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tips recording a violin

Discussion in 'Strings' started by TheFraz, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    so this Friday i will be recording one for the first time.
    so far my plan of attack is to record her sitting down in a live room with a large dio condenser off axis about 3 feet above her.

    as far as condensers go, this is what i got to work with

    thanks for the tips.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    You want tips? I haven't even gotten my dinner yet.

    Not sure why you want her to sit down? Violin soloists generally stand. Live room? Wooden stage like floor or empty basement? Your reflection kick off the floor will sound different if they're sitting down. They won't sound like a soloist if sitting down. The floor will be too close. You know, time delay and such. That's where phasing artifacts can be heard with a single microphone. Not pretty that way. That's the way I have recorded violinists. My father was a former concertmaster for the Cleveland Orchestra along with other major symphony orchestras so I know what I'm talking about here. And it's not condenser language. I'm not a big fan of using condenser microphones on violin soloist's. I prefer the sound of ribbon microphones for these "soprano" like instruments. Less metallic! More filling! Less metallic!! More filling!! I know you have listed only condenser microphones because that's probably all that you have. But even one of those inexpensive Chinese ribbons would be a good investment in these applications. Now, I'm not saying that I wouldn't use a pair of condenser microphones. (Yes I am?) If I have a nice room to record in, stage, etc., I'll mic the violinist with a ribbon, within 2 feet of the microphone and I'll have a pair of ambient room microphones, a good deal away, to mix in for the stereo spread. Now some people might think that's "politically incorrect"? Phasing problems and such? I don't think so. Nobody's complaining about my recordings and that's not really a factor in this kind of miking. And I'll generally not use any EQ. If I don't like what I hear, I change or reposition the microphone first. Yeah, if I don't like my Beyer M160 I'll try the 130. If not that, the old 77 DX. If that doesn't do it for me, I'll use my Neumann U67 tube. Too muddy now? Then the U87.

    In the studio, I may just use a single ribbon microphone and a little digital reverb. If a piano is involved, I'll put a pair of condensers on that, along with the ribbon on the violinist and a little digital reverb. And the reverb will not be that of of a church/cathedral/plate but more of an ambient room than long reverb trails. It gets sappy sounding when your reverbs are too long. Short & sweet is what I like.

    What? You thought I was going to tell you which of your microphones to use? Sorry, fairly familiar with the AT's you have and have no idea what those others are you have listed. Those AT's are never a bad bet.

    Man on top get it over with quick? I don't think so?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. WOW......that was a few thousand dollars worth of advice.

    I commend thee on thy most informative post. I doubt I will ever record a violin but many of the explanations are applicable to other instruments and situations.

    Not many who have that kind of knowledge are willing to part with it so easily.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Is the mic you listed- C536P- a Sony? If so, this might be a viable one as well. They have a less-hyped top end response compared to most other LDCs. In fact, they sound very similar to the Beyers (I miss my M130/160 :( ) that Remy cited.
  5. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    Yes it is a sony
    i would have put the manufacture but i was in a rush.

    And thank you Remy, great insight.

    I should be more clear on my application.
    The song is a cover of tears for fears "shout". Its and instrumental (well with a majority of the instruments being MIDI) with the violin preforming the vocal melody.

    I am going for a modern take on the song, with some NIN influence of industrial. (a stress on the influence, i am not trying to rip trent off).

    So I am not overly concerned with getting a proper classical sound. ( i may even have her record DI for some over dub parts and run it through distortion)
    I wish i had access to a ribbon mic, but i don't. however i do have an AT4050 i forgot to mention.

    As far as the recording room, its a fair sized recording floor. around 20x30 i would estimate. with a high roof, about 15 feet.

    Its carpeted and treated, so for the size of it, its RT60 is fairly short.

    I think i will use an omni mic to pick up the room. but i will be careful of phase issues.
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