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Old November 3rd, 2005, 05:33 AM   #1
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Location: Oxford, UK
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Close mic for acoustic instruments on stage

I'd like some recommendations, please, for microphones to use attached to acoustic instruments, particularly concertinas but also mandolin, dulcimer and hurdy-gurdy. This is for use on stage, so not really a video question, but I know that quite a few people around here have valuable experience beyond video production.

Until now I have tried two solutions:
1) A pair of normal mics (I have Sure SM58s and AKG C1000s, or whatever the venue has) on stands either side of my chair. This works OK, and its easy to change instruments during a number, but makes the stage very cluttered, I feel very "hemmed in", and sometimes I knock the mics with the instruments;
2) A pair of Tandy/Radio Shack tie-clip mics fixed to the ends of the instruments with Velcro. It's too easy to over-load these mics and make them distort. Also, even when properly adjusted, comments from audience and sound operators at different venues suggest that the sound quality is not particularly good, which is not surprising given that they were less than 20 each. They are also prone to feedback, being omni-directional. I'm not keen on sticking Velcro onto the instruments, though, especially the concertinas which are about 90 years old.

So far I have had three alternatives suggested:
1) Microvox - two contact mics, attached with Velcro, connected to a pre-amp/DI box worn on a belt. Some comments suggest that the sound quality is not much better than the Tandy tie-clips. Around 120 for a set.
2) AKG C416 - very small (hyper?) cardioid condenser mic; comes fitted to a short goose-neck that clips onto a special base that needs to be attached somehow to the instrument. I could probably fix some kind of clip to this base-plate to avoid the need to stick anything onto the instruments. Apparently quite sensitive to feed-back? Around 85 - 110 each depending on which version (phantom- or battery- powered)
3) Audio Technica ATM35HC - small hyper-cardioid condenser mic; comes attached to a short goose-neck with a spring-clip on the end. Around 160 each?

I've not been able to find references to any of these alternatives on this board.

Thanks in advance for your advice...
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Old November 5th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #2
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tough question.

because each instrument has a different voice and the sound emanates from different places on each instrument, you should maybe spend some time figuring out where to place the mic on each instrument.

AT makes some nice lavs.

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...74a/index.html

I have some of these and really like them.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old November 8th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #3
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A new compact condenser mic from RODE called the NT6 may be worth considering check it out at http://rodemic.com/
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Old November 9th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, chaps.

I had a look at the NT-6 at the Music Live exhibition last weekend (not possible to listen to anything there - far too noisy!), but I thought they were a bit too large and heavy for clipping to the concertinas. Also, they don't have suitable mountings included, so I'd need to invent something.

I've been asking around quite a lot lately, and the concensus seems to be in favour of the AKG C416, so I'm going to pester my local music shop to get a pair in for me to try.

Cheers
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