which mic shoud i use for violin recording..

Discussion in 'Strings' started by shezan, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. shezan

    shezan Guest

    hi guys...i m about to record few pieces of violin...these are the mics i have please tell me..which one would be the best to catch the violin...i have no experience with this instrument since i have been playing violins from Edirol Orchestral.....

    Rode NTK TUBE
    Neumann TLM 103. (pair)
    APEX 435 (pair)
    Sure SM58,57,57beta. (pair)

    i want the violin to sound at its best..
    a little help please....
  2. mchakravarty

    mchakravarty Guest

    Recording a solo violin performance presents a challenging array of acoustic diversities.
    Reasons being - As with the piano there is a large combination of timbral qualities produced from the body, bow and strings and the f-shaped openings. In addition, depending upon individual styles, some move more than others and this creates sonic variations at pickup.
    Therefore, firstly, one needs to select a condensor only for the best sound. NTK and the TLM's are fine for this purpose. However, these only offer a cardioid pattern. So if the violinist keeps moving, you'll be at a disadvantage using a single mic. In addition you'll be missing out on the ambience too. Using the Apex 435's would not be my choice at least for recording the violin especially, since you have the TLM pair.
    Since tonal brilliance requires some degree of direct and reflected pickup it would have been nice to use one large diaphragm on the Omni mode or two multipatterns on the M-S or Blumlein modes. Stereo image and depth are the finest with the Blumlein setup. An ORTF setup would be very effective too.

    Your TLM pair could be used quite effectively in the ORTF mode for realism of sound. You could do this by setting up the TLM's around 12 inches away from each f-shaped opening with the capsules pointing slightly towards the body (otherwise the sound of the bow would predominate and add noise). Their capsules would have to be around 8 inches apart and at 110 degrees to each other. Each would have to go to a seperate channel and then panned effectively to get the best stereo spacing. Don't sum the channels to mono for this would add comb filtering and color the sound.
    You could alternatively use the XY coincident pair with the TLM's. The spaced AB pair is not recommended for a solo violin pickup.
    You would definitely require some reverb though.

    The following site would provide you with a few sonic samples for this:

  3. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    I agree on that. Try the TLM-s first. Use two mics to get a stereo sound.

    A small bit of thought. Place the player comfortably and ask him to play. Walk around the room and listen where you find it sounds best. Listen high up, on a chait, but also low down near the floor. Listen with one ear only, a finger in the other, to hear a bit more lika a microphone. Place your mic there and move around a bit. It might be good to have a closed pair of headphones and a long chord in order to be able to move the mics around and listen at the same

    Some things to listen for:
    -- balance between direct sound and room sound
    -- if you mic too close, it will be very "scratchy". Most instruments sound different a bit away. Better some say, but it depends on what you want to achieve
    -- if you mic from straight up, you will probably get a very thin and screechy sound.

    And don´t forget to talk friendly with the player and ask him for his advice. Musicians tends to like beeing part of the process and beeing listened to.

    Good luck. Recording acoustic instruments is fun.

  4. shezan

    shezan Guest

    thanx you guys your advice are very helpfull it motivates us more...
  5. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    WY / CA
    Home Page:

    What style of music are you recording? European-classical type, or middle-eastern flavor? I have found that "standard" stereo mic technique usually is not enough to capture the eastern violin performance style.
  6. shezan

    shezan Guest

    well i m usually into all kinna stuff now a days since my track is towards commercialism..have to keep in focus the MASSES...the Majority... but style in east is changing alot...people now only wanna hear Hip Hop RNB... Hip hop rnb bhangra kinna stuff...and so do i.. basically i m doing a hip hop track... and wanted to use violin in a very different way..though it would be violin but i will make it sound differently but it would have live strings feel...a humanly played stuff...so lets see wht it comes out of then.... the other reason i m into hip hop rnb stuff my self is i m going to Canada so gotta develope the sense of the music of those areas...see the commercial formula.... I got admission in Recording Arts Canada... wich me luck going in May...
  7. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Central Copenhagen
    Interesting! With what gear were the tracks recorded?
  8. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    If I remember correctly, two engineers recorded the session. One used Sennheiser MKH20s on piano and probably the violin, and Microtech Gefell M930s as mains. The other used Soundfield as mains, but I can't remember what he used on the violin.

  9. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    This was recorded with two Oktava MK-012s - one about 30" from the face (perpendicular to the face), the other 30" straight in front. Mackie VLZ preamps. The reverb is added.

    From the list of mics you have, I'd probably pull the TLM103s out first and see how they sound.

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