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Recording Classical Harp

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.


Cucco Tue, 06/12/2007 - 05:47
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.


JoeH Tue, 06/12/2007 - 06:20
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?)