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Micing up a Cello

bronco1891

Member
Messages
187
Hello everyone. My friend and I are going to be recording cello pretty soon in a studio at school and were wondering how exactly to mic it up. Our list of microphones are as follows:

-Shure SM81 (2)
-Neuman KSM 184s (2)
-AKG 414 (2)
-Neumann TLM 103
-Audio Technica AT 4033
-AKG C451
-and some dynamics (sm 57s, 421s, e604s)

any suggestions are welcome!
The room is pretty good. So acoustics are not an issue.
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
any of the mics above should do a good job. before the session, set up a few of the mics and give them a try...listen through headphones. i've had good luck using a neumann km184 about 3" from the f hole, and i've also used a clip on lav mic, clipped to the bridge and had good results. you just need to try a few different things before you hit record. you may even want to set up a 414 to capture the room sound and mix that in with the direct mic'ing.
 

Scott Whigham

Member
Messages
3,529
I recorded this earlier last year with a pair of Gefell M300s -

[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/scott-whigham/cello-test-ross-gasworth-juli-o[/soundcloud]

This is pretty raw - no EQ/compression or anything - and it also clips very bad in a lot of areas just due to my not getting it right at the source. Those are slightly darker and the quality of the room wasn't so great. I wish I'd had a brighter mic like the AKG 414 to try with it.

I took what I learned from that session and recorded the next session with some brighter mics - a pair of Schoeps MK41s and an Earthworks TC30.

I did this about three months ago for a project - check out the last recording on this page and hit the "Preview": http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/musicdfwcom

It was one cello player and he played five different parts. It was a challenge - I used different mics and different EQ/compressor for each take just to create separation.
 
Messages
896
Probably one of the LDC's (I have a 4033 so I'm certain that would sound great for starters) or the 421 would probably sound quite good as another option.
Put the LDC about 2-3 foot from the bridge, at about the same height. You'll capture some of the room from there which can be helpful. And the 421 maybe 6-12" from the bridge. Apart from that a bit of trial and error is always worth a try!
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
I took what I learned from that session and recorded the next session with some brighter mics - a pair of Schoeps MK41s and an Earthworks TC30.
i was going to mention a Schoeps MK41, but didn't think anyone would know WTF i was talking about.
 

Scott Whigham

Member
Messages
3,529
i was going to mention a Schoeps MK41, but didn't think anyone would know WTF i was talking about.
haha - yeah, those are my fave for fingerstyle/flatpicking acoustic and other acoustic instruments. I haven't solved the "Which mic for hard strumming acoustic" yet though - the Schoeps are good but not great for that (or maybe I just need to experiment with mic position more).
 

KidArchitect

Member
Messages
405
What's the context of the cello? Style and dynamics?

Bow and plucked?

How dense is the mix going to be? Or is it just solo?

Any ribbon mics available?
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
13,081
My gut says AKG 414 would be best.

The trick is where you put it - do not mic an f-hole or too close to the bow.

I would back up a couple feet and place it at angle (but facing the cello) someplace between the bow and the top o fthe fingerboard. Raise and lower to find a balance between high & low notes.
 




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