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Old 07-30-2007, 09:50 PM
fiddler69 fiddler69 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 32
Default Mic\'ing help - fiddle

As my user name says - I'm a fiddle player. I'm doing some work with one of my
buddies in his home studio. We have yet to really be able to get a good fiddle sound. Well at least
not one that I'm happy with. I want that full bodied fiddle sound. I know it starts with the instrument - and I have a decent one. Does anyone out there have experience with recording fiddle for country or bluegrass music. If so, what mic do you use? And how do you mic it? If you could make a good, better, best - mic recommendation what would the options be?

Thanks !
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:24 AM
NickH NickH is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Henley-On-Thames, UK
Posts: 600
Default Re: Mic\'ing help - fiddle

Try placing the mix about 6 feet away and slightly above the fiddle...


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Old 07-31-2007, 10:18 AM
Craig F Craig F is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,591
Default Re: Mic\'ing help - fiddle

AKG C-28 w/ ck1 cap., 3 to 4 feet above the instrument is were I tend to get the best results

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Thank you,

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Old 07-31-2007, 11:16 AM
DanoWpg DanoWpg is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Posts: 131
Default Re: Mic\'ing help - fiddle

I've had success with either an AKG C535 EB or a Neumann KM84i. As previously stated, try to get some distance from the instrument to get more of the tone from the body.

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Old 08-01-2007, 08:49 PM
sw rec sw rec is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Colo Spgs Colo
Posts: 5,601
Default Re: Mic\'ing help - fiddle

I've actually had real good luck with, dare I say, an SM-57! My favorite setup, though, is an Audio Technica 4033 near the body, and an AKG 451 about the middle of the neck. You'll have to move them around a bit to find what works best, and record two MONO tracks instead of one stereo, so you can mess with processing until it sounds the way you want it to.
"If it sounds right, it is right" (Joe Meek)
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:03 PM
jimmyd3 jimmyd3 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 17
Default Re: Mic\'ing help - fiddle

I just worked with one of the top fiddle players of our time and he brought his own mic of choice and it was a Neumann km86 which I have found to be one of the most under-appreciated mics of our time. I ran it through a UA-610 and it sounded great. It was 12-15" from the instrument. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:53 PM
Barnabas Barnabas is offline
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Posts: 966
Default Re: Mic\'ing help - fiddle

AKG C451 or similar small diaphragm condenser mic about two feet above.
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Old 08-16-2007, 02:00 AM
nonsqtr nonsqtr is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 123
Default Re: Mic\'ing help - fiddle

"Okay" - actually "not bad at all" is an SM-57 - boost 3db at 10 kHz on "most boards"
"Good" - AKG C451EB - this works well if you take out some of the nastiness in the "string noise" range
"Better" - Neumann KM-184 - great all-purpose mic, works well on "almost" anything
"Best" - Neumann KM-54 tube mic - the one with the nickel capsule - oooh, sweet

Let's see, there's really lots of possibilities once you start getting into the bucks-up range.

For my money, for instruments, I like the vintage mics, with one exception - I'd like to have a nice Royer ribbon mic in my arsenal. Those sound awesome on "lots of things", and they're surprisingly good on acoustic instruments. You'll need a good pre though, they're very sensitive.

Old tube mics - AKG C-61, that's a great one. Use that one "a little closer" to your instrument, it really likes close-up mic'ing. That's in the thousand-dollar range. Um... some of the old Pearl (PML) tube mics are really awesome sounding too, they're getting hard to find though. If you can find 'em in good condition they're also in the thousand-dollar range. One of the big advantages of those, is you can get 'em as close as you want to the instrument - heck, you can clip 'em right on there if you want. If you really want the "sound of the body" of your instrument you can get that very easily with judicious mic placement of, say, a PML EC-71. And, the old nickel Neumann's, just about any of those will sound absolutely spectacular with the right placement (you can pick and choose your desired directional characteristics, and I would absolutely run those through some kind of vintage pre, like a Neve 1290 would be the perfect match for a KM-54 with a violin - and I'm guessing a fiddle would be "similar").

For new mics, I do like some of the Blue mics, you can find those locally, the Dragonfly or Cactus or one of those, ought to work well with fiddle. Blue is an interesting game - you kinda have to mix'n'match their capsules to find out what sounds good. I had them make me a set for a CMV-563, and they ended up sounding much MUCH better than the originals. Think, like, the precision of a 184 with the warmth of a tube mic - that's kinda the end result. If you're really interested in spending big money, contact BLUE - but you'll definitely get your money's worth, those guys are some of the best when it comes to the real hand-made high-end stuff. Plus they can work on almost "anything", they can make adapters and stuff, you know like if you have a set of bayonet capsules you want to use with a screw-in base or something like that.

But yeah - at the end of the day, I really have to echo the above-mentioned earlier sentiment (shhh.....), and note that some very excellent recordings can be gotten with an SM-57. Cheap, industry standard, buy 'em anywhere, most boards "like" 'em, and really, they're very nice mics. If you have a good EQ or if you're using ProTools or something, no problem - you definitely should be able to get a decent track with a '57. I'll defer to the above fiddle playing experts for mic placement ("experiment").....
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