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Tracking Cello

I have two ladies coming into the studio soon that play two cellos (usually one bowing and one strumming or pizzicato-ing). I have read a bit about how to effectively track cello, but i would love some input on mic placement, basic eq ranges and whatnot to expand my options. My studio has a large stage area with big stained glass windows that have curtains that can be opened or closed, as well as a smaller room that would just barely comfortably fit a band of 5 for a rehearsal or live recording. I can get a hold of lots of different types of mics, so feel free to throw out suggestions. Thanks!


Link555 Wed, 05/25/2011 - 20:11

I have used U87 pointed to the lower body (the instrument had a nice bump at 300 hz there) about 3 ft away. I mixed that with 2 earthworks QTC50's in a XY config about 2 feet from the bridge. All mic went through my Lucid pre into a Mackie SDR as the ADC and ADAT input into a Lynx L22 card into Nuendo 3.0. The sound was flattering in the body and the attack but the musician felt it sounded accurate and three dimensional. I have also had some success with ribbons for the body.

LittleJohn Fri, 05/27/2011 - 16:25

I envy you -- doing cellos it always very fun. They are cool instruments and actually hard to make them sound bad.

My clients have been pretty happy ( I have done cello duet twice ) so I will share my personal belief:

dont get too close with your x/y pair, I know you will want to, but resist - 4 feet is better than 3 feet, even though the books all say 2-3 feet.
give them some room to complete themselves , and let the room sing with them
put another mic about 10 feet out, decide at mix time whether it helps or hurts.
DONT eq them during tracking -- odds are you will regret that.