6 inches from the right side of the accordian (near the finger board) the only issue is if it is a noisy accordian you will get some clicking, generally that happens unless it is amazing accordian.

    The other thing you have to watch out for, it is more of a producer perspective, but on the bass side , if the accordian player isn't amazing, there bass runs can be a bit sloppy, which wreaks havoc, with a bassplayers playing. I generaly will ask the accordian player, to not play the bass end, as it ussually muddys up everything. Of course that is your choice.

    -gil
     
  3. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    My main idea is to record the accordion stereo but iam concerning about the differences between the left and the right microphone. As far as i know the sound comes from the right side of the instruments (finger board). How effective can a microphone be if placed on the other side of the instrument and if for example the tune requires big movements of the accordion.

    And when you say stereo which technique do you mean (spaced, xy pair, mid side etc)? I also plan to use either the AKG 414 or the Neumann U87 there are both available for the recording and theya are great mics...
     
  4. Gilliland

    Gilliland Guest

    There are some comments on recording the accordion in a current thread in the "Acoustic Music" forum here: (Dead Link Removed),
    including a sample of one of my accordion recordings.
     
  5. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    Thanks for the information. i got what i need in order to experiment and work out the session for the accordion.

    I am also thinking to use an SE electronics or a 414 to record the Viola, placed a little bit less than half a meter above the instrument. Any other suggestions?

    Especcialy for one of the songs that we gonna record the guitar player will use a resonating acoustic guitar. A while ago i miced up one of these guitar in a live enviroment. The only non dynamic mic that was available at that place was an AKG c1000. The result was more than satisfying for the bar that the live took place but i would like something more.
     
  6. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    Thanks for the information. i got food for thought and many options to try and experiment for the session.

    I am also thinking to use an SE electronics or a 414 to record the Viola, placed a little bit less than half a meter above the instrument. Any other suggestions?

    Especcialy for one of the songs that we gonna record the guitar player informed me today that he will use a resonating acoustic guitar. A while ago i miced up one of these guitar in a live enviroment. The only non dynamic mic that was available at that place was an AKG c1000. The result was more than satisfying for the bar that the live took place but i would like something more.
     
  7. Gilliland

    Gilliland Guest

    Do you mean a dobro? Jerry Douglas uses an M149, a U67, or a Royer R122 to record his. On stage, he uses a KSM32.
     
  8. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    As far as i know its a single cone resonator guitar. what about the mic placement? just in front of the main body (single cone) or closer to the strings or to the frets ??
     
  9. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    As far as i know its a single cone resonator guitar. what about the mic placement? just in front of the main body (single cone) or closer to the strings or to the frets ??[/quote]

    Adding some more information about the guitar. Its a single cone resonator with a wooden body. i am gonna certainly try the AKG 414 and the U87 that i definitely have available for the session. The session is for tommorow morning so any suggestions will have to made quite soon.

    Anyway if i don't get any feedback before the session i already got some help which is really cool.

    I also going to let you people know about what i finally did and for the result of the session
    :)
     
  10. Gilliland

    Gilliland Guest

    Sure sounds like a dobro to me. :) I guess "resophonic guitar" is the generic term (since Dobro is a trade name).

    I've never recorded one. But watching Jerry Douglas on DVD, I can see that he positions his KSM32 about 4-6 inches over the resonator itself, roughly aligned (and in front of) his right hand as it picks the strings. Of course, that's for a stage performance, a more distant position might make sense in the studio.
     
  11. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    Quite a late answer but its never too late!!!

    I had the session which was actually a disaster but not because of musicians or because of not being able to get a nice sound but cause the studio crashed down and the technician didn't manage to get it work..

    Really bad experience and i am gonna retake the session near the end of the month... Hope this time things will be better.

    I had some time though and i tried some micing technigues

    I got good sound with the resonator guitar. The accordion was fine i used an SE electronics Z3300a and i really enjoyed the sound. the Microphone was placed on the right but cclose to the middle as well. The only problem was that no matter how far i was placing it or pointing at the middle i couldn't get rid of the keys sound which at some points was really clicky and irritating.

    Any suggestions for how to eliminate the problem??
     
  12. Gilliland

    Gilliland Guest

    I'm betting that it is more a function of the instrument and the player than anything else.
     
  13. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member


    yeah that's pretty much the truth but i am wondering if there is something that can be done before the mixdown. Do you think that a click removal tool or something similar will be effective???

    I assume that i just have to try it...

    Just your opinion

    Monday i am also recording a blues band (guitar, Bass, Drums, vocals, Saxophone)..
     
  14. Gilliland

    Gilliland Guest

    Frankly, I doubt it, but there's no harm in trying it. If the accordion is going to be mixed into a larger ensemble, the clicks may just fade into the mix, but if it is the lead instrument, you may have to just consider it a part of the sound (like string sound on some guitar recordings). The problem is that the reeds are in close proximity to the keys, so anything you do to try to pull the mic away from the clicking is also going to remove it from the sound of the instrument. Still, pulling back or repositioning the mic may give you some benefit.

    I notice some key clicks on my Patrick Street recording, but most of it disappears into the mix. It's really only audible when the accordion is playing without much of the rest of the band. And even then, it's quite subtle.
     
  15. Artkoudos

    Artkoudos Active Member

    The other elements will be resonant acoustic Guitar, viola, bass and vocals. But yeah its the "basic" it plays the basic tune for the song. I think it will dissapear (or less audible) with the addition of the rest of the elements.. Maybe a space stereo technique will make it less audible and the sound will be more natural as well ! ! We'll see...

    Anyway if i can i'll try afterwards to use the click removal.. There is no harm on trying. :)
     
  16. eldona

    eldona Guest

    Accordion vs mics

    Hi.
    Ihave used the old (black) AKG C1000s and obtained very good results on accordion. After I buy a Sony C48 (bi-i-i-ig sound), I sell my c1000s, and ultimately get two AT 3528. For voices, guitars, percusions, cymballs, etc, I'm very happy with the changes, voices are biggest, cymbals are brighter, etc, but... for accordion I miss the C1000S! Today I obtain the best results using an old 57, but dealing with the eq to get the instrument present but sweet, not harsh, and trying to keep the key noises in an reasonable level (a little "real life" noise for the player mechanical action on the keys is ok for me, but I say..."a litle")
    I think the ideal mic for accordion should be a ribbon. (I'm looking for one)

    Forgive my english, just think that languages are in constant evolution...Ones more than others. el Dona, Argentinamanta. http://www.latierrita.net
     

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