Please recommend mic to record acoustic violin

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Guff, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Guff

    Guff Guest

    What mic would you recommend for recording an acoustic violin? I have a Boss BR1180 hard disk recorder. I'd like something "nice" but not "overkill." Something that wouldn't be wasted on the Boss unit, but also something I wouldn't grow out of for a long time, if that makes sense. A secondary purpose would be to record acoustic guitar, but violin is the most important use right now. I don't mind spending money to get it right the first time. Thanks!
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I like to use a small diaphragm condenser on violin. The Oktava MK-012s are bargains; the Neumann KM 184s are very nice with violin, but far more expensive; if you can find one of the original AKG 451s, they are also great.

    I'd go with the Oktava, save a lot of money, and you will still have a useful mic years from now.
     
  3. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    The MXL 603 is another good budget SDC. I've even seen some reviews that put it up there with the km184, though I wouldn't go that far.

    Rob Wasserman's Trios CD has a few tracks that were done with a stereo mic in the middle of the room with bass and 2 cellos, and nothing else. It sounds great too. If you're looking for more of a solo recording, also consider a large condenser mic.
     
  4. Priestunes

    Priestunes Member

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  5. Mikeo

    Mikeo Guest

    Try a ribbon mic like the Beyer Dynamic M 160, you'll want a nice tube pre amp too.
     
  6. jzb

    jzb Member

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    I'm not a fan of Oktava mics.... however these are good choices for an acoustic instrument. Have you considered the Joesephson 4 series? They're also quite nice. The 451 is (IMO) too bright for a violin. However... your mileage may vary...
     
  7. pretaanluxis

    pretaanluxis Guest

    I would say a Shure SM-81 will work well for violin...a Shure BETA 57A can be better for acoustic guitar
     
  8. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell Member

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    I'd just like to point out that in most of the world's best studios, solid state preamps are used, by choice, much more than tube preamps. Particularly for sources such as violin, piano, and acoustic guitar.

    Millennia, Great River, Neve, API, lots of great pres. Nary a tube to be found.

    Manleys are also wonderful pres, with lots of pretty tubes, but they don't sound anything like the ProSonus, Bellari, ART, and other tube preamps that use the tube as their sole marketing point.

    Any of the small diaphragm condensers recommended so far will work very well.

    Just remember that the difference between violin and fiddle is mic placement - don't close mic the violin if you want it to remain a violin.
     
  9. mischultz

    mischultz Member

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    One other suggestion: the DPA 4060 is a great, if somewhat obscure, alternative. It's an omnidirectional lavalier mic that's stunningly full sounding. I think they run in the 400s, but it's absolutely worth it.

    Along more conventional lines, I'd second the vintage AKG C451 suggestion.

    Best,

    Michael
     
  10. onemind

    onemind Member

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    First choice would be the Royer Ribbon mic, R122 I think is the model...I've always had great luck with small diaphragm condensers on small stringed instruments...so I'd a greek with the AKG reccomendations, or a RODE NT4/5 for stereo.

    (s)
     
  11. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    If you're considering a Royer, check out the Coles 4038 first. That mic sounds great on just about anything. Also, the Fostex printed ribbon mics sound great but are hard to find.
     
  12. onemind

    onemind Member

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    The Coles is a killer, as long as we're spending your money so freely, look into Earthworks as well!

    (s)
     
  13. Guff

    Guff Guest

    Thanks for all your suggestions!

    I decided to go with the Oktava MK012 as recommended by LSchefman.

    Jeff
     
  14. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    Small diaphragm condensers are the "obvious" route, and you should get great results if you have a good player to record :)

    I wouldn't rule out a ldc with a little distance if you have a good room.
     
  15. retro

    retro Member

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  16. Guff

    Guff Guest

    Thanks, I got mine (just last night) from Oktava USA (via EBay $120 including shipping) so I assume it's up to standards. I only bought one, though, because I didn't think I'd need two to record a violin. Am I nuts? I forgot to ask you guys if I need a matched pair. I'm very pleased, though, with the sound (but I don't know anything). I put the mic on a boom, pointed down, about a foot above the violin, and played some pieces to some canned piano accompaniement. I agree with the review, that I had to really turn up the mic input on the Boss recorder. By the way, I was surprised at how small the mic is. When I first saw the case, I thought I'd accidentally bought an accessory and not the actual mic.
     
  17. retro

    retro Member

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    Cool congrats...

    Matched pairs for stereo can be nice in small mixes but a single is just fine too....
     

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