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Bansuri (woodwind)

Looking for suggestions on good Microphones to be used for Indian woodwind instrument Bansuri.

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Profile picture for user GoldenChariot

GoldenChariot Thu, 06/28/2018 - 11:35

I am not using any interface between the microphone and my Mac. Is it needed to have an interface between Mac and the Mirophone ? Sorry, I am a newbie so I dont know the tricks. It would have been nice if i can record in stereo. But I have only one signal coming from my microphone right ? so does it means that same signal is split into channels in stereo. Does it provide any advantage ? I am basically looking for solo performance or sometimes karaoke where bansuri is mixed.

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audiokid Thu, 06/28/2018 - 13:48

Bos, you never cease to amaze us. Always a hidden talent somewhere with you.
I'm thinking to save this guy a pile of money and learning, maybe buy a zoom and a good stand, record with one of those, then import the tracks into logic.

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Boswell Thu, 06/28/2018 - 13:52

GoldenChariot, post: 457878, member: 51338 wrote: I am not using any interface between the microphone and my Mac. Is it needed to have an interface between Mac and the Mirophone ? Sorry, I am a newbie so I dont know the tricks. It would have been nice if i can record in stereo. But I have only one signal coming from my microphone right ? so does it means that same signal is split into channels in stereo. Does it provide any advantage ? I am basically looking for solo performance or sometimes karaoke where bansuri is mixed.

You can get low-cost, low-quality microphones that would plug directly into the Mac. These are suitable for memo speech recording, internet phone calls and the like, but not suitable for making quality recordings of musical instruments.

A quality microphone needs to plug into a pre-amplifier connected to an analogue-to-digital converter and then an interface to the computer. All these components can be found in a single unit, the audio interface that I mentioned previously.

If you want a realistic recording of your instrument for anything other than an archive reference, I would recommend that you record in stereo. This means either having two microphones or a single stereo microphone. The Rode NT4 is an example of a stereo microphone. As it happens, the NT4 is supplied with two connecting leads: a stereo lead with two mono ends for connecting to an audio interface, and a minijack lead for plugging into a portable recorder or even directly into a computer. A battery fitted inside the NT4 provides suitable power when using it this way. The quality is not as good as going through an audio interface, but could be a workable half-way point.

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Boswell Thu, 06/28/2018 - 07:34

There are a lot of variables. Are you wanting a microphone for recording the bansuri or just as the input to a PA system? If recording, is it for studio use or for live concerts? What are the acoustics of the environment you will be playing in? What type of pre-amplifier will the microphone be fed into?

I've never played a flute that has been specifically called a bansuri, but I do play several types of bamboo and other wooden flutes, both for Irish folk music in a band and also solo performances of varied repertoire. When recording in a studio, I generally use a pair of large-diaphragm condenser microphones arranged in an M-S configuration, as this is much less sensitive to side-to-side head movements than the standard X-Y configuration when a stereo result is required. A pair of medium-priced microphones such as the Rode NT2A work very well in M-S for this application. You need a recording system that can decode M-S encoded signals on replay, or you can do the decoding in a DAW at mixdown.

For live work, a single small-diaphragm dynamic microphone is better at not picking up other instruments that may be playing at the same time, as well as rejecting reflections off the floor and other hard surfaces. I would look at a Shure Beta 57A or a Beyer M88 for this usage, although an M88 should not be positioned directly in the path of the blown air. If the performance acoustics are well-controlled, a condenser microphone like the Shure SM81 works well for wooden flute.

You probably have seen

'">this video

of Rakesh Chaurasia performing at a festival in Leeds, UK. It looks from the video as though the sound techs in Leeds made a wise choice of a Shure Beta 58A for the bansuri and an SM57 on the tabla.

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GoldenChariot Thu, 06/28/2018 - 09:07

Thanks for detailed reply. This is very helpful.

I was looking for home studio recording purpose. Signal will be directly fed to Logic pro for post processing

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Boswell Thu, 06/28/2018 - 09:49

Logic is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) program for a Macintosh computer. You will need an audio interface to go between your microphone(s) and the USB or FireWire input of the Macintosh.

Were you thinking of recording the bansuri in stereo?

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