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Countryman mic for fiddle
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piper
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#1
14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Countryman mic for fiddle

My wife and I have been working through various solutions for mic'ing her fiddle. She plays in a rock band. Feedback is an issue.

We recently bought a Countryman Isomax 2 Hypercardiod. It has the same form factor as the (out of production ) Crown GLM-100 mics that fiddlers used to like:

ISOMAX 2 All-Purpose Mic - Countryman Associates, Inc.

I've cut a foam block that fits in the afterlength of the strings to position the mic to point down at the bridge at about a 45 degree angle from maybe 1/2 inch away. It gets a good sound, but it picks up too much string noise. I think that at least part of the noise is coming through the foam block.

I wonder if anyone has some photos of other ways to mount these types of mics. We want to avoid the "stick it into the f-hole" type applications.
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14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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I actually use Countryman mics on strings, although I use the B6 model. What I use to mount them, however, is a wonderful rubber mount made by DPA. It attaches behind the bridge and puts my, albeit omni, mic in a perfect position to pick up the sound of the instrument without being in the way of the player.

I bought mine at B&H but any DPA reseller will be able to get them.

DPA Microphones Microphone Holder Stringed Instruments MHS6001

D.
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#3
14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Yeah the better in that application for feedback
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14th March 2013
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The DPA holder looks like it would be a good choice. I'm going to order one right now.

Why would an omni be better at feedback? The stage monitors are pretty loud.
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14th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piper View Post
The DPA holder looks like it would be a good choice. I'm going to order one right now.

Why would an omni be better at feedback? The stage monitors are pretty loud.
At that close no
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14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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I would tend to disagree... While an Omni will definitely sound a whole lot better, you will have bigger bleed issues and will need more gain (with a less directional mic) to be heard. Feedback won't be your friend.

The only DPA mic I'd place on a loud stage for a fiddle is a 4099 aimed right over the f hole on the e string side.

--Ben
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
The only DPA mic I'd place on a loud stage for a fiddle is a 4099 aimed right over the f hole on the e string side.
Same here, I've had very good success with a 4099 on fiddle, mounted on the G string side (to avoid breath noise). The 4099 has a weird min-shotgun design that's more resistant to feedback than most other mics of this type.

The DPA 4099 series also has, by far, the best mounting system for fiddles and other acoustic instruments. Not cheap, but worth it.

That said, if the OP's wife is playing in a Rock band on a very loud stage, then even the best clip-on mics will have trouble with feedback. That's really a job for a solidbody electric violin like a Zeta (or whatever the modern equivalent is).
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15th March 2013
Old 15th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
That said, if the OP's wife is playing in a Rock band on a very loud stage, then even the best clip-on mics will have trouble with feedback. That's really a job for a solidbody electric violin like a Zeta (or whatever the modern equivalent is).

She really doesn't want to go that direction.

I'm curious about Jimmy De Martini's setup. He plays an acoustic fiddle in the Zac Brown Band. We went to a show and it was very loud, yet somehow he was able to even play in front of the mains.
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15th March 2013
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Dave Swarbrick had a pick up on his fiddle in the 60s Brit Folk revival
He went deaf quicker than most Rock Guitarists!
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15th March 2013
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1) Omni, most natural, but most prone to feedback
2) Card, slightly less natural, but way better for feedback
3) Bridge pickup. Way less natural (but for amplified pop/rock is perfectly OK), but brilliant for fighting feedback.

I recommend you buy a DPA 4099 and it's violin mounting system - also install an under bridge system (Fishman V-200). You can then get a mix between the mic and the DI - I've never had a problem with this system, even with the fussiest of players - and that includes my wife
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15th March 2013
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The Kronos Quartet uses Countryman Isomax omnis attached to the neck side of the bridges with 3M foam doublestick tape. This seems to work very well--sounds great in the house.

philp
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15th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piper View Post
She really doesn't want to go that direction.

I'm curious about Jimmy De Martini's setup. He plays an acoustic fiddle in the Zac Brown Band. We went to a show and it was very loud, yet somehow he was able to even play in front of the mains.
Most groups on very loud stages use one of two mics- the DPA 4099 or the AT Pro 35. In addition, they'll also have a pickup on their instrument- usually picking up from under the bridge. A good DI with a good pickup is almost impervious to feedback. Add a bit of the mic and you'll get a more realistic sound.

Quote:
The Kronos Quartet uses Countryman Isomax omnis attached to the neck side of the bridges with 3M foam doublestick tape. This seems to work very well--sounds great in the house.

philp
They do, but Kronos is a very different situation than a rock stage. 1. They also use microphones (Neumann KM150) on goosenecks under the instruments attached to either small mic stands or their music stand. 2. The levels a MUCH lower than a rock show. 3. They use in-ear monitoring on stage so the stage volume is *very* low.

--Ben
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19th March 2013
Old 19th March 2013
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I think she has a gig this weekend, so I'll report back how things turn out.
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23rd March 2013
Old 23rd March 2013
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Countryman makes a clip that can be attached to the tailpiece of the violin, though it was built for saxophones. If you wish to use the hypercardioid, position the mic above and slightly behind the bridge oriented towards the sound post. You should secure the mic by wrapping a small bit of tape about 1/8' from the grommet. This will allow the cable to act as a shock mount. I built custom clips using a large rubber clip to grab the tail piece and a piece of 12 gauge solid electrical wire (I used the black insulated wire) with an aligator clip soldered to the end. The other end was attached to the grip part. When completed it looked and acted like a miniature gooseneck.I used these on fiddles, flutes, uilleann pipes, banjos, mandolins and guitars, as well as saxes, trumpets and even a trombone.
Regards;
Danny
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23rd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
I would tend to disagree... While an Omni will definitely sound a whole lot better, you will have bigger bleed issues and will need more gain (with a less directional mic) to be heard. Feedback won't be your friend.

The only DPA mic I'd place on a loud stage for a fiddle is a 4099 aimed right over the f hole on the e string side.

--Ben
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23rd March 2013
Old 23rd March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Most groups on very loud stages use one of two mics- the DPA 4099 or the AT Pro 35. In addition, they'll also have a pickup on their instrument- usually picking up from under the bridge. A good DI with a good pickup is almost impervious to feedback. Add a bit of the mic and you'll get a more realistic sound.



They do, but Kronos is a very different situation than a rock stage. 1. They also use microphones (Neumann KM150) on goosenecks under the instruments attached to either small mic stands or their music stand. 2. The levels a MUCH lower than a rock show. 3. They use in-ear monitoring on stage so the stage volume is *very* low.

--Ben
They are less loud, but on occasion, pretty darn loud, depending on the piece. Scott tells me that he sometimes blends the KMs in but in bad situations maybe not, esp if the playback track is very busy. The in-ear moni thing they use is really an "on-ear"--just a single-eared open air headphone with an ear clip. It doesn't seal up well at all compared to real in-ears, so balancing its level is pretty critical. It seems to get used for clicks and playback more than hearing each other.

philp
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