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recording accordeon
Old 24th July 2005
  #1
Here for the gear
 

recording accordeon

Hi,
I"m recording some solo accordeon music tomorrow. Any advice / experiences / important stuff I didn't think of?
It's a reasonably big studio, so they should have some good mics & pre's.

thanks
Old 24th July 2005
  #2
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Jamz's Avatar
Try using a ribbon mic on it. A Royer 121 (122) or Coles 4038 might be very nice.
Old 24th July 2005
  #3
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Certainly findnig the right mic is important, but finding the right place(s) is equally vital, accordians can be VERY noisy with key clunks, bangs, and thumps , Ive done a few, a good one is relativly quiet, a not so good one can sound like a box of hammers faling down a flight of concrete stairs, and then we have the bellows which can sound like an asthmatic with emphasima after running a marathon.
All that aside you may need at least 2 mics, if not 3.
Old 24th July 2005
  #4
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you MAY find that you need a mic on each side as different sounds come out.... but sometimes one mic in the right place, especially backed off a bit, works best

solo accordion is actually a bit easier as you don't have to be close, to avoid noisy neighbours.

a certain amount of clicks and noise is part of the sound and simply needs to be accepted.
But having a good, well worked on, instrument is a big help.

did I just call an accordion and "instrument"??? {g}
Old 24th July 2005
  #5
Moderator emeritus
 

I recorded accordion a couple of days ago, as an overdub. I had him in the main room, with a Shure KSM 44 on each side of his Weltmeister accordion (a well maintained instrument, by the way), about 2 feet away from the instrument. The keys (on one side) and the buttons (on the other) do sound on different sides of the instrument, so if your accordionist plays the buttons (a surprising number of them don't), you'll like two mics a lot better than one.

The accordion does make some odd key click noises; Wwitman is right that they're part of the nature of the instrument, though some of the noise can be minimized by the player. I was trying to figure out why I was getting a high pitched click from it - the key noise is usually more of a clunky sound - when I realized that it was the musician's fingernails on the keys - he quit doing it when I asked him about it.... The accordionist also told me that some engineers will set the mics 4-6 feet back rom the instrument, which will also help hide the mechanical noises.
Old 24th July 2005
  #6
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steins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjaz
Hi,
I"m recording some solo accordeon music tomorrow. Any advice / experiences / important stuff I didn't think of?
It's a reasonably big studio, so they should have some good mics & pre's.

thanks
I like ribbons on accordions, because they give a natural sound with less need for EQ and procession afterwards. The AEA R84 or a Royer 121 is smooth as butter, if that's what you are after. And as other has said; don't be afraid of clicks and puffs, they are part of the sound. If it's a solo performance and trhe room sound good, I'd certainly throw up a pair of room mikes.

BTW, what is 10 accordions on the bottom of the sea....?








































































































A good start!

Stein Tore
Old 24th July 2005
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the tips. The room is a moderately sized concert hall, and the player is best (or the at least the most famous) accordeon player in the area. I don't think they have any ribbons, if they do I'll give it a try. I guess the distance I'll be mic'ing will depend on the style of music.
Keep the advice coming ;-)
I'll let you know how it worked out.
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